Scotland’s Moira Brown shows how assisted self-publishing should be done (Interview)
July 17, 2013 | 11:48 am
At the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of size, cost, and integrity from ogres like Author Solutions lies Moira Brown’s Dundee-based one-woman Ebook Publisher business, which straddles the boundary line between assisted self-publishing and small independent publisher.
For a lower upfront fee than many editors charge to proofread a manuscript—£100 ($150)—plus 50 percent of profits, she includes manuscript formatting, cover design, positioning and marketing advice, book file creation and upload to Amazon, and post-publication management of currency conversion and tax issues. (Journalist’s disclaimer: She also happens to live in the same town I grew up in in Scotland, and shares my clan’s wildcat crest and motto, which is illustrated at right.)
As David Gaughran, scourge of assisted self-publishing scams, has said elsewhere, “I’m not against assisted self-publishing per se. ” Moira Brown offers one case to back that up. I asked her some questions about how she runs her business and how she works with her authors.
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Moira Brown: I operate in a similar way to a traditional publisher, taking on writers and taking full responsibility for their books long-term, and we share the profits 50/50. The benefits are that writers can concentrate on their writing and not waste energy/time on IT issues beyond typing in their manuscript.
Teleread: How do you price your service? Is there a benchmark these days for such offerings?
Moira Brown: I charge a set fee of £100 to format the manuscript for Kindle, design an attractive book cover and upload the book to Amazon. Other e-book publishers charge various rates for different levels of service.
TeleRead: Do you give formal marketing or promotional support?
Moira Brown: I do all the marketing and promotion within Amazon. Any promotional activities that authors are happy to do themselves can be beneficial, but I do not place any burden on them. Good reviews sells books—not blogs, Facebook pages, tweets etc.
TeleRead: How do your authors find you? Do you work with agents, or to develop authors?