First and foremost, we’re a coaching organization. We’ve tried to identify all the things about independent publishing that don’t work for authors, and build solutions that will work. You may want to download and read our guide about the hidden hazards of independent publishing to learn more about challenges to be aware of.
Second, we are a printer. Authors need books. We know how to best print them.
Third, we’re focused on providing independent publishing services that work for authors. We don't do everything, but we offer the most important things.
What does the basic publishing process look like? How do I start?
While every book is different, there are some basic building blocks that make up a publishing project:
- ISBN, Barcode, and Copyright
- Interior Design
- Cover design
- eBook conversion
Every title will need a decision made in each of these areas – even if the decision is “No, I don’t want to spend time / energy / money on that right now.” The natural starting place for most projects is with the editorial process – getting your content as sharp as it can be. Since there are minor charges for making changes to your typeset book, and major charges for making a change once you’re looking at a press proof, the editorial stage is the time to hone your writing.
What is the average timeline for the publishing process?
This really varies depending on the project and the services that you as the publisher need to acquire for your book. If all you need is book printing, that can be 2-4 weeks (longer for a hard cover or full color book). If you need a full suite of publishing services, you can be looking at anywhere from 3-4 months or longer.
Can I supply my own cover?
You can, as long as you can supply the file in a format ready for the press. You need to be able to provide the complete cover (front cover, spine, and back cover) as a single file (high quality, print ready PDF format), designed to the right size, in CMYK color, and with all fonts embedded. The artwork needs to be high resolution (at least 300 pixels per inch). If that sounds really complex, you’re probably better off getting your cover design from us.
What are the advantages to having a professional cover design?
Well, for one, you don’t have to worry about all that technical gobbledygook at the end of the last question. More importantly, designing a book cover involves a lot more than just grabbing a piece of artwork, slapping a title on it, and saving the result. A professional designer is trained for things like how to place elements for maximum impact, how to draw a reader’s eye, how to reach certain demographics. They are familiar with the trends in the industry, and they work to create a cover that doesn’t just suit the book, but actually helps it to reach its audience.
Do you publish books in full-color?
We do. We have a strategic partner in the US who can do both short and long run printing with full-color interiors. We’ll gladly get some quotes for you.
Do you offer editorial services? How about design services? Marketing?
We do – BelieversBookServices is proud to be able to connect authors with the same editors, designers, printers, and marketers that large traditional publishing houses use.
Will my book have an ISBN?
We believe in making you the publisher. Your book needs an ISBN if you intend to sell it through retail establishments. If that’s part of your plan, then you can acquire an ISBN through us. As an authorized reseller for R.R. Bowker (the United States ISBN agency), we make sure that your ISBN is registered to you, not us.
Will my book be registered for a copyright certificate?
We encourage you to register your copyright. Since it can be done online directly with the United States Copyright office (www.copyright.gov) for a fee of $35, we haven’t seen a demand to find or build a service that registers on your behalf. If you have trouble with www.copyright.gov, let us know and we’ll help you to navigate it.
Will my book have a Library of Congress Card Catalog Number?
The LCCN program is only open to publishers who publish three titles or more, so you may or may not be eligible for that program. You can, however, hire a cataloging company to do publishers Catalog-In-Publiciation info, if you feel it would be helpful to have cataloging info on your copyright page.
What are the different eBook formats and what’s the difference between them?
It’s almost impossible to stay current with this answer! Right now, the two most common formats are EPUB (Used on the Nook, iPad, and more) and MOBI (used in Amazon’s Kindle store). We do eBook conversion in both of these formats, and you own the files.
What are the advantages of having my book available as an eBook?
eBook sales are one of the fastest growing areas in publishing. eBooks don’t ever tear, have binding issues, or discolor from prolonged exposure to the sun (well… your eReader might, but, we digress). They don’t have to be warehoused, they are portable, and if you lose your book, well, you just download it again from your account. eBooks are just plain convenient. They offer you, as the publisher, an additional avenue for sales and marketing.
However, eBooks have not even reached a majority of the sales for any category yet, and in recent months, growth has slowed to about 1% per year. eBooks should be a content strategy alongside traditional paper editions to maximize sales opportunities.
What is POD (Print-on-Demand)?
Print-on-Demand refers to a technology used to print and bind a single copy of a book at a time. Some publishers use POD as a method to maintain a book’s availability without maintaining inventory. Some publishers have gone to only ever producing books print-on-demand. You have to determine which method fits your needs better. Print-on-Demand is attractive because it doesn’t require any up-front investment in inventory, but you trade off the lower unit cost of books produced in larger quantities for that convenience.
If you are producing more than one copy at a time, this is referred to as short run printing, or micro inventory.
What is your print process?
BelieversBookServices is a solutions company rather than a printer. That means that we use the process that best fits your needs. If Print-on-Demand best suits your needs, we’ll get your book into production in our POD system. If it makes more sense to print short-run quantities , we’ll get your book into production in our digital book printing plant. If going with a larger print run on offset lithographic presses makes sense because you’ll need a large number of copies as cost-effectively as possible, then we’ll get your books into production in our offset plant. Don’t even need physical books? We’ll work with you on your eBook. And we’ll help you to navigate those waters and to know when to make the switch from POD to Digital to Litho and back.
What are your submission guidelines?
BelieversBookServices was created to serve independent authors and small publishers. We reserve the right not to publish or print defamatory or destructive content. We also reserve that right to cease production at any time any project that we deem to be in inappropriate, and will be responsible financially only to pro rate the project based on our existing investment.
We do work with authors who have quality content that may not have a faith element. Some of these products might be business books, gardening books, and even cookbooks. If you have a question regarding content, please contact us.
Who prints the Believers Press books?
BelieversBookServies has strategic alliances with many printers and we match your project with the best printing options.
We also have an in-house Print-on-Demand company specifically designed to help authors with direct to consumer sales called BookPrintOnDemand.com.
Is there a minimum print run?
For soft cover books, there is not a minimum print run. Print On Demand technology allows us to print literally one book at a time. There’s no maximum either, if you need millions, we can work with you on that as well. It just might take a little while longer than that single copy.
For hard cover books, we require a minimum of 100 copies.
Will I be able to review my book before it goes to print?
Of course! At each step in your publishing project, you’ll have the opportunity to review the results electronically. Additionally, we standardize the proofing process with electronic proofs – that is, we send a PDF of the final output of the book before we print anything. We can do printed proofs as well, but we do charge $75 for materials and overnight shipping.
What is your average turnaround time for a paperback book? Hardcover book?
It really depends on the quantity you’re looking at: from complete, press ready files, we can do up to 250 perfect bound (paperback) copies in 3-4 business days or longer, 250 – 500 copies in 10-12 business days, 500 – 750 copies in 12 or so business days, and 750 or more copies in about 15 business days. Hard cover and/or full color books usually take 4-6 weeks to produce. None of these times include time for shipping.
How does shipping work?
For books in the POD system, we ship them to wherever the shipping address says to ship.
If your book is being produced in either our digital or litho plant, we include the handling of up to 3 drop ship locations (freight costs additional). If you need to ship to more locations than that, we add $25 for handling for each additional location. We’ll get quotes from the most cost effective providers we can find, and charge you based on the best quotes.
What method do you use for shipping?
We use US Mail and UPS for smaller shipments, and a network of LTL (less-than-truckload) trucking companies for larger shipments. If your book is being produced in either our digital or litho plant, we include the handling of up to 3 drop ship locations (freight costs additional). If you need to ship to more locations than that, we add $25 for handling for each additional location. We’ll get quotes from the most cost effective providers we can find, and charge you based on the best quotes.
Do I get to keep the rights for my book?
Yes! At BelieversBookServices, we’re not interested in taking your hard work from you. Everything we do is a work for hire. It’s all yours.
How should I go about marketing my book?
You have to start by figuring out who your target audience is. If your answer is “Everyone” or “Every Christian,” then you don’t have a target audience and you need to start over. Your target audience needs to be a well-defined part of the population that is identifiable by certain traits. Once you identify your target audience, it’s time to put together a plan. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your target audience.
- What are they reading?
- What are their other interests?
- Where are they most likely to buy a book?
- Who do they listen to when it comes to book recommendations?
- Are they already gathered somewhere online? Where?
- What magazines / newspapers / resources do they regularly consume?
- If you could secure one endorsement, who would have the most impact?
- If you could advertise in only one place, what would be most successful?
Answering these questions will help you to begin developing your marketing plan.
When should I start marketing my book?
When should I start marketing my book? Yesterday. Really, it’s never too soon to start marketing a book. This should be a function of your marketing plan, but you should be doing anything (and everything) you can do to create excitement for your book launch.
How can I use social media to promote my book?
If your target audience is active in social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc,) then you need to be finding ways to participate in the dialogue they’re having there. Don’t try to force it – they’ll know. Just participate. Be there. Be talking about the things that are important to you. Those are usually the things your book is about – great how that works out, isn’t it?