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Monday, February 19, 2018
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Self-publishing FAQs

Please note, at the present time Oceanbooks is not accepting new editorial enquiries.

What’s the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing?

Traditional publishing houses review authors’ manuscripts and choose a small number of books to publish each year. If a book is chosen to be published, it will go through an editing and design process before being printed and authors are paid either in an advance or in royalties once the book is being sold. The share paid to authors varies based on different factors including how well-established the author is and how many copies the publisher is able to sell, but authors generally only receive between 8% and 15% of the selling-price of each book.

In self-publishing the production and printing of the book, as well as marketing and distribution, is carried out by the author. There is more work involved, but after printing and other costs are paid authors generally receive a much larger payout on each book. Many authors who don’t have the skills to edit or design the book’s layout will pay a company like Oceanbooks to provide those parts of the process for them.


How do I get started with self-publishing?

Write! You need to get that story down on page before you can get it published.

Once you have your manuscript ready, contact us to talk about your project. We can provide a no-obligation quote based on your specifications and talk about a package that will work for you.


Why should I get my book proofread or edited?

It’s about making sure your book is the best it can possibly be. Even professional authors who have been writing bestselling books for years get their work edited. A fresh eye can do wonders for making your words shine and removing silly mistakes from the copy.

Check out this article for an editor’s perspective on getting your book edited.


What if I disagree with the Oceanbooks editing team about something?

Oceanbooks believes strongly in letting the author’s voice be heard loud and clear so we won’t suggest any changes to your inherent style. We’ll provide you with as much information as we can about our suggestions regarding changes to your manuscript, so hopefully you’ll understand where our editor is coming from.

If you disagree with any of our suggestions you are welcome to keep your original words - after all, as a self-publisher you have to be prepared to stand behind your own work at all times.


Can Oceanbooks just do the layout for me?

Yes. Oceanbooks can do any part of the process of preparing your book for print, although we do recommend authors to go through an editing process as well.


What about getting my book printed?

Oceanbooks provides editorial and pre-printing services but we are not a printing press. We can do everything that’s needed to get your book ready for the printer but after we are finished our job it is up to the printer to get the design on paper. The costs of producing a print book vary widely based on a number of considerations - how many pages, whether it’s full-colour or black and white, whether there are a lot of images or mainly words - and that is something you will have to negotiate with the printer once the layout design is completed.

If you are working on a tight budget and need to know the cost of printing before we start your editing or layout, we can liaise with a few printers based on the project specifications to get a rough idea of the cost before we get started, so you can be sure you can afford the whole process.


What about ebooks?

Ebooks are a popular way of reading books on an electronic device. They’re convenient and extremely portable, and also cost less to buy than print books, so many readers prefer to buy ebooks.

From an author’s perspective, ebooks are a less expensive way of publishing your book, as you don’t have to pay for a full print run. Once your ebook file has been created (something we can help you with), the file can be shared (or sold) again and again with no additional cost.


What is the advantage of getting the OB package?

If you decide to go through the whole Oceanbooks process of proofreading, editing, cover and layout design we are able to give you a much broader and more comprehensive service.

In addition to this we will waive our usual fees for liaising with a printer, creating your ebook, and listing your book on the oceanbooks.co.nz bookshop (although we will still take a small commission from each book sold).

Books in the bookshop that have been through the entire Oceanbooks package take priority of place in our scrolling banners and featured products lists.


Is there a preferential price for authors looking to have work done on more than one book?

Contact us to discuss discounts for multiple-book projects.


Will you market my book for me?

Oceanbooks provides a marketplace for your book to be sold but authors are responsible for promoting their own works from there. We do general advertising in a number of places for our website and bookstore but do not currently offer marketing packages for individual books or authors. We can, however, put you in touch with distributors and marketing professionals who can help you with advertising your book(s).


How should I send you my book for editing?

We accept manuscripts in word processor formats like .doc or .docx . If you haven’t typed your manuscript up, but have written it by hand or recorded it as an audio file, it must be transcribed before we can begin our work editing and proofreading.

We offer transcription services at reasonable rates if you require assistance with that.

Images for cover design or the pages of your book should be supplied in .jpeg format.