Posts Tagged With: self-publishing

How to get published by a big publisher!

Right. How to get into the  bigtime, in one, quick, lesson – in today’s environment.

Answer: Two steps – 1). Self-publish your book. 2). Cross fingers.

True! Take the latest example from a long line over the past few years: Tracy Bloom, a self-published Kindle author, has just signed a four-book deal with Arrow / Cornerstone. Her best-selling novel, ‘No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday’ has been signed up, along with other books, and will be re-published later this year, in print and as an ebook. Her ebook caught the public’s imagination and sold 220,000 copies in the first six months, which made it a tasty morsel to be snapped up.

This is what publishers do today, as I’ve said time and again. They only want a book if it has proved itself in selfpub mode. And that’s the only way into the club, if you still want in. It may be just the way things are, I’m not judging the system – perhaps today, like smaller publishers, the big ones just can’t afford to guess whether a book will make it or not. And, admittedly, that’s how it worked in the past; most books didn’t make back the author’s advance.

If your book makes it big in selfpub, you may wish to stick with selfpub, although there are advantages to being taken on by a big publisher. Nevertheless, go ahead and selfpublish, but do make it a decent book – replacing a formal publisher by selfpub doesn’t make the numerous steps in the publishing process disappear – you have the option of skipping some of them, but at your peril. In the USA, there are over 750,00 selfpub books around, and readers choose, mainly, by the reviews on Amazon. If your reviews tell the ‘poorly edited, unreadable’ story, then who is going to buy your book? Would you buy one with that kind of report?

Some people manage to do their own thing through the whole selfpub process, others need a hand, and that’s why there are many selfpub firms around. If you do want to enlist one, do your homework. Find reviews online, or buy a very useful book called’ The Fine Print of Self-Publishing’ by Mark Levine (not one of ours, he self-publishes, and this book is good!).

Yes, we’d like you to use our services, and yes, we think we’re pretty good, with personal experience of writing, publishing, self-publishing and marketing all under one roof. And we don’t overcharge, which several outfits do. But – we don’t push; we don’t have hidden agendas and charges, and we’re user-friendly.

Here’s a review from one of our recent projects – a 200-plus page family memoir, with over seventy photos that we had to touch up before using. It was a private project, not for public consumption, so I can’t mention S’s name, but this is a genuine bit of feedback:

Dear Jan,
I have just received the final copies of my book of memoirs. It is every bit as good as I had hoped.

I have been very impressed with the service you have provided, especially the personal attention you
have given me, the rapid turn around on all my queries, and the expert advice and comments you have
provided. My wife is threatening to write her memoirs, and if she does I will have no hesitation in
recommending that she use Stellium to publish them.

Thanks once again for all your help.

Need to know more? Talk to us. Remember our little motto – ‘It’s easier than you think, it’s more affordable than you think, and we’ll hold your hand’.

There is a set of priced packages on our main website (, but we’ve found that every project is different, and we haven’t yet done one that fits neatly into a set package. That means, either we have to use a crowbar to make you fit our package(s) – or we use them as an approximate guide.
Have a look anyway, as they do show you how much more affordable selfpub is today, as well as just how much work is involved!

Categories: Publishing - general | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Colour me Magenta

We’ve ignored the idea of doing colour content in POD (print on demand) books for years; it has just been far too expensive for commercial purposes. However, after being nagged about it by many people (if Lulu can do it, why can’t you?), I investigated current options.

Well, I always say that technology moves faster than the speed of write, and so it does. We can now do colour content for perfectly reasonable prices; a 100 page colour book is now a piece of cake, so to speak.

Many options are still fine in black & white/grey – personal memoirs with old B&W photos are fine with just a colour cover. But a colour book is always going to have more appeal, unless it’s just a novel, and, with zillions of self-published books already out there, standing out in the crowd is more difficult than ever.

If you have any questions about this development, please ask; you can fill in the form below to contact me directly. I’m not trying to flog our wares; I’m trying to get more knowledge out to people so they can make informed choices in this totally new arena. We even come across people who don’t know what POD (print on demand) is. That isn’t them being ignorant, just unaware of how radically things have changed in the last five years or so.

Categories: Techie stuff, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VAT and You

Just when you thought things were settling down a little, comes the news that with effect from 1st January 2015, VAT changes affecting digital downloads (i.e. including ebooks) are to take place, across the EU.

In a nutshell, VAT will be charged at the rate applicable to the consumer’s country of residence, rather than the supplier’s base.

This is to negate examples of major VAT sidestepping, such as, which used its Luxembourg head office’s 3% VAT rate , while selling zillions of pounds worth of ebooks in the UK, where the rate is 20%.

That will no doubt help the UK Treasury, but it’s something to consider for anyone or any organisation in the UK selling ebooks. The main route to selling ebooks is through some form of shopping cart software, and these programs will have to be adapted to cope with this new, more complicated scenario.

Anyone selling by other means will also have to work out how to handle transactions in line with the new legislation.

What I would like to know is, how does one actually find out the purchaser’s country of residence? Presumably the operative factor is the location of the computer that does the buying, but even so, how does a simple shopping cart work that out? That’s all beyond my level of Internet savvy, but as a publisher, I’d be interested if anyone has something to say in the matter.

It’s also interesting for anyone who does any kind of digital selling, whether personally or through a business of any kind. It’s all relevant, because I reckon the taxman is going to be fairly vigilant about this new regulation, especially while we’re in “austerity mode” – in my opinion, that’s for at least the next five years. Simply put, one needs to be in a position to prove you know who is buying from you, whether they live in Spain or Solihull, and whether they were on holiday in Florida when they bought the book…

It will also be interesting to discover if my assumption is correct – that where the sale takes place is the criterion – or whether the consumer’s actual home country will be the prime issue.

Any comments?

Categories: Links, Money, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


My wife, Sasha, and I are in the publishing business, and getting more and more involved with people wanting to self-publish – or Personal Publishing, which I prefer, as it’s mostly not done by oneself. Let’s be realistic; doing without a mainstream publisher doesn’t mean doing without all the bits that go on behind the scenes – it means taking control oneself, and getting those things done by whomever you choose, and in whatever way you choose to produce your magnum opus.

It’s just as well that Personal Publishing (PP) is so readily available today, since it’s practically impossible to get into a mainstream publisher – or agent, for that matter.

Anyway, more about all that later on, and more likely by Sasha, ‘cos I’m going to stick more to the techie side of publishing, brief updates of interest, and whatever floats my boat. Why not,  Sasha shouldn’t be the only one I bore to death with my comments…

Joking aside, I hope what I put out here will be of use to you, and if you have anything to add, it can only help other people who are trying to get their voices out into the wide world.

If there’s anything you’d like me to touch on, that I don’t think of in the first place, just ask. If I know something about the subject, I’ll be happy to pass it on.

Categories: Links, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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