Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Creative Strategists, we work in all genres of books, in both fiction and non-fiction. Our staff has experience in working on a wide range of topics, and can competently and professionally work on your book. In the rare event that your book has a subject matter that one of our editors or employees is unfamiliar with, we would utilize our network of publishing professionals and contract with a freelance individual to assist with the completion of your project. We are quite selective about the individuals that we contract with, and are confident that you will receive the same quality you have come to expect from Creative Strategists whether your project was worked on by our dedicated staff or by an independent contractor.
A publishing company would receive money for the sales of books, and then provide you with a small royalty, sometimes as low as 3%, though potentially as high as 15%. Creative Strategists is not a publisher, but a company that is providing you with services that assist you in producing a quality book that can be marketed, distributed, and sold worldwide. Rather than a royalty, you will be entitled to and retain 100% of the profits from the sales of your books.
Since each book and project is different, it's impossible to estimate the investment for your project until we know specifics, such as the services you need, the options you desire, and the printing specifications for your book. We offer individual services, complete project management, as well as long-term assistance and support to authors. Each of these would also have varying costs involved, including discounted rates for more complete service packages. To allow us to provide you with a better estimate of the cost for your book project, complete the Price Quote Request form and mail it to Creative Strategists for review (P.O. Box 6460, Holliston, MA 01746). We will then mail you a free price quote for your book that includes the services that we recommend you utilize to meet the needs you specified, as well as a preliminary timeline for the completion of your project.
Depending on which options you choose, this answer could vary. If we are providing you the entire project services from beginning to end for your book, then our services will be broken down into smaller groupings, or phases. Prior to our beginning each phase, you would receive an invoice and pay for the services for that particular phase. You can choose to pay for more than one phase at a time, potentially speeding up the timeline on your project, but you do in effect pay as you go.
If you are utilizing the Author Services for a Writing Coach, then there could be either a pre-paid retainer that is drawn from as services are provided, or a monthly fee that would be incurred prior to the month that services are being offered.
Here at Creative Strategists, we hope to make the publishing process as easy and as convenient for you as possible. We shall gladly accept payment for our services and products in the form of Personal Check, Certified Check, Money Order, Mastercard, or Visa. We also will accept Cash, but do not recommend sending payment in the form of cash through the mail.
Take a step back and have faith in the professionalism of our staff here at Creative Strategists. We will complete all aspects of the publication process to make things as easy and as convenient as possible. We will provide you with completed materials as the project goes along, with things such as the editing updates, cover design, and promotional materials. Once you receive these, you would review them and approve them before the project progresses, maintaining control over any decisions concerning your book.
The time for you to become actively involved again is near the end of the project when it is time to begin marketing your book and generating awareness both in the trade and in your target audience. We will help you along the way, and provide you a variety of marketing plans to implement, but your passion for your book is what you will really need to drive your success.
We are providing you with the service, but as the author and publisher, all final decisions shall be yours. Our editors are truly gifted and talented publishing professionals, but if there are edits that you do not want to see made, then those alterations can be reversed. Also, if after reviewing the editing updates, you make changes to the manuscript or would like an additional round of editing, we would be happy to present the book to a second editor for an additional editing round.
An additional round of editing may be exactly what you want and need to make sure the book is just right. However, you should also take note that requesting a further edit can both delay the timeline for your project, and would increase the editing fees for that particular phase. We strongly believe that you will be happy with what you receive the first time, but this project is yours, and we are open to requests for additional editing, alterations, and personal care.
Of course you do! Most authors leave the cover design decision up to the artists, who typically are trained to design truly engaging and attractive covers for the client. However, if you have an idea or know what you want to see on the cover, our Artist Network would be happy to take any design notes and guidelines that you may have to bring your book to life through the cover. If you do not know exactly what you want for the cover, then we would be happy to create proposals for your review as well before the materials go to our artists for completion.
You even have a choice about the style for your cover. Do you have a picture that you want to use? We can work to make sure that the image is in the correct format to print properly. Do you want an original illustration for your cover? Our Network of Artists provide a wide array of talents and specialties. You can explore the samples and determine exactly which artist you prefer; you can determine a price range and we will try to select the right artist from our Network for you; or we can have our in house cover designer create the cover for you.
The process of designing the look and feel of your cover is one that should not be overwhelming, but exciting. We can let you guide the process as much or as little as you want. Our graphic designers and members of the Artist Network have years of industry experience, and more than a few have been award winners. We trust that you will be quite pleased with the cover once you see it.
Creative Strategists will provide you with exactly what you want. Some things to consider in your decision, a hardcover is generally more prestigious and durable, but also more costly to manufacture. A paperback would be less costly to manufacture, but you also would have a significantly reduced cover price, meaning a lower profit per book sold. We recommend that you go to a bookstore and look for other titles similar to yours, and then decide which to go with based upon what other authors and publishers in your particular genre use.
You will be! Creative Strategists have logo designers and business development executives who will assist you in setting up your publishing company. We can assist you in determining your company name, designing your logo, and creating publisher identity materials such as: business cards, letterhead, mailing envelopes, and shipping labels. Not only would we assist you in these efforts, but we would also manufacture the materials and provide you with as many or as little as you want of each item.
To file for a copyright, you must have the book registered with the Library of Congress, pay the registration fee, and submit copies of your book, whether it be published, unpublished, or simply a manuscript. So that your book is considered by the book industry as a new release, we recommend that the copyright is acquired after your book is printed. Creative Strategists shall take care of all registrations and fulfill all requirements for acquiring a copyright for your book.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is an unique numerical identifier that associates your book in the trade to the title, author, edition, binding, publishing company and country of every book. If you want your books to be eligible to be sold, this number is a necessity. Until 2005, these unique identifiers were comprised of 10 digits, but now they have 13 digits.
When you hire Creative Strategists, we take care of applying for the ISBN in your name for you, and we also get you listed in Books in Print, the exclusive guide that many major book chains use as their primary reference for information on authors and books.
The Library of Congress Card Number (LCCN) is the standard identifying number for libraries. Just like the ISBN, the LCCN is a number applied for that is specific solely to your book. If you want to sell your book to libraries, you need a LCCN.
When you hire Creative Strategists, we take care of both applying for the LCCN in your name, as well as taking care of all registrations and book submissions in accordance with the Library of Congress.
One thing that you should always keep in mind when considering a print run is that in the printing business, the more books you print, the less each one costs. This is because much of the expenses for printing books revolve around the preparation and setup of the presses. It requires just as long to prepare to print 500 copies as it does 50,000. In addition, the more material that is needed, the better pricing can be provided for potential bulk discounts. As a result, as the quantity escalates, the unit price shrinks dramatically.
Does that mean that you should print 50,000 books? Not necessarily! We recommend that you order only what you feel you could reasonably sell within a few years. Remember, a printer will never accept a return! How many books should you print then? To help keep your unit costs down, we would not advise you to go below 3000 copies of your book. A 6000 book print run, it is important to note, could potentially cut your unit costs in half for twice the number of copies.
Regardless of how many books you wish to print, Creative Strategists will negotiate with several printers that we have built relationships with to find you the best possible price for your books. We will also accommodate any printing request, ordering as few as five or as many as a million or more.
Having all of your books sell out is a wonderful problem to have! Your book is in demand and selling better than you expected. You're running out and you need more. Simply let us know and we would be happy to update your copyright page to reflect the second (or third, or fourth) printing of the book. Then determine how many copies that you want, and we'll have a reprint of the book taken care of for you.
Depending on the type of book you have, you may want to make an additional edition of the book, or include some revised materials in it. We can also assist you with any changes or alterations that you may have with the same quality and professional service that you have come to expect from Creative Strategists.
With the technology of today, this certainly has become far more feasible. Though we do not recommend printing fewer than 3000 books to help keep costs down, if you are not planning on selling the books, then you really do not need to worry about turning a profit on them. As such, you can have as few as five copies printed, or as many as you would like. Also, since you are doing this most likely to fulfill a dream of seeing your book in print and sharing it with family and friends, you do not need to worry about registrations such as the ISBN, LCCN, EAN barcode, and Copyright. This will certainly save you both time and money throughout the project.
Creative Strategists would still handle a print run of five books with the same care and professionalism as an order of 500,000. Our editors and proofreaders will help you to polish your manuscript and make sure that it reads smoothly. Our cover artists and graphic designers will provide you with a cover that will look just as good as any book sold in stores. Then, before you know it, you'll have your baby in your hands.
The price of the book is entirely up to you. Of course, you should do a little research before arbitrarily deciding upon a price. If your book is not priced similarly to other books in your genre, bookstores may not be as willing to give it a chance. Consumers may also view your title as being too expensive compared to other titles that they purchase. Our recommendation to you is to go to your local bookstore and look for books with similar themes to yours. Find a few examples and note the price of each, using that as an approximation for what you will go with.
It is also important to note the page count and whether it is a hardcover or paperback. If your book is longer than a similar book by another author, it may be acceptable to have it be priced more highly. However, if their book is longer, then you may want to consider a lower cost for your title.
A more calculated price can be determined by taking the cost of editing, cover design, typesetting, printing, and shipping, dividing that by the print run to provide you with your unit cost per book. For fiction books, you could then multiply that by five times to give you an approximate price. For non-fiction, you can multiply this number by as much as ten or fifteen times and still be within an approximation of other books in your genre.
Finally, a price that ends in .95 or .99 is viewed as significantly cheaper than an even number ($9.95 instead of $10.00, or $19.99 instead of $20.00). The even dollar numbers make calculating tax easy for you with sales, but we would recommend that you do offer the price like this to attract more readers.
Depending upon which options of the project you select to go with, the amount of time from the day you hire Creative Strategists to the day that you have a book in your hands could fluctuate. The timeline for your book project, as such, depends upon the degree of services that you need and how quickly you approve materials sent to you during each stage. However, it is not unusual for a typical publishing project to take approximately 6 to 8 months to produce a quality product.
If you have a project that requires a more aggressive timeline, Creative Strategists would be glad to attempt to accommodate you as much as possible. Certain stages of the publishing process could be combined, such as editing and cover design, being completed at the same time to help speed things up. However, a more aggressive timeline may mean that certain artists in our network would not be available to work on your project in the timeline you desire, and certain printers may also not be able to meet the deadline. We, of course, will do everything possible to provide a quality product in the timeframe that you have allotted.
Both a wholesaler and a distributor provide you with opportunities to have your books sold to the book trade as an intermediary, meaning that they buy the books from you, and they then sell them to book stores. To establish a relationship with either a wholesaler or a distributor, you often must complete an application that includes a thorough review of your book before being approved. If you are approved, then there are subtle differences between each. A wholesaler will purchase your books outright and typically pay you within 90 days. Every distributor is different, but they generally take your book on consignment and pay you 90-120 days after your book sells. Discounts also vary by wholesaler and distributor, but they can range from 50% and up off of the retail price.
Some distributors require you to agree to an Exclusive arrangement, where they and only they have the right to sell your books to the trade (wholesalers, distributors, bookstores, libraries). They have sales representatives who present your book(s) to major accounts. In return for this arrangement, the discount for your book can range from 60% and up off of the retail price.
Fulfillment services are provided by companies who will fulfill orders from businesses (business-to-business) or consumers (business-to-consumer). For you, in the book industry, a fulfillment services are provided by companies who will warehouse your books, take orders, package and ship the books for you. These companies typically charge monthly fees that take into account storage of your books, service fees, as well as per-order fees. They would also typically provide you with a monthly report indicating how many books you have remaining in inventory, as well as any activity that you books have generated during the month. While Creative Strategists is not a fulfillment company, we would be willing to maintain small quantities of books that can be sold through an online store that we could design for you. Larger quantities and responsibilities could be explored if desired by you. To provide the best service possible, however, we can connect you with reliable fulfillment companies that could provide more complete storage and order taking services.
We have a variety of proven marketing methods that we would be happy to provide services for and implement for you. This includes most notably materials that are sent to thousands of book buyers world wide (the actual number of recipients varies by program selected). We also can provide you with expertly designed promotional handouts and materials for your use in promoting your book.
One thing we will not do is promise a mailing list to hundreds or thousands of "key reviewers." It has been our experience that cold-call mailings are quite ineffectual, often ignored by reviewers who receive hundreds of requests a week, have many letters returned with changed addresses no matter how up-to-date the lists seem, and are extremely costly and time consuming. Through our programs, we can instead provide exposure to you and your title to the book buyers in the trade (wholesalers, distributors, bookstores, libraries).
Marketing and promotions are very often crucial to the success of a book project. We will help you to promote to the trade, and to also provide you with materials to promote to the general community. However, we can not stress enough that your passion and persistence through book signings, events, and follow ups are just as pivotal.
Creative Strategists is happy to provide website services for all of our clients. Though we are not a web development company, we do offer Author promotional and informational websites. Due to the nature of a website, requiring domain registration costs, monthly hosting fees, and maintenance fees, we will require you to have your credit card on file to be charged monthly. Any updates that you have, such as book signings, conventions, expos, or other news about you and your books, we will update on a monthly basis for you.
Our premium plan also provides a real-time storefront built into the informational site. This will allow you to sell books directly through your website, giving viewers of your site the quickest and easiest way to purchase your book while they are already thinking about it.
Perhaps you do not have a book, but do have an idea that you are passionate about and really want to see in print? What if you have been writing, but have hit some stumbling blocks along the way that have caused frustration and aggravation? A Writing Coach is an individual who will be your partner, guide, and cheerleader to help you reach your goals. The Writing Coach is for those aspiring authors who understand the value of having an insightful and talented mentor who cares about them and their project and desires to help them make their dreams come true.
Our coaches will provide you with regular check-in progress reports, providing you with the chance to discuss what has been happening and to receive some tips and advice to help keep you on track. Our coaches will also brainstorm ideas with you, and help to take a random thought and turn it into a well-polished idea.
Our coaches can also provide critiques and commentary on your manuscript, editing services, and more personalized discussions to explain why certain edits were made. Once your project is ready to begin considering publication, your writing coach can assist you in locating a Publisher. For those individuals who had worked with one of our coaches and desire to self-publish their book with us, we offer a 30% discount off of all project management services.
With the changing trends in the publishing industry for more self-published authors and the birth of many new small presses, there are increasing needs for quality resources and services to assist in your publishing efforts. You may have a phenomenal author, a great promotional network, but not have connections with any cover illustrators, graphic designers, or even editors and proofreaders. Rather than risking your books being released with costly mistakes from a lack of contacts with publishing professionals, we provide you with a single location where you can outsource whatever aspects of the project you need assistance with. You remain the publisher, but we can provide you with the services you need to help you along the way.
Creative Strategists is always looking for ways to improve our services for you, and to make the publication process as easy as possible. If there is a Publishing Service that you desire that is not listed within the Services section, let us know and we shall make every effort to accommodate your request.
If your questions have not been answered, please contact us by writing to Creative Strategists, P.O. Box 6460, Holliston, MA 01746.
P.O. Box 6460, Holliston MA 01746
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