It’s hard to believe that, until recently, there used to be a something of a stigma attached to self-publication, despite the fact that a considerable array of fine authors – Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Alexandre Dumas and Mark Twain among them – famously published their own work. More recently, John Grisham, Amanda Hocking, Tom Clancy and E.L. James all kick-started their writing careers when they were initially unable at to land a mainstream publisher.
On the face of it, online retailing of both bound and ebooks has ushered in a time when it has never been easier, more commercially viable or more reputable for authors to publish their own work. The downside, of course, is that everybody’s doing it. Pick up a Kindle or Kobo and it will seem that there are as many books available to you as there are stars in a clear night sky in Patagonia. Enabling your self-published book to stand out from the crowd and be discoverable is a challenge that grows ever more daunting with every day that passes.
The extensive commercial publishing expertise available at Border Scripts enables us to give the very best advice and support to writer’s seeking to self-publish their work. In addition, we enjoy excellent trading relationships with high quality printers, jacket designers and illustrators, typesetters and ebook converters, both in the UK and overseas.
We offer a full packaging service that transforms your manuscript into fully-finished bound and or ebooks of the very highest trade standard, available for sale through the principal online retailers.
This typically requires the following practical steps:
- Planning (producing a publishing plan and master schedule for your book)
- Assigning of ISBN numbers and registering your critical book data
- Cover illustration and design
- Preparation of AISs (Advance Information Sheets) for retailers
- Full, professional editing (Book editing is our core skill: see our page on Editing Services)
- Typesetting and ebook conversion
- Indexing (where applicable)
- Blurb writing
- Jacket design and layout
We also give professional advice on a host of critical factors such as pricing, book sizes and formats, printing options, print runs and costs, packaging and distribution, author and book promotion and how to approach overseas agents and publishers to sell your translation rights – the list is far from exhaustive.
Of course there is no need engage us for all of the above: you may feel confident that you can do some or most of these things on your own; you may well be seeking to publish only as an ebook. The deliverables and costs will also vary significantly according to your ambitions and, of course, the type of book that you are seeking to publish. A ‘B format’ paperback crime novel of 320 pages is obviously very different animal to a hardback technical manual, replete with diagrams and plates, or to an illustrated cookery book; each has its unique processes and challenges, as well as very different cost and pricing profiles. Consequently, our book packaging services are very much a bespoke and personalised business.
If you would like to consider whether we could assist with your self-publishing project, do drop us a line. A simple email, telling us about your book and the specific services that you think would be of most benefit, is a good beginning. We may respond by requesting a few more details, and if it looks as if you need a very comprehensive service we may set up a meeting with you before giving you a fully costed proposal that would be without any obligation to do business. Despite our publishing background and pedigree, we think you may find that our costs are surprisingly competitive.
All writers are advised to steer well clear of any business that offers to ‘publish your book’ in exchange for a fee. The most singular distinguishing characteristic of a publisher is that they fund the full investment of publication. Publishers pay their authors; authors don’t pay publishers. As a self-published author, you are the publisher – and that’s not quite the tautology it seems. It means that both the investment risk and the full rewards of publication are yours alone. Though we can give some helpful advice and also help make your book available to retailers, the responsibility for selling and marketing your book lies firmly with you. All we do at Border Scripts is use our editing and publishing knowledge to help you make your book the best it can possibly be.