Do I own all the rights to my book?
Yes. You own the copyright and all print and reproduction rights. You can do anything you want with your book.
Do I get all the profits from my book?
Yes. We take absolutely no money from the sale of your book, and all accounts are set up in your name and under your ownership.
Who is the publisher?
You don’t have to use our publishing imprint. We can essentially create a new publishing company for you with any name you like. It’s completely up to you who the named publisher of the book is.
How do royalties work?
You own 100% of the royalties for your book.
Why don't you take royalties? Doesn't that align our incentives?
No, it actually does the opposite. The best strategy to get a great book for you is to use the service-based model, where we are paid a fee and you own all rights and all royalties.
This is because under a service-based model we get paid for ensuring that your book serves your goals (such as getting speaking gigs or finding clients or creating influence), as opposed to a royalty-based model, where we are incentivized to focus only on selling copies (regardless of whether it serves your goals).
Is PortableVoices Self-Publishing Professional?
Yes, but possibly not in the sense that you are thinking about. This is a long explanation because the book publishing business is so weird.
When people ask, “Is this self-publishing?” what they tend to mean is, “Will this be unprofessional?” To that, the answer is obviously: “No, it’s professional.” You’re hiring us for that exact reason—to ensure that your book not only gets done, but is done professionally.
Furthermore, your book is published by an established publishing company. So the answer to the self-publishing question is: “No, it’s not self-publishing.”
But in fairness, this question used to be more relevant. Before self-publishing existed in its current form, there were only two options: traditional publishing, or what were called “vanity presses.” With these options, having a “traditionally published” book—which meant a New York publisher gave you an advance—was a signal that you were serious and credible, whereas being published by other means (a vanity press) was a signal that you weren’t credible.
This is just no longer the case. Today, most books are published outside of the traditional publishing system. Vanity presses have for the most part disappeared, and they have been replaced with a number of what are called “hybrid” publishing companies. These vary widely in the quality of the books they produce, but many are absolutely credible and professional.
Can you get my books into a bookstore?
Yes and no. This is a complicated answer, again because the publishing business is so weird.
Yes, we make your book available for order and sale in bookstores and retail outlets. All our books are put into the Ingram database, and can be ordered in every bookstore in the country.
No, we do not automatically put your book in bookstores. This is because bookstores carry very few books, reserving their limited space for established authors or books from publishers who are paying for shelf space.
You generally need to sell at least 25,000 copies before bookstores become interested in carrying your book. That’s the bad news. The good news is that being in bookstores doesn’t really matter anymore. A book sitting on a shelf doesn’t sell in most cases. In terms of buyer behavior, most people who shop at Jumia Book also shop on Amazon, so if they don’t see a book at Jumia Books, they’ll just go to Amazon. In other words, lack of bookstore distribution in and of itself doesn’t necessarily lose you very many sales.
The reality is, for almost all authors, being in a bookstore is purely about ego, and not about actual ROI. We don’t deny that going into a bookstore and seeing your book on the shelf is nice, but having a book in a bookstore does almost nothing in terms of sales or awareness. It is only a status object.
How much do you charge for copies? Will I be able to order personal copies at a discounted price?
We don’t charge you anything for copies. You get to buy copies at the print cost. For print on demand paperback, Kindle Direct Publishing not only prints books for approximately $4 a copy when they’re ordered through Amazon, but they’ll sell the author these books at the same cost. At any time after the book is published, you can order copies in any quantities you’d like at this discounted price, direct from the printer (we don’t make money on copies).
If you are looking for a larger quantity of books (1,000 or more), we set you up with a commercial offset printer to handle this request. They can provide better prices at large quantities. We take no markup.
Who designs the book covers? Do I get to give feedback on that?
Your book cover and manuscript interior layout will be designed by our designers, but you have full creative control.
Before we start the design process, you’ll have a long conversation with the Creative Director to understand your vision for the cover (if you have any). We organize this information into a design brief and use it to create a series of initial cover designs, which you will review and give feedback on. Just like all parts of our process, you will have full, 100% approval of your cover.
What marketing comes with the Scribe Publishing package?
There are three goals of the marketing that’s included in the PortableVoices Self-Publishing package.
We will manage the logistics to run an Amazon Bestseller Campaign that focuses on maximizing early sales, reviews, and rankings, all to build the foundation of early credibility for your book’s long term success.
We will also support you in promoting the book to your connections by creating social media graphics for the book, crafting a book announcement email, gifting free copies to your friends and family, and creating a strategy for you to get the support of influencers who you know.
By the end of the first week of your book release, your book should have Amazon bestseller status, a burst of early sales, a baseline of reviews, awareness among your network, and you should have a plan for how to continue to leverage it going forward. In addition to your First Week Promotions, you will receive a Digital Launch toolkit that includes a book landing page, an email campaign created for your target audience, and a full media kit.
We do offer other add-on marketing packages as well.