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Self-publishing your book with ideas4writers

From 1 August 2006 we're changing into a publishing company. Quite a lot of you have asked whether we could help you to self-publish your own books as well as publishing our own. Well, we weren't intending to do this, but due to the large number of requests coming in I think we'd be mad not to. We certainly have the capability, and having heard some of your experiences in dealing with other self-publishing companies I think we can offer a much better service. So the answer is (a provisional) yes!

We've given this a little thought and here's what we've come up with:

(Please note that these are just thoughts about what we could offer. Nothing has been confirmed yet, and if we do go ahead we won't be launching any publishing services before August 2006.)

If we did this, it would be a proper hand-crafted high quality service, not the "drop a Word document into a template and click print" sort of thing that certain other self-publishing companies offer. We would work with the author at every stage and make sure they're happy about every detail - and that we're happy too.

We wouldn't publish just any old thing. It would have to pass our quality test. If it's going to have our brand name on it then we will only publish good stuff. We would also insist on editing/proof-reading it ourselves - even if it had already been done elsewhere. (We're control freaks with very high standards!)

The brand name (imprint) would not be ideas4writers. We're keeping that for our own books about writing. Dave has a couple of novels he wants to publish, so we'll be setting up a new imprint for those. That imprint could be used for self-publishing too. What would it be called? We don't know yet - any suggestions would be welcome!

We can do all the design, artwork, computer graphics, layout, typesetting, cover design, etc and arrange for the books to be printed by a commercial digital printing company. We can do photography, including cover photos and author photos. We can do ISBN numbers, barcodes, bookdata registration, legal deposits, etc. You would get a sample copy to approve before we went ahead with printing.

The commercial printers we would use offer both traditional litho printing for longer runs as well as POD (print on demand) for short runs or single copies.

Marketing the books would be mostly up to you. However, we could send out press releases to relevant magazines and newspapers, place adverts where required, feature the books on our website, offer them for sale online (and handle online payments), and mention them in our newsletter. We can get them listed on (including cover image) and made available for bookshops to order through Gardners (the main UK wholesalers). We could send an information sheet to every bookshop in the UK (for an extra fee - this isn't cheap).

We can also do posters, postcards and bookmarks - all useful book-marketing tools. We could do T-shirts, mugs, pens, mouse mats and that sort of thing too if anyone wanted them.

We could also offer an order processing and shipping service where orders direct come to us and we despatch them from here. You could also refer buyers to our website and they could buy them from there. You could obviously have boxes of books sent to you and sell them yourself if you wanted to.

What would the books look like - size, paper quality, printing, etc? Non-fiction would be like "The fastest way to write your book". Fiction would be like Geoff Nelder's "Escaping Reality".

How much would all this cost? Much the same as it would cost anywhere else.

How we differ from other self-publishing companies: You'd be getting hand-crafted professional quality, quality checking at every stage, author input at every stage, as much hand-holding and jargon-free explanation as you want, and guaranteed satisfaction. You won't have to deal with our American office as we don't have one. You can visit us in person if you want to (but give us a fair warning so we can tidy up a bit). Or we can come to you. We won't take money without your authority - we would never do that, it's just plain wrong. In the unlikely case that you had a problem we'd sort it out immediately, give you a full apology, and feel terribly guilty at having got it wrong in the first place.

Unlike other self-publishing companies, this will not be our core business. We can only accept a limited number of books, otherwise we won't have time to work on our own projects. You can rest assured that the books we do accept will receive our fullest attention.

If you have any comments or suggestions we'd be pleased to hear from you.

Dave and Kate

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