Why Digital?

Paper is one of the oldest industries still going, and for good reason. There’s nothing like the feel of old book paper, or the appearance of documents that have survived the test of time. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most inefficient, outdated, and wasteful industries. Paper waste makes a few hundred million tons of waste in landfills every year. The traditional book publishing industry is likewise a dinosaur that demands millions of dollars in resources annually, just to function. Warehouses, distribution networks, retail space, and countless other seemingly minor necessities, combine to create a perfect storm of imperfect and unsustainable practices.

We place an emphasis on digital products for many reasons. Primarily, it keeps costs at a minimum, which means we can offer much more affordable products. There aren’t added costs for retailers, shipping companies, or packaging fees. Digital transactions are virtually instant and you can access your product as soon as you purchase it. You can store an entire library of books on a single device, whereas you can only carry one or two physical books.

Most home printers today have the capacity to create professional-looking products. Any images or files, that can’t be printed at home, can easily be sent to any major retail chain (such as Wal-Mart or Walgreens) for affordable printing. There’s little need to charge tens (or hundreds) of dollars more for a physical item, when the home user can access the same for a few dollars.

We occasionally offer physical products, but always in limited quantities.

 

Promotion

Authors need to promote their books. Whether your publisher is Random House, or just Black House, you’re going to have to market and advertise. Big publishers reserve their marketing prowess for authors who commonly make 6- or 7-figure profits.

You should promote, to a point. It’s imperative to recognize that you are a writer, not a PR firm. Promotion and marketing becomes a problem when your role as a writer is overshadowed by it. This can be a very hazy and dubious area, as there are many con artists waiting to prey on unsuspecting writers. Questionable “marketing packages,” abound on the internet, and most are unclear as to what you actually get. There’s also the question if any of it helps, at all.

Some authors swear by marketing several hours a day. Others say it’s better to go on book tours, or virtual blog tours every now and then. We leave the mechanics up to you. What works for Author A, will not work for Author B, and vice versa. It is up to you to find which system gives you the best returns for your investment.

While you do need to get the word out, you don’t need a million dollars in air time, or to waste the next year promoting said book. Your greatest marketing tool, ever, will be your audience. Readers provide more efficient and successful marketing value than any promotional effort, and the best way to get readers is to create a good book. Far too many authors spend years trying to promote their last book, instead of starting on the next. With today’s technology, your book is going to get attention. If it does nothing more than appear on Amazon in ebook format, someone will look at your book.

With that said, these articles should help you market yourself as an author, and your book (links will become live as content is added).

 

  • Do I Market My Book, or Myself?
  • Web Site
  • Social Media
  • Printed Materials
  • Book Signings
  • Blog Tours
  • Free Books

 

Advances

We do not offer advances. Advances are not “free.” They are not “pay.” They aren’t “gifts.” Payday loan companies do the same thing, just with higher interest rates. When an author receives an advance, he or she will not see a single royalty payment until the publisher has recouped the advance.

Your advance is based upon your work and your status. If you aren’t a celebrity or public figure, you will not receive the million dollar advances that such individuals receive. Most regular authors only get somewhere around $10,000 as an advance. It’s very rare that a new or unknown author receives any more than $25,000. J.K. Rowling’s advance for the first  Harry Potter book was $1,500.

To further illustrate, say Jane Doe lands a contract with Mega Pubilsher, and gets an advance of $10,000. That isn’t actually what she’ll get, as the $10,000 then goes to her literary agent, who takes 15% from that amount. Jane actually gets around $8,500.

The standard publisher royalty rate (15%) provides Jane with around $1 per book in royalties. So, she’ll need to sell around 10,000 copies of her book (so the publisher makes their advance back), just to see a single cent from royalties. The publisher doesn’t take the agent’s cut into consideration. If she doesn’t “earn out” the initial advance, and sell over 10,000 books, her next advance might only be $5,000, or even less, because her original title didn’t sell.

It is a punitive and oppressive process that serves no real purpose. We split royalties with authors, in print and electronic formats, at an even 50%. Our authors are paid twice a year, as is the industry standard. Authors are also free to order as many discounted copies of their books as they need, and can mark them up to whatever price they wish. They don’t receive royalties for their discounted purchases, but keep all monies made from selling the titles themselves.