As a Independent Publisher which is a Limited Company, I always tell my author friends and clients to make sure they don’t pay first and to look at prices…some are horrendous. A deposit is one thing, full payment…Hell no… they tend to be Vanity Publishers. Needless to say if you have a set of standards for one then you need them for authors as well. Not all authors are great to work with. I’ve had some damn right nasty ones who nearly made me give up helping others.
It does cost to get published. It doesn’t matter if you go trad or Indie. Traditional take part of your royality for the life of the book, which could be millions and they will only publish you if they can make a profit from you work. Also remember they have control of your manuscript – you don’t! Indie Publishers get paid a one off amount so if you make millions you don’t need to pay them anymore.
What I would like to see is a list of or group of Indie Publishers who assist each other like Indie Authors do. They must have at least five 5 star reviews/testimonials …remember we all have to start somewhere.
In fact, I’ll start a group on Facebook of LLC companies with 5 or more positive testimonials. Let people know and we will build this together for everyone to look at and use.
What information I will need.
Proof of LLC Proof of your reviews and testimonials. Genre you work with Royalty Share – if you work that way Deposit Amount – if needed
Companies without Reviews/Testimonals will be added as pending when they start up.
Here I was proud to be a Director of my own limited company. With a gentleman who was going to assist with Marketing in exchange for publishing a book and my daughter as a contractor to do Book Covers.
My daughters hobby business is Ceejay Designs. Claudia was studying Graphic Design after being trapped in our home with agoraphobia. This was her first step into the real world for two years. I was and still am so proud of her accomplishments. Today she still suffers from Anxiety, however she is braving the world, moving from New Zealand to England with her family to have time with her English grandparents.
Back to my Publishing Company…
It was the end of 2014 beginning of 2015 and I had a few articles in the Newspaper about my business, me as an author and my first client (exchange not paid). This bought in three more clients over 2015. It was great. A small amount of work, though I was still learning the ropes. This helped me grow at the rate I needed to. Those clients were – Norman McClean, Captain B M Commons & Bob Sutton, the last two have since passed away.
During 2015 I did two business courses. One was a short 12 week course – called Incubate, which was to advanced for my business at that stage. However, it was interesting all the same. I learnt a lot about the ins and outs of business. One thing I did realise was it would be years before I could employee anyone, however contracting out would work well until I was ready. The other course was a Certificate in Small Business Management, Level 4 which I studied one night a week at Te Wananga o Aotearoa which is a Maori College. I met some amazing students there who are still good friends today. The third course was a diploma in Small Business Enterprise, Level 5. Both of these taught me a lot of different skills which I needed to run a successful business. However, I also needed publishing skills. How to format a book to look professional.
What did I do…?
Research, which is something all authors need to do if they wish to be proficient and successful. This is where the library and the local book stores come in handy. You can look at books and see how they are set out. It is mind-blowing how much work goes into creating a book. As many say – ‘Writing the book is the easy part’. Not sure I would always agree with this, however I now know the ropes to help my clients get the best formatting around. Yeah, I am proud of myself and what I can do.
Some of the things you need to learn as a publisher…!
What does a paperback book page look like? Where does the Copyright page go? Do you need a Contents Page? Do you need a Contents Page?
Acknowledgements & Dedications? Where does the Author Biography go? Author Links? How do you make them and where do you put them
Then you need to style the paperback pages…
Headers for paperbacks Page Numbers. Fonts Style – Which are the best to use? Font Size
Footnotes & Endnotes
Criteria for Distribution Websites
What about ebooks…?
No Page Numbers
No blank pages
Remembering we read an e-book as if it is a scrolling document. You don’t need to choose a font or font size, the distribution websites do this for you. A reader can change the size and font to what they wish once the book is downloaded. This is unless you embed the fonts you are using
How do Children’s books Differ…?
Artwork & Illustrations.
Full Colour or Black & White Fewer Pages Bigger Font Size Different shape and size books – paperbacks.
What you need so you can turn your manuscript into a product people will buy…
Book Cover Design Editing and all the different types a writer may need
ARC Reviews Contacts & Connections Social Media Marketing
The list goes on and I continue to learn something new every few months. I will probably talk a bit more about my learning curve and how or what I had to do to get the job done.
Towards the end of 2015 Plaisted Publishing House made their first Anthology. There were so many entries that two books were made with about 600 pages in each one. These Anthologies were made in conjunction with the AwethorsGroup on Facebook. They were to be used as a marketing tool for the authors who participated. The e-book would be FREE and the paperbacks – due to being so big, were $25 a piece. It took months to organise with many of the group volunteering their services with Beta Reading, Editing and Checking. I was in charge of the formating and publishing. What a learning curve that was.
We had a huge release day over several continents and if I remember I think I stayed up for 17 hours posting on my website about each and every author who filled in an interview form. Of course in those days I was new to WordPress as well. If I knew I could schedule posts, I probably would have gone to bed a lot earlier.
During the Event several of us did Take Covers on various blogs. This was my post as an author. The characters take control…LOL. This was posted on Northern Witch Books
My Muse Attack
All in a day’s work by Claire Plaisted
“Claire what on earth are you doing to Fabia, who’s attacking her?” demanding Zoe, flying through the door, Jagan (thank the lord) a small drag on her hand blowing fire. “Slow down Zoe, and please tell Jagan to stop his fire, I don’t want the fire alarms or sprinklers being set off again,” I told her sternly. “Jagan,” she scolded. “Sorry, it’s such fun,” he sighed, curling up to go to sleep. “Fabia will be fine, she is allowed to have an adventure too.” “I don’t want her getting hurt.” “I won’t get hurt Zoe,” said a smiling voice from the door. “Fabia, she squeals, shoving Jagan in her pocket. They ran to each other hugging, both talking at once. “Girls, will you either calm down or get out of my office. “Sorry Claire,” they grinned. They sat on the sofa, clasped together giggling when Tristian from ‘Fred the Evil Incarnate’, walked in, they gawked, eyes wide. “Yes Tristian?” “What did you do with my son?” “He went exploring.” “Please find him.” “Da da, I’m going to have an awesome adventure.” Tristian’s youngest boy rushed through the door, his dark hair and grey eyes alight with excitement. “Where too young man,” he said crouching down. “Into the other worlds beyond the edge,” he replied. I cringed, waiting for the explosion of temper, before he could Abraham from GIB walked in, his hands in his pockets. He looked tired and on edge. “Abraham,” I murmured standing up and approaching him. “What’s wrong?” “The world is going to go to hell!” he said looking down at me. “What do you mean?” “I met…oh never mind, just get ready to die, the world…” sighing he walked out again. “What was that?” said Zoe?” “That was Abraham, he works with Garrett Investigation Bureau,” I replied frowning as I sat back at my desk. “What was he on about – the world going to hell stuff,” said Fabia. “Our world went to hell and is on the brink of returning to near normal again.” “Tristian, meet Zoe and Fabia, best friends from a book called “Princess of the Earth.” “Hi,” he smiled down at them kindly. His son tugged on his dad’s hand. “Yes son?” “Who’s that in the doorway?” “Hey Cera, solved anymore riddles lately,” I grinned. “No,” she scowled. I can’t find…” “You can find anyone.” “Those dratted faeries took her, I lost her track,” she snapped. “Well get the heck out of here and find her and hurry up. I want your novel on sale by this coming Christmas at the latest.” “Charming, has to be my fault.” “Well you’re the one with the magic powers Cera the Black Cat.” “Whatever,” she said as she changed into her cat form and padded out of my office, the others with their jaws dropped open. “Get outta here you lot and go do your thinking, I need to get some of these draft stories finished. There was a knock on my window. I looked out and nearly screamed, when I realised it was Paul the Moa with David his best friend. Quickly I jumped up and flung the windows open. “Oh my, it’s two years since I last saw you two, how you’ve both grown.” “Yeah Paul is quite scary now he’s twelve foot tall,” laughed David, with a cheerful grin. “So you must tell me your adventures, last time I was writing about you, Paul was only a baby and fast asleep.” “We’ll stop by soon when you’re not so busy,” he replied. Pulling on the bridle, Paul pecked me, making me laugh then lifted his head away and off the ran over my back garden, I looked now at the rather large footprints Paul left behind and winced, my gardener was not going to be pleased. “What the hell was that thing, it looked like an overly large Ostrich,” gasped Eilish Garrett, who’d entered my office while I was chatting with David. “That’s a Moa, a native New Zealand bird which was thought to be extinct.” “It’s huge.” “Maybe I’ll introduce you one day. Meanwhile, everyone out, I need my office back so I can finish at least one novel. “Grumbling the left, though I knew I would be disturbed again soon. It was always the same with my muses. God help me when the Gothixies finally put in an appearance.
The door crashed open. “When are you publishing my story?” demanded Jones. “Another few weeks, now get out,” I was getting aggravated with them all. “Touchy aren’t you,” he grinned and slammed out again. “Just one more interruption and I’ll scream,” I muttered as I began to type once more.
Since this was blogged. Jones’ story has been published, the world hasn’t ended and nor has Abraham’s book been finished so you still have time to prepare for the end of the world. The other lovely characters and muses have draft books still pending.
Back to the Event…
What I didn’t realise at the time, was this event would increase not only my knowledge but my connections as well. We enjoyed the event so much, we also did an Anthology in December. Religion sort of got in the way, however my daughter came up with the book title ‘December Awethology’. Once again there were two books though much small this time.
In Part Three I will tell you about the difficulties I had…Publishing isn’t all easy, sometimes Clients can misbehave and I’ve had several.
I get a feeling writers think I am an expensive publisher. This is when I know their knowledge is lacking. They should realise it takes a long time to write a book. It also takes hours to edit, make a book cover, format, print and market a book. Our basic hourly rate for work here in New Zealand is $15.25. The Living wage is $19.20. This means at present I am running my company at a huge loss and I am a business who makes no profit. I do not get a salary. My husband supports me.
I offer a lot of FREE services for writers, authors and clients. I encourage them, chat with them, market them, offer free marketing in a magazine, a yearly free sponsorship, free anthology. This all takes hours of work to accomplish. I enjoy it. I don’t charge for it. I probably should.
My rate for formatting. $0.004c a word for a draft document. This is so low it is bloody daft. If I wanted to make a small profit I would be charging $0.10c or $0.20 a word.
At present a 70K story would cost approximately $280 USD In reality this story should cost $700 or even $1,400. Yeah go on – run screaming. I am paid after the formatting is approved by the client. I know editors who charge more than I do, same with book cover artists. Createspace charges $399 as a start rate for book covers and $199 for helping to format. I never own copyright or royalties.
Then you have Vanity Press who ask for $5K plus up front, don’t do the work, don’t send out books, charge you extra for marketing, sales, promo…every step of the way. So why do they still get the work? The most expensive package I have seen for an Author was $20k.
I know I don’t charge enough for the services I offer. If I were writing articles for others I’d get at least $0.25 a word. I choose not to. I prefer to assist Indie Authors get their work online. However I prices will increase each year. I need to make my company viable and earn a salary, though I will also always have a budget system and I will always do FREE things to assist everyone.
Please consider chatting with me to see how I can help you as a writer. After all I am here for you to help you build your book – one step at a time