Last Friday I had a meeting with the director of another company who provide publishing services to those wishing to publish their own books. The cost will be about the same as the first quote I received, but there are differences in the services they provide. If I went with the first company I would have to provide my own cover design, whereas if I chose the second, the cover will be designed for me. I think that is quite important as the cover has to look good for both the paperback book and the thumbnail size used by Amazon for sales purposes.
The cost with the first company would give me five hundred copies of my novel whilst the second company prefers a print on demand, so only a few copies. Both methods of printing have their advantages and disadvantages, which it seems to me probably balance each other out.
The big difference is in the approach to marketing the book. Whilst both provide marketing services, the second company provide a much longer and more intensive service and, I think a more personalised one than the other.
I think I’ve decided that the marketing is so important that if I want my book to have the best chance of success, I would be better with the second company, but I’ll wait for the paperwork before I make a final decision. After all, the lawyer in me says, the devil is in the detail.
And just so that I get an idea how the self publishing platform works on Kindle I have decided to publish a slim, in fact very slim volume of poems I wrote while I was doing my MA in Creative Writing. I’m really doing it for myself to try and learn if Kindle and CreateSpace is a good way to publish, rather than to attract any sales. But you never know!!
I have just received a quote from the publishing company for copy editing, preparing for printing as a paperback, proof reading, cover design, formatting as an e-book, distribution and marketing. The total cost is about £4000.
I would have five hundred copies of the paperback, which is the minimum number for having access to the distribution network the publishers use. I know there are cheaper ways of getting the book published-this is the de-luxe version, but they do a lot of the work and hopefully prevent the mistakes that mainstream publishers point to when they criticise self publishing. The question for me is how much faith do I have in my book to spend so much money on launching it? Still not sure, but it’s still cheaper than the mythical horse- the one I don’t have, can’t ride, don’t pay livery charges for etc. Anyway I’m off to see another company who offer the same sort of service at the end of the week.
Cathi Unsworth writes about her novels which are described as noir. Unlike many crime novels she does not write series. In this article in The Guardian she writes about the difficulty of getting published and says her first manuscript was rejected by many editors who wanted her to turn it into a series. In the end she did get a publisher who told her she might have done better if she had used a man’s name as a pseudonym. Really that’s too much. She also says that to get published you must write what the agents say, ‘fit into the Christie corset’ are her words, and accept the compromise or do your own thing and take a chance with e-books. It seems to me she is saying what I said in my last post about making your novel fit an agent’s view of what you should write or you write what you want and self-publish. To use an overworked phrase, publish and be damned.