What is it that sets WordCrafts Press apart from traditional publishing companies and from self-publishing?
That is not only a good question, it is an essential question.
The most obvious thing that sets WordCrafts Press apart is our integration of the best of both publishing concepts. Traditional publishing companies are big. We’re not. If you self-publish you are pretty much on your own. With WordCrafts Press, you are not. Traditional publishing companies work through the traditional publishing channels—like bookstores and Amazon and distribution companies; so do we. Self-published authors rely on word of mouth, self-promotion and non-traditional channels such as ebooks and bloggers to help get the word out; so do we.
Traditional publishing companies have so many employees and so much overhead that they have to sell at least 5,000 units of any book in order to break even. We don’t have employees; we have independent contractors. We work on a cooperative basis, so when the book sells any copies, everyone involved makes money.
Traditional publishing companies will try to get into bookstores and mass merchandisers. WordCrafts Press makes our books available to traditional brick & mortar stores, but we’ve found everyone involved makes a lot more money by selling directly to the consumer through non-traditional channels.
Traditional publishers print 5,000 to 10,000 copies of a book at a time and have to worry about shipping, warehousing, deep discounts, and returns from bookstores. WordCrafts Press relies solely on print on demand technology to print books as they are ordered. We cover all the costs associated with publishing the book, including obtaining the ISBN number, cover art, editing and layout. There is never a cost or charge to the author.
WordCrafts Press is a small, independent press. We answer to no one except God (and maybe the IRS), so we don’t have to let the market dictate what we publish. We publish fiction and non-fiction as well as stage plays. We are open to virtually any genre, provided the work is not in opposition to a Christian worldview.
The essence of what WordCrafts Press offers is a sense of ‘team.’ Part of that is a ‘two heads are better than one’ mentality to attacking questions about marketing, but it goes deeper than that. At its core WordCrafts Press provides our authors with a home, so they don’t feel like they are out there banging their heads against the wall on their own. There is a real sense of ‘we’re in this together.’
Our philosophy is one of the slow but steady burn, rather than the blockbuster. That means we spend a lot of our time cultivating relationships with book bloggers to encourage reviews, blog tours, guest blogs and fan interaction. It’s kind of like the concept of friendship evangelism; building a following one book buyer at a time. And yes, it is a time consuming process. It certainly takes a lot more time to contact each individual blogger, one by one, than to blast out a broad scale press release to 600 newspapers (which we also do) – but we tend to get greater response from the one on one contacts.
Best of all for the author – while the common royalty rate in traditional publishing ranges from 6-12 percent of the wholesale price of the book, WordCrafts Press offers royalties that are at least 5 times that rate. In addition, out of it’s own pocket WordCrafts Press contributes a percentage of each book’s income to a charity designated by the author. Authors can purchase copies of their own book at a significant discount from retail.
On the downside, and there is always a downside, WordCrafts Press does not offer author advances. Ever. Period. Nada. Zip. Of course, that means you earn royalties from the sale of the very first copy of your book; and WordCrafts Press pays royalties every month – not quarterly as is standard in the traditional publishing industry. You will rarely see your title on the shelf of a brick & mortar bookstore unless you have a personal relationship with the bookstore’s buyer. While WordCrafts Press is intensely interested in the success of every book we publish (after all, we don’t make any money if the book doesn’t sell), and we will certainly be involved in the marketing of each and every book we publish, we are primarily a publisher, not a marketing company. The vast majority of marketing activities is the responsibility of the author. On the other hand, that is increasingly true for traditional publishing companies, particularly if your last name is not ‘King’ or ‘Rowling.’
Are you going to get rich off the royalties from your book and retire to the Bahamas? Probably not. While a traditional publishing company might sell 5,000 units of a novel and call it an abject failure, our authors might sell 300 units of a novel and call it a bestseller. And they will probably make more money from those 300 than the traditional author earned from the 5,000.
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