FAQs: Learn More about WriteLife Publishing
If you still have questions, feel free to contact any member of the WriteLife staff!
How is getting WriteLife to publish my book an advantage to me over self-publishing?
This is a really good question, and we encourage authors to compare publishing options and decide what is best for their book and goals. The top benefits of our model are:
Shouldn’t I attempt to go with a publisher that does not require an author investment?
If you have the patience and ability to secure an agent and send your book to a number of larger publishing houses, going the with another traditional publishing route might be a good fit for you. Keep in mind, though, that this process could take years, and you will be surrendering rights and control over your book. While there are no upfront costs, most traditional publishers recoup their expenses by paying authors a greatly reduced percentage of royalties.
We would never discourage authors from trying this route if that is their goal, but we also want to encourage a realistic view about the challenges associated with getting a book noticed by the “big houses.” It is extremely rare for authors to be accepted by the larger houses with no other titles on the market and no marketing platform to prove success of a book.
Choosing a route like WriteLife proactively guides your book through a top-notch publishing process and gets your book in the marketplace, while giving you a say in how the book comes together and an important role in getting the book out into hands of readers.
What is the procedure for getting my book published by WriteLife?
Exactly how much will it cost me for WriteLife to publish my book?
There is no way to say “exactly how much it will cost” because each book is a bit different in editing requirements, layout, cover design, and illustrations. Editing and proofreading costs are figured on a per word basis, and editing costs differ depending on whether a manuscript requires copyediting or developmental editing. In WriteLife’s experience, the manuscripts that are accepted for publication have incurred editing and setup costs ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.
Are all the costs to me included? Will I have any surprises?
You will be aware of the exact costs of editing, proofreading, and designing your book before you sign a contract with WriteLife. The only other costs that could be incurred would be if you were to want to use a stock photo image as a part of the cover design of your book, and those costs generally run in the range of a couple hundred dollars.
It is important, however, to understand that each author incurs marketing expenses in the process of promoting his or her book (i.e., creating an author website, promotional materials such as bookmarks, business cards, book signing poster, etc.) Those expenses are determined by each author.
What if I have my own editor? What if I have my own illustrator?
WriteLife will still have to approve the story line, the quality of editing, and the quality of illustrations, and your book will need to go through our stringent proofreading process and through our design process. But, authors only pay for the WriteLife services that are required to make their quality book. Therefore, it is possible that an author could reduce his or her publishing costs by using WriteLife-approved editors/illustrators. This would be determined on an individual basis depending on the amount of editing, illustrations, and design the book requires to meet WriteLife quality standards.
Who has the final say on all edits?
The author and project manager collaborate on the publishing process together. The author is an equal partner in the editing process, and the author’s vision and desire for his or her book is the leading factor in all aspects of book production. WriteLife, however, constantly guides the author, and if we feel the direction that an author wants to go with editing or design choices is not the best choice, we will work with the author to find a solution that is best for the book, the author, and WriteLife’s overall desire of helping every author becoming successful.
Who owns the rights to the book?
The author owns the rights to all content within his or her own book.
Is there any guarantee that my book will sell?
No, there is not any guarantee that any book will sell; however, WriteLife only accepts books that we have confidence in. WriteLife does not offer false hope on any book that they accept to publish. The bottom line is that any book that WriteLife accepts for publishing is believed to have a very good chance in the marketplace as long as both WriteLife and the author fully engage in marketing the book and building a fan base for the author.
How do I get my book on the shelves at bookstores?
WriteLife and the author work together to get the book into bookstores. WriteLife invests thousands of dollars creating networks, attending book wholesaler events, and promoting the books we publish. WriteLife’s marketing department sends press releases and aims to create media interest in each book. We work with national sales representatives to pitch each book to national buyers. We also train our contracted authors to plan and shine in promotional events, though it’s the author’s responsibility to reach out to local bookstores and attempt to get each store to carry his or her book. While there is never a guarantee that the buyers for the large booksellers will buy every book that WriteLife publishes, we do everything within our power to try to make that happen.
Is WriteLife marketing support an extra cost?
No, WriteLife marketing support is included in the contract cost. WriteLife’s ongoing support for marketing your book is beyond the norm in the publishing world: we offer a newsletter of upcoming events where WriteLife will be featured, send requests for reviews, send press releases, create public relations events, and much more. When WriteLife believes in a book, we believe in the book and are proud to publicize it.
How are the royalties calculated?
The royalties are figured by subtracting the printing costs, discounts, taxes, and fees from the selling price of a book (either wholesale or retail, depending on what market it is sold in). Then, the net revenue is divided equally between WriteLife and the author for any books sold up to 30,000. After 30,000 books sell, the author gets 60% of the profits. Most traditional publishers pay a significantly lower percentage of the profits to the author, no matter how many books sell.
How do I know how much my book is earning?
Authors can track how many books are selling by monthly royalty reports that WriteLife shares. However, it is important to keep in mind that these reports are produced monthly and the sales indicated are always a few weeks behind real time.
Who sets the price of the finished book? Is it based on number of pages?
WriteLife determines the finished price of the book. The suggested retail price (SRP) is determined by the printing cost of a book as well as the discounts off of the SRP that are required by wholesalers and large booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc. When selling to these entities, WriteLife receives a contracted percentage of the SRP and must price the book so that the amount received per book is high enough to pay for printing the book plus provide a profit margin for royalties.
It is important to understand that booksellers very seldom sell a book for the SRP, and they can do that because they require such a large discount (50% or higher of the SRP) from the publisher.
How much do I pay for copies of my own book, and is there a minimum amount I have to buy?
To encourage and support author events, WriteLife offers a generous opportunity for authors to purchase their own books to sell directly to their customers. The cost to the author is 50% of the SRP plus shipping and handling. We believe it’s important to offer authors a fair price for their own books and want to empower them to retain the profits of selling books in-person. Due to our digital printing process, authors also avoid a garage full of 10,000 books. The required minimum per order for authors is 25 books, and orders can be placed as needed.