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Publicious Frequently Asked Questions

 

Self Publishing

Q. What is self-publishing or Indie publishing?
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
Q. What is involved in converting a manuscript into book format?
Q. What does type setting mean?
Q. Can you edit my book for me?
Q. Why do you recommend having my manuscript proofread even if it's been edited?
Q. Do I have any input in the design and layout of my book?
Q. Can I have pictures in my book?
Q. Can I supply photographs or images, and ideas for my book cover?
Q. How do I choose the size of my book?
Q. How do I know what types of paper and cover to use?
Q. What is an ISBN and do I need one?
Q. Do I need to copyright my work?
Q. Why do you use different printers around the world?
Q. Can I order as many books as I like?
Q. How long will it take to publish my book?
Q. Will Publicious help me market my book?
Q. I'm very happy with my quote and want to go ahead with my order; what do I do next?


Ebooks


Q. Do I need a separate ISBN for my ebook?
Q. What formats will my ebook be converted to?
Q. Can my ebook be available for download from sites such as amazon and Apple iTunes?
Q. Can my ebook be protected from copying?

Distribution

Q. How do the global distribution channels work?
Q. What does Virtual Stock mean?
Q. I have already self-published, can my book be included in the distribution channels?
Q. Will my book need to be re-formatted?
Q. Can any type of book be included in the distribution channels?
Q. Why does my book have to be discounted and what does this mean?
Q. What should I set the discount at for my title?
Q. Will my RRP be the same worldwide?
Q. What is an Espresso Book Machine?
Q. What are the Amazon and B&N SITB Programs?
Q. How and when do I receive my royalty cheques?
Q. How do I get started?
Q. Can you help me with Lightning Source file creation and submission?

 

Self publishing

Q. What is self-publishing or Indie publishing?

A. Self-publishing and Indie publishing (Independent publishing) are the same thing and are used by authors who decide to take on the role as publisher of their books. This means the self-published author will be responsible for not only writing the book, but also for editing, formatting the manuscript (ms) to book form, creating the cover, arranging for or creating any artwork or illustrations (if required), applying for an ISBN (International Book Serial Number), lodging CIP and legal deposits, printing, ebook conversion (if required), distribution, marketing and sales of their book.

Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

A. It is very important that authors who decide to self-publish fully understand the role they are taking on. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing:

Advantages: Self-published authors will:

  • Retain full control over their books including design and content, which they would usually lose to a publisher.
  • Earn 100% of the royalties after costs on all books sold instead of handing over 90% (normal for first time author) to a publisher.
  • Retain ownership of all rights and copyrights including audio, film and any format the book may aspire to, instead of signing these rights over to a publisher.
  • Sell their books through all online stores and keep ahead of the changing trends of publishing and book selling.
  • Convert their books to ebooks and make them available for all eReader devices.
  • Be free to make changes and updates to their titles when ever they please.
  • Research and achieve the best prices for printing etc.
  • Set the amount of profit they want to make per book.
  • Not have the ongoing costs or constraints that can placed by publishers. Although there are usually no up front costs for the traditionally published author, ongoing costs are calculated through payback of advances (authors do not receive any royalties until the sum of the advanceif anyis repaid), low royalties payments and bookstore discounts.
  • Be free to organise their own author talks and signings.
  • Can run their writing and publishing career as a business.

Disadvantages: self-published authors will

  • Have full responsibility of of the publication of their book, ensuring that the finished item is to the standard that book buyers insist on.
  • Need to learn the process of publishing from beginning to end or find the right self-publishing company to assist them.
  • Be responsible for all costs involved.
  • Be responsible for all marketing, distribution and sales.
  • Have difficulty getting their books made available from the large high-street bookstores.
  • Not have the marketing and distribution expertise and influence of the larger publishing houses.

Q. What is involved in converting a manuscript into book format?

A. Publicious will reformat your manuscript for use in Adobe InDesign, the leading industry software used by most of the top publishers, type set your text, create the layout, eg: page size, margins, left and right pages, page numbers, and titles. Create a copyright page, the page at the front of the book containing the publisher and author details (you), the date of publication, the copyright, and the ISBN. Then we'll add any other pages that you might require such as a dedication page, acknowledgments, a bio, a table of contents. When the formatting is complete, we'll then create a PDF file ready for printing.

Q. What does type setting mean?

A. Type setting is the process of adjusting your manuscript to an acceptable print form such as the right font size, (usually 11 11.5 point) correct fonts (Serif fonts such as Garamond and Georgia are easier to read in print), and line spacing. Most manuscripts are written in 12 point font, this size font may increase the number of pages in your book considerably.

Q. Can you edit my book for me?

A. Yes all our editors are experienced and active writers themselves. We offer a range of affordable editing services from full editing and proofreading. Editing is necessary for all writers who want to produce a professionally completed book. A Publicious full edit will ensure that your manuscript is checked for:

  • punctuation and spelling
  • sentence structure (syntax), paragraph structure, chapter structure, overall structure
  • subject and verb agreement and proper word use
  • clarity
  • point of view do you know which point of view you are writing from?
  • redundancies and inconsistencies and extraneous sub-plots
  • unresolved issues and lapses in continuity
  • believability
  • dialogue flow and format
  • content and plot developmentpacing, conflicts, tension, climax, and resolution
  • characterisationgoals, motivation and conflict

Q. Why do you recommend having my manuscript proofread even if it's been edited?

A. After an editor has completed a full edit, the manuscript is then returned to the author to make the necessary changes suggested and outlined by the editor. Sentences, paragraphs and, in some case, whole chapters may be rewritten by the author and can contain new typos or errors that weren't there during the edit. This is where a final proofread will pick up any problems and add that final polish to the manuscript.

Q. Do I have any input in the design and layout of my book?

A. Absolutely! At Publicious we encourage our authors to have input in all aspects during the creation of their books. Remember you are the author and the publisher, so you are the boss. We will make recommendations such as fonts to use, but if you prefer a different font, not a problem. If you want things like drop-caps(an enlarged capital letter at the beginning of each chapter), or illustrations, not a problem. Just let us know what you want.

Q. Can I have pictures in my book?

A. Yes! See our self publishing services and pricing page for more details.

Q. Can I supply photographs or images, and ideas for my book cover?

A. Yes! Please do. Most authors don't get a choice of the book cover designs used on their books. With Publicious you have full control.

Q. How do I choose the size of my book?

A. Look in a bookstore near you and find a book that is of similar size to the book you want to produce. Here are a few typical sizes (please note there may be a small variation in sizes depending on which country they are printed in):

Australia/ UK/Europe/Asia (metric)

  • 181 x 111 mm - A format
  • 127 x 203 - Standard Paperback size
  • 129 x 198 mm - B format
  • 148 x 210 mm - A5
  • 153 x 234 mm - C format
  • 152 x 229 mm
  • 191 x 235 mm
  • 210 x 297 mm - A4

USA (inches)

  • 5 x 8 - Standard paperback size
  • 5.25 x 8.25 (A5)
  • 6 x 9
  • 8.5 x 11

Q. How do I know what types of paper and cover to use?

A. It really depends on the quality of paper you require. Papers are produced in Grams Per Square Metre (gsm) Most printers have a standard range, the higher the number eg: 70gsm and 80gsm, the thicker the paper and the higher the price. Paperbacks are usually 70gsm in creamy paper. Educational and picture books are in bond. Here is a guide:

Australia/ UK/Europe/Asia 

  • 70gsm creme (standard paperback)
  • 80gsm white (standard textbook)

USA

  • 55lb creme (standard paperback)
  • 50lb white (standard textbook)

Gloss and satin pages can be used for children's books and cookbooks (colour) etc usually at around 150gsm.

Soft cover choices are matt or gloss in perect bound, saddle stitched or spiral binding.. A typical softcover will be around 200gsm. A thicker gsm can be used e.g 300 gsm on request depending on the type of book. Hardcovers are also available in matt, gloss, cloth and cloth with dust jacket.


Q. What is an ISBN and do I need one?

A. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. If you are planning to sell your books in bookstores and have it in Libraries you will need an ISBN. Most ISBN's are displayed on the copyright page and on the back cover in a barcode form which holds all the relevant details such as: the title, the name of the author, number of pages, recommended retail price, and the name of the publisher. If you are self-publishing the publisher will be you. An ISBN is now also required for ebooks and will differ from the print ISBN. ISBN's can be purchased separately but are more cost effective if purchased in a block of 10. ISBNs in blocks can be used for future books and do not have a time limit for use.

Q. How do I purchase an ISBN?

A. You can purchase an ISBN or a block from your nearest ISBN agency or Publicious can take care of the application and purchase them on your behalf. If you are publishing a printed book and an ebook we recommend purchasing a block of 10 ISBNs (same price as 2), so you'll have 8 left to use for future books.

For those clients who require Publicious to purchase their ISBNs we will require the following information:
Name (publisher name)
Address
Phone number
Title of Book
Page count
Book size
Previous ISBN (most recent, if any)
Recommended Retail Price (RRP) For both print and ebook versions.

Q. Do I need to copyright my work?

A. Yes, copyright is very important to protect your work from unauthorised use by others. However, copyright requirements differ from country to country, for example there are no copyright regulations in Australia other than retaining proof of authorship such as an original dated draft. For more information on the copyright laws in your area visit our links page.

Q. Why do you use different printers around the world?

A. We have sourced, (and still finding more) the best printers around the world for the following reasons: to supply our authors with books of the best possible quality; to save our authors on shipping costs and customs fees; to guarantee speedy and flexible turnaround times; to give our authors the option of printing and selling their books overseas, and for those authors who may be launching their books overseas, what could be better than having your books waiting for you at your destination saving all that shipping cost.

Q. Can I order as many books as I like?

A. Yes, you can order books one at a time, ten or a thousand at a time if you wish. However be aware that in some cases there is extra cost for smaller print-runs, which can be quoted on when the need arises. We include fifty copies in our packages because for any initial orders over fifty our printers will waiver their set-up fees and discounts begin at fifty and over.

Q. How long will it take to publish my book?

A. When the formatting and cover design are complete, and the ISBN has been attained, the printing times may vary from country to country it may be as little as two weeks from submission or longer. A Publicious rule of thumb is to allow four weeks, then if you get your books earlier it's a bonus.

Q. Will Publicious help me market my book?

A. Although we are not a marketing company we can assist you with the following: create a professional website to market and sell your book to the world. List your title in the Publicious bookstore for free, offer advice and suggestions for marketing your book.

Q. I'm very happy with my quote and want to go ahead with my order; what do I do next?

A. You will need to sign and return to us the agreement at the bottom of your quote along with a 20% deposit of the final balance (see payment instructions on quote). Publicious with instructions on how to upload your manuscript to us and how to pay your deposit. Then we will send you a copy of our procedures manual and our Book Details sheet.


Ebooks

Q. Do I need a separate ISBN for my ebook?

A. Yes, you will require a separate ISBN from the printed version of your book. We supply ebook ISBNs at a reduced cost.

Q. What formats will my ebook be converted to?

A. We convert our ebooks to the ePub format (Electronic Publishing, which is an accepted format for most ebook readers), the MOBI format for Kindle and PDF.

Q. Can my ebook be available for download from sites such as Amazon and Apple iTunes?

A.Yes Publicious can assist you to set up accounts with all the major online stores and make your ebook available for download within days.

Q. Can my ebook be protected from copying?

A. Yes! When we submit ebook files to the online stores and distributors on your behalf we also submit the metadata information, which includes title, ISBN, author's name, publisher, RRPs for the world markets, and a short synopsis. The metadata also includes the type of protection required for the ebook (DRM).

However, most ebook stores are now giving the publisher the option of having protection on or off. This is because buyers are being put off from purchasing ebooks with protection. They feel that if they purchase a print book they can lend it to who they like, swap it for other books and do as they wish with it because they have purchased it. Why shouldn't't they be able to do the same with an ebook? They ask. The protection also restricts them from reading it on more than one device.

Having said all this we can implement full protection on all the ebooks we submit to the stores and distributors. It is your choice. Whether DRM will harm the sales of your ebook, however is unclear at this time.

DRM is not available for ebooks sold via private websites. This is because there is no way of knowing what kind of device the buyer will be using, protection can only be implemented if the device is known. One type of DRM will work on one device and not another. This is one reason why Amazon started with the Kindle, one device, one file type. Ebooks on Amazon can now be converted to other formats, but the software needed to do this would cost thousands of dollars. What this basically means is you can have your ebook available for download from your website, but it will not have DRM built in to it.

What we need to ask ourselves is: is anyone really going to go to the trouble of copying our ebooks? And if they do will it be just so they can read it on a separate device or pass it on to a friend because they recommend it as a good read. If someone tells us that they have passed a copy of our printed book to a friend to read would we not be flattered by the gesture?


Distribution

Q. How do the global distribution channels work?

A. When a buyer searches for your book on any of the major online bookstores, your book will always show "In Stock", but this is actually virtual stock. When an order is placed your book will then be printed from a location closest to the buyer, usually within twenty-four hours of the purchase, and the book will be shipped to the buyer at the buyers expense. Your book will be for sale in the major online bookstores for as long as you want to keep it there, which means anyone can purchase your book anywhere in the world at anytime.

For more information click here

Q. What does Virtual Stock mean?

A. Virtual Stock is when books are stored as PDF files in the databases of bookstores and then printed as Print-On-Demand (POD) books, which means each book is literally printed as it is ordered. This system of publishing and distribution really is the way of the future: no stock, no warehouse space required, no returns, no paper wastage (eco friendly), and no sell-by-dates.

Q. I have already self-published, can my book be included in the distribution channels?

A. Absolutely! All you need to do is open an account with Lightning Source and we'll take care of the submission process on your behalf.

Q. Will my book need to be re-formatted?

A. Possibly, depending on it's size. The width of the book's spine may also need adjusting to match varying paper thicknesses. However, if your book is a standard size all that will be required is the uploading of the PDFs into our distribution channels without re-formatting.

Q. Can any type of book be included in the distribution channels?

A. There are some restrictions on the type and sizes of certain books, eg. the largest hardback covered book is 7' x 10' or 254mm x 178mm,. Anything over this size will need to be finished in a soft cover or the book will need to be resized. Hardback books must also have a minimum of 48 pages. The smallest paperback book is 5, x 8' or 203mm x 127mm. unfortunately there are no landscape sizes available for distribution at this time.

Q. Why is my book discounted and what does this mean?

A. Discount is the term bookstores use to describe their mark-up per title and is usually calculated as a percentage of the recommended retail price (RRP). Discounts can vary from 25 - 75% depending on the store and the type of book. Most stores will allow a lower discount but may not offer the same exposure as the ones that are discounted higher. 

Q. What should I set the discount at for my title?

A. Publicious will set your store discounts at 40% unless you tell us otherwise and instruct us in writing of your wishes to place the discount higher.

Q. Will my RRP be the same worldwide?

A. No, there may be a difference in pricing from country to country. You will need to research books similar to your own and see what the RRP has been set at in countries such as the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, and Australia. When you have a list of RRPs you can then send them to Publicious and we will include them in the relevant markets.

Q. What is an Espresso Book Machine?

A. The Espresso Book Machine is an exciting new concept in Print On Demand printing. The machine literally prints the book of your choice while you wait and is appearing in bookstores across the US, UK, and Europe and more recently Australia. Learn more...

Q. What are the Amazon and B&N SITB Programs?

A. SITB stands for Search Inside The Book (Amazon) and See Inside The Book (Barnes and Noble). With these optional programs, customers can view a sample of your book for free. For those authors who would like to take advantage of these handy marketing tools, we will assist you to set up your own accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble, then we will upload your formatted files for free.

Q. How and when do I receive my royalty cheques?

A. You will receive a royalty cheque directly into your bank account via electronic bank transfer every ninety days after the end of the calendar month that the sales were achieved.

Q. How do I get started?

A. Simply go to our self-publishing services and pricing page, choose the package or services you require, then go to our request a quote page, fill in the relevant information and send the form back to us. A Publicious representative will then contact you with a written quote.

Q. I have an account with Lightning Source but I'm having difficulty preparing the files to their required standards and submitting them. Can Publicious help me with this?

A. Absolutely! Publicious is listed on the Lightning Source website as a preferred Author service provider. We can assist you with the following:

  • Transplanting your cover design into the LS book cover template
  • Converting your cover and interior files to PDF/ X files
  • Submitting files and metadata to Lightning Source

 

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I am very grateful and honoured to have found Publicious. As a first time author, there was SO MUCH to learn, figure out and understand. I know that without the help and support of the Publicious team, I would not have achieved my dream. I contacted a few places last year regarding publishing, but I connected only with Andy, and that's why I chose to engage his services. It turned out to be an exceptional choice, pat myself on the back for that :-)

Dr Hisham Abdalla,
#1 international Bestselling Author of 4D Leadership

I asked media personality Ray Weeks about 'Publico'. He thought I was talking about 'Publicious' and said he had heard good reports. That's how I came to meet Andy McDermott. The spectacular cover design was a Publicious masterpiece, my sketches had been redrawn to illustration quality and my photographs inserted. Blitz was launched in good time for the February 19th 2012 Bombing of Darwin Day celebrations.

John Thompson-Gray
Author of Japanese Blitz on Darwin and Love Luck and Larceny

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