How does Bacon Press Books work exactly?
We work with our authors through all stages of publishing. We have several excellent, experienced freelance editors and designers we work with regularly. They provide editing, proofing, cover design, interior lay-out, and eBook conversion. Our authors contract with each one separately. We don’t quote prices---we leave that up to the freelancers, knowing they try to keep their prices reasonable and deliver high-quality work. Pricing for services is based on what needs to be done for each book.
Are you a “vanity publisher”?
No. Definitely not. We do not charge a fee to publish (but as mentioned above, the author does pay our freelance editor, cover designer, interior designer, and project manager). The author keeps copyright and all subsidiary rights. We do not take every manuscript that is sent to us. And while the author is included in all steps of the process, we won’t publish a book that doesn't meet the high publishing standards we’ve set for Bacon Press Books.
The real label for what we do is still up for debate. We liked Partnership Publishing - since we work together with our authors to produce their books and share some of the post-publication costs.
But lately the term Hybrid Publishing is the popular way to describe our publishing model. Authors pick up most of the cost, we do all of the work.
We'd offer advances if we could, but right now that's not possible. In order to make sure authors are compensated for their hard work, we offer 75% of net revenues and 10 free copies. Authors can purchase additional copies at 40% off list for paperback.
There is no upselling. We go over costs in detail before we offer a contract. There are no surprises or hidden fees.
Why shouldn’t I just do it myself?
That’s a question you’ll need to answer. There are some writers who don’t want to spend their time on all the details. It’s not rocket science--anyone can learn to do it. In fact, we’re happy to walk you through the process if you want to do it yourself.
But we believe that while writing is a solitary process, publishing isn’t. Whether you do it yourself or work with us, you will still need to call on professionals if you want your book to read well and look good. Working with us you have the benefit of a team that is already vetted and can make the process go more smoothly.
What kinds of books do you accept?
We have increased our focus on our main goal - to help authors who have already published in hardcover release those books in paperback and eBook. We also reissue books that have gone out of print.
For the past year, we've been turning down original fiction and nonfiction. Now we're rethinking that decision. We hate to disappoint authors, either by rejecting their work or by creating expectations that can't be met. So, now we're ready to take on new books, but only when the author understands exactly what we can do.
For a reasonable fee, we can: Give you a great cover; Put you in touch with some terrific editors; Create beautiful interiors; Provide all the ISBNs you need; Make your book available on Amazon and Ingram; Offer good advice.
Here's what we can't do: Offer distribution beyond Amazon and Ingam: Guarantee advance reviews; Provide marketing and promotion.
None of this is written in stone.
Why don't you do marketing and promotion?
Getting exposure for a new book gets harder every day. We don't have the reach, the budget, the connections to make sure your book will reach its audience. In the past we've had some success reaching readers. But that was before something close to one million books were being published each year.
Here's what else we've learned: While the big publishers are often able to draw attention to new books, we're just too small to make much of a dent. For publishers like ours, the best person to handle promotion is the author.
So we're no longer offering marketing and promotion. Authors are better off saving the money they'd spend with us and either putting it toward their own efforts or hiring a company that has experience in book publicity and marketing.
We'll offer guidance and advice. We'll work with any stores or venues where you have readings and signings. We'll make sure you have a beautiful book that's delivered on time.
Wait. You charge for your services. You don't have distribution. You don't do promotion. Tell me again why I should work with you?
Good question. Some of our authors want to publish a book in order to have the credentials to attract a larger publisher for the next book. Some want to sell foreign rights. Some want to gather their work - stories or essays - in one book. Other authors want to be sure their book gets published the way they want it. Once in a while, an author wants a book published for a small audience, like a family memoir. Some have been worn down by the process of attracting an agent and then getting a publisher. We've been surprised by all the different reasons authors have for choosing this route. But. We want to say again - this isn't for everyone. We know the drawbacks and will go over them with you as honestly as we can.
What should I send? Cover letter? Synopsis? First chapter? The whole manuscript?
Please send a brief letter telling us about your book (briefly) and why you're interested in publishing with Bacon Press Books. Please don't send a synopsis, chapters, or a whole manuscript. We prefer to start a conversation first, before we take a look at your work.
Just a note. If we decide not to take your book, in most cases we will not provide detailed comments on your work. Not because we don't care. But because we know another publisher may see things differently. We want authors to find the best home for their books.
How long does publishing take?
One to two months longer than you think it will when you start out. We say that from experience. Something always happens to cause a delay. But it often depends on how much editing your manuscript needs. Figure three to six months just to be safe.
Do you provide ISBNs? Library of Congress numbers?
Yes. We provide ISBNs for print and any digital formats and we file for the LOC number. The author files for copyright.
Do you publish print and eBooks simultaneously?
We leave that decision up to the author. We have the files formatted for both print and eBook so that they can be released at the same time, but some authors prefer to have the paperback out for a few weeks before releasing the eBook.
How do you print and distribute?
We use print on demand (POD). Right now we rely on Amazon’s Createspace and Ingram’s Lightning Source or Ingram Spark for paperback printing and distribution. We use Amazon’s Kindle Direct for eBooks. It’s up to the author whether we also use Smashwords,Spark or some other eBook distributor.
How often do you report sales/royalties? How often do you pay royalties?
We're trying out different systems. If sales are good, we try to report monthly, otherwise we report quarterly.
I’ve got a hardback copy of my book but no longer have the manuscript, can it be turned into a paperback and eBook?
Yes. We have just started working with a good book scanning company,
Can't you give me some idea how much money we're talking about?
We're reluctant to do this because our freelancers may change their rates at any time. And if you're doing a re-issue that doesn't need editing, only proofing, the cost will be less. But if you really need a ballpark figure - right now it's between $2000 to $2500. Subject to change. We wish we could say you'll make it all back in sales, but there's no way to predict that.