Thursday 25 May 2017

Getting a book you have produced published

My own Kindle ebook
I received a letter from an author who had produced a poetry book and had it printed themselves. They asked how they could get it published. 

Here's my response, at the time of publishing on this blog

It is relevant for the UK and most types of book, but readers elsewhere might find it useful too:

Dear C,

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner about your poetry book!

You have a completed formatted book, which you have effectively printed and published yourself. Congratulations!

If you wanted it to be registered as a book listed on book catalogues and also be archived with the copyright libraries, you would need to reprint it with its own ISBN and register it as the author/publisher with the UK copyright agency, Nielsen.

The issue with any book is not so much its registration, it is getting it sold. This either means marketing it yourself or finding a publishing house that will do the selling and marketing for you.

I think you have six options:

  1. Register with Nielsen yourself as a publisher and buy a single ISBN. Get the book reprinted with the barcode. Promote it yourself. You fulfil your ISBN responsibilities
  2. You pay us to register the book with an ISBN number, for you to market yourself. We become your publisher. You retain copyright (see below) Cost £xxx
    1. We provide you with the information to go on an imprint page in the book or the inside of the front cover. (This will include a copyright phrase stating that you have copyright)
    2. We provide you with a barcode with one of our allocated ISBNs to go on the back cover (this makes us your publisher)
    3. You include these items in a new reprint you arrange with your printer
    4. We can recommend other printers
    5. You set the price (I recommend a RRP of 4 x the print cost per book. This accounts for the print cost and you can give bookshops or resellers a discount, yet still earn on book sales)
    6. You send us a good quality photo of the cover
    7. We register the book title with the ISBN
    8. We receive 8 free archival copies
      1. We send one copy to the British library (legal requirement)
      2. We send 5 copies to the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries (they are legally entitled to ask for them within a year, we now send them as a matter of course)
      3. We retain 2 archival copies for Milton Contact Ltd.
    9. We pass on any book orders to you by email that come through Nielsen (You fulfil orders)
    10. We also prepare a page on our website for your book with a link back to you, so people can buy from you direct. (You fulfil orders)
    11. You can talk with us about advice on further ways to promote your book
  3. Physical book on Amazon. You can be a seller on Amazon for your book, but it does need to have an ISBN.
    1. They deduct a nominal charge for each sale
    2. They do factor in postage costs.
  4. Physical book published via Amazon/CreateSpace/Lulu.
    1. You can do print on demand
    2. They become the publishers and assign an ISBN
    3. Check out their requirements (format for submissions/book sizes)
    4. Check out the charges they have for producing your book
    5. Check the charges they have for printing and  mailing the book to buyers
    6. Check out how much you actually earn per copy in %. 
  5. eBook on Amazon: You register with Amazon as an author and upload your book as a kindle edition in your name.
    1. You do this yourself
    2. You do not need an ISBN
    3. We can help you do this, We can do this with or without an ISBN. Cost £xxx
  6. You find a publisher that will produce and market the book for you.
    1. You have to approach large publishers through an Agent
    2. You can find Literary Agents online or in the Writers & Artists Yearbook 2017, the library should have a copy
    3. If your book is accepted, you receive royalties. And possibly an advance fee.
    4. You may be expected to help run promotional events for the book

I hope that this helps!

Best wishes,


Dr Chris Thomas,
Publisher, Milton Contact Ltd

This information is provided to the best of my knowledge - please do check things out yourself for services other than those with Milton Contact Ltd

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