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Dilemma Resolved: Self-publish and be damned

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There are many small publishing companies offering to assist new authors to bring their work to public notice. A lot of them are run by people who have a genuine desire to promote the work of poets and writers working in niche genres. I am thinking, for example, of the Dublin based Dedalus Press run by Laois native and poet Pat Boran.

I thought I might be on to something similar when I read this mission statement on the website of a UK based independent: “We are keen to open up the world of publishing at a time when many publishers are turning their backs on untried authors, and when the lure of self-publishing seems to provide writers with control, but at an exorbitant cost … We are always looking to take on new authors, recognised or unknown”

To be fair, they were upfront abut the potential catch: “However, as the writer you may be asked to cover part of the cost of publishing the book.”

An enjoyable read

I decided to see if they would offer me any kind of deal. They responded within a couple of weeks to my initial submission of 3 chapters and a synopsis with a request for the full manuscript. A few days ago I received their assessment. First, the good news: “Your work [is] an interesting and enjoyable read … sales … forecast looking optimistic … your work deserves to be published.” These encouraging words are framed within a lot of b-s about meetings with editors and marketing people before offering a “contribution based contract” in which “the amount asked is only a partial sum towards the considerable costs involved.”

In fact, “the amount asked”, when I find it in clause 15 of the contract, is £2300, a sum which seems to me to be in the neighbourhood of the “exorbitant cost” they claim is involved in self-publishing. Bear in mind that they will take “a maximum” of 290 working days to carry out their part of the contract and it will be a further year before I actually see any royalties. I shall neither be signing their contract, nor parting with any money.

Kindle Select

Cover #10So, it’s back to the digital self-publishing route. I am using Kindle Select to take advantage of the extra promotion you get from Amazon in that programme, preceded by 30 days of pre-orders. I can use the pre-order period to preview my book and correct any formatting glitches or typos, as well as pushing the book as hard as I can via social media. I may also take advantage of one or more of the book promotion websites that do not charge “exorbitant” prices for their services.

CreateSpace

I intend to use Amazon’s CreateSpace to produce a print version which should be available about the same time (October 1st.) as the Kindle edition. Once the initial 90 days of Kindle Select promotion are past (January 1st. 2016) I will make it available on every other digital platform through Smashwords.

Cover

I have designed my own cover using an image I found on-line. The only problem is that I cannot find the owner of the commercial rights to the image. If he or she is reading this I hope they will get in touch so that we can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Below are links to the book at Amazon.com and .uk.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014N1C1QC

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B014N1C1QC?keywords=Transgression&qid=1441091951&ref_=sr_1_2&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

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5 Comments

  1. Very interesting account of your journey to publishing, and the very best of luck with that. I wondered if you had considered going through an agent at all, owing to their contacts and marketing know-how.

    Like

    • franklparker says:

      Hi Peter. Yes, I have certainly considered that. As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, that simply adds to the timescale to publishing. Nevertheless, I have sent the obligatory 3 chapters + synopsis to 2 or 3 each of whom has rejected it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reanne says:

    Sad to see that scams like this are out there, and it’s good that at least you were smart enough to walk away. It’s unfortunate that not everyone is.

    Your comment about the image you used for your cover concerns me. Images are not free to take and use for commercial purposes unless clearly labeled otherwise. Copyright exists. Unless you can confirm *and document* that the image is in public domain or otherwise free to use by anyone for any purpose or have a *documented* agreement with the owner of the image to use it for your book cover, you must assume you *do not* have permission to use it. It’s not incumbent upon the copyright holder to constantly scour the internet for unauthorized use of their work. As a copyright holder yourself (your book), you should really be more aware and respectful of other copyright holder’s works.

    Like

    • franklparker says:

      Hi Reanne. I found the image on Pinterest and did try to trace it’s origin. Your comment prompted me to try again today and I discovered that the Pinterest page owner has now indicated a source – a fashion blog. I have now e-mailed the editor of the fashion blog with a request to use the image, asking her to pass on the request to the appropriate person if she is not its copyright owner.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reanne says:

        I’m glad to hear you followed up on this. Hopefully you’ll be able to connect with the copyright owner. Also, you can buy some great pre-made covers online if you ever decide to go that route. I find The Cover Collection is very professional, and their prices are very reasonable.

        Liked by 1 person

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