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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I pay to publish my book? Surely publishers should pay authors to publish their books?

Traditional publishers exist to make money and will therefore only take on books they can guarantee will sell sufficiently well to make a profit, which means they are extremely reluctant to consider authors who do not have a proven track record of writing successful books. Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, Bernard Shaw, Edgar Allen Poe and John Grisham are just some of the famous authors who started their roads to fame by financing the publication of their own work. And mainstream publishers don't always get it right! Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which sold around 40 million copies, was rejected by 20 publishers before it became a success. Similarly, Watership Down, Lord of the Flies, the Diary of Anne Frank, Animal Farm, Dune and the first Harry Potter book were all turned down by some of the biggest publishing companies in the world.

One renowned publisher rejected Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, saying it was "...overwhelmingly nauseating... the whole thing is an unsure cross between hideous reality and improbable fantasy... I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years". The book went on to become one of less than two-dozen books ever to have sold over 50 million copies.

So, why not consider self-publishing? Don't wait for (unfortunately improbable) approval from the traditional publishing houses kick-start your writing career and choose to publish yourself.

How long will it take for my book to be published?

That's not easy to answer. If you approve the first proof on the day you receive it, the whole process could take less than a month. If you spend a week or two checking that first proof and ask for changes to be made, it will obviously take longer. Most books are completed within three months. 

If you publish my book, does that mean you have the copyright to it?

Not in the slightest. The copyright remains yours.

What is 'print-on-demand'?

Nobody knows how many books they are going to sell so it is often impossible to know how many to print. Keeping books in a warehouse is expensive so it makes perfect sense to only print each copy when each copy is ordered. That way there's no wastage caused by printing books that may never sell.   

Doesn't 'print-on-demand' mean it takes ages to order books?

Not at all we normally print, bind and despatch books in two-to-three working days. Many conventional mail order companies advise to 'allow 28 days for delivery'.

I've found a great photo on Google images. Can you put it on my front cover?

Not if you have not sought, and been given, permission by whoever owns the copyright to the picture (usually the photographer). In any case, it would be unlikely that the quality is good enough - the printing process requires much higher resolution (better quality) pictures than those commonly found on the internet. 

How long is the average book?

One of the great things about books is they don't have to obey (many) rules. It's your project, so you are in total control. You may wish to visit your local bookshop or library and take a look at similar books in your genre, to see how long they are. Science fiction often tends to be longer than the norm. Generally speaking, 60-80,000 words is a reasonable length, but if you've written less, adding extra material just for the sake of it would not be a good idea.  

My book's been on Amazon for six months now and has not sold any copies. Why is this?

People are unlikely to stumble across your book by accident if they visit Amazon, or any other book retailer's website. People visit these websites because they know there is something they want to order, so you must first generate interest in your book to ensure that people go looking for it. Browse through our Marketing Services to find out how you can publicise your book to a wider audience.

How can I get my book into bookshops? 

There isn't a single bookshop in the world that is big enough to even hold a single copy of just one per-cent of all the books published each year, let alone all of those that already exist. As bookshops need to make money to survive, they will only stock products that they know will sell well, so you must first create the demand for your book by marketing and promoting it. Have a look at the Marketing Services we offer, for ways to get your book noticed.

Why aren't you promoting my book? Isn't this the job of the publisher?

Unless you have chosen to purchase any of our Marketing Services, this unfortunately isn't the case. Our role is to prepare your book for publication, make sure that anyone who wants to order it can do so, and then ensure that those orders are fulfilled. 

How many copies of my book have sold?

Royalty statements are issued every six months, and they contain details about the number of books sold.

I've spotted some spelling mistakes in my book. Why didn't you correct these? 

Unless you opted for our proofreading service, we wouldn't have checked through the book. Our proofreading service is an optional extra.

I would like to print extra copies of my book. How much will this cost?

For an instant printing quote, please call or email us. Visit the Contact Us page for more details on how to get in touch.

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