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What's Left? => Alternative Publishing => Topic started by: Tigerbunny on September 02, 2015, 06:23:42 PM

Title: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Tigerbunny on September 02, 2015, 06:23:42 PM
Hi.  I'm about ready to e-publish my book, but would seriously like help with a final, final edit, marketing (back page bio) and converting the book into the e-book format.  Are there any e-book publishers out there that offering all these services under one roof?  Thanks!
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Lora Palmer on September 03, 2015, 08:08:28 AM
Hi, Tigerbunny!

It sounds like what you're looking for would be exactly what a small press/publisher would provide. And there are tons of them out there! Some of them offer the books they publish in ebook form only (e.g., on Kindle, ITunes, etc.), and some also offer print versions for their titles.

You might check out any threads on here and other sites about specific ones to see author experiences, etc. and consider querying them if you want to go that route.

On September 10th (ooh, a week from today), there's another #pitmad, where you can tweet your pitch for your story and see if you get any faves from these presses. A lot of small presses frequent twitter pitch parties in search of new books that sound of interest for them to publish.

One thing to keep in mind as you vet them is that, from what I hear, a lot of new presses tend to fold, which can then tie up rights to your book. So, you might want to go with a small press that's been around for awhile and has become more established.   

Short of these small presses, I'm not sure if places like Smashwords offer any help with editing, marketing, or developing your blurb/bio. I believe they do help with ebook formatting so your book should be good to go for various formats, though.  Anything beyond that, you'd probably be hiring a freelance editor or going with a really good CP for one last edit and use the awesome query help forum (and other resources) on here to do a final brainstorm/edit for your blurb/bio and marketing strategies possibly.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on September 03, 2015, 08:37:39 AM
I don't know that there is. If you're self-publishing, that's kind of the point of the "self" part. You're responsible for that.

A final edit would require hiring a freelance editor. Back bio (if you mean what it says about you) you are normally responsible for even in the big five. And there are some people/services that will convert your book into ebook formats, but again, they're like freelancers, so you would need to hire them.

But maybe Farseer or someone else who does a lot of self and indie publishing knows of something.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 03, 2015, 09:19:31 AM
Ferocious Bunny,

I have self-published 5 ebooks, and would be happy to advise you anyway I can. I don't know how much research you've done on self-publishing ebooks, but you might want to check these guys out, Smashwords [ https://www.smashwords.com/ ] and go from there. Once you're ready to go do your homework on where and how to sell. Youtube has a lot on selling e-books online.

I don't use Smashwords although I've heard wonderful things about them. I sell on Amazon (of course) and from my own websites. I found the simplest and safest way to sell directly to readers is using e-Junkie [ http://www.e-junkie.com/ ] for downloads and PayPal for processing credit cards. Most of my sales came from my websites where I make $9.36 on a ten dollar book that is deposited in my acct in three days. Amazon pays me only $6.86 and I have to wait 60 days for my money. f**kers! >:( But you have to have an Amazon presence.

I use InDesign to layout and convert all my ebooks to pdf, epub, and mobi (Kindle). You can check out one of my sites to see how I do it. http://roofmanthespy.com/

GoodReads also has a self-publishing community you might want to check out. I made some good friends there.

Good luck. I hope this helps. If I can be of any further help, you can message me.

JP   



Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Tigerbunny on September 03, 2015, 10:18:23 PM
Thanks Guys:

Lora Palmer:  Thank you so much.  It didn't occur to me that Twitter had anything like that.  As for small presses that also do e-books, I didn't know about that either.  Also a good point, was that small presses do fold all the time and I should take the time to do my homework on them.  Great advice.  Thanks!

Hi Falen: Thanks. I really don't want my book to go out without a good edit.  I've been staring at it so long, I can't see my own flaws.  I've got some friends who are willing to be Beta readers, but they are not editors.  I guess I'm going to just have to cough up some money and hire someone.  I see so many books with typographical mistakes and bad grammer that I cringe when I think I might be one of them.  :)

Hi JohnPansini:I've just started doing my research on self-publishing and have a headache already.  I have to tell you I laughed out loud at your f**kers!  Too funny!  Also, I've heard wonderful things about InDesign and am definitely going to check out your website on how to do it.  I heard about Calibre, too, and even downloaded it, but I'm not very good at these kinds of things and so, haven't even tried it yet.  Thank you so much for letting me message you for advice.  I promise I won't be a pest.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in professionally editing the book, I sure would be interested.  Thank you!

**  Just checked out the e-junkie website.  Wow.  I like it! Thanks!
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 03, 2015, 11:40:11 PM
Ferocious Bunny,

I used Edit-My-Novel [ http://www.edit-my-novel.com/ ] . Cara Lockwood will do your first 500 words for free. Please mention that I recommended you check her out.

I would suggest you get your novel 100% ready to go before you get seriously into the tech side of self-publishing. There is a lot to learn. But I did it and so can you.

I used Calibre to get my book covers into documents. It is good, but InDesign is what the pros use. And the technical end of self publishing and web design is not something you can learn in a week. Take your time and don't get frustrated. Nothing is more deadly than a rampaging rabbit! :mad:

Please check out my latest thread when you get a chance. It involves a novel I self-published: http://querytracker.net/forum/index.php?topic=19733.0
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Tigerbunny on September 04, 2015, 12:45:26 AM
JohnPansini:  Thank you so much for the referral.  I surely could use this Cara Lockwood.  My aunt, a professional, started the editing process, but sadly died before the end.  She got about 3/4 of the way through, so Cara Lockwood might be just what I'm looking for.  I will most definitely check her out.  The novel is  99% ready to go.  With a final edit, should be 100%.  Thank you!!!  Also, am not going to even attempt to convert this book by myself.  I'm just not capable of that kind of technical slight of hand.  If I know anything, I know my limitations.  Going to check the website out now and thanks again!!
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: farseer on September 04, 2015, 02:03:40 AM
There are lots of editors and they do different things and charge different amounts. Do you need a developmental edit, line edit or proofread? Some editors even specialise in certain genres. I have one for romance/historical another for my zombie books. On average it will cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 depending on what you need/want done. It's hard to give recommendations without knowing more about genre and what you need and your budget.

Formatting - I do ebooks myself, it's not difficult and I keep e-books really clean, simple and uncluttered. You can even upload a clean word doc if you want and Amazon or D2D will convert it for you. For paperbacks I use a specialist formatter, as CreateSpace requirements are a pain in the @rse and for hard copies I want something fancier with drop caps, fleurons and chapter headings. It's worth $150 to have someone else do the job. I use Colleen at Write. Dream. Repeat. http://www.wdrbookdesign.com/ She is fabulous but busy, you do need to book a slot well in advance (ie: at least a month to two months out).

Marketing is up to you - whether you self publish or go trad that's something you need to get to grips with. For indies it's even more important. I would suggest hanging out at the k-boards and soaking everything up like a sponge. This is an enormous amount of information there on every single aspect of self publishing, marketing and advertising and tools.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Tigerbunny on September 04, 2015, 07:31:57 AM
Hi Farseer and thank you for the recommendation.  The genre is Urban Fantasy/Fantasy/Sci-fi.  I would love to find someone to do a developmental edit/final edit.  As for formatting, I'm going to hire someone for that.  From what I understand, it's worth hiring a professional.  I keep hearing horror stories.  But, you have completely lost me on the marketing.  I know it's early morning, but I don't know what you mean by " go trad" and "K-boards".   (I really am a newbie at this).   
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: KimE on September 04, 2015, 07:57:23 AM
I'm doing the same research so appreciate all this info

also. Rochelle, Slightly Small on the forum, does editing and formatting
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on September 04, 2015, 07:59:46 AM
K-boards, if I'm right, is a forum for indie and self publishers. (does the K stand for Kindle, farseer?)
There's a TON of hepful info there on self pubbing, from technical up.

Go trad would mean traditional/trade published. Having a publisher or house put your book out
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 04, 2015, 08:43:13 AM
TB,

If you are looking to hire a professional to format your book, please keep me in mind. I've formatted all my ebooks, including my nonfiction ebook, ROOFMAN: A True Story of Cold War Espionage. And this ebook has embedded audio, photos, figures, etc. And since I use chapter titles, each chapter page is like a book cover.

You have to see what I've done to believe it! http://roofmanthespy.com/ I'm proud to say I designed all my website, too.

I use InDesign CS5 and can format in mobi (Kindle), epub, and pdf. I can also lay it out for print.

And since your ebook - I love doing them BTW - will be my first "job" I can charge you less than other book formatters. And do a helluva better job, too!   

Like I said, please keep me in mind,
John Pansini
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: farseer on September 04, 2015, 03:28:01 PM
But, you have completely lost me on the marketing.  I know it's early morning, but I don't know what you mean by " go trad" and "K-boards".   (I really am a newbie at this).   

Marketing is your job, whatever way you publish. Even those authors who traditionally publish (ie: agent, Big 5 contract) still need to market and promote. Obviously the extent is different, and I believe the higher your advance the more the publisher will do as they have a vested interest in seeing the book succeed. You need some sort of plan in mind, otherwise your book will sink among the 2,000,000 other e-books on Amazon.

K-Boards is the kindle boards, they have a writers cafe where indie authors discuss everything. It is the most amazing place and I have learned so much from hanging out there. They also have yellow pages listing where you can find professionals for cover art, editing, formatting, web design, virtual PAs etc.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php?board=60.0

Personally I do e-book formatting myself and keep it really clean and simple. I would be wary of getting anyone to format a fancy e-book as Amazon charges a delivery fee. Fancy chapter headings and flourishes look nice until you realise how much its carving off your royalty because of the file size. Plus I prefer to keep it easy to read on a device. I save the fancy layouts for paperback so it delivers a greater experience for the reader. But its your money and that's just one of the choices you have to make in this business.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 04, 2015, 04:03:21 PM
Couldn't disagree more with this:

"I would be wary of getting anyone to format a fancy e-book as Amazon charges a delivery fee. Fancy chapter headings and flourishes look nice until you realise how much its carving off your royalty because of the file size. Plus I prefer to keep it easy to read on a device. I save the fancy layouts for paperback so it delivers a greater experience for the reader. But its your money and that's just one of the choices you have to make in this business."

What holds true in web design is also true in ebook formatting: People respond to color. If you have a good story that's well-written, color and "fancy layouts" will add to the reader's experience. Back 100 years ago some novels had color and most had illustrations. (See the Wizard of Oz.) It's only when printing costs began to mount that the practice was discontinued.

Nowadays, It's just electrons, people, so why not go for it? If you are lucky enough to sell 1,000,000 copies, then I suppose delivery charges might amount to more than a hill of beans.

JP   

Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: KimE on September 04, 2015, 04:09:31 PM
This is a really dumb question, but for people who self pub like Farseer but not through create space, do you have to set up your own company to get it sold on amazon?
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: farseer on September 04, 2015, 06:32:58 PM
Couldn't disagree more with this:
People respond to color. If you have a good story that's well-written, color and "fancy layouts" will add to the reader's experience. Back 100 years ago some novels had color and most had illustrations. (See the Wizard of Oz.) It's only when printing costs began to mount that the practice was discontinued.

Nowadays, It's just electrons, people, so why not go for it? If you are lucky enough to sell 1,000,000 copies, then I suppose delivery charges might amount to more than a hill of beans.
JP   

Wow. I don't even know where to start. How about with my e-ink reader is B&W. Colour is pointless. People who read a lot on their devices consume books, they want a simple reading experience. As I said, if they want a more indepth experience, they buy the paperback.

Do you even understand about file sizes and delivery charges at Amazon?  Do you know the impact file size has if you do a promo and how it affects your royalty?

And you keep going on that your layouts are superior to anyone else's, but when I look at yours on Amazon, you don't even justify the text and that's just for starters...
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: farseer on September 04, 2015, 06:34:11 PM
This is a really dumb question, but for people who self pub like Farseer but not through create space, do you have to set up your own company to get it sold on amazon?

No. I don't bother with a corporation, but there are tax reasons you might want one. My Amazon account is in my legal name and through that I can publish my pen names.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 04, 2015, 07:01:21 PM
You don't need to be incorporated. All Amazon needs is your banking info so they know where to send your royalties. I also sell through Amazon, and off my own websites.

JP

Farseer: I do believe my layouts are better than what's out there. I read, too, on my Kindle Fire and they look great.

As far as looking at my pages on Amazon, they format it as they like not how I like. The only way to truly see how my ebooks look on a Kindle is to buy one of my ebooks. And I agree that color is not a necessity, but more and more people are reading on tablets and their phones where color does matter add to the reading experience.

Most of my sales are from my websites sites using e-Junkie as the down-loader and PayPal as the credit card processor. I'm thinking less than 2% of my sales come from Amazon. They keep royalties for 60 days.

I think self-publishers need an Amazon presence, but it's far more advantageous to sell from your own sites. At least you know who your customers are, Amazon keeps that info for itself, and the funds are deposited in two or three days.

When I do a promo, I simply send a free download link directly from e-Junkie, no download fees apply.

Color does not take away from the reading experience, it enhances it. 

JP
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: farseer on September 05, 2015, 03:22:32 PM
Farseer: I do believe my layouts are better than what's out there. I read, too, on my Kindle Fire and they look great....

We'll have to agree to disagree on that. I use the look inside feature on numerous books, most of them are nicely formatted with text justification, spacing, indents etc yours were all over the place, blocks of text, with boldly coloured titles. I also find your random use of bolded over large text really hard to read. I'm not sure why you feel the need to yell at people? But hey, if that's what your clients want, good for them. Self publishing is all about having freedom and choice. Personally I want my ebooks to look exactly like a bestselling trad published e-book. I study the top books in my genre and I mimic their formatting.

Most of my sales are from my websites sites using e-Junkie as the down-loader and PayPal as the credit card processor. I'm thinking less than 2% of my sales come from Amazon. They keep royalties for 60 days.

I think self-publishers need an Amazon presence, but it's far more advantageous to sell from your own sites. At least you know who your customers are, Amazon keeps that info for itself, and the funds are deposited in two or three days.

I disagree - unless you are saying you make over $100,000/year selling via your website?

Personally I earn 5 figures a month from Amazon and my figures are creeping up at other retailers (iTunes is gaining traction now). Sure Amazon knows exactly who my customers are, and that's fantastic and propels more sales. Amazon's "also bought" and recommendation algorithms are working in my favour and giving my titles added visibility. I also have a newsletter sign up in my novels, and I see a great conversion rate so its not true that Amazon keeps all that data to itself, its just about how you harvest it for yourself. Plus by ignoring Amazon, you limit all your marketing and advertising opportunities.

Amazon might pay 60 days after, but it's still a monthly payment. And if you had ever been trad published, royalties are received quarterly or twice a year. But again its about choice, I'd rather have a 5-figured amount deposited into my account monthly from Amazon than receive $10 within a couple of days from my website.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 05, 2015, 04:01:52 PM
I don't format ebooks professionally, so I have no clients. And after your personal assaults on my formatting, I looked at my ebooks and saw nothing wrong with any of them. People can take a look for themselves: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=john+pansini

I also looked at my ebooks on my Kindle Fire, and they look great. And I'm not shouting, I'm simply driving a point home. This is how I shout:  and they look great!!!

It's easy to attack someone - like you've done to me - when you're cloaked in anonymity.  We know who I am, who are you?

I genuinely congratulate and admire your success self-publishing. But I will not genuflect to it. Compared to yours, my success has been minimal... So far.

Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: farseer on September 05, 2015, 07:25:16 PM
As I said, I prefer to have my books look exactly like a trad published book. You prefer to embrace your DIY-indie-spirit. We each chose the path that works for us and delivers the results we seek. Readers use the look inside function. Often they base their decision to purchase on the sample they read, especially with SPAs due to a reputation for lack of editing, poor craftmanship and wonky formatting. They look at style, voice, if the story grabs them and the level of editing. I happen to believe that readers shouldn't even notice formatting, it should be unobtrusive so nothing detracts from the story. You prefer to shout at them. Readers form their opinion from the sample and their decision will be reflected in sales figures.

You offered to format the OP's books and you said they would be superior to anything else out there. I offered a dissenting opinion. I'm sure the OP can decide for themselves what sort of e-book & paperback they want.

Who am I? Just a writer who joined this site back in 2011. I posted my queries here, my first chapters, and requests for CPs. I made friends, I posted about the excitement of full requests and the pain of rejects. While I don't post alot, I've hung out here for years and those who have followed my journey, know who I am. Now, I am an author who calls writing her day job. Someone who works to understand how Amazon and other retailers work, so I can take advantage of their algorithms and maximise the visibility of my books. I'm just a writer who listens to what readers want, studies those doing much better than me and I keep on adapting and learning. I don't shout at people and no one is being attacked - that's an emotive spin you chose to put on things. I prefer to remain professional, so no, I won't be offering up my catalogue to be trolled by people who want to pull down those making a living in this industry.
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: JohnPansini on September 05, 2015, 07:42:08 PM
I would never troll you or anyone else. And I really do wish you well.

I will do us both a favor and say nothing more.

JP
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Tigerbunny on September 07, 2015, 01:36:58 PM
Well, thank you everyone.  What a wealth of information!  Looks like I have my work cut out for me. And here I thought I was done! :)
Title: Re: Are there e-book publishers that also help with editing and bio's and format?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on September 08, 2015, 08:23:13 AM
I happen to believe that readers shouldn't even notice formatting, it should be unobtrusive so nothing detracts from the story.

This is me. My ereader is black and white so color doesn't even work. And the reason I don't read ebooks on my tablet or phone or anything fancier is because I don't want a fancier experience. I want to sink into the story, not be distracted.

The only time I would want color in an ebook is if it was a PB, but PB ebooks are super rare because it turns out little kids and the parents who read to them don't like to read on electronic devices, and actually prefer a physical book.

Or I suppose if a novel had color pictures in it, but for something like that, it's way more likely that I would just buy the physical book.

But, again, this is just me and my preferences. Color does not enhance the reading experience for me.