- How long have you been in business?
We organized in September 2003 and our first book appeared in January 2004. We produce approximately 12 to 25 titles per year which puts us on the large side of the category “small publisher”. As of January 2017, we have 150 titles in print.
- How many copies of my book will be printed?
Offset printing requires that you have a crystal ball and be able to predict how many copies are needed in what time period. We prefer the POD model which is more flexible, environmentally conscious, and with considerable cost and time savings. We contract with print factories in the USA and UK independently. That being said, we do use offset printing for books that prove to have a good track record.
- How many copies will my book sell?
No two books are alike, even if they are about the same subject. Some are successful and some are not. The difference is what the author brings to marketing the book. We have three different titles which have sold 200 to 600 copies in one month (via Ingram, which includes Amazon.com and bookstore sales). Our best-selling title has sold more than 5,000 copies in five years and has steady sales month after month. How many books sell is entirely a function of how hard you are willing to work at publicity.
- How many copies are sold thru real bookstores as opposed to Amazon or other online sales?
Ingram does not break out sales numbers by bookstore. If it did, publishers could bypass the wholesaler and sell directly to their bookstore customers. Therefore, we cannot know which stores sell how many. However, industry figures tell us that brick-and-mortar stores are fewer than 40% of book sales worldwide (and falling). A large portion of books are sold through non-bookstores: gift shops, museums, library purchases, and department stores.
- Can you do hardcovers and eBooks?
Right now we are doing “Triple Editions” for all new products: paperback, hardcover, and eBook. Our eBook products are on Amazon Kindle right now but we are moving aggressively on to iBook and B&N Nook platform by the end of 2010. Some workbooks may not be appropriate for eBook but 95% of our titles are doable on eBook.
- How do I get paid
Royalties are paid twice yearly in February and August. Most of our authors are currently paid by a check in US funds. Authors in Canada, UK, and Australia generally prefer to be paid via PayPal. We can also send by Western Union although a $24 electronic funds transfer charge must be deducted from your royalties.
- How do book sales/signing events work?
Well there are two completely different things that happen
- In-Store Events: the store manages inventory and purchases and sells the books (you collect standard royalty)
- Direct Sales Events: an event put on by you outside of a store where no store is involved (examples: book launch party, reading at a church/synagogue/mosque, lecture at a library/school/university). You or your assistant collects money, and hands the person the book they want. Books for Direct Sales Events need to be purchased by you at Author’s Discount which starts at 45% off List Price. For qty of 100+, we can sometimes sweeten it by another 5 or 10% depending on current incentive programs.
- Will it be at Barnes & Noble?
Even the “majors” cannot guarantee bookstore placement. Anyone who does is either putting you on or is themselves deluded. All our books are orderable (and returnable) by individual B&N store buyers and clerks. Whether they do or not is a function of how successful marketing is going. Upon request, we will submit new books to the Barnes & Noble Small Press coordinator for evaluation. However, this does not happen until a book is in print and takes 3-4 weeks for a response.
- How long does it take for my book to come out?
We will quote you a rough timeline during contract acceptance. The contract will stipulate a maximum of 9 to 12 months. However, we endeavor to put the title through as quickly as possible. The time varies based on several factors:
- is the book a candidate for Advance Review Copies (ARC? If so, this requires a mandatory 4 month quiet period before production ensues.
- how well edited and prepared is the document?
- permission and copyright clearance for quotes and reprinted text (author’s responsibility to execute and document)
- current backlog level (between 2 and 5 months)
- responsiveness of the author to issues raised during production or editorial review
- are illustrations done or do they need to be commissioned/
- Will you enter my book in book contests?
Just like there are subsidy publishers and traditional publishers, there are subsidy contests (“vanity contests”) and real book contests. Real book contests have registration fees of $40 or less and we will help you participate in these if you bring them to our attention. Subsidy contests are like those grade-school competitions where everyone who participates gets a ribbon–and hence their results are worth about as much.
- What about audiobook versions of my books?
While there is a significant market share of self-help in the audiobook market, I encourage all my authors to get started on podcasting. You can reach a bigger market (“ears”) through podcasts and achieve sell-thrus (i.e. people who will buy the book based on their perception of you as an expert). ur star podcaster right now is Alan Smith, and I would recommend that you listen to his podcastsFrom a pure author-reading perspective you can use PodioBooks to release a chapter-a-week provided you meet their quality guidelines. If you want to hire-it-done, there is Red Planet Audiobooks
I’ve learned the hard way you can’t be all things to all people and at this point we are not players in the audiobook market. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do-it-yourself or have an impact in other ways.