So, you want to publish a book. No problem—send it to a publisher and wait for the contract to land on your mat. Except that most publishers won’t accept manuscripts direct from authors—you’ll need an agent. But the agent wants to know if you’ll make enough money to be worth the work he’ll have to put in—is it his sort of book? Are you his kind of author? After sending out your synopsis, sample pages and CV to dozens of agents, waiting weeks (or months) for responses, and spending £20 (postage there and back) several times on the few who want to see (but don’t take up) the full manuscript, you begin to wonder whether there are alternatives. The alternatives are:
- Vanity publishing—expensive, bad reputation, poor marketing
- Self-publishing—be your own publisher. You will have complete control. BUT registering for ISBN book identifiers costs £126 (April 2013) — you get 10 ISBNs but will you ever use them (you cannot buy less)? What about marketing? Having your own website? Difficult to set up on your own, expensive if done by professionals - think £500+, add £100 a year for hosting.
- Use a self-publishing or 'author-solution' service - these offer a comprehensive service that, at a price, will turn your manuscript into a book. However, these usually use off-the-peg design and printing solutions, with the author often not owning his books but having to pay a marked-up price for them, or receiving a royalty on sales.
The Brimstone Press solution is that you, the author, stay in charge: you decide the design and printing of your book. We can advise on this. And once it is printed, either as a run or by print-on-demand, the books are yours - all the proceeds from sales, including those sold through our Online Bookstore, go to you. We are here to help and advise, not to get between you and your book.What we offer is the opportunity to publish your book within a shared community. We are concerned about the presentation of Brimstone Press books (but not the content, barring legal consequences for us) because we want books under our imprint to look every bit as good as books from major publishers, but beyond that how it looks is up to you. Also we want to maintain high-quality publicity and marketing, especially through our on-line presence, and helped by the ideas that you, the members, contribute.
With us, you will keep your individuality,
whilst sharing ideas, publicity
and marketing opportunities.
So by becoming a member of Brimstone Press your entry fee gives
- the Brimstone Press name
- an ISBN for your book
- your own author’s page
- your own book page and the opportunity to post
an excerpt from your writing on the website
- registration with Nielsens Bookdata, the leading
database of English-language
- Sell your book in our Online Bookstore, where it can be bought through PayPal, the secure online electronics payment system.
At present the fee is £150. This includes a charge for website hosting, which needs to be renewed after the first year, for £10 per annum. The fee for each subsequent book is £100.
There are two printing methods used for books, lithographical and digital. Digital now matches litho in quality, and is best suited for short-run and print-on-demand.
With print-on-demand you pay a set-up fee to put your book in the printer’s system, and then pay the same unit cost whether they print one or a hundred copies The advantage is, of course no inventory costs, no storage costs, no piles of books under your bed. (H D Thoreau in a letter to a friend: ‘I am writing this at my desk, surrounded by 500 books, 300 of which I wrote myself.’) Antony Rowe have been leaders in p-o-d, and may be worth checking - they will email a price.
However there have been problems with their service recently, and several Brimstone authors have used comparative newcomers imprintdigital, and found them fast, cheap, and high quality. They don’t do print-on-demand, but even with short print runs (100 or less) they may be the best option. They have an instant online price calculator at imprintdigital.co.uk, which is very easy to use.
Check out both, but shop around - you may find a good deal with a local printer - and tell us of your experiences.