Self-publishers have a myriad of questions - If you can't find the answer within this website, send us a 'quick post' on the left and we will respond - we may even include on this page for the benefit of all.
Q. Where are you located? Can I come and visit to discuss my project?
A. Our factory is located in Northbridge, Western Australia, and head office in East Fremantle. We prefer to discuss via email and telephone until you are happy with our costings and offerings. We can then book a meeting to discuss the finer details, and we can show you examples of paper, print finishes etc. before proceeding. Most of our clients are east-coast based and all communications can easily take place remotely, thanks to the wonders and efficiency of the internet and telephone. Sample books are available on request.
Q. What is the difference between, Self Publish Australia, VIVID Publishing and Fontaine Press.
A. Self Publish Australia is Fontaine Press’ self-publishing division set up to assist authors with self-publishing and book printing. VIVID Publishing is our author-assisted publishing imprint - most times we can publish your title under VIVID, which means your work is allocated a unique ISBN identifier, barcode for the back cover, and we submit your work for cataloguing with the National Library, relevant book trade databases and directories, and we create a dedicated web page to promote your book. As well, VIVID authors have the option of overseas POD and we can submit to Google Books for indexxing. Fontaine Press is our parent company - a traditional publishing firm with national distribution into bookstores for all it’s titles - Fontaine staff work hand-in-hand every day within the book-trade and as such know the trade intimately for the benefit of all Vivid’s authors.
Q. How do I apply/register for copyright?
A. Copyright is automatic in Australia - there is no need to apply for copyright. All Vivid Publishing books are registered with the National Library, which adds another layer of protection.
Q. Do I retain the rights to my book?
A. Absolutely, you deserve and retain all rights. If you choose to publish under our Vivid Publishing imprint, you also retain all rights, however, we are listed as your ‘publisher’.
Q. What if a big publisher wants to sign me up after I’ve published with VIVID Publishing?
A. Congratulations! VIVID is an author-assisted publishing imprint - we do not hold any rights whatsover over your work - just as if you were to self-publish. Your professionally produced VIVID book selling well is probably the best way of gaining the attention of the large publisher (if that is your ultimate goal).
design / edit / layout
Q. What is a ‘print-ready PDF’ - how do I create one from my Word Doc
A. If you have a professional designer designing your book, or you are happy with your computer and design skills and want to produce exacty what we will print, you can supply us with print-ready PDF. See our guidelines here. There is NO SET-UP charge if PDF correctly set-up is supplied.
Q. Can you print from my final Word doc?
A. If set up correctly following our print-guidelines HERE , then this is the most economical way of setting up your book for printing aside from a print-ready PDF. Otherwise, we offer an economical interior layout service to professionally layout your text similar to most professionally published books in bookstores.
Q. Can you help with cover design? If so, how much?
A. Yes we can, we have qualified graphic designers that will work to produce an attractive, appropriate cover design within your budget. Cost, in general terms:
Budget: Simple yet attractive design from supplied text and a single pic. from $250+GST
Plus: Our minimum design service to compete against others in the marketplace from $450+GST
Premium: Your hard work deserves the best cover you can afford - keep in mind that yes, your book will be judged by it’s cover from $850+GST.
Q. Where do I sell my books?
A. Ideally direct to your readers. You, the author, are the one most qualified to know where your target market congregate, shop and socialise. Think laterally... We also recommend you to seek a book publicist professional assistance if planning a large print-run.
Q. Do you proof-read, edit or check my manuscript for errors?
A. We do not generally appraise or read fully your manuscript unless you would like to contract us to edit or proof-read. Manuscript assessment here.
Q. I have illustrations/graphs/photos I want to insert into my book - is this possible?
A. Yes - but please be aware colour is extremely expensive compared to black & white, so use colour sparingly. Supply images separately, and indicate where they should be inserted in your manuscript. Or you can insert inline in your Word doc.
Q. Can you appraise my work?
A. Contact Sean Doyle at LYNK Manuscript Assessments. Let him know we sent you.
Q. I have a hardcopy of a manuscript. Can you re-type or use what I have?
A. Yes, if handwritten, we can type into manuscript format. If it is typewritten hard copies, we can scan using special OCR (optical character recognition software) that will convert to a digital editable file ready for formatting.
standard book formats / illustrations
Q. Do you have an inhouse illustrator or know any that I can use for my childrens book?
A. Yes, contact us
Q. What are you standard paperback book formats?
A. A6 105mm x 148mm
A Format 111mm x 181mm
B format 128mm x 198mm
B+ format 135mm x 200mm
A5 210mm x 148mm
C format 152mm x 235mm
C+ format 180mm x 235mm
Publishing methods / isbn
Q. What is print-on-demand (POD)? Do you offer this?
A. Yes we do - more information on print-on-demand here
Q. Do you assign an ISBN to my book? What actually is an ISBN?
A. Authors whose books will published under VIVID Publishing, our publishing imprint, will have a unique ISBN assigned to their book. The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books allowing for more efficient identification by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.
Q. Do you list my book with Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc?
A. VIVID authors have the opportunity of their book being listed via our print-on-demand service with Amazon and thousands of other book retailers. More details here.
Q. Do you publish e-books?
A. Yes, we can produce an e-book from your final print-ready file for an extra charge - available from early 2011 to Vivid authors only.
printing / stocks / quantities
Q. Are reprints cheaper? How long do reprints take?
A. Reprints are marginally cheaper, as there is no need for the proofing/prepress process. Reprints are generally 1-2 weeks quicker to produce.
Q. What is the minimum print-run of books you print?
A. For paperbacks, our minimum is 50, although we recommend requesting a costing also for 100 books to compare unit costs. Full colour books our minimum is 1,000 books. This is because colour has a proportionally large set-up cost, and it isn’t practical or viable to supply less. Hardcover with black only text inside, our minimum is 50 books.
Q. How many books should I print?
A. Popular question! This can depend on a number of factors, your budget, commercial viability, expected sales, even your available storage space. Very loosely speaking, ordering 100 books if all sold direct to readers, you will break even. 200 books, you can expect to cover expenses after 130 books, rest 100% profit. Order 1,000 books if you are confident of selling 300 books - you will most likely cover your costs and have 700 books to sell for 100% profit.
Q. What paper stock do you use?
A. That all depends on the book and print-run. For a standard paperback we mainly use a specialty book printing stock called 73gsm Bulky Paperback. Most large Australian publishers use a similar, if not identical stock. We also can use some variants of this; creme varieties, lighter cheaper stocks, whiter less bulky stocks, and for short-run books with many images we can print on heavier offset matt white stock. Ask us for details about the most appropriate choice of stock for your next book. Unlike alot of companies who print on non-specialist ‘photocopier 80gsm’ paper, our paper stocks are those of choice by all discerning authors and large publishers. Be wary of any printers offering to print your book on 80gsm bond, this will betray their non-specialty book printer origins.
Q. Do you employ environmentally friendly practises in your business and production of your books?
A. Yes, we certainly do. We were the first Australian print & publishing company to utilise 100% carbon-neutral web-servers to run our websites, email and data transfer. Fontaine Press, our parent company, was one of the first publishers in Australia pioneering the use of 100% government accredited carbon-neutral stock called ENVIbook (details here) - request this stock on your next book (offset print runs over 1,000 books). Our print suppliers and contractors have made a commitment to the Federal Government Greeenhouse Challenge to strive for major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions throughout the book printing process. For example, pulping all waste paper for recycling, extracting silver & aluminium content from film & plates for recycling, systems are in place to ensure chemicals do not leak into waste water and sewerage systems. Fontaine Press staff & management choose to fly carbon-neutral.
Q. How long will it take to print/receive my books?
A. For paperback books, please allow at least 4-5 weeks, once final text/cover layout has been signed off and full payment made. Full colour hardcover books, please allow 10-12 weeks. These estimates may vary less or more depending on workload - check with us at the time of placing your next print-run order.
Q. I have had books printed from other printers that pages have fallen out. Will yours?
A. No - although we offer full replacement if this were to occur, we have never had any complaints that books we have produced have been faulty or of limited life. We are aware of a number of printers offering cheaper book printing services who use substandard binding methods and glues, buyer beware!
Q. I have a certain specialty finish/stock/varnish/embossing/flap requirement that I would like a quote on. Can you assist?
A. Yes, but please be aware that specifications outside our normal print parameters will cost significantly more, and the custom quoting process will be more involved and take at least 1-2 weeks.
digital v offset printing
Q. What is the difference between ‘Digital printing’ and ‘Offset printing’?
A. Offset printing uses plates and inks to impress onto paper. The makeready process of offset varies, but often requires 20-30 minutes to burn the plates, as well as time to mount, register the plates, and bring the output “up to colour”. It often takes an hour or more to print a single page. Once up and running however, the economies and speed of offset printing for print runs over 750 generally will be better than digital processes. Digital printing however, uses a different technology altogether. It images with very fine toner (much like a very large photocopier). The time it takes to output the first page is usually well under a minute, therefore this latest technology makes short printing runs, ie from 50 to about 750 books less expensive, as well as quicker to produce than offset printing.
payment / gst
Q. When do you require payment? What form of payment do you accept?
A. For first time orders, we require payment in full before we can commence. If we are undertaking to publish under VIVID Publishing, we firstly require Stage A Publishing payment including any design or editing work we are undertaking. Once work is ready for printing, we require Stage B Printing payment in full before we can commence the pre-press & print process.
Q. How much is this GST? How can I avoid paying GST
A. GST is a government sales tax of 10%. We are compelled to charge this. If you have a sizeable print order, we suggest looking into setting up a ‘sole-trader’ business that is registered for GST. This way you can get your GST 100% refunded via your tax return.
book samples / proofs
Q. Do you supply samples. Where can I see samples of your work?
A. Yes, we do supply sample books. As we hold no stock, and we have a large demand for sample books, we have arranged with selected authors to offer their books direct to you at wholesale rates. If you proceed with a book order (over 100 books), we will refund entirely your purchase. Contact us for further information.
Q. Do you offer book storage?
A. Yes we do, $3 per box per month, $30/month min charge.
Q. Do you offer a printed proof before going to print?
A. If your print order is less than 1,000 books, we can offer a printed bound proof including cover for an extra $50+GST, and will add 4 days to turnaround. Over 1,000 paperback books we can optionally send you a bound, trimmed proof, plus seprate cover, this proof will need to be returned to us - add at least 5 days to turnaround, cost $180+GST.
bookstores / distribution / selling
Q. Can you distribute my book?
A. We supply all the services to put your work’s best foot forward in the marketplace, however we do not offer distribution. If you will be seeking distribution, please discuss this with us before the design & printing process, as there is certain things you will need to be aware of to make this viable, such as minimum quantities, level of design, layout & editing. Once your book is printed under a Vivid ISBN, we can suggest relevant companies to approach to handle distribution.
Q. How do I get my book into bookstores?
A. Is this your ultimate goal? If you want to sell as many books as possible at the greatest profit, unless you have a large PR/Publicity budget or a high media profile, bookstores are perhaps the least desirable place to sell your book. The trade insist on large discounts, usually on consignment basis only. Your book will be competing against countless others - usually spine out only on the shelf. The chance of the casual browser ‘discovering’ your book is small. So unless you get significant exposure through the media, your best bet is to concentrate selling direct to your niche. If your ultimate goal is still getting your book into bookstores, your local independent bookstores are your best bet - they love local authors, and with some added support from the local media, you may just be able to achieve healthy sales.
Q. What should I charge for my book?
A. The best way to evaluate what your book should retail for, is to go into a large bookstore and compare a similar genre with same format and similar page count. Loosely speaking, B+ format books RRP (recommended retail price) $24.95, C Format books RRP $32.95. Hardcover, business books and books without competition can command alot more. Don’t add your price to the back cover of your book.
Q. Can I sell my book via the internet?
A. Absolutely - we encourage this and offer a web page enabling you to do this as standard with every VIVID Publishing title. And for a minimal $80+GST, we can set up a ‘buy now’ button on your dedicated web page which will allow anyone to purchase online via their credit card - where you receive 100% of the proceeds and order emailed direct to you to action.
Q. I hear some self-published books by VIVID have been picked up by mainstream traditional publishers, and/or gained national distribution. Is this true.
A. Yes, a number of our authors have national book distribution, and 2 authors so far have been signed up on traditional publisher royalty based contracts. All VIVID titles end up on our parent traditional publishing firm desk for consideration.
Q. What do bookstore and distributors charge to stock my book?
A. Bookstores expect around 35%-45% on consignment basis, and FIS (free in store which means you pay to get the books to their store). Distributors expect from 65%-75% of the retail price, which includes the bookstore discount. Hefty percentages means large quantities of books need to be printed to reduce unit cost sufficiently to be viable and maintain a profit margin.
PR / marketing / advertising
Q. Do you offer PR/Marketing services to get my book out there in the media?
A. Yes, our specialist book publicist may be able to assist (non-fiction titles only).
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