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Thread: First Edition Design Publishing

  1. #1
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    First Edition Design Publishing

    http://www.firsteditiondesignebooks.com/html/index.html

    Brought up by someone at our writers group meeting. He was really sold on their "distribution." Which seems to me is a term that includes "listing" as opposed to actual presence. It's also an offer to do a lot of things with each one costing an additional amount. Red flag to me was the absence of any % of "royalty" on POD sales, and no mention of the cost to an author to buy their own books. I also couldn't figure out exactly how you were supposed to submit your book -- other than in some electronic form. Given some of the strange ways I've seen people "format" that could be interesting. They also offer to scan a document, but I doubt that includes correcting for scanning errors --- bet you have to pay for someone to do that.

    Other thoughts, anyone?

  2. #2
    Just the facts, please
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    From the site:

    We do not just send your title through an automatic computer generarated process, ALL pages of every title is reviewed and worked manually with human eyes.
    Those human eyes are doing a bang-up job ...

  3. #3
    Just another face in a red jumpsuit shelleyo's Avatar
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    That sentence reads like something from a drunk first draft. Thank goodness they don't edit.
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  4. #4
    figuring it all out
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    But you can pay them extra to do various levels of editing. Guess the web designer didn't want to pay the money. :-)

  5. #5
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    Wink Recommended from a friend

    First Edition Design Publishing was recommended to me from someone that published an academic title. This may be a good place to document my experience with them. I am a first time author, and I would like to think all my efforts in researching publishers will pay off. I guess we will see. I will be placing my order with First Edition Design Publishing on Thursday morning. I will be ordering the 199.00 eBook package, 599.00 pod package, 175.00 cover art. After my title is out for about three or four months I will come back and order the press release at 219.00, the Ingram Advance Ad - I think that is 139.00 and at that time I will make a decision of the return insurance program. The return insurance program seems pricey, however I did shop that around before deciding on First Edition and they were still slightly lower in cost. So I hope my documenting of my experience is advantages. Wish me luck!!

  6. #6
    It's too hot Mclesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelleyo View Post
    That sentence reads like something from a drunk first draft. Thank goodness they don't edit.


    One thing I look for in an editor: subject/verb agreement.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    First Edition Design Publishing was recommended to me from someone that published an academic title. This may be a good place to document my experience with them. I am a first time author, and I would like to think all my efforts in researching publishers will pay off. I guess we will see. I will be placing my order with First Edition Design Publishing on Thursday morning. I will be ordering the 199.00 eBook package, 599.00 pod package, 175.00 cover art. After my title is out for about three or four months I will come back and order the press release at 219.00, the Ingram Advance Ad - I think that is 139.00 and at that time I will make a decision of the return insurance program. The return insurance program seems pricey, however I did shop that around before deciding on First Edition and they were still slightly lower in cost. So I hope my documenting of my experience is advantages. Wish me luck!!
    Holy moley. You're really going to do this? If so, luck doesn't even enter the equation.
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  8. #8
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    First Edition Design Publishing was recommended to me from someone that published an academic title. This may be a good place to document my experience with them. I am a first time author, and I would like to think all my efforts in researching publishers will pay off. I guess we will see. I will be placing my order with First Edition Design Publishing on Thursday morning. I will be ordering the 199.00 eBook package, 599.00 pod package, 175.00 cover art. After my title is out for about three or four months I will come back and order the press release at 219.00, the Ingram Advance Ad - I think that is 139.00 and at that time I will make a decision of the return insurance program. The return insurance program seems pricey, however I did shop that around before deciding on First Edition and they were still slightly lower in cost. So I hope my documenting of my experience is advantages. Wish me luck!!
    I would sincerely advice against this plan.

    It certainly is your money, and it sounds like you have your mind made up. But this is not how publishing--including self publishing--works.
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    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Inquisitive, you seem to be set upon this course. Good luck.

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    amergina - Why is this not how things work? Traditional publishers do not pay anything, you would be lucky if you received pennies on the dollar as far as royalties are concerned and limited distribution if any. Comparing First Edition Design's distribution, I haven't seen anyone come close. Keeping a title just in Amazon seems to really be limiting all possibilities. The quality of their printing also looks much better than other companies. I ordered a few books from other self publishers and I really think First Edition had the best quality. That is a good thing right? If I am missing something, please tell me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    amergina - Why is this not how things work? Traditional publishers do not pay anything, you would be lucky if you received pennies on the dollar as far as royalties are concerned and limited distribution if any. Comparing First Edition Design's distribution, I haven't seen anyone come close. Keeping a title just in Amazon seems to really be limiting all possibilities. The quality of their printing also looks much better than other companies. I ordered a few books from other self publishers and I really think First Edition had the best quality. That is a good thing right? If I am missing something, please tell me.
    I beg to differ. All of my publishers do an excellent job of getting wide distribution and reviews from the Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Midwest Book Review, etc., paying good advances and royalties, and although I may not be getting rich (yet!) I am doing pretty well. Plus, I didn't have to pay a thing - they paid me!
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  12. #12
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    I am, in fact, trade published with a small press and will be published by an imprint of Penguin Books this summer.

    Didn't pay a thing to either company.

    Got reasonable amounts of money, too, some of it in advance of publication, even. So I don't actually buy the whole thing about publishers not paying. Not when I get 1099s that I have to report on my income tax return. And it's not pennies.

    But as I said, it's your money. I do wish you luck in you endeavor.
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    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    amergina - Why is this not how things work? Traditional publishers do not pay anything, you would be lucky if you received pennies on the dollar as far as royalties are concerned and limited distribution if any. Comparing First Edition Design's distribution, I haven't seen anyone come close. Keeping a title just in Amazon seems to really be limiting all possibilities. The quality of their printing also looks much better than other companies. I ordered a few books from other self publishers and I really think First Edition had the best quality. That is a good thing right? If I am missing something, please tell me.
    You're starting the process more than $1300 out of pocket. How many copies do you think you're going to need to sell before you break even?

    What is it about First Edition Design's distribution that impresses you? That makes you say you "haven't seen anyone come close?"

    How does their printing compare to trade publishers--the companies they are competing against in the market for shelfspace?

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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    Why is this not how things work? Traditional publishers do not pay anything, you would be lucky if you received pennies on the dollar as far as royalties are concerned and limited distribution if any.
    Of course commercial publishers distribute their books: how else would they stay in business? As for royalties, a sliding scale from about 8% to about 15% on the cover price would be typical for a first-time author. Think that's low? Bear in mind that even the smallest, non-advance paying, trade press would spend around $15,000 of its own money in bringing a book to market, factoring in editing, typesetting, cover design, the print run, marketing, publicity and distribution.

    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    The quality of their printing also looks much better than other companies.
    Very likely they use Lightning Source as their POD provider, as do many vanity presses and self-publishing companies.

  16. #16
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    It looks like they are using POD for most, if not all, their printed works. That's a rather expensive method to produce books, and usually used by publishers who know they'll be printing a limited number of books. Publishers with larger print distribution chains often outsource to offset printers or large-scale print methods.

    As for pennies-on-the-dollar author royalties, that can be balanced by a good publisher's marketing and distribution.

    This is your money and your decision.

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  17. #17
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    First Edition Design Publishing was recommended to me from someone that published an academic title. This may be a good place to document my experience with them. I am a first time author, and I would like to think all my efforts in researching publishers will pay off. I guess we will see. I will be placing my order with First Edition Design Publishing on Thursday morning. I will be ordering the 199.00 eBook package, 599.00 pod package, 175.00 cover art.
    You can find all of these services available far more cheaply if you visit our Self Publishing room and read a few of the diary threads there.

    If you self publish, you'll be able to tweak anything you're not happy with; and you'll get a higher percentage of the revenue from the sales of your books. It seems a much better way to proceed than using these services to me.

    After my title is out for about three or four months I will come back and order the press release at 219.00, the Ingram Advance Ad - I think that is 139.00 and at that time I will make a decision of the return insurance program. The return insurance program seems pricey, however I did shop that around before deciding on First Edition and they were still slightly lower in cost. So I hope my documenting of my experience is advantages. Wish me luck!!
    The cost of the press release does not represent good value. I suspect that all you'll get is a generic press release sent round to their mailing lists, and most people on that list will just delete the emails unread: I know, I've been on the receiving end of several of those mailing lists, and they are not worth paying for.

    I doubt that the Ingram Advance Ad will get you any significant sales either.

    If you're not convinced, ask them what level of sales most people who use these services achieve.

    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    amergina - Why is this not how things work? Traditional publishers do not pay anything, you would be lucky if you received pennies on the dollar as far as royalties are concerned and limited distribution if any.
    Good trade publishers have full distribution. That means they have sales people on the road, visiting bookshops and other retail outlets, getting their books onto the shelves. I can almost guarantee you that this publisher will not have this same level of distribution.

    Comparing First Edition Design's distribution, I haven't seen anyone come close.
    Then you haven't looked closely enough.

    Keeping a title just in Amazon seems to really be limiting all possibilities. The quality of their printing also looks much better than other companies. I ordered a few books from other self publishers and I really think First Edition had the best quality. That is a good thing right? If I am missing something, please tell me.
    Distribution involves far more than just listing on Amazon.

    If First Edition publishes your book for you you have not self published, you have paid someone else to publish you. Strictly speaking that's vanity publishing.

    If you want to self publish then self publish. Don't use an overpriced "service" like this: I've seen many writers do it, and I've never yet seen it work effectively for them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    amergina - Why is this not how things work? Traditional publishers do not pay anything, you would be lucky if you received pennies on the dollar as far as royalties are concerned and limited distribution if any. Comparing First Edition Design's distribution, I haven't seen anyone come close. Keeping a title just in Amazon seems to really be limiting all possibilities. The quality of their printing also looks much better than other companies. I ordered a few books from other self publishers and I really think First Edition had the best quality. That is a good thing right? If I am missing something, please tell me.
    Please look at other options. i have never paid to have one of my books published. I have never paid for editing or cover art. I receive more than pennies back on royalties. My books are available everywhere ebooks are sold.
    There really are much much better way to get published. Honest.
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  19. #19
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Even if you go with a small press that pays royalty only you're still not going to be out $1300 or so. I checked their distribution stream, and it's all electronic, though retailers can order from some venues.

    What do they do to get your book into the hands of readers?

    Even a small press has incentive to get their books into the hands of readers because selling the books they produce is how they pay their bills and pay their authors.

    I'm concerned about a press that asks for that kind of money up front. What's their incentive to make more money for themselves and for you?

  20. #20
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    So, has the poster learned anything?
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  21. #21
    Just another face in a red jumpsuit shelleyo's Avatar
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    So you prefer them as an alternative to trade-publishing, because you don't think you'll make any money trade-publishing?

    Hand over my heart, if your book is accepted by a reputable trade publisher, you will make your money than if you publish with this company. First of all, you won't be over a thousand bucks in the red when you start--you'll get an advance instead.

    But let's say you just don't want to query and go through that process necessary for trade publication. Fair enough. Self-publishing is certainly an option.

    What you're doing with this company is essentially vanity publishing, except I guess you keep your rights. But if you want to make a change to anything, you pay a hefty fee (min $65, I thought I saw while scanning). Self-publish, and you can change things at will, for free.

    You can pay an editor, a cover artist, a formatter and anyone else you need for far less than you'll invest with this company (and personally, paying an editor or at the very least two competent proofreaders is money far better spent even if it costs you as much). The time spent uploading to Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Apple and wherever else is time you invest in your career. You can pay someone to do it, but it's not as hard as many people think. And this company appears to use Lightning Source (rather than CreateSpace). You can do that on your own, for a fraction of the cost, and end up in the same catalogs (you won't be on bookshelves, almost certainly, either way).

    Unless your book is non-fiction and you're going to do a lot of selling at lectures and seminars and such, the likelihood that you'll ever make a dent into that $1300 is slim to none. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but what are the odds you'll be one of them?

    Some of their books on Amazon

    One of the covers is gorgeous and I think will appeal to those readers. I'm pretty unimpressed by the rest (but maybe the author supplied them, who knows). And checking the Look Inside of a few, if they used the proofreading service offered by the company, it didn't do a good job. A few could have spend their money better with editors and a good cover designer and had a product that was a lot more marketable.

    These things are more important than many people realize. If the cover isn't good (or great), the book's almost certainly not going to sell. And if the first paragraph contains mistakes, horridly long sentences and passive, boring prose, people don't get past the sample. I'm not naming any, but it's a common theme

    It's your money and your career, and I wish you luck no matter what you do, but you really could spend a lot less (or spend it better) by making a different choice.
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  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    so far so good

    Just as a follow up to my experience at First Edition Design Publishing. The process was easy and smooth. The formatting, layout and cover art were exceptional. This was definitely not a vanity press experience as they did not take exactly what I gave them and published the work. It was more of a team effort. The advantage - they have much more experience than a first time author. Their tips and advice were priceless, and never once tried to up-sell me nor did I ever feel uncomfortable at any time. My feeling is this - authors are meant to write, publishers are meant to publish. As an author, my time is better spent doing what I do best, as is a publisher. My book is now available worldwide, which is awesome to see people actually buying it that live outside the USA. Yes, I have to do my share of marketing, however I am spending about two hours a week (following the marketing tip booklet that was provided) and progress is being made. Will I get rich off this project - no. However sales are increasing, reviews are looking good and I have no regrets. I would, without hesitation do it again. Also to address the question mentioned previous - the royalties are very fair, on the eBook I receive 100% of the net, normally around 70% and same with the POD - around 60%. Much more than pennies on the dollar as someone else had mentioned. I have talked with others who went traditional and no way would I give up my rights with something that has no guarantee to even make it into the market, plus receive 15% or less of the royalty. That makes no sense to me. I look at it this way - the best investment one can make, is in themselves. So far so good. I do wish everyone good luck in their writing and the best advice is - do what is best for you, everyone is different.

  23. #23
    Daydreaming Extraordinaire Fanatic_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    Just as a follow up to my experience at First Edition Design Publishing. The process was easy and smooth. The formatting, layout and cover art were exceptional.
    This is also the case with most, if not all legitimate publishers.

    This was definitely not a vanity press experience as they did not take exactly what I gave them and published the work. It was more of a team effort.
    The exact definition of vanity publishing is when an author pays to have their work published.

    The advantage - they have much more experience than a first time author. Their tips and advice were priceless, and never once tried to up-sell me nor did I ever feel uncomfortable at any time.
    So do I. I've been published twice and have a third novel coming out this year. You could pay me $200 less than you paid them and I could do the same for you :P

    My feeling is this - authors are meant to write, publishers are meant to publish. As an author, my time is better spent doing what I do best, as is a publisher.
    This is confusing. This is literally what everyone who is published traditionally does. O.o

    My book is now available worldwide, which is awesome to see people actually buying it that live outside the USA.
    Same as any other publishing.

    Yes, I have to do my share of marketing, however I am spending about two hours a week (following the marketing tip booklet that was provided) and progress is being made.
    Same as any other publishing.
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  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    follow up

    @Fanatic_Dreamer I concur for the most part. I do disagree on the term 'vanity press'. When I think of vanity press, that lends to a company taking what you have and just pushing it through the system, as is. Basically just taking a book and getting it printed, and if you are lucky maybe a little bit of distribution. I have seen too many crap books go in that direction and the outcome is far from professional. I personally just didn't have time on my side to go in any other direction. I am a professor and needed my book in the classroom as well as available for review. I don't feel this direction provided any less credibility, and it seems to be working - so far. Someone mentioned something about making changes costing a lot - however I am not sure I understand this as once my book went live, I have no intention of changing anything, although if one went traditional - how would you make a change? At that point doesn't the publisher control the book? All I really wanted to point out was the process was easy, my book is selling to my expectations and no complaints. Also what kind of marketing is everyone else doing? or those that went traditional - is the author doing any marketing at all? Thanks for everyone's input.

  25. #25
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqusitivetheology View Post
    I do disagree on the term 'vanity press'. When I think of vanity press, that lends to a company taking what you have and just pushing it through the system, as is.
    This reminds me of a claim that a "vanity press" is defined as a press that publishes anything. Therefore, if a publisher rejects any material, it cannot be a vanity press even if it charges up front.

    Likewise, if the definition of "vanity press" is "does not change submitted material at all", then a press can avoid the vanity stigma simply by running a spell checker and making a few corrections, even if they charge over a thousand dollars up front.

    I think that's why we define "vanity press" as "charges writers for any part of book production". No wiggle room there.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 07-09-2014 at 06:15 PM.
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