We’ve been on this road now for almost 8 months and we have learned so much along the way. When we founded Pen Name Publishing, the goal was to create award-winning literature that pushed the boundaries, brought bold stories, embraced diversity, and truly to become a company that works for the author.
Modern authors have a plethora of options available to them and publishing has never been easier. Right? I mean, that’s what we’re told over and over and over again. The reality is publishing is very hard, it’s a big game of numbers and stamina, long days, late nights, little sleep, lots of coffee, and we love every single minute of it.
As an author myself, I founded the house based on what I would want out of a book contract and my dream relationship with a publishing house.
We absolutely love everyone we work with from our freelancers to our authors, to our potential and submitting authors, to our twitter fans and friends who have slowly become to be more like family. And, along the way, we have learned so much about authors and expectations in this ever evolving and modern world. We have met many amazing aspiring authors, and we have found that there are a large number of manuscripts that are fantastic but just won’t work with Pen Name Publishing.
Why not? Most often these manuscripts are genres that we are either not familiar with, or, don’t match with the vision we have for Pen Name Publishing. Sometimes, it’s really hard to tell an excellent author, “No”, when we don’t have room for their manuscript.
With that in mind, we also recognize some of the aspiring authors that we love would benefit from a different model and interaction level.
To meet the growing needs of authors best served by a nontraditional model, we present to you our little sister- French Press Bookworks
French Press Bookworks is divided into two sections – The French Press (for the independent author) and The Bookworks (Co-Operative Publishing).
The French Press is easy publishing where the author is in control. They know exactly what they need, they know exactly what they want to do, they know exactly what they want us to do, and they know that their manuscript is exactly word for word what they want.
The French Press author has a professionally edited manuscript that they have worked with a quality editor to perfect. They may or may not have a cover, and they may or may not have final formatting. Depending on the level of completion of the submitted book, the author’s royalty payments will increase accordingly.
We will provide French Press authors with their ISBN’s for pdf, ePub, and mobi . If the author is really driven, they can elect to add on print distribution as well. We will handle registration through Bowker Books in Print, the filing of their copyright paperwork (because it’s always better to be safe than sorry) include the first chapter in a promotional monthly eBook, and we’ll take your book to fairs and events with us. Furthermore, your title will be included in our full catalogue. You are allowed to be independent and completely in control of your outreach, yet you are backed by a publishing house which will help with your outreach as many outlets are closed to self-published authors.
The French Press authors can then choose from various services and election add-ons to complete their experience based on their needs. These include: press releases on various scales, book trailers, ARC distribution at various levels and lengths, marketing services, social media services, website services, and press release distribution.
The French Press authors retain full control over all subsidiary rights including merchandising, audio, visual, and foreign language rights. Furthermore, if the author elects print, they control the execution of their print sales. The author controls how many copies are sold, to whom, and to where. They control their return potential and how many brick and mortar events they will need to do. Additionally, we have built a sales team that is more than willing to work with French Press authors in expanding their print reach should they be interested in seeing their books on the shelf.
So does this mean The French Press is a vanity press? No. We don’t charge you for publishing, and if you need a cover or formatting, we won’t charge you for that either. But, the more you provide us that we approve, the easier our job is and the more we pay you. Likewise, we don’t charge you for your ISBN’s, filing your copyright, or uploading material and listing fees.
Does that mean we will publish anyone with a professionally edited manuscript? Nope. We still have a standard submission practice. All authors will submit their manuscript for approval. If we don’t take it, we’ll let you know why. It could be that it just needs a better editor to fix some minor grammar mistakes, or, the book might not fit within our current genre needs or wants.
We are a lot more open in the French Press, for instance, we are open to Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance, and other genres that Pen Name Publishing is closed to, but we still have desires for a healthy book.
Why don’t we include print in the original publishing package? Well, publishing is changing. Selling books is changing. Is it impossible to get a print copy sold today? No, it isn’t, but, the author has to be extremely driven. This means dedicating hours to calling bookstores or retail locations, putting together intense marketing plans and presentations, and risking returns on unsold merchandise. The author needs to dedicate intense time to in store events, in store support, and this is not for everyone. If an author feels they are up for this task, we will gladly work with them to discuss how to add print on to their publishing package.
The turn around time in The French Press could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. It depends on our schedule of books, seasons, and your personal wishes for how long you want to promote prior to publishing.
Sounds cool, right? Well, it’s not over yet.
The Bookworks is co-operative publishing. Your manuscript is finished but it isn’t edited. You have nothing else. You don’t know where to even start. You want to work with people you can communicate with and trust, and you want a vested interest from your team members in the success of your title.
Under The Bookworks, accepted authors become part of a team that consists of an editor, a cover designer, and a formatter. They can build the team themselves and then team members can submit credentials and samples to us for approval, or, the author can utilize our back office to post their synopsis and open up the bids for work.
Team members create the timeline for completion (we’ll give you a guideline that you can adjust), and are paid on a royalties scheme for the lifetime that we hold the rights to the book. Overall, the team retains 80% of royalties. This means that all team members are vested in the success of the title. Editors, designers and formatters also carry a safety net as they have a minimum royalty level, meaning, if the book is ever pulled from our lineup and this level of payment for their work has not been met, they will be issued payment to meet the minimum expectancy.
Designers, editors, and formatters can work on multiple projects and be on multiple teams as long as they adhere to agreed upon work schedules.
Authors in The Bookworks retain all subsidiary rights as well and enter into publishing at the same level as The French Press, with the option to obtain the same additional author service packages.
We have to tell you that we are very excited for this venture and we are thrilled to extend an option that will address the needs of the modern indie authors outside of traditional publishing expectations and requirements.
Please welcome our little sister imprint, The French Press Bookworks, into the world. We are in the process of introducing her to the digital world and we will start taking submissions on August 15th, with anticipated publishing, pending titles, to start as early as October.
If you want to be updated in regards to submission openings, co-op team member openings, freelance opportunities, or just general news, leave your contact info: