Monday, 25 November 2019

Girl in a Smart Uniform The cost of publishing processes

I thought you might be interested in seeing a break-down publishing costs. This is what we have for this book:

Distribution 2019

IPG 2019

Set up




British Library



This has been a slightly more expensive book to produce that most of our titles. This  is because we have bought in more services as this is a book I have written.

So here is an explanation of what the terms on the chart mean.

Distribution 2019

We pay £8.40 a year per title to have our books hooked up to major distributors, wholesalers and retailers. This is an absolute bargain. It would take hours and hours of our efforts to get this done and not all would accept us. Because we do this through Ingrams / Lightning Source we have access to their visibility and good will within the industry. The figure includes VAT. But it is £8.40 we need to cover each year per title.  


We are members of the Independent Publishers Guild which is a source of advice, information and opportunities. We divide our annual fee by all the titles that are currently in print. This figure goes down each time we add a new book.  

Set up

This is the same price for all print paperbacks and includes VAT. It costs £25 to upload the inside of the book and £25.00 to upload the cover. We pay £21.00 for a proof copy. There is an option to accept an electronic proof but we prefer to see the actual physical book. A particular point is how the colour blue translates from the screen to print. For full colour books an escalating rate is paid. Oddly though, our two full colour books, Magical Christmas and Who Will Be My Friend? both cost less to set up than the standard paperback.


We commissioned a cover here as this is one of a cycle of six books with similar covers. We pay £250 to artists and photographers if we use them but more often than not we design the cover in-house, using copyright-free images form Pixabay.      


Normally this is done in-house and we don’t pay ourselves but take a share of the profit. We’ve started using a few other editors, and have started paying them £180 for three stages of editing, as an advance, then once that is earned back awarding them part of the publisher’s profit share. In this case a professional freelance editor gave us mates’ rates.


We have to deposit five hard copies of each book with the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries.

British Library

We have to deposit one hard copy of each book with the British Library.

We have applied to be allowed to deposit electronically both to the British Library and the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries. We are still awaiting a decision.

We’re shortly going to start paying our in-house editors, designers and marketers an advance. This will create greater set-up costs. This won’t affect the share of net sales that goes to authors but it will mean that a new book will only be taken on once a book has recouped its set-up costs.    

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Allison's Latest - October 2019

Just to say I'm almost at the end of the final editing stage on the book I'm working on as an editor at the moment.

The whole process has been enjoyable and I know I'm taking in things that will benefit my own writing. For example, editing someone else's work has reminded me to check for things that are easy to overlook in the understandable excitement of getting your story down and then out there!

How often do you check if your paragraphs are indented (a) properly and (b) consistently? Hmm...  this kind of thing is the final polish to your work before submitting it anywhere. But it is easy to rush that final polish or to forget it altogether (especially if you're close to a deadline!).

An important part of editing but it is not the only thing. Pixabay image.

What do you think of when you hear the word editing?

Looking out for typos, grammatical errors and so on? Yes, that is all vital, but so is checking that the structure of the story and the collection it is in makes sense. Collections have to have a sensible running order.

Some stories feed into others beautifully and you want a nice "flow". Readers do pick up on that. I know I appreciate it when I read stories that flow well together like that. It just adds that something a little extra special to the book and author, editor, publisher and, ultimately, reader will all want that.

Editing work needed here I think!  Pixabay image.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Other Ways of Being

Okay, so this is a collection of my own stories. Most of them have been published elsewhere or listed in a competition. Again, just like the collection I mentioned last time, this book went through all the same processes that all of our books go through:
·         Three stages of editing
·         Proof read (in this case I was a proof-reader and another in-house person proof read)
·         Design
·         Cover designs that produces a cover that looks attractive, is technically sound and speaks to the market place
·         First level marketing

So, here’s the blurb:

"Other Ways of Being" is an anthology of stories that ask us many questions about:
otherness: Is a stranger a threat or is he just trying to help? It may be as clever as being a fortune-teller but is it helpful?

  • other times: Is the wild woman really a little girl that she used to know? Will they be safe now or should they worry about the bright soldiers marching? Which horror does the deep sleeper hide?
  • other histories: Who was that strange child? How did they manage to feed so many people?
  • other worlds: Can a couple remain together even when their natures threaten to keep them apart? Is a seemingly incompetent wizard cleverer than he seems? What happens when an alien makes a mistake and almost gives himself away? Do animals help each other in their struggle against the damage that humans are doing? Who exactly is the lady in blue? Is Bradley’s the best story ever?
  • our near futures: Can a man survive in a dystopian future if he has no more human contact? What can ATMs do when society goes moneyless? What happens when the money runs out? Just how smart will the smartphone get? Or driverless cars for that matter? Where will we find sanctuary when the extremists start winning? What happens to the clones when the blueprint gets sick?
  • other sexualities and genders: Will we get used to Toni?

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Because Sometimes Something Extraordinary Happens

This is a book we put together for our very own Debz Hobbs-Wyatt. All of the stories have been published before or have own competitions and now she has the rights back. They only needed the lightest of edits. So working with this book was different.

Debz anyway is an editor herself, but even so, it’s hard to edit your own work. Besides this work had already passed several gatekeepers. So, there was just a light copy edit and proof-read. I wasn’t involved in proof-reading so this delightful volume is waiting in my to be read pile. I’m familiar with some of the stories but not all of them. I’m looking forward to it.

Debz provided her own ideas for the cover and this involved a photo of her grandmother. My goodness, Debz doesn’t half look like her.

Meet a mixture of beguiling narrators, from seven-year-old Leonardo Renoir Hope trying to change the past so his dad doesn’t die, and George and his carrot-growing friends on an east London allotment waiting for the world to end, to Amy Fisher who realises that her husband, after his sudden death, is not who she thinks he is… but who is the other Mrs Fisher? This one adds a touch of medical horror to the mix.

All of the stories are about ordinary people when extraordinary things happen to them.
As usual we need reviews.

Find it on Amazon here

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Update from Allison

Just a short post to say I've recently completed Edit 1 on a flash fiction collection.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process. It is a question of looking at the stories individually and then how they work as a whole, of course.

As a reader, I love spotting themes in books anyway. There is also the added enjoyment, for me anyway, when each story builds on that theme and runs it with it until the end. It has a powerful impact and that is always a good thing.

Am looking forward to the next stage in due course.

Writing is re-writing, as they say.  Pixabay image.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Enjoyable Editing Enticing

How much am I enjoying editing? Now I’m really stuck in I am enjoying it immensely. The digestion of words weaving different perspectives and narratives entice me into thoughts of writing. After a long slog before my new editing role my works in progress (WIPs) are finally seeing the light of day. My dining table is unusually clear as writing takes up less space than crafting. Painting, editing audio interviews in a voluntary living history project I’m working on, and writing new stories have surfaced from beneath a sea of lists.

Having just returned from a relaxing (yes, relaxing) holiday I was somewhat flabbergasted to find my table still clear. As if the lists might have multiplied by themselves when I wasn’t looking. Normally my holidays combine volunteering but not this one! The highlight was a cruise from the Isle of Mull where the houses are made of ticky, tacky?

Anyway, I will prioritise editing this week between my normal routine of ups and downs in levels of wellbeing. Just 🤔 of the lovely Scottish landscape then returning to gorgeous Dartmoor makes me feel forever alive and grateful.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Transforming Being

This is the second e-book we have produced for the Waterloo Festival. 

"Transforming Being" is the theme of the 2019 Waterloo Festival Writing Competition. It is also the title of the e-book, which contains the fifteen winning entries. We chose these because they tell a good story, have a strong voice, and are imaginative in their interpretation of the theme. The writers present us with characters that are believable and rounded. The stories all contain a pleasing narrative balance.

Entrants were asked to produce a short story or a monologue. Style is diverse and each story is completely different from the others.  

We had  a few hundred entries to choose from and it was difficult. We awarded points for how well the stories adhered to the theme, how dynamic the story was and how strong the writing was.  The theme was interpreted in many different ways. Just focussing on these three criteria didn't create enough clear winners so we carried on and looked further at narrative balance, characterization and presentation.     

This is the second year of the competition and the second year of producing an e-book. Next year there will be a third e-book and the winning entries form all three years will be published as a paperback as well.     

See more here.