Posts Tagged ‘digital publishing’
This post is for authors and unpublished aspiring writers who are trying to submit their manuscripts to a digital publisher. You can read part 1 and part 2 of how to choose a digital publisher and then, here are a few extra tips:
1) Check the publisher website to see how they are pricing their books in comparison to other digital publishers. Everyone has a different system and publishers do not reveal their pricing strategy, but if you make a comparison according to word count, you will get an idea of which publishers are pricing their books the lowest. You don’t want too low… (not 0.99$ for a 60,000 word novel) because then you will be better off self-publishing (due to a higher royalty rate)… but you don’t want too high also. Highly priced books by new authors don’t sell.
2) See the kind of promotion the publisher is doing on their website. Do they have an active blog? Twitter account?
3) Click on one book and see if their recommendation page pops up. Ideally, they should direct the customer who buys one book towards other similar authors to increase sales. This is similar to Amazon’s “people who bought this also bought” bar.
4) Notice their book covers. Do you like them? Are they attractive? Do they represent the book well?
5) Lastly, buy at least one book in your genre and read it to check the editing.
Byline: Sabine A. Reed is the author of The Black Orb, a fantasy novella published by Uncial Press (a digital publisher). It’s high fantasy and the protagonist is a cunning and beautiful thief who will do anything to make a buck. You can read the first chapter for free.
In my last post, I discussed some tips that would help a writer decide which digital publisher to choose for manuscript submission. Today, I want to discuss some other points that a writer should consider before signing with a digital publisher.
1) A digital publisher will take digital publishing rights only, and not print. That is, unless, they promise to take your book out in print also. If they are only taking the option to take the book out in print depending on sales, it should be clear as to how many months you can wait before you submit the print version elsewhere.
2) They should specify for how long they are taking the rights. Not for your lifetime, certainly. Five years, or two years since the date of publication is preferable and then you can all re-negotiate the contract.
3) They should send you few free digital copies of the book. They will also create many formats of the book for sale.
4) They should send you ARCs so you can get reviews.
5) The publisher should design the book cover at no cost to you and get ISBN also.
6) The publisher gets first right to look at any sequel to your work that they have, but not to any other work.
It is a writer’s duty to ensure that they are happy with the book contract before signing it. It’s always best to read the contract from start to finish and once again. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a friend to read it for you to get his/her feedback. Do you homework before selling your manuscript so you don’t have any regrets later on.
List of Digital Publishers
Work of a self-published author as compared to an author with a publishing house
The things your digital publisher would do for you
If you are one of those writers like me who don’t want to delve in the deep sea of self-publishing, here are a few tips to help you choose the right digital publisher. First of all, here is a List of Digital Publishers for you to begin with. Before submitting your projects, do some basic research on the publisher:
1) How long have they been around? My publisher Uncial Press recently celebrated their fifth anniversary, and that’s quite a number of years in the fickle world of digital publishing.
2) How many titles do they publish in a month? Ideally, they should have a schedule for publishing because that shows they are organized. Whether they publish one title a month or twenty, it should be a reliable and steady number. Publishers who take out twenty books in one year and only two in the next have something not quite right going on.
3) What kind of marketing do they offer to their writers? Click on some of their titles, note down the author’s name and see the kind of web presence each author has. Digital publishers should at the very least insist on their authors having some kind of a website. Also, they should list the names of authors with a short bio, and a link to the author’s website, on their own site.
4) What is their reputation? You can easily find this out by googling the publisher and reading up about them.
5) How much time and effort is the publisher investing in their own brand name? If you are a new writer, your publisher is the one who is going to pull the initial sales and for this, they need to have a loyal customer base and a multi-pronged policy of gaining new followers. At the very least, they should have a twitter account, facebook and preferably a publisher blog also.
6) Where do they upload their titles? Ideally, you would want your publisher to put the book up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, as well online retailers such as fictionwise, diesel, etc. Check the ratings of their Amazon titles to see how well their authors are doing? Usually authors with more than one published book do better than authors with only one book up.
7) Check to see how many of their authors have published more than one book with them. This is a true test of the publisher because authors will only submit more than one book to them if they are happy with the sales of the first title and the general behavior of the publisher.
8) You can even write to some of their authors and ask them if they would recommend the publisher. This is a dicey question. Some authors may not honestly speak against their publisher even if they are not happy with their title’s performance—but there is no harm in trying.
On Friday, I am going to do another post on Choosing a Digital Publisher so don’t forget to drop in again. Also, an interview of Aria, my protagonist from The Black Orb, a fantasy novella, is up at Paradox- The Angels are Here (a blogs of author Patti Roberts, author of Paradox) and it’s truly an interesting question-answer session because Aria is a lively fiery character who came alive for me as I penned her. You can read the first chapter of The Black Orb for free here.