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.
So, 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.
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.
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.