Want to submit an original manuscript or previously published but out-of-print property (for which you have clear rights) that isn't yet sold online? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "Query" in the subject line. You can cut and paste a chapter or attach a full MS in any format. Personal emails or questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Q: Why on earth should I join your cooperative? I can post my own self-published work on Amazon all by myself.
A: Then please don't bother. Several of our members aren't tech-savvy enough to do it themselves. The rest believe in strength in numbers. Banding together will get us more exposure and collective representation in the dead-tree world. And being associated with a product line featuring other talented and skilled authors can't hurt.
Q: All self-publishing houses have hidden fees. What will joining you really cost me?
A: Nothing--for now. Maybe down the road we'll charge a percentage to new authors for our collective work on their behalf. But for now--nada. Of course, if you want to file for an ISBN or copyright, you'll have to do that on your own. However, we'll provide some publicity, a cover from a professional illustrator, and even a bit of proofing and editing (if one of us adopts you from the slush pile) for free.
Q: Do you guys seriously ever actually turn anybody down?
Q: On what possible grounds?
A: Mediocrity. Cliche. Really bad writing. You'd be surprised. We're polite about it, though.
Q: How do I get paid for my Kindle sales?
A: If you have trouble setting up an Amazon account for payment, we can help. In some cases (with the elderly or infirm or terminally technophobic), we'll do it through our own account and pay you by cheque. All we ask is that you bear our imprint and keep us posted on publicity and sales.
Q: What else would I have to do?
A: If you feel like it, read the slush-pile, proof, or edit other writers. Tirelessly self-promote. That's about it. Oh, and be sure to be dogmatic--even idiosyncratic. Maybe we'll sell a T-shirt.
Q: What experience do you have in publishing?
A: There are two answers to that. 1. This is a startup. and 2. Google our board of directors.
Q: What's your business plan?
A: Get serious. This is a writers' cooperative.
Q: Have you secured sufficient funding to get this business off the ground?
A: Again, two answers: 1. Nope! and 2. It's already off the ground.
Q: How many authors do you expect to publish a year?
A: No idea.
Q: Who's handling publicity for your company?
A: We are. Virally. That means we try to infect the rest of the Web with our relentless propaganda. If we were smart enough to "spam", we might even try that.
Q: Can people see a copy of the contract to compare it against other
standard publishing contracts?
A: Of course. Basically, the only thing you sign is a contract saying you won't sue us for any imaginary loss that you feel has ensued from putting your work online. For example, if ten years from now an agent tells you, "Wow, I could have sold your detective series to St Martins if you hadn't published on Amazon first," we don't want you claiming we owe you the projected royalties. By the same token, you don't want to get billed for a cover or proofreading that we did for free, so that's specified, too. We're both agreeing that we don't owe each other any money.
Q: If a publisher's site advertises "Value Added Services" that include "professional editing", that's enough to for me to stay well clear of them. Usually that's a come-on for vanity and self-publishing presses that try to rip you off. Do you offer services like that?
A: We don't advertise them, but sure, we provide them. However, be warned--you will pay the absolute top professional rates. We can offer editing, interior book illustration, advertising and promotional copy and illustration, as well as audiobook and multimedia production. If you're interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What genres of books do you publish?
A: Any and all.
Q: Even poetry?
A: Sigh...even poetry.
Q: Where can I buy your e-books?
A: Our e-books can be purchased through a number of online
e-book retailers including Amazon, Sony’s Reader store, the Apple iStore, eBook.com, BooksOnBoard, Powell's eBooks and Fictionwise. This
list, hopefully, will increase quickly and evolve as new e-book retailers enter the market.
Q: What devices can your e-books be read on?
A: Our e-books are specifically tailored for Kindles, Sony e-readers, the new Apple iPads, and any and all other devices and formats supported by our online retailing partners (see above). While our focus is primarily e-readers, our books can also be read on PCs and other electronic devices, including iPhones. One reading application we particularly recommend for the PC screen is yBook.
Q: Do you sell e-books on your website?
A: Nope. Just follow the links in the titles.
Q: Once a submission has been sent, what is your average response time?
A: All submissions will be replied to within 24 hours to verify
receipt. After that, it should just be a week or two. If we get swamped, we'll post that news at the top of the site page.
Q: Does it cost me anything to join you?
Q: Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
A: Yep. But please tell us if yours get accepted anywhere else the moment it does. However, you will be doing the uploads to Amazon and other sites; we help with that and do conversions for you, but it's important the account be in your name so that you get all the money from it directly. As we mentioned above, there can be exceptions to this policy.
Q: Do you accept multiple submissions?
A: Sure, we accept as many submissions as you care to make; just please send only one book submission per email.
Q: Do you accept previously published works?
A: Yes, in fact, we actually prefer previously published works--if the author exclusively holds the clear publishing rights to that property. There is a great deal of confusion right now as to what constitutes "electronic publishing rights". Naturally, traditional publishers consider those implicit in their contracts, even from 50 or 60 years ago, but until the US Supreme Court clears this up, we have to go along with their view.
Q: How much do you pay in royalties?
Q: What rights do you ask for as part of the contract?
Q: What's your plan for getting books into bookstores?
A: Again, none.
Q: What is digital rights management (DRM)?
A: Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a term for access control
technologies that can be used by hardware manufacturers, publishers,
copyright holders and individuals to prevent unauthorized duplication
of their work.
Q: Do you support or provide DRM?
A: Neither, but Amazon does, and that has to be good enough for us.
Q: Do you pay advances to the author?
A: No. Were you not reading this far?