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Everything you need to know about partnering with us.

You would be surprised how many authors assume we are a traditional publisher. Many authors call us expecting that we will cover all their costs AND make them famous. Wondering why the traditional publishers businesses are suffering. Just saying.

  • We are not a traditional publisher (repeated for effect.)

  • We empower authors via the self-publishing process.

  • We offer authors professional publishing services, we charge accordingly.

 

Please view our services pricing page here.

For authors still on the hunt for that elusive publishing deal with a traditional publisher, we wish you the best of luck. (We mean that, well sort of.) Have a look at this list of publishers found on the Publishers Association of South Africa's website. Begin the cold calling process.

 

 

Most of our authors we will never meet face to face. Is the weird? Possibly. Does it mean we are still trustworthy? Absolutely.

Most of our business is conducted online via a mixture of phone calls, messages and email.

For those authors who are worried about paying money to a business without first shaking hands, here are some things to think about:

  • We are a member of the PASA (Publishers Association of South Africa.)

  • We are a member of SAFREA (Freelancers Association of SA.)

  • Here are some of our happy authors.

  • Have a quick-look at our author community of Facebook. Notice all those five-star reviews?

Still not trusting? We are happy to sign an NDA to help protect you and your information :)

You should have at least a completed draft of your manuscript ready in a common file-format such as:

  1. MS Word (This is our favorite format.)
  2. Adobe InDesign,
  3. PDF (This will cost a little more and take a bit longer to convert to eBook formats.)

Want to know more about our processes? We recommend you read this.

If at all possible we prefer receiving your manuscript in Microsoft Word format.

Second prize would be receiving your manuscript in Adobe InDesign format. (This is the software that most publishers use to assemble and create books.)

Can we convert from PDF? Most of the time yes. However it will take us longer and cost more.

 

Here is are the best ways to get hold of us, in order of preference.

  1. Email Us

  2. Call Us (082 624 3138)

  3. Skype Us (henderson_za)

  4. Arrange a face-to-face meeting (South African authors only)
    1. Please note we will only have a meeting with you once you have: Emailed us your manuscript AND you have been quoted. Otherwise the meetings are always bit short.

 

 

We currently work out of Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

However we primarily operate online. This means it does not matter if you are an author living in Cape Town or Cairo, we can give you the same awesome service!

We are available during standard business hours for phone calls or Skype sessions. You would be surprised how many authors call us late at night. Dont be that author.

Yes! We can help you create a print ready interior and cover.

  • You can then either decide to take the files to a local printer OR
  • We can help you reach the world with your paperback by publishing you on the Amazon owned Createspace platform.

If published on Createspace your paperback will also be available on Amazon. This means potentially that readers will have a choice of either buying your eBook or paperback directly from Amazon. The reader pays for both the printing of your paperback AND the shipping! This means that the author can sell printed books without paying a cent.

 

Read more on publishing a print on demand paperback here.

 

Yes we can, contact us to found out the costs of creating your very own audioBook.

For those authors on a budget and looking to create your own Audiobook we recommend you use Audacity, available here.

 

Absolutely. If you are technically minded and don't mind getting your hands dirty you are welcome to create your own eBook. Obviously if the eBook has been poorly constructed then we will recommend that we help you to fix the mistakes.

 

We accept the following forms of payment:

  1. EFT (Our bank details are found at the bottom of our quotes.)
  2. Cheque (These will take 7 days to clear. Please also include and additional R100 per cheque paid, due to the associated bank fees.)
  3. Swift transfers (Please include an extra R250 per SWIFT payment due to associated bank fees.)
  4. Paypal (Henderson_za@yahoo.com.)

 

  1. We will only start after receiving a minimum of a 50% deposit of the total amout quoted. Many of our service providers insist on receiving payment upfront.

  2. For payments less than R2000 we insist on receiving full-payment upfront. We hate chasing authors for small amounts of money.

  3. We can cater for monthly installments ONLY after we receive the initial 50% deposit.

 

Hell yes! We love partnering with like-minded brands.

Have a gander through our adverting options on our advertising page here.

 

Yes you can. We are always looking for friendly and driven partners. Please email us your details including a portfolio of work that can be appraised.

We only work with the best, so be prepared to give some amazing author-service.

 

Yes, please get hold of us and give us the specifics of your event.

 

Learn more about what is needed to make, publish and market the best eBook possible.

An eBook is a digitised version of a book.

You can read an eBook from most tablets, smartphones and eReader-specific devices such as an iPAD or Kindle device. An eBook will shape itself to fit any screen. Whether you read an eBook from an iPhone, iPAD or a Mac it will always look perfect.

PDFs are not eBooks! The reflowable nature of an eBook layout is why PDF files are not considered to be eBooks. A PDF might read great on a computer however will look terrible on the screen of your smartphone.

eBooks come in two main flavours used and accepted world-wide:

  1. MOBI - This version of your eBook will only be used on the Amazon store and devices.

  2. EPUB - This version of your eBook will be used everywhere else like in the Apple iBookstore and Apple devices like the iPad.

 

Their are improved versions of the ePUB and MOBI formats each with their own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Enhanced ePUBs: These are eBooks that incorporate video and/ or sound.

  • Fixed Layout eBooks: These are eBooks that are able to retain their print layout.

 

 

 

 

Question Time.

First Question: As an author, how many readers can you reach with printed books alone? Asked differently, how much money could you make focusing on print alone?

Second Question: Are you afraid of being powerless when negotiating with a publisher? Worried they will keep most of the royalties leaving you with a meager 15%? (You should be worried...this is the norm.)

Third Question: Are you on a tight budget when it comes to the production, publishing and marketing costs of your book?

 

Creating and publishing an eBook is a fast process. In fact, in the time it takes you to read this, you could already have your bright and shiny new eBook. (Almost!)

Going digital mean that you can be published in weeks rather than months. It also means you spend less money! Creating an eBook and publishing digitally means that you are in full control of the process. No more waiting on a publisher to stick to a deadline, you control the deadline .

Instead on always paying to have new books printed, you only pay once. This means that after recovering your costs, your returns are unlimited. Royalty payments from online stores like Amazon can be easily monitored online and are updated hourly. This mean no more querying a publisher on your book sales (or royalty payments!). There is now no longer a risk of printing too many books as you will ever only need one eBook.

So - Why would you not want to create an eBook?

Still not convinced?

If your manuscript is text only then yes.

If your manuscript is image-heavy or it has style elements such as tables, graphs and lists then no.

eBooks work best with a manuscript that is mostly text. This does not mean that non-fiction authors are being excluded from the digital Utopia, it just means that you need to educate yourself as to what is and is not possible when creating an eBook.

Here are a few things that whilst applicable to print, have fallen in the digital trash can.  These items are not relevant in an eBook:

  • Headers and footers have disappeared.

  • Fancy fonts will not work. Rather use more common fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Garramond.

  • Footnotes will need to be specially treated and hyperlinked.

  • Images in fancy (floating) positions will need to be left/ right or center justified.

  • Images also need to appear above or below text, no wrapping of text around images.

  • Page numbers will not be shown. This means no references of page-numbers in your text. It also means indexes are not possible.

  • Page borders and full-page backgrounds are not easily possible.

 

For more formatting heavy book such as a children's book we would recommend creating what is known as a fixed layout eBook. Creating a fixed layout eBook means that the eBook will closely resemble the printed version however it will only work on newer reading devices. This means you are limiting potential readers.

 

There are a number of eBook retailers where you could publish your eBooks. These include:

 

There are also eBook distribution platforms for authors who are looking for a single platform to reach into almost every eBook store. These eBook distribution platforms will not get you into Amazon (despite what they might say.)

  1. Smashwords

  2. Draft 2 Digital.

 

So many stores, where should I publish!?

I would normally advise a new author to just stick with selling their eBook through the Amazon KDP store. This covers 66% of the world-wide eBook market. There are also other benefits to making your eBook exclusive to Amazon.

When the author is ready to upgrade to the next level I would go direct to the Amazon and Kobo stores. At the same time I would publish my eBook into the hard to reach stores using either Smashwords or D2D. (Obviously this means you cannot promise digital exclusivity to Amazon.)

 

You can receive eBook royalties via the following methods:

  1.     Posted cheques -The default method for many eBook stores. (This is obviously not a viable solution for many African authors.)

  2.     Payoneer (An online service that works with Amazon only. Similar to Paypal.)

  3.     Paypal (Will not work with Amazon however great for Smashwords and Draft 2 Digital)

 

Read more on receiving eBook royalty payments here.

Wondering about Amazon's royalty structure?

 

If you do not have an eReader device simply use the free PC software available from our resources section to read eBooks directly from your computer!

Want to know more about opening and reviewing your eBook?

 

No. An eBook is a one way experience and cannot accept input from a reader. No capturing notes etc.  The latest eBook technology is capable of playing sound and video however this is as good as it gets.

As soon as an author is looking for an eBook to accept detailed reader-feedback you cross the line away from eBook technology and into app development. This means much higher costs to create. It also means you will not be able to publish into the eBook stores as they only accept traditional eBook formats.

We recommend that authors looking to ask for reader input rather hyperlink to important notes, graphs or resources. Store the fancy things on a website and just reference (link) them within the text. This means that the reader can access the material directly from their (internet-enabled) tablet device.

 

We cover the topic of ISBNs in detail in this blog post.

 

DRM or Digital Rights Management is a technology used to limit copying of your eBook by forcing people to have relevant credentials before they are allowed to open the eBook.

Authors publishing their eBook on Amazon have the option to enable DRM when publishing their eBook. If selected, people who pay for and download the eBook will need to first logon to their Amazon account through their Amazon eBook reading device before they are able to read your book.

There are several drawbacks of "protecting" your work via DRM:

  • Readers will not be able to open the eBook on another non-Amazon device even though it is very plausible why they might want to do this.

  • DRM can be broken fairly easily using freely available software.

  • Most authors agree that it is not worth the hassle. Most online eBook retailers are getting rid of the DRM option for authors.

 

The best way to combat piracy is by making sure your book:

  1. Is priced fairly.

  2. Is available on the world's leading retailers.

 

 We normally recommend that our authors do not implement DRM.

 

Kindles and iPads can be purchased from most electronic stores around the country.
Incredible Connection for example has a great selection of devices.

An ePDF is a PDF document that has been optimized for web delivery. This means that all external hyperlinks point to the relevant resources and all internal links also point to the correct location. This includes linking items like the Table of Contents, Chapter level bookmarks and any other internal links present in the print ready PDF.

Here is a checklist of the work carried out in a typical PDF to ePDF conversion.

  • Trim and crop: All pages trimmed to the final printed size with no registration/crop marks.   

  • Page Numbering: All pages numbered in order.   

  • Bookmarks: Chapter level bookmarks.   

  • TOC: Table of content linking in the front matter.   

  • Cross reference links: Linking the internal reference such as chapter, figure, table etc.   

  • URL links: Linking all website links in the PDF.   

  • Embed fonts: All fonts must be embedded. 
      
  • Remove security settings: Acrobat security settings must be removed.   

  • Image color: Save all color images as RGB.   

  • Images optimized for web delivery.  
     
  • Insert cover pages.    

  • Adding the Document properties and initial view of the PDF.