|Links to information|
for independent publishers
People who are new to publishing find out quickly that there are a great many vendors who are eager to separate them from their money. Choosing the right ones can make the difference between success and failure. On this page, we list only information sources, goods, and services with which we've had favorable first-hand experience. We hope that fellow publishers will find the information to be useful.
Sites With a Wide Range of Publishing Information
There are quite a few sites with valuable information for new publishers and self publishers. Here are a few that are well worth visiting, and referring back to often.
The Midwest Book Review edited by Jim Cox not only reviews hundreds of small-press books but also offers advice and listings of resources.
Pete Masterson offers an exhaustive listing of book printers, as well as design tips and other valuable in formation.
Dan Poynter is . . . well, if you've even thought about starting a small publishing company, you've encountered Dan Poynter. But don't forget to revisit his site now and then, and to subscribe to his free newsletter.
John Kremer is one of the best-known authorities on book marketing, and his BookMarket site is a tremendous resource.
Cathy Stucker is an author-publisher who has assembled a site with a number of helpful articles.
Small-Press/Independent Publisher Organizations
If you join just one organization, we believe every independent publisher should belong to IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Organization, formerly PMA) and/or one of its many local affiliates. We have been members since the mid '80s and its programs have been essential to our publishing success. Upper Access Publisher Steve Carlson is a former member of the IBPA board of directors.
We are also members of SPAN, whose rolls consist more of newer self-publishers, but we still find its newsletter and benefits to be well worth the membership fee.
And don't ignore your local and regional groups. Many are IBPA affiliates, so local dues may be offset by a reduction in IBPA dues. If you live in New England, or have books of interest to New Englanders, we hope you'll join us as members of IPNE, a rapidly growing organization with a great many benefits and low dues. (Disclosure: Upper Access Publsher Steve Carlson is currently president of IPNE.)
Links are as follows:
Cover Design and Book Layout
The book artist we have worked with on our last several titles is Kitty Werner of RSB Press. She is an expert in use of InDesign and other relevant software, and has many outstanding books to her credit. If she is available, we strongly recommend her services.
For expert indexing at reasonable rates, we recommend Rosalie Carlson at Carlson Indexing in Portland, Oregon.
Book Fulfillment Services
At Upper Access, we know quite a bit about fulfillmenthaving run a service for over ten years. When we decided to focus on our other pursuits, we evaluated all of our fulfillment "competitors" and determined that BCH Fulfillment and Distribution was the best. It still is. Note, however, that "fulfullment is a very broad term. Every company has different services, different strengths, and different prices, so it may be a good idea to shop around for the specific services you need.
Google Book Search
This is in a category by itself. It is somewhat controversial among some publishers, but at Upper Access, our experience has been very positive. People search a subject via Google, and find that it's covered in a book we publish. It's usually a book they wouldn't have known about otherwise. Google takes them right to a page where they can find out more about the book, and they can click to order it on our Web site. What's not to like? This is tremendous publicity for our books, and it costs us nothing. For more details, check Google's writeup of Upper Access as a Google Partner Success Story!
For small presses, it is increasingly difficult to distribute nationally to bookstores without a trade distributor. There may be any number of excellent ones, and certain distributors may be best for certain types of titles. The ones with which we have had direct, positive experience, are the following:
Midpoint Trade Books is now handling most of our trade sales in the U.S. We are extremely pleased with the work they do.
Beagle Bay is an outstanding smaller distributor. Check its current line of books and policies to see if your book would fit.
BCH Fulfillment and Distribution, listed above as a fulfillment house, also serves as a trade distributor for selected publishers.
Smaller and newer publishers often have difficulty being accepted by a major trade distributor, because they lack the requisite number of titles or sales history. If you are in that position, and would like trade distribution, check the distribution program offered as a member benefit of IBPA.
For a lengthy list of reputable printers, check Pete Masterson's site, listed above. Here are the printers we've chosen, after careful shopping, for our own projects.
Fidlar Doubleday has the cutting edge technology for digital printing. We have used them several times to print our galleys, and would include them on our quote list for any book to be printed on in an extremely short run. However, their prices seem to have risen recently, so it pays to shop around, particularly in the quickly and constantly changing field of digital (sometimes called POD) printing.
For our most recent galleys, we received the best quote from Mira., and found the service to be excellent and the quality outstanding. We have also heard good things about a number of other digital printers, so do check around, but as noted, we are mentioning here only companies with whom we have first-hand experience. Therefore, ask your friends and colleagues for references, and request quotes from several printers, at least for your first couple of projects.
SeparaColor seems to consistently offer the best prices on full-color printing of brochures, fliers, and postcards. They specialize in these products, and their service is excellent. Like book printing, specialists in these printing jobs can offer much lower prices than general-purpose printers. There are several others specializing in flyers, postcards, and related products, a couple of which have received rave reviews from our friends, but again, we can recommend only the ones we have done business with ourselves.
Boxes and Packaging
G & A Precycling is a small company that saves discontinued boxes and other packaging materials from the shredder and resells them at a deep discount. By buying packaging from G & A, you can save money while helping to protect the environment.
As business practices become increasingly electronic, it has become essential to use business software that is specific to the publishing industry. Now, Publishers' Assistant software, used by well over a thousand publishers, has become freeware. It costs you nothing to download and use the full-featured program, so why wouldn't you? If you need a network version, plus regular access to toll-free user help, you can subscribe to the maintenance agreement for just $35 a month. Those who subscribe also get, at no extra charge, Couplet software, an extremely popular program for title and contact maintenance, which normally sells for $99. To find out more about the Publishers' Assistant and Couplet software programs, click here for the software page on this Web site, or click here to visit our other Web site devoted to users of the program.
Publicity and Consulting Services
Upper Access Consulting is available, on a very limited basis, for consulting services on production and marketing of your new books. We focus on helping publishers to manage their own book releases and promotions. Regardless of whether you wish to use any of our services, click here for a free guide that you may find useful.
In the past, we have contracted with other publishers to run full publicity campaigns for their titles. We no longer do that, because we prefer to devote most of our attention to marketing our own titles. But if you expect to do most of the work yourself, and would like to invest in an hour or two of our time for specific advice on how to get the best bang for the buck, give us a call or send an e-mail. There is no charge for the initial contact. If we do not think we're the best people to advise you on a specific project, we'll tell you that right away, as we don't want to waste your money. If we do think we can help, most consulting sessions cost only a couple hundred dollars.
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