1. What are my objectives?
The desire to ‘write a book’ often eclipses the ultimate purpose of doing so. But if you can be clear about your motives and your ambitions for the book, it will help in the decisions that you’ll need to make about how the book will be published, marketed and sold. So, are you self-publishing:
- To have a few copies for family and friends?
- To sell your book to raise money for a favoured charity?
- To sell your book as a commercial venture?
- Trying to get your book noticed by agents and traditional publishers?
In every case, you’ll want your book to be designed and printed professionally, and we will ensure that is achieved, whatever your intentions about marketing and sales. In some cases, the minimum print run is 100 copies but it is possible to produce smaller quantities. We will advise on the selling price and make the book available for sale by order from bookshops and via internet book sellers, principally Amazon.com.
2. Is the book complete, or a work in progress?
An important aspect of our help for authors is to give early advice on the suitability of the text and on the construction of the story; not a detailed critical analysis, but an opinion that we have found is helpful for authors.
If the book is already written, we will also offer an opinion. If this includes advice on revisions, the author is able to undertake these as desired.
For illustrated books, we can advise on the selection and formatting of images, together with guidance on how best to place the images within the book.
3. What format would best suit the book and the intended market?
The author will need to consider a range of book sizes, hardback and paperback options. We can explain the choices, their suitability and cost.
4. How many copies?
This aspect needs to be considered early, and it requires the author to be clear on the intended market for the book and the approach to selling it. We generally recommend a short initial print run with the option to order reprints. Except for non-standard sized books with complex binding, we can print any number of books from 10 copies upwards. The cost of printing each book reduces with increasing numbers being printed, and so this decision is one that requires some hard-headed consideration. We will help the author through the process.
5. How will the book be marketed?
Unless a book is produced solely for friends and family, the publishing venture will have a commercial purpose, however limited that might be. It therefore needs to be recognised as a ‘product’ to be sold, despite all the emotional investment the author has made to create it. It is important to define the book’s target market and to have a rough idea about ‘taking the product to market’.
We offer post-publication sales support, but the task of promoting the book falls, inevitably, on the author, since this is the underlying essence of self-publishing.
Post-publication sales support
The Publisher will make the book available for sale via internet orders (including Amazon.com) and bulk sales to wholesale/retail booksellers, normally for a period of one year from the date of publication. Continuing support will thereafter be subject to agreement by the parties.