Frequently Asked Questions
Will you publish my book?
While Babypie does give publishing consideration to our YouSpeakIt authors, the company is not currently reviewing unsolicited manuscripts. Please feel free to check back with us as you move forward with your book writing, as we will update this when we are open to reviewing author submissions. We do have Publishing Packages that include helping you self-publish your book and doing the steps for you to ensure optimum exposure. Thank you for considering Babypie Publishing as your publisher.
Should I self-publish or traditional publish?
There are two options available once your book is written, either sell it to a publisher which is the traditional method or sell it yourself and self-publish.
In traditional publishing, the author completes his or her manuscript, writes a query letter or a proposal, and submits these documents to a publishing house. An editor reads it, considers whether it is right for the house, and decides either to reject it (leaving the author free to offer it to another publisher) or to publish it. If the publishing house decides to publish the book, the house buys the rights from the writer and pays him or her an advance on future royalties. The house puts up the money to design and package the book, prints as many copies of the book as they think will sell, markets the book, and finally distributes the finished book to the public.
Some advantages to consider:
- Paid an up-front advance on royalties usually only a few thousand, maybe less.
- Only need to focus on writing the book, then the publisher takes over
- Marketing tasks are handled by the publisher
- The publisher picks up the up-front costs of producing and selling the book
Some disadvantages to consider:
- Need to take the time to create a proposal to sell your book idea to publishers
- Publisher may not be interested in your topic
- It takes longer to go through the process of selling your book to a publisher because you may have to approach many, many publishers.
- You are splitting the profits and receiving royalties of only a fraction of the sales profit, usually around 8 to 10%.
- Royalties are normally paid once or twice a year
- Marketing is handled however publisher would like, and it may be spread thin with other book titles and they may not make any special effort to promote yours.
The process is a bit different for self-publishing. An author who decides to self-publish basically becomes the publisher. The author must proofread the final text and provide the funds required to publish the book, as well as the camera-ready artwork. The author is responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders, and running advertising campaigns. In the past, the author had to decide on the number of copies to print, sometimes resulting in stacks of unsold books gathering dust in the garage! Fortunately, the Print on Demand (POD) technology now used by some self-publishing companies means that authors can have fewer copies printed—only as many as they need, in fact.
Some advantages to consider:
- You retain complete control of the look and content of your book.
- You can put as much time and effort into the marketing of your book and may even do a better job than a publisher who is working on promoting many at a time.
- You may be able to target a niche audience better than a traditional publisher.
- You may already have an audience and will be able to keep 100% of the profits.
- You don’t have to sell as many books to make more money in profits versus traditional.
- Sometimes self-published books that are received well are bought by big publishers.
Some disadvantages to consider:
- More work involved in handling the extra tasks of editing, proofreading, typeset, cover, and marketing to the public.
- Pay all upfront costs of producing and marketing your book.
- The book doesn’t have to be as long as traditional published book
What will work better for you? Are you concerned about the process of creating and marketing the book? Are you confident a traditional publisher will purchase the rights? Which way is more profitable for you? It is best to make a decision early to prepare for what needs to be done while writing the book.
Is copywriting my book necessary before publishing my book?
Under U.S. copyright law, your self-published work is protected as soon as you put the pen to paper. Copyright is based on your creative authorship and is not dependent on any formal agreement with a book publisher or self-publishing company, although registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is beneficial.
Copyright Registration allows you, as a self-published author, a higher level of security and confidence when it comes to protecting your work. When you register your work with the U.S. Copyright office, you create a public record of your authorship. Even though you are protected from the moment you start writing, you’ll have to register your work with the Copyright Office to be officially recognized as the copyright holder in a court of law.
Do I need a Literary Agent to Self-Publish a book?
If self-publishing is your end goal, you do not need a literary agent. If you are choosing to self-publish to get the book out while you shop the book to be traditionally published, then you may want to seek a literary agent after completing the self-publishing process.
Literary agents can be not only expensive, but time consuming, and won’t give you any guarantee that they will find a publisher for your book project. Often called a publishing agent or book agent, literary agents will simply submit your manuscript to multiple publishers in hopes that one will take notice, buy your manuscript and begin publishing your book. Most literary agents work on a retainer or a fee-based arrangement, again without making any guarantees of success for your project. Some publishing agents may even charge reading fees on top of their regular fees. 98% of all unsolicited manuscripts submitted to traditional publishers are rejected. The publishing business has changed and most traditional publishers are no longer willing to take a chance on new authors. Large publishing houses are mostly working with established authors with past proof of sales.
Here is a short list of things to consider before deciding to work with a book agent:
- Literary agents can be expensive
- Unscrupulous publishing agents may charge read fees
- Working with literary agents can be very time consuming
- There are no licensing requirements to become a literary agent
- Literary agents cannot guarantee that your book will be published by a traditional publisher
Babypie Publishing is here to help you avoid all the pitfalls and headaches that are commonly associated when working with a book agent. We have publishing packages that support you in getting your book out in the biggest and best ways possible. When you self-publish, with our support, you in essence become your own publishing agent therefore bypassing the literary agents. Contact us through our contact form and you’ll have an in-depth conversation with one of our author advocates to discuss your project goals and then choose the services that align with your goals.
If you have been considering hiring a literary agent or contacting various literary agents and want to learn more about self-publishing your book, you owe it to yourself to contact Babypie Publishing to learn all of your options. This allows you to make your decision from an educated place.
What is traditional publishing?
Traditional publishing is thought by many to be the Holy Grail of authorship. Someone else takes all the risk, you just write the book. It's more complicated than that—and until you hit the big time, it's not all that glamorous.
Industry standard royalty is 8% for paperback, 10% for hardback. Sometimes you can get an advance—which is money the publisher gives you at contract signing in hopes you will earn it back in sales. Remember, the word is advance—which means that amount comes off the top before you earn a cent. The average book advance for a first time publisher, should he or she be signed is only $5,000.
In most situations, you will need an agent to help you find a publisher. If you aren't familiar with reading a contract—and even if you are—have your friendly lawyer (one who specializes in Intellectual Property law, which is an esoteric enough field that your family lawyer is not likely to have much experience with it) look it over, just to be safe. You might want to check out intellectual property lawyer to get an idea of what's involved in a contract.
What are the advantages of traditional publishing?
You don't have to worry about the mechanics of producing the book. After some editing, your work on the book is done. You will have to do most of the marketing, though. Traditional publishers have yet to change their style to meet the current online marketing strategies, so it will be important for you to have a strong joint venture marketing plan in place, and team members standing by to help you implement your campaign.
Traditional publishers aim to sell at least 5000 copies of a literary book, but aren't happy about the profitability until the book hits over 25,000-50,000 (which used to be called "mid-list"). They are really aiming at books that will sell in the 100,000-1 million range. Because of that target, the first question you'll be asked by a traditional publisher is, "Do you have an audience for your work? Do you have a platform?" Do you have a history of large volume sales already? What is your marketing plan? If you don't have a solid answer, your book may be turned down.
What are the disadvantages of traditional publishing?
You have no control over the product. It's rare that you are consulted over the cover, the timing of the release or the marketing of the product.
An agent gets 15-20% of all of your checks. Your advance can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Royalties, if you earn any, are paid twice yearly.
In most cases, you will still be responsible for marketing the book. Unknown authors are usually not assigned any marketing dollars. They reserve that for the blockbusters.
I've heard that in some rare instances, publishers have demanded the author pay back their advance when their book failed to earn that amount (despite having spent that amount and more in efforts to market the book).
Startling fact: If you sell more than 200 books, you are in the top 2% of all people how have ever written a book. Millions of people have written books, but a very small percentage of them have sold over 200.
What is print on demand?
Print on demand companies us digital printers to print books for you one at a time. It used to be a huge expensive process to make books, and you’d have to pre-purchase thousands in advance to get a good deal on the price of your books. Then the question was, “How on earth am I going to sell thousands of books?” This is a question that few people in the world know how to answer, let alone implement a plan that produces the desired sales.
A print on demand company doesn’t make books until they are ordered. The customer pays for shipping and the POD company ships the book to the customer. You will receive a royalty on the book sale. The POD company keeps track of your royalties and once you reach a particular agreed amount, they will send you a check. The average royalty is 40% of the books cover price.
What are the advantages of print on demand?
- Some POD companies will give you an option of using one of their “free” ISBN numbers. Although this does save you from having to buy a block of ISBNs, it will show the POD company as the publisher of your book. Create Space is a POD sister company of Amazon, so if you don’t want to become a publisher yourself, it’s not a bad thing to show Amazon as your publisher.
- You don't have to form a company/corporation.
- Often (but not always), the subsidy press has services to help your product look more professional, like editing and cover design.
- Many subsidy presses also have distribution and marketing services you can use for a fee.
- You can get the trade leverage of being with a multi-title company that you can't get as a 1-book publisher.
- This is a great way to put out a memoir, a local cookbook or poetry.
What are the disadvantages of print on demand?
- Known subsidy presses are not reviewed by the major media outlets.
- Even though this is your work, the book has their ISBN identifier. Some might think that the subsidy press is responsible for your hard work and money.
- Even if you don't have the subsidy company sell your books through bookstores or wholesalers, they will get the orders because they own the ISBN.
- Your costs will be higher than if you published the book yourself. This makes a big difference when you try to sell books through bookstores.
What is self-pubishing?
Self-publishing is all about YOU. You assume all the risk, you pay all the expenses, you make all the decisions. All the responsibility for success or failure of your book campaign depends on you. The ISBNs are registered to you and your company, you make all the book design decisions and the marketing plans.
What are the advantages of self-publishing?
If you have success, and are one of the few who sell more than 200 books, you get all of the profit.
You maintain full control of everything about the project.
You set the bar for success. If you think 1000 free downloads of your ebook novel is wonderful, then it is. If you think selling 50 copies of your poetry is terrific, then it is. If you sell 100,000 copies of your self-help book out of the trunk of your car... well, you are successful, by any measure.
What are the disadvantages to self-publishing?
It is a lot of work since you are soley responsible for every aspect of the process. Finding the right team to implement your book process can be a challenge. Babypie Publishing has done the work for you. You’ll find that we have the best team members to get your book out to the world, with the least effort on your part.
It is often confusing to those who are new to book writing and publishing. There are so many so called “experts” offering their opinion on teleseminars and social media sites these days, it can be confusing to know which strategies are “right” to use. Read a lot of books. Educate yourself the best you can, and find support, and or, build a team. Our home study course is a way to get all of the information, templates, advice, strategies and support for the least investment amount.
What are book packages?
Book packages offer services like editing, cover design, book interior layout, putting your book up on a print on demand site for you, and all the little details that go into printing and publishing a book. Most offer their services "a la carte"—meaning you can pick and choose what you need. Sometimes they put their services in groups—also known as packages. Babypie Publishing offers publishing packages to support you. Going with a book package saves you from the pain of learning the hard way, and ultimately saves you money in the long run.