20 Questions (And Answers!) on Self-Publishing Your Book
The writing process may be a solitary business, but publishing your book doesn’t have to be. Employing the services of an assisted self-publishing company like Wrate’s Editing Services can take the hassle and stress out of bringing your writing project to fruition, while retaining full control over both the content and your earnings from it. It can even be fun, too! If you’re new to the process, or still considering whether it’s the right option for you, read the answers to some of our frequently asked questions. Should you have further queries, call or email Danielle today, who will be happy to go through them with you.
Assisted self-publishing is a paid service designed to assist authors in taking their manuscripts of all genres from draft to publication without compromising their book rights or royalties. The services offered encompass editing, interior formatting and cover design. While it is technically possible to self-publish for free, investing in a professional final product is often worth it. As its name suggests, Wrate’s Editing Services was initially founded to provide editing support to self-published authors. Over the past decade, it has expanded to offer comprehensive book production, design, and publishing services.
Most indie authors typically sell their books through online platforms like Amazon using print-on-demand services (explained in Question 3). However, all Wrate’s Publishing authors are set up so they can receive orders from bookshops, which we also process on their behalf. See our blog on how to get into bookshops like Waterstones. As a bonus, all Wrate’s Publishing authors with an ISBN will have their books listed for sale on the Waterstones website.
Print-on-demand (POD) is a manufacturing process used for products like books, where items are printed as orders come in. For instance, when you create an account with a self-publishing platform like Amazon’s KDP and upload your print files, your book becomes available for sale online. It’s only printed when someone places an order. After deducting the printing and shipping costs, you receive royalties.
The advantages of POD are wide reach and zero upfront costs, making it risk-free since you’re not investing in printing upfront. However, the drawback is that your per-book return is lower compared to self-printing and distribution. For example, selling a black and white book for £8.99 may yield less than £2.50 in royalties.
Keep in mind that colour books, like children’s or recipe books, cost more to print. As part of our service, we help you strike the right balance between competitive pricing and a reasonable return.
Yes, as there are no printing and delivery costs to factor in. Typically, if you publish an eBook via KDP, you will receive a 70% return on each one sold (see the image below). This is why eBooks are often priced much lower than paperbacks. However, many people still prefer a physical copy and are prepared to pay more for one, so for most books we recommend publishing both a digital and physical copy.
Aside from the standard details like your address and telephone number, we’ll need your Amazon log-in details. While KDP is separate from the main Amazon site (so we won’t see your purchase history), you log on using the same information. If you haven’t got a main Amazon account, it’s advisable to set one up. As KDP is a US company, we’ll also need your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and SWIFT codes, which we will add to your account to enable you to receive royalty payments. Both these codes can be found on your bank statements.
Not at all. A popular alternative to KDP is IngramSpark. There are pros and cons to whichever platform you choose, and we can explore the options and decide upon the best one for you and your book.
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It’s a unique 13-digit code (think of it like a book birth certificate!) that can be purchased from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency. An ISBN should be assigned to each edition and variation of a book. A single ISBN currently costs £91. Authors who book an Ultimate Package with Wrate’s Editing Services will be provided with one free of charge.
If you only intend to publish through KDP and make your book and/or eBook available to buy through Amazon, you can use the free one that KDP will assign to your book. However, if you are opting for a wider distribution – for example, to sell through bookshops – then it’s advisable to purchase your own ISBN or use a Wrate’s Publishing one, as the KDP ISBN will limit you to selling exclusively through its platform. Additionally, if you only plan to give your book out to friends and family, there is no need to purchase an ISBN.
If you are publishing your eBook via KDP, you won’t need an additional ISBN for it, as it will be assigned a free 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Other platforms have different processes. For example, if you publish with Draft2Digital, your eBook will be assigned a free ISBN.
It depends. Each physical format, like hardback or paperback, requires its own ISBN. Minor changes like correcting typos or updating the cover don’t necessitate a new ISBN. However, significant changes to the book’s structure or content will require a new ISBN. If you’ve published your book with Wrate’s Publishing and plan to make major changes, please contact us first for guidance on the best approach.
If you buy your own ISBN or use a Wrate’s Publishing one, your book will need to be registered on the Nielsen Book Database. If you are a Wrate’s Publishing author, this will be done on your behalf. We will also help you with legal deposit, which involves sending a copy of your book to the British Library and five other legal deposit libraries across the UK. Read our blog about the history and purpose of legal deposit.
Yes, and this will be displayed on the title verso page at the front of your book. It’s also important to note that in the UK, simply writing your book (and having evidence of this, such as it on a Word document) automatically gives you copyright protection; it is not something you need to buy or hire a solicitor to help you organise.
The typical information displayed on a book’s title verso page:
First published in 2022 by Wrate’s Publishing
Copyright© 2022 by B.T. Fisher
Edited and typeset by Wrate’s Editing Services
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
If your book is non-fiction and you are writing about real events and people with a plan to sell commercially, it’s important to bear in mind the libel law, which can still apply even if you change the names in your manuscript. The definition of libel is: A published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation. Although we may advise you if we spot anything in your manuscript that could be considered libellous, Wrate’s Editing Services cannot be held accountable for anything that you publish.