Self-Publishing FAQs

What is self-publishing?

In traditional publishing, a publishing house picks up a manuscript and pays the author an advance on book royalties. They also pay the author royalties once the book’s profits have paid off the advance.
In self-publishing, you choose to invest time and money up front to publish your own book.

Why self-publish?

More and more authors—including many who have previously published traditionally—are learning that not only is self-publishing affordable, the end product can be a professionally produced book you can be proud of.
That’s because technology continues to support self-publishing. Print-on-demand resources allow authors to print and ship copies of their book as they need them. Orders can be placed at any time, and the product is not only crisp and professional, but far more cost-effective than traditional offset printing. Social media, blogs, websites, and other digital marketing avenues have also made it easier than ever for self-published authors to market their books and interact with readers.

You may be ready to self-publish if:

  • You’re tired of chasing agents and publishers and just want to get your book out there for people to read.
  • You’re passionate about your family history, autobiography, or a local story and want to publish it, but the subject might not appeal to a larger audience.
  • You are ready to invest time and money into creating a professional-quality book you’ll be proud to call yours.
  • You’re open to putting your own time and energy into marketing and selling your book.

How do I get started with self-publishing?

After an internal review of your manuscript, we begin by meeting with you to discuss your book and our publishing process. Then we put together an estimate for the cost of the services you need—from editing and design to publishing coordination and printing. If you choose to proceed after receiving the estimate, we send a publishing contract. Once the contract is signed, we move forward with the project.

How much control will I have over the process?

At the Write Place, the author retains the copyright of the book. You exert as much control over the editorial and design process as you would like. You may take advantage of the Write Place’s full range of publishing services, or you may pick and choose which services are right for your book.

What design/layout services does the Write Place offer?

The Write Place offers professional interior layout and cover design services. We custom design every cover and can incorporate photographs and artwork from the author or from an illustrator. The Write Place may also incorporate stock imagery into the book’s design.
The Write Place does not provide illustrations. Many of our authors who wish to have their books illustrated find illustrators online or through their own personal network. The Write Place can also provide authors the names and contact information of illustrators we have worked with in the past, though it is up to the author to personally contact the illustrator and create a separate business contract with them.

What editing services does the Write Place offer?

The Write Place offers a variety of professional book editing services for finished manuscripts. Our editing levels are:
  • Basic—This option includes checking for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. There is one round of changes.
  • Basic Plus—This option includes everything in the Basic level, plus work to improve clarity and syntax. There are two rounds of changes.
  • Extensive—This option includes everything in the Basic and Basic Plus levels, as well as work to improve structure, characterization, plot, thematic content, and consistency. There are two rounds of changes.

The Write Place can provide a free editing sample upon request.

What is the cost? When/how do I make payment?

The cost of publishing with the Write Place depends on the length of the book, the complexity of the layout, and the level of editing and cover design services the author requests. After the initial meeting between the author and the publisher, the Write Place will provide an estimate of the cost of editing, designing, and coordinating publication.
The final contracted cost is included in the publishing contract. Our authors pay this cost in installments. The cost of printing and shipping the book is billed separately. Authors can pay online or with a check.

How are book prices and royalties determined?

If your book is going on the market, our publishing consultants will work with you on setting the retail cost, wholesale discount, and royalty. On online sales, the author receives royalties on each copy sold. Authors can also order copies on demand from the printer and sell directly to bookstores, libraries, and readers.
Here is a sample retail pricing structure for a 200-page paperback book with a black-and-white interior and color cover:
  • Retail Price: $18.99
  • Printing Cost: $5.54
  • Wholesale Discount: 55%
  • Royalty: $3.01

How many copies of my books will be printed?

The majority of books self-published with the Write Place are printed using a print-on-demand process. After your book is complete, you choose how many books to order. There is no minimum requirement—you can order one book, or a few hundred, or even up into the thousands. The typical turnaround is 10 business days (though that is not guaranteed). The printer also offers discounts for large-quantity orders. Books are shipped right to you.
Authors can place orders at any time. You just need to contact us and let us know how many more you need.

Do I need an ISBN?

ISBNs are required if you want your book to be available for purchase on online. The Write Place can provide one for you, or we can work with an ISBN you provide.
If you do not intend to sell your book and only plan to print copies to donate or give to family and friends, you may not need an ISBN.

Where will my book be available to buy online?

If you publish with an ISBN, your book will be readily available for readers to buy on major retail sites. Bookstores and libraries will also be able to buy your book online from wholesalers.
Our online retail and distribution partners include:
  • Amazon
  • Apple Books
  • Ingram Book Company
  • And more

Distribution for these orders is taken care of automatically by our printing partner and the retailers—books are shipped to buyers with no time or cost investment from you. We’ll keep track of each book that is sold and send you royalty checks for as long as your book is in distribution.

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