Below are some of the most common questions we hear, and their answers. The list is by no means comprehensive, so feel free to get in touch to discuss our business further.
Question: Are you a self-publishing house?
Answer: No, we are what some are calling a next-gen or an alternative publisher. We do not accept all submissions, and there is no fee to work with us.
Question: Do you only do ebooks?
Answer: No, we create print (paperback and hardback) and ebook formats. We currently offer our books primarily through Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and the iTunes store, so all of those formats are supported.
Question: Where is your warehouse?
Answer: We use print-on-demand for our printing, so there is no warehouse. This not only allows us to control our costs and maintain a low overhead, it is a much greener solution (there is nothing to recycle if the book doesn’t sell).
Question: If you use print-on-demand, doesn’t that mean that bookstores will not carry my book?
Answer: Bookstores can carry our books. Our books are available through the Ingram catalog.
Something to keep in mind, most small press houses don’t distribute widely to bookstores. In fact, some friends at another publisher (a traditional model) tell us that their sales to independent bookstores are only about 12% of their total sales.
Note – if having your books distributed widely to bookstores is your primary concern, we are probably not the best publisher for you! The bookstore market is still predominantly served by the large legacy publishing houses.
Question: What’s with the free books on Booktrope.com?
Answer: We believe that having people read a book, sells the book. As a result, almost all of our books are available to read for free, while on our website. NOTE this is not a download, readers must be on the site to read. This allows us to maintain a database of our users, in order to better leverage marketing opportunities. Some data is below (including the direct words of Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow) to better explain our position.
But first – an exercise:
- Do you borrow or loan friends books?
- Do you borrow books from the library?
- Do you ever go to a used book store?
- Do you give or receive books as gifts?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you have already participated in a “free book” reading scenario.
That said, books are on our website with the permission of the author. If you are adamantly against this scenario, we may still be able to work with you, as we have said, we are flexible. But, we will do our absolute best to convince you to put them out on Booktrope.com!
And hey, don’t take my word for it. Here are some far more famous people who can share their rational around allowing their books to be read for free.
Neil Gaiman graciously granted us permission to use his video on our site.
Cory Doctorow has recently put together a great ebook on the topic of open sharing of material. Click the link and you can download the book for free (of course!):
And more about this for those of you who want to delve in even more deeply:
- Report of formal study done on behalf of some traditional publishers, showing free books online strongly tend to increase book sales
- Report of recent study from academic journal, concluding that free books online tend to increase book sales
- “Prime Palaver” by science fiction author Eric Flint, explaining how free books online increased sales of his books
We have also been applying our marketing methods to back-list books from traditional publishers. We don’t typically assign them a marketing manager, but just by having the books on our site, they are seeing 10-15% increase in sales.