Book Publishing Consulting

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We know you will love what we do, which is why we offer our services with no upfront fees. Payment is only due once you are completely happy with our work. Your satisfaction first – safe payment with PayPal later.

Dedicated support

Clear communication is crucial, so a dedicated, friendly team member will personally keep in touch with you as our book designers and eBook developers transform your manuscript into a distribution-ready, quality book.

All you need in one place

Our range of services covers everything you need to turn your final manuscript into a high-quality eBook and paperback – from formatting and interior page layout to custom-designed and pre-made covers.

What is Book Publishing Consulting?

As an author, you have questions about book publishing that need to be answered. And we have the answers. Talking to us is like talking to a friend who has already been to that place you want to go. Except this friend won’t just brag about all the amazing things he has done, but we will tell you what to do and what to avoid in order to make your publishing journey a great one. After all, we have been down this road with hundreds of authors and understand what is necessary to get to where you want to be.

Publishing is a complex world that is constantly changing. You can learn a lot about it from free resources and, most of all, through your own experience. But at one stage or another, this may not be enough. Eventually, you will have questions that you can't find reliable, up-to-date answers to and you won't have time to figure it out on your own. We believe it is more important to focus on your goals, rather than sifting through all the information out there which could already be out-of-date.

We are here to help. We have guided hundreds of authors, step-by-step, through all stages of publishing. We have seen common patterns and mistakes, but also rare problems no one is talking about. No matter what stage of publishing you are currently at, you can get all the personalized answers and advice that you need.

We can discuss any publishing-related topic in as much detail as required for you to achieve your goals. Whether it is a broad subject such as distribution or specific questions like "How can I sell an audiobook in CD format on Amazon?" and "Do I really need to buy ISBNs for my eBooks?", we will provide all the information you need via phone and email consultations.

Unlike Publishing Assistance, you can take advantage of Consulting without using our other services. You are welcome to use our team of eBook developers and designers for eBook formatting, print layout and cover design, but you don't have to. You will be able to move forward with confidence after putting the answers and advice we give you into action, but if you ever get to a stage where you need more help, you can simply use Consulting again. This kind of help is designed to be available for you when you need it on a case-by-case basis.

You have probably seen hourly pricing charged by other companies for that kind of service. It is great from a consultant’s perspective, but not so much from yours. We offer Consulting at a fixed, one-off price, instead of an hourly rate, so you can be sure that you get what you need out of it at a price that you know upfront, no matter how much of our time you use. And as with all our services, if we don't deliver exactly what you are looking for, you don't pay. Simple as that.

You can ask us literally ANY publishing-related question. To give you a better idea of what that means, below we have provided some of the general topics and specific questions that you could ask us as part of the consultation. Keep in mind that these are just examples, not an exhaustive list.

eBook distribution

Choosing the right eBook distribution channels is an important part of your overall marketing strategy. We can help you understand what is right the choice for you. Selecting the right distributors and retailers to upload directly to is one aspect but we can also cover the advantages and disadvantages of digital exclusivity, the importance of using the right categories and bestseller lists, different royalty options, recent changes in the eBook market and even the merits behind abandoning major distribution channels altogether and selling your book directly from your own website or blog.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • What are the upsides and downsides of Kindle exclusivity?
  • What are pros and cons of using distributors like Smashwords instead of uploading directly to Barnes & Noble and other retailers? Or are there any advantages, other than higher royalties, that I can get from a direct upload?
  • Do I really need ISBNs for my eBooks? If so, how many? And should I use a free ISBN from an eBook distributor or buy my own?
  • What retailers should I upload to directly, without using a distributor?
  • Why would I ever choose a 35% royalty option on Amazon?
  • How can I choose specific sub-categories, genres, themes, characters or settings filters that readers can choose in the Kindle Store? I don’t see them on my Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard.
  • Should I use a reflowable or a fixed layout for my book? How does that affect my distribution options?
  • How do eBook subscription services, such as Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, Playster, 24symbols and Kobo Plus work? How does that affect my royalties and single copy sales?
  • How can I make my first book in the series free on Amazon?
  • Is there an easy way to sell an eBook directly from my own website if I'm not tech-savvy?
  • What is Kindle Scout? How can I use it to launch my next book?
  • What is Kindle Worlds and can I use it if my books are not exclusive to Kindle?
  • How can I get my eBook to libraries?
  • What kind of books can I publish with iBooks Author? Can I only use it with Apple?
  • What are advantages of setting up eBook pre-orders? How do pre-orders affect sales rankings and bestseller lists? Is it true Amazon counts pre-orders differently than other retailers?
  • What is the difference between KDP and KDP Select?
  • What is a “Kindle in Motion” eBook? How can I get my books into this enhanced format?
  • What is Amazon’s "Prime reading" and how is it different from Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)?

Print-on-Demand distribution

Print-on-Demand is a different ball game to eBook distribution. We can discuss the similarities and differences between the two or the basics of print publishing and distribution in general, but we can also tell you how you can combine eBook exclusivity with wide print distribution, how to optimize your per-copy earnings from hard copies and how to get a special, limited-edition paperback or hardcover printed without distributing them through major channels.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • How does KDP Select affect print distribution?
  • Can I use multiple printers and distributors for my book?
  • Can I get better print royalties from Barnes & Noble and other Expanded Distribution channels than what CreateSpace offers?
  • Can I publish a hardcover edition through Print-on-Demand?
  • What are the pros and cons of using IngramSpark and CreateSpace for paperback distribution at the same time?
  • What are my options for publishing full color books?
  • How does KDP Print compare to CreateSpace? Should I use it? Can I use a CreateSpace-assigned ISBN with it?
  • How can I link my print and Kindle editions on Amazon product pages?
  • Can I see how my paperback is going to look like before I distribute it?
  • Is there an easy way to set up paperback pre-orders, without the hassle of using Amazon Advantage?
  • How can I use Amazon Advertising to promote my print version?
  • Why do I see "Usually dispatched within 1 to 3 weeks" as a shipping time for my paperback on Amazon?
  • How can I use a rich, formatted description for my paperback on Amazon? Do I need to know HTML to do this?
  • What are wholesale discounts and how do they affect my royalties and distribution?
  • How can I launch a limited-edition hard copy only for my Kickstarter backers?
  • How can I sell my paperback in Canada through Amazon.ca? Can I disable Canadian distribution?
  • I want to sell my paperback on Amazon in Japan. Is it possible with Print-on-Demand?
  • How can I set up Look Inside the Book (LITB) Program for print version?
  • Can readers order or pick up my book in brick-and-mortar bookstores? Will bookstores stock multiple copies of my book?
  • What is a 'returnable' hard copy? I heard that bookstores prefer it over a non-returnable option, but I am not sure if this is the right choice for me.

ISBN numbers

ISBN numbers have historically been an important part of the book publishing industry. We can tell you what you need to know about them today. With the advent of independent publishing, they are still important, but their usefulness is often overrated by authors. Since you need to pay for the ISBNs you buy from Bowker, Nielsen and ISBN agencies in most other countries, it is important to figure out whether you actually need one to accomplish your distribution goals.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • Does Amazon require ISBNs to publish Kindle eBooks?
  • Do other retailers, such as Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble require ISBNs?
  • What are actual advantages of having an ISBN assigned to an eBook?
  • What are the pros and cons of free ISBNs from Smashwords and CreateSpace?
  • Can I print my paperback without an ISBN?
  • How many ISBNs do I need for my paperback if I am using multiple print distributors?
  • Do I need to buy a barcode for my paperback? Should a book’s retail price be shown on it?
  • Can I change the imprint or publisher’s name after buying ISBNs from Bowker?
  • Are there any marketing advantages from having an ISBN assigned to my book?
  • Are the benefits of having an ISBN claimed by Bowker and Nielsen on their websites misleading or outdated in any way?
  • Could ISBN be assigned to my book by a distributor without my knowledge?

Audiobook distribution

More and more indie authors are looking to produce audiobooks. We can answer your questions about how to produce them and clear up any confusion about distribution. Although the potential financial benefits of having a narrated book on sale are tempting, from the very beginning it is necessary to consider the way in which audiobooks are priced and distributed, as well as the drawbacks of having a long-term contract with a leading distributor like ACX with all its limitations.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • Who does ACX distribute to? What are benefits of an exclusive agreement?
  • How can I distribute audiobooks through ACX if I am not in the US or UK?
  • Can I switch between Audiobook Creation Exchange exclusive and non-exclusive agreements for the same book? Does it work both ways?
  • What are the benefits of skipping ACX channels (Audible, Amazon and iTunes) in my audiobook distribution strategy?
  • Can I disable "Audio upgrades" for Kindle books? I don’t want listeners to buy my audiobook for $1.99.
  • Can I disable ACX distribution before the 7-year contract term ends?
  • Is a royalty-share production deal with ACX a good idea? Are there any alternatives if I don't want to cover full audiobook production cost upfront?
  • What are the ways to sell physical audiobook CDs on Amazon?
  • How can I easily sell audiobooks on my website without hiring a developer to set up an online store?
  • How is audiobook exclusivity different to KDP Select?
  • I heard an audiobook distribution exclusivity deal between Apple and Audible is no longer in place. How can I distribute my audiobooks to iTunes without using ACX, then?

Web, email and social media

Your website is central to building your platform and spreading the word about your books. But setting up websites, email addresses and developing a social media profile can be an enormous job and requires a lot of time and energy. Finding useful and impartial information can be challenging, because most of the information on this topic comes from web hosts and affiliate marketers. We will discuss your needs and suggest solutions that best match your technical knowledge and marketing goals.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • Do I need to buy my own domain?
  • How can I hide my personal information in the WHOIS database?
  • How do I set up a professional email account using my own domain?
  • Are free blogging platforms the right choice for me?
  • Do I really need WordPress?
  • Can I change my CMS (Content Management System) later?
  • What kind of hosting do I need?
  • What are good tools to collect emails from my readers?
  • What are common mistakes when it comes to email marketing?
  • Can I post an update to all my Facebook fans?
  • How are Facebook fans and email subscribers different?
  • Do I actually need a social media presence at all? I feel like it’s a waste of my time.
  • Can I use Facebook ads even if I don’t have an author fanpage?
  • Should I immediately promote my new book in every way possible or do it gradually, step-by-step?

Copyright, licensing and piracy

Copyright law and licensing can be daunting but we can help you understand everything you need to know. Whether you are trying to protect your own income as an author, or making sure you don’t infringe copyright of fellow creatives like photographers and font designers, there are many things to consider.

Have you considered the answer to these questions?

  • Do I need to register my copyright?
  • I have seen apps and software that is advertised as an easier way to register my copyright. Does it make sense to buy and use it?
  • Can I use an image I found on Google for my cover design?
  • What is DRM?
  • Does piracy protection (Digital Rights Management) actually prevent piracy? Can it actually impact book sales negatively, despite its intended purpose of increasing them?
  • Do honest readers care about piracy protection at all?
  • Amazon states on their website that "Some authors want to encourage readers to share their work, and choose not to have DRM applied to their book." Is there any other reason not to enable DRM?
  • Can I change DRM settings for my Kindle book after it is published?
  • What can I do about unauthorized distribution of my creative work?
  • How do I know if I can use a particular font in my book legally? Is font licensing for printed books and eBooks different?
  • Can I freely use fonts in eBooks?
  • Can I use an image licensed as "Editorial Only" on my website?
  • Are stock photo images safe for cover design?

File formats, conversion and proofs

File specifications and requirements of each retailer and distributor can be confusing when you publish for the first time. We can help you get your head around all the details and discuss any file-related topic you have. Even though the company creating your eBook, print and cover files should take care of these things and give you the information you need to use their files, you may simply be curious and want more information about the technical side of things. We can explain the geeky stuff in a way you can actually understand.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • What type of file is best for Kindle? What is the difference between Mobipocket, MOBI7, KF8 and KFX formats? Can’t I just use a Word file or PDF?
  • Which Kindle formats support audio, video, animation and fixed layout? How does that relate to EPUB2 and EPUB3?
  • What is Kindle Packaged Format (KPF)? What is KTC?
  • What is a Meatgrinder conversion and Smashwords Style Guide?
  • Can I use Smashwords-converted files for Amazon and other retailers?
  • Do eBooks support «feature X, e.g., video, animation, sound»? Will these features work the same across all devices?
  • I have an EPUB file designed by a professional. Should I use it with Smashwords? Their website states that direct EPUB upload is still in "beta" and recommends Word .doc file upload for automated conversion.
  • What is the difference between automated conversion and eBook development or formatting?
  • Can I upload my Word manuscript directly to eBook and print distributors?
  • CreateSpace asks me about bleed. What should I choose?
  • IngramSpark requires me to submit a PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-1a:2003 interior and cover files. What are those? I just have a PDF file from my designer. Can I use that?
  • What happens if my PDF files don't adhere to all IngramSpark guidelines?
  • IngramSpark is complaining about ICC profiles in my PDF file and warns that they might cause errors and delays with each print order. What should I do?
  • Do I have to order a physical proof copy of my book? Do I need to do it again when I update the interior or cover files?
  • What is printing variance and how does it affect my print files?
  • Can I use a CreateSpace automated conversion to create Kindle file from PDF?
  • What are spreads in print design?
  • Should I use EPUB2 or EPUB3? What is the difference?
  • What are the best dimensions and format for an eBook cover?

Other publishing-related topics

There is no such thing as a stupid question. You can ask us any question, no matter how silly or weird it seems. Or, you can tell us about your goals and ideas you have and we will provide you a second opinion with sensible, but sometimes unusual, solutions to achieve them.

Have you considered the answers to these questions?

  • I have edited and finished my manuscript. What should I do next?
  • What is Author Central? How can I copy my Amazon.com Author Page to Amazon.co.uk and other local websites that support Author Pages?
  • How can I add Editorial Reviews to my book's Amazon product page?
  • How can I have my book published by one of Amazon’s imprints?
  • I publish non-fiction. In what ways can I re-purpose the content for new mediums?
  • How can I capitalize on my non-fiction books to grow authority in my market or reach more customers for my business?
  • Should I hire a marketing specialist or publicist for my book? Or is it better if I handle everything myself?
  • My book has a lot of external references. How can I provide the best experience for my readers? Is it a good idea to create a web version of my book in addition to my eBook and print versions?
  • I have written a book with frequently changing content. Can I sell access to it through major eBook retailers? How do they handle updates?
  • I want to make a paperback of one of my books free for readers. Is it possible?
  • I signed a publishing deal 5 years ago and the book under contract is no longer in print. Can I now publish the same book myself?
  • Should I use link shorteners for my book's links? I heard I can create a single link for all bookstores. Are there any downsides to using them?
  • I live outside the US and don't want to handle all the tax stuff with the IRS. Is there an easier way to deal with tax requirements of indie publishing?
  • Is there any easy way to gather all links to my books on different retailers, and keep them up-to-date, without manually searching for all of them?

Request consultation

Our promise to you is that you get what you need out of Consulting or you do not pay us anything. Since we know that this service has a different value for each author, based on your unique circumstances, we let you determine the fixed price, no matter how much of our time you use over the phone or email.

We trust your valuation of how much consultation with an experienced publishing professional is actually worth to you. Once you send us a message using the form below, we will get back to you to discuss the details.

Don’t forget to include your price, in your chosen currency, reflecting the value to YOU for covering these topics. Once we clarify your needs, you can change your offered price.

Due to the varying nature of consultation we reserve the right not to agree to the price you suggest or to decline to provide this service if we feel we are not the right fit for you.

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