We can offer a full service for both first time and already published authors. Of course you don’t need to use the full service and we don’t practice hard sell. Just pick what services you need and remember they start at free for eBook formatting. This is unlike some of the larger overseas companies which will try and sell you a complete package at many thousands of dollars.
We discovered that being one author alone with the main internet retailers such as Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple could leave the author at a disadvantage.
The problems we found were many. Examples were that it can take a long time to build up to the retailers minimum payment level unless the book was catapulted into a big seller early on. One of the major retailers insists on paying by bank cheque if the author is outside the US and the bank charges in clearing the cheque can eat 10% of its value. Withholding tax on non-US residents without an IRS tax number is 30% while having a number as we do reduces this to 5%.
The above is just the financial side of aggregating. I think there is also a built in support network for the author, who is often alone in what he is doing. Few books are communal efforts. More often we are sitting at a desk in a very individual creative process.
This is a free service for text manuscripts supplied as a digital file. For more graphic heavy titles we will quote the cost of layout and formatting. For manuscripts without a digital file in such formats as Word, RTF or PDF we can organized scanning and digitizing with optical character recognition (OCR). We will quote on the cost of doing this which will depend on the number of pages.
We will generate the two main eBook formats, Mobi and Epub, but if needed we will also make a PDF version. We need to have the right to sell these eBooks for one year on the major internet eBook retailers from which the author will receive 70% of the net income from sales while we will keep 30%. This arrangement can continue on a yearly basis if both the author and we agree to it.
We are happy to organize printing in Thailand for almost any quantity. We can quote the cost when we know the number of pages, the graphics if any, and any special needs the book has. We can supply print on demand technology for smaller print runs and more traditional printing for larger runs.
In the old days it was just wasn’t economic to print small runs. For a novel it didn’t make sense without at least an order for 500 copies. Today with many printers having print on demand equipment you can start with just 20 copies to use as samples.
In a bookshop the cover is what attracts the customer to pick up a book, and on the internet it’s not much different. The importance of the cover should not be under-estimated. If you already have a good design or photograph you want to use that is fine. It should be of fairly high resolution as the online eBook retailers have minimum sizes that can be used. Somewhere around 1500 by 2500 pixels should be fine.
An eBook needs the front cover design while a printed edition needs the front, back and spine as a single design. It’s printed as one page of heavy stock. We can supply a cover design service for both digital eBook and printed editions.
We are happy to supply experienced editors to any authors who need one. They do say that the worse person to edit a book is the author him or herself. It’s not just the typos or grammar and spelling mistakes, it can be discontinuities in the story.
Payments and Taxes
Because we started as a book retailer our terms have always been loaded towards whoever supplies us with books. We sold the books of various publishers and authors taking a commission on the list price. With our foray into eBooks in 2010 we continued along the same lines, taking a fairly standard 30% commission on the net income from sales. So the author gets a straight 70% of the net. It’s probably worth checking around on what other aggregators offer you, but I think you will find our offer is the best around.
Because we are based in Thailand our expertise is in getting the sales income back into Thailand for redistribution. We can also pay via PayPal for those not residing here.
We have obtained an IRS tax number in America which reduces withholding tax from 30% to 5% for Thai registered companies. This of course helps all of our bottom lines.
We will update sales figures from the various eBook retailers for individual authors on a regular basis. We aim to be as transparent as possible so authors can see how they are doing.
We do not distribute printed books to local retailers except for our own online book websites, but we do have many connections with companies which do. As a book retailer we are dealing with them every day and we have built good relationships with various distributors. We would be happy to give you an introduction to distributors we think may be of help.
We can obtain ISBNs (International Standard Book Number) from the Thai National Library at no cost to the author.
Books with many graphics do pose a problem with eBook formatting which is very targeted at text based books. Never the less it can be achieved. One problem is that some of the major eBook retailers discriminate against, or have caps on large file sizes. This will change as bandwidths get greater and the cost of moving data falls. Certainly some of the retailers are looking at giving their customers cloud online storage. Apple who have always considered themselves graphics orientated are happy for us to place graphic books on their iTunes shop.
The combination of print on demand and digital cameras brings a whole new option for displaying and archiving personal photographs. Now you can produce bound books of your special photographs at a reasonable price. Whether it’s a wedding or a one-in-a-lifetime trip, the photographic record can be saved for both yourself and future generations.
Dedicated Book Website:
The mainstream publishers use dedicated websites for new book releases as part of their marketing. You may well have seen one. They usually have an address something like nameofbookandpossiblytheauthorsname.com. There is no reason why the independent author cannot do the same. We would be happy to supply such a website at a remarkably low price.
Scanning and OCR:
Although we do not do this ourselves we can arrange a very reasonably priced scan and OCR (optical character recognition) of your manuscript if you do not have a digitized file of it. We will quote on it although the cost will reflect the physical condition of the typed or printed manuscript.
The Future of Digital Publishing
Who really knows where this publishing revolution will end up, but we can start to get a few ideas. A much over-used word, multimedia, we suspect will take pride of place in this new world. The written word may well be accompanied by the spoken word in the same publication. Video could well replace pictures as a norm. Whatever the future we will attempt to be there supplying authors with whatever expertise is needed.
Just a quick mention of copyright. At no time in the process does anyone other than the author own the copyright of their book.
Some Examples of our work