Independent digital publishing  and book design innovation

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© Creative Gateway Ltd  2002 - 2015   All Rights Reserved   A company registered in England 4684823

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Do you charge me to publish my book?

No we don't - if your novel or short story collection manuscript is ready for publishing, as described under our Submissions tag, and we want to publish it then we carry that part of the investment and risk.

What books do you publish?

We only publish books that fit our genre interest of women’s fiction or occasional cultural and scientific non-fiction. We are especially interested in writers of science-themed romance, suspense and adventure fiction. We are highly selective and scripts must meet the professionally edited standard we, as writers, also work to and decide on. We are strong advocates of quality, digital independent publishing, made possible by the power and flexibility which technology provides for new and established authors.

What is special about an independent publisher?

Unless you have a proven track record of high sales already, then the chances of getting noticed and accepted by the large traditional publishers and their integrated network of literary agents is on a par with winning the lottery. Most don’t want nor can afford the risk or aggravation of authors who don't sell much. The old traditional publishing route and model for writers in the fast-changing, globally connected and digital world we all now live in has become outdated. We want to make it possible for new, exciting and committed women’s fiction writers to get their work out there quickly, get noticed, establish a fan base and gain the confidence, understanding and skills to professionally build up their writing career and writer platform quickly. Writers and publishers need to now work together closely at all stages and share the investment, time and risks. That is our indie publisher partnership model. We only charge for our separate self publishing services. Our mission is to create a long term relationship with our clients where we can grow, learn and benefit, with mutual respect, trust and cooperation at its heart.

If you don’t charge then do you take a commission from sales?

Yes – all small indie publishing has to work on a shared commitment model, so we share the royalties with you the author. Your writing investment must provide us with an oven-ready completed and edited manuscript. If accepted, our publishing investment provides typographic setting, formatting and file preparation for eBook and commercial print on demand for sales with global book retail distribution. We design a book cover and advise on a suggested writer marketing plan together with ongoing access and online promotion through our own social media and website channels.

What retail channels do you use for eBooks and printing?

We are a digital publisher, which means your ready manuscript and cover is professionally formatted, priced up and file submitted to the leading eBook retailers for the US, UK and Europe which are Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Books and Apple. We do the same for printed books using either Lightning Source or CreateSpace, the best world-wide digital ‘print on demand’ systems, owned respectively by Ingram and Amazon. They then print and distribute your paperbacks directly to online and high street booksellers and wholesalers as readers demand. Sales of eBooks in contemporary women’s fiction continue to rise, especially in sub-genres like erotica and suspense. All our books are digitally published this way. Although printed genre fiction is in decline, there are tangible benefits to having a book available in print too, especially for up and coming new writers. We highly recommend that dual option for fiction.

So what do you charge for?

Publishing services to assist writers and authors who want to directly and independently self-publish. We provide typography, formatting, file conversion, book cover and writer website design and online consultancy help.

How do these self-publishing charges work?

On a very reasonable fixed price basis for each listed service, or as a discounted package for the whole lot. Click or tap on the Costs tab for more details and how to pay then go to the Shop for deals and to buy.

Can you provide me with a fuller list of the range of services you offer?

Yes - we provide Self Publishing Essentials for writers wishing to independently publish but who want help to take that forward. Cover design, typographic interior design, file conversion, submission and writer website design are offered to enable a writer to self-publish and promote their book. Online hourly consultancy over Skype can also be offered. All services can be bought as a complete package or individually. For example, you may want only formatting or only book cover design. That’s fine and we can provide that at any level required including now colour books as well as black and white. We are now producing hardback special editions - an exciting addition for writer sales. Watch this space.

Can you be a bit more specific about marketing and selling the book – isn’t that what publishers are for?

To an extent, yes. If potential readers are not made aware of a book’s existence then it isn’t going to sell, no matter how good it is, so the time and investment which both author and publisher make get an unsatisfactory return. Continuous marketing is absolutely vital. All publishers now, whether indie or traditional, require their authors to work on promoting their own books. In fact this has been shown many times to be the most effective way to sell the book you have lovingly created and put so much time and effort into writing. This has traditionally taken various physical and hands-on promotional formats including book signings, interviews and reviews, tours, speaking engagements and direct selling of books to retail outlets.  All these can still be very effective, depending on the type of book. Many authors enjoy doing this, although not every writer does. If a writer wants help with such a tailored and individualised promotion we can advise and will recommend you a quality service, but we don’t provide traditional book promotion or marketing directly. As digital publishers we focus our own core efforts only on using social media marketing and online web promotional sites. We will advise on ways this could be done by you, as well as building up your writer platform. For published writers, marketing has to be a joint endeavour, which continually evolves. But we do not and cannot guarantee sales – no publisher can. What we do ask for, at the beginning of our journey with all writers, is to get some idea of your thinking, views and commitment to marketing your book when published and what sort of plan, if any, you have. We do this at the stage of asking for your full manuscript.

So is that all you do on marketing?

As digital publishers we engage and experiment with new forms of promotion and marketing, appropriate to a digitally connected and global readership base, using targeted social media channels. Importantly, we are a niche publisher of women’s fiction, so our marketing efforts are directed solely to readers for this genre and all its sub-genres. The needs and wants of women’s fiction lovers, we will continue to research and identify, build up, service and try and meet. All books we publish are automatically publicised on our own website and we will advise on how you can set up your own online shop as well. You will benefit from ongoing promotions using other virtual and social media channels as they continue to be developed, both in audio and video. We have exciting concepts developing in this area, based around the building up and servicing of women’s fiction followers.

Do you collaborate with other publishers?

Yes. As a small and niche indie publisher, with a core publishing mission and interest for quality women’s fiction, we have designed what we believe is a cost effective publishing process and promotional book model. We are committed advocates of continuous improvement, innovation and learning and because we are small and agile we can adjust rapidly to market and technological changes. In publishing everyone agrees there is a huge amount of change going on globally which will undoubtedly continue. One of the key benefits we provide is taking away some or all of the hassle of the publishing processes, even if you are already an experienced self-published author. The other key benefit is we are part of a global networking group of other small indie publishers and specialist freelancers, nimble and customer centric like us, whose specific expertises we all share and promote with each other. Distance is no longer a barrier to collaboration to ensure a writer gets exactly the best support. So if you need enhanced editing or broader marketing than we provide we can recommend it. This is a very powerful benefit because the sum of the longer term parts will always be greater than the whole.

Ok, so what about royalties – how do I get paid?

Agreements are individually negotiated once we agree to publish your book. There are no set percentages but we operate to independent publishing norms across the world. We will explain in more detail, as we work on final publication, how royalty payments operate. But we work on the sensible and fair business principle that as we get paid, you get paid so you will receive your portion of the royalties regularly along with emailed royalty report documentation. We make payments by PayPal. We do not pay advances.

And how do we pay you for self-publishing services?

Our charges for services are very competitive, we understand fully that many new writers struggle for funds when they need help. We use the PayPal secure payment channel, great for different currencies globally and so easy to pay by. So you can pay conveniently by your own PayPal account or Visa and Mastercard. Service costs are quoted in GBP currency but we do have an online currency convertor visible on the shop site so that US dollar and euro payers can see immediately what the cost is in their own currency, allowing for small PayPal currency conversion charges.

So you are happy then to publish or provide services for an international author like me?

Yes – absolutely. We may be small, independent and niche but we are a global business which reflects the dynamism and open trading opportunities for eBooks and worldwide print on demand distribution. Because we can receive and distribute all payments using PayPal, then it is easy for us to publish your book or support you with book creation wherever you are, as long as you can access a PayPal facility.

Can you explain what sort of publishing agreement you provide?

Our publishing contract is straightforward and non-exclusive; that means you have the freedom to get published elsewhere if and when you want to, and are not locked in forever. You always retain the copyright of your book, and all we ask is that you provide thirty days of email forwarded written notice, acknowledged by us, if you want to cancel and move on. You can do this at any time and for any reason. We as publishers also have the same cancellation right.

You mentioned copyright – so do I retain it then and who registers that copyright?

Yes, you will always retain the copyright of your book when you publish with us, we will never ask for it to be reassigned. The signed agreement simply means you are assigning worldwide English language only rights to us for publishing your book in print or eBook formats. This will be clearly shown on the copyright page of any book, in whatever format, showing copyright with you and published by us. There is no mechanism for registering copyright in the UK. By creating the work you have automatically acquired the intellectual property right or copyright. There is an international sharing of copyright principles by many countries, including the US, which means copyright is retained up to seventy years after the author’s death. But countries such as the US do have different approaches to optional copyright registration and we can advise you on these options depending on the markets your book will be attracting.

Will I need an ISBN number and how do I get one?

Yes – any book in print will need a unique ISBN number, alongside its title and author, in order to be scanned and tracked worldwide through the computerised systems used by booksellers, online retailers and wholesalers. As publisher of your book we supply and assign your ISBN print number. For eBooks, such a book is deemed to be a new format and should technically have its own ISBN number. Our policy is to assign an ISBN number only to every printed format. Books published in eBook formats normally do not require ISBNs but if you are self publishing we can advise you on how to acquire your own ISBN numbers if appropriate.

And what about hardbacks?

We don’t normally publish in hardback format, but can now do so if an author specifically wanted that at extra cost. We would do it after discussions, and it would require its own ISBN number too. Presently we are experimenting with hardbacks as special editions.

I understand you are also writers as well as publishers – doesn’t this conflict?

We are writers of women’s fiction, and no there is no conflict, quite the reverse – we both publish and self-publish simultaneously. We believe that independent self publishing is a realisable and worthwhile goal for all writers, which is why we offer services flexibly. We can help you to self-publish though our range of services even if you are already established, or we can solely publish your books. Self publishing is not new – many famous authors in the past have made their names by self publishing too. Charles Dickens, for example, self published ‘A Christmas Carol’. One major benefit for you is that we have a greater interest and commitment, within women’s fiction, than generalist publishers would have. Also because we write science themed women’s fiction too, and use our books as ongoing testing models for our publishing and marketing ideas, you will automatically share in the continuous improvements and transferable benefits. We know we must walk the talk and we are happy to do it alongside you.

© Creative Gateway Ltd  2002 - 2015   All Rights Reserved   A company registered in England 4684823

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