This is perhaps best described as an FAQ section - but instead of a list of bullet points which can be a little misleading, we have tried to give you a slightly more rounded set of answers. It is a little more wordy but it is hoped you will be better informed because of it.
Try to forgive us if this comes over as a little patronizing to our more seasoned members. We do know however, that many of our visitors have skills with book writing - but perhaps not the terminology that our industry tends to use. As such part of the FAQ is a glossary explaining some of the terms that might be encountered on these pages.
Who are we? Well that's a fair question; WriterPrint is a division of Marric Digital Ltd - a business already involved with electronic publishing from subjects as diverse as BioDiesel preparation through to adult material - and quite a range of subjects in between. The main driving forces behind WriterPrint are Richard Jahn and Guy Tibbert - two people based in Northamptonshire who became painfully aware how time consuming and problematic digital publishing can be for the uninitiated.
After managing to get their own material published and finding effective ways to stimulate sales with decent search engine optimization feeding through to the sales outlets, it seemed like a simple win-win style business could be established helping other authors get into print - WITHOUT having to go down the Vanity Press route - or indeed face endless rejection letters.
Vanity Press - This is a rather cynical term perhaps but is used to describe when an author chooses (often through lack of alternatives) to pay for their book to be printed themselves. Of course the usual idea of publishing is to be PAID when your work goes into print - rather than have to write the book AND then pay for it too. Sometimes people are successful in selling their own work - especially if it is an informative book based on a specific location - for example "Walks and Sights in Exampleville" - having already agreed a sales deal with the local tea shops, community centre and so on. You may be less fortunate in selling your latest novel locally however. Vanity Press has its place - and there are a few successful authors who CHOOSE this method so that they keep total control of their work (and all the profit). The downside however, is that they are then totally responsible for all of the sales and marketing that goes with it.
Do serious people use electronic publishing? Yes indeed, Stephen King managed to sell 400,000 copies on day one (almost crashing the online system of Barnes & Nobel - and even Amazon struggled to keep their online ordering system running). So yes, serious writers and serious seller are both increasingly viewing electronic publishing as an effective way to make money. Remember too, that a typical deal with us does NOT compromise your copyright for print medium - you retain it - we simply sell your book for you under licence for as long as we have agreed to do so. You are free at any time to go into a print version should you wish. The only time we would negotiate a different agreement would be if you wished us to spend time and money in helping you to promote your work above and beyond our usual level.
Recently we have had the pleasure of publishing established author John Rosso - one of his works, The Legacy has been in print since 2010 but is now available for electronic readers too through WriterPrint. E. Craig McKay has also started to use WriterPrint to release his work in digital format. Arial; Shieldmaiden of Middleworld being the first title we have published for him.
Bottom Line - How much do I have to pay? Ok, this is where we are refreshingly different from pretty much anyone else. The short answer is we are NOT vanity press, if we feel your work is TRULY dreadful we will not accept it - though we promise to be a little more tactful than that. However providing it has SOME merit there is a good chance we can find buyers for you - and on that basis we will take your work on, convert it to the right formats, work with you to design a suitable cover (yes electronic books still have artwork / covers) and then we will place it online for sale with several electronic sales outlets. The up-front cost to you is nothing. Re-read that if you like as it will not be a figure you are used to seeing from most publishers.
When the book starts to sell, depending on the effort we have put in for you and what we have agreed, we will pay you typically between 15% and 70% of all net revenue that we receive. 15% would be unusually low and would represent a book where we are unsure if we will sell enough copies to make back our investment of time and resources. 70% would be from an established, proven author who has prepared everything for us and the quality is such, that the book will sell in extremely high volume. For most people, this would typically vary between 25% and 37% of net sales. Net sales being how much we are paid after the online seller (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kindle etc) have taken their various card fees, commissions and so on.
Can I make a lot of money? Ok, here is once again where we are a bit different, instead of telling you what you want to hear, we will give you a somewhat more honest answer. It depends. To give you a slightly more helpful answer - if you are an unknown author with a highly esoteric work which has a very limited market, then don't plan to spend the money just yet. If on the other hand you can produce a short story every few months with a fairly good mass-market appeal, then you can make a decent "secondary income" without too much trouble. In any event, unless you are very lucky or have written a truly stunning manuscript, the chances are you will be one of the many who find it is a profitable "side-venture". This compares favourably with the printed version where most authors who publish with Vanity press only ever make a loss.
The last thing we want to convey is the idea that quality is unimportant and quantity is - that is wrong - however it hints at the truth. You will make far more money with six "reasonably well written" short stories than you will with one superb medium length story. So once your work is done - get it published and move on. If you want to tweak your first work for a subsequent re-release do so - but get it earning you money as soon as reasonably possible - so you can get onto the next project. Remember too, anything from around 10,000 words can be enough. Your first effort does NOT need to be a version of "War and Peace". If you already have a plan for a seriously large book - do consider your option of releasing it in stages. Not only will the sequels earn sales in their own right - but will also get sales from happy purchasers of the original work.
Remember, a well written manuscript of just 10,000 words IS enough
to generate good sales if the subject material is popular.
Lastly, it does depend hugely on the type of material you produce. Our very first guide was a book on making Bio-Diesel, it attracts under 10 sales a month. Disappointing perhaps but sales are gradually increasing and this is the poorest performing book we currently have. Our adult books are nearly all averaging between 2 and 4 sales per DAY. If a book has a cover price of £2.50 and you are receiving 25%, then this can be around £1.50 per day per title. One author now has (at time of writing) seven titles (each containing three or four mini stories around 5000 - 10,000 words) to his name and is generating just under £300 per month. If you do not wish to write adult material, we are still VERY interested in talking with you - but if you are happy to write this material - it is the best performing subject we have found so far.
Why have you not replied to me yet? This varies - please see below.
If you have read the Overview, FAQ and Tips - and submitted as per our request - and we have taken longer than stated to reply - please chase us with a plain (no attachments) email in case the attachment caused the email to be blocked by your ISP or our ISP - or the original email failed for any other reason. It is rare but it does happen.
If you have not read the Overview, FAQ or Tips - and sent an attachment without being allocated a reviewer, the email was almost certainly deleted automatically. We try to be flexible with our authors but if you have not been asked to submit a synopsis or manuscript, then you will not yet be "whitelisted" for large attachments.
Who do you sell through? At present, we are adding retailers to the list every week - and expect that this will continue for some time. Currently we retail through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Aldiko, Kobo, Diesel, and other smaller outlets in different countries. Depending on the genre (in particular adult), some books may not be submitted to all retailers.
Do you provide other services? At the moment no, though we are looking at Print-On-Demand for authors who we have already published electronically. Other services may be available through our Links Of Interest to external agencies. WriterPrint offers links in good faith but offers no guarantee of quality, value or performance when dealing with third parties. Please use your own judgement and due diligence. WriterPrint will not agree to any fees incurred without prior written consent.
Are there any special formatting requirements? Yes, there are several significant changes between printed books and electronic books. Some are compulsory - for example, page numbers cannot be used because depending on the size of the display screen, page numbers and indices will no longer correlate. Instead we create a hyperlinked Table Of Contents. Other changes are more open to choice. Traditionally with printed medium, it was considered the norm to avoid white space between paragraphs and use indentation to guide the reader. With electronic displays, many people find a mass of unbroken text to be difficult to read - and for people with sight issues, difficult to keep a place. Most e-book readers do not respond nicely to a fingernail being used to mark the place on the page. As such for some books we now insert white space if the paragraphs look very heavy - the feedback from customers confirms that it makes a book easier to read - and makes them more likely to purchase other books from the same author - You. Much of the work for the conversion will be undertaken by ourselves but please refer to the Tips page for more information.
Polish, what do you mean? "Polish & Publish" is a term for taking a manuscript that is almost ready for publication, to BEING ready. It will be correctly formatted, page numbers may be added for some format though not for Kindle etc, an index of chapters usually given, cover pages added and file converted ready for the site(s) in question. In most cases a page is added to guide the reader towards more books either by the same author or by a similar author. This tends to result in increased sales to the benefit of both authors and publishers alike while providing a service appreciated by the buyer. Everyone wins.
Do you publish risque material? Perhaps contrary to what you might expect - unless you have already read most of this page - yes we do, providing the quality of your work is reasonably good and not breaking any laws, we do not have a problem with adult material. In fact depending on the quality of your material, it can be one of the more successful avenues for you to explore. A book may feature illegal acts (eg a murder or rape taking place) but should not ADVOCATE a crime to take place or glamorize a crime like rape. We also do not handle material in this category which involves children or animals except in the most cursory and indirect manner (for example the following WOULD be acceptable: "with the children away with their friends for the weekend - and the dog finally housed in Kennels despite the stupid vaccine lapse, Joan knew her salacious weekend could finally begin"). Other than children and animals, most other aspects and topics in this category are permitted providing they are well written.
Any other comments which might help me? As the site develops and grows, we will add guides and links which can help you contact others, assist with research and generally provide useful points of reference. One example of a link worth visiting for example, might be The Writers Guild Of Great Britain.