View Full Version : Who can do it for me?

02-09-2016, 09:56 AM
May I ask for some advice?

I wrote a novel...

I think it is fine, but, after a year of querying, no agents agree. But I am fine with that too. (No need to inform me that it could take years – for I am also done with that.)

My son liked my novel; and I am good with that.

He said I should self-publish, so I will.

As you can see from my moniker, I am an engineer; and I know coding. However, I have little patience to go the route of self-self-publishing – and certainly, not the time.

I do have a friend with a massive web-following (of my target audience) who will push the novel for me, once it appears. But while I dream of making money, I don't need it and I don't care.

I would like to get this up on some site – Amazon, Kindle... something like that.

But I have little patience to read the instructions, as my other projects in my real job (this is not to disparage writing -- but writing is not my job) are so time consuming.

I have had the novel professionally edited… twice (it was to have been, and still is, a gift to my son). The money is not an issue for me (I deeply apologize if that offends struggling writers).

I want to turn this 93,000 word doc file, and my sketch for the cover, and the accompanying back cover blurb, over to a company and say

You format this.
You formalize potential covers (and let me pick which one I want).
You email me the final.
You upload it.
You create the account and let me choose the password and login.
You tell me what to do and prepare for in very easy steps.

And then I pay you your fee.

Is there such a trusted company?


Is there a company that would receive the work and make it available? Then I can direct potential readers to them. I am happy to give them a cut. The money is not an issue.

I am looking at Archway... are there any negatives about this? I am sure I can save a few hundred if I go to different firms for different aspects -- but they are a one stop shop.

02-09-2016, 06:00 PM
Places that say they do everything usually do everything badly. There isn't a short cut to either learning to do things yourself or researching into the best people to hire for things. But whether you hire people to do stuff or not, you don't want someone else making the account and uploading it for you. That part won't take you long as all. Not much longer than signing up here and writing a post.

02-09-2016, 08:00 PM
I have to agree that I, personally, do not know of a company that would do that either 1) well, and 2) for a reasonable fee.

My personal suggestion would be to break it down into bite sized pieces and pay for services as you go.

For example: start by offering this novel as a kindle book. Format using Liberwriter.com ($40) and solicit cover art from an artist in your genre (maybe $200). Have them make a Kindle and Createspace formatted cover so you can move to paperbacks next.

02-09-2016, 08:15 PM
I want to turn this 93,000 word doc file, and my sketch for the cover, and the accompanying back cover blurb, over to a company and say

You format this.
You formalize potential covers (and let me pick which one I want).
You email me the final.
You upload it.
You create the account and let me choose the password and login.
You tell me what to do and prepare for in very easy steps.

And then I pay you your fee.

Is there such a trusted company?

Yes, it's called a publisher.

That may sound snarky, but it's what you're describing. When you self-publish, you take on all of those responsibilities yourself. (choosing covers aside)

I can't imagine an engineer unwilling to read and follow directions, or needing things broken down into easy steps. I mean you've done the most work-intensive part of preparing the manuscript, which is to write it. It seems like you're stumbling at the finish line.

If all you want is a copy for your son, then you can have one printed. You can also upload it serially to a blog that your friend can link to. Self-publishing is hard work. There aren't really any shortcuts.

M. H. Lee
02-09-2016, 09:07 PM
Try these guys:http://fivestarpublications.com/

I know absolutely nothing about them other than the fact that a woman who is a member of RMFW and qualified for IPAL membership with her books seems to have used them. From what I could tell they got her a hardcover version and placement in some bookstores not normally available to self-publishers and maybe some good review opportunities. As others have said upthread, it may be better to do all of this on your own, but if you don't want to, find someone like this outfit. Just know going in that lots of these places are set up to take your money more than anything else. Having said that, I KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE OTHER THAN IT EXISTS.

J. Tanner
02-09-2016, 09:09 PM
Nobody will create accounts for you. You'll have to do that where ever you decide to go.

The only place I've seen do multiple covers and let you choose is 99 Designs. They let you create a basic spec for your cover and multiple designers do mockups for you to choose from. Then your chosen designer creates a finished design. But they won't do anything else on your list.

Bookbaby will do most of the rest and if you compromise on the cover they'll create that for you too. (I expect it will not be to your spec, and will be horrible, but they'll do it.) I don't generally recommend Bookbaby, but they are reputable as far as I can tell.

So basically, as others have said, self-publishing is generally hands-on work and there's no getting around it (unless you don't care about having a quality product and don't care if a less reputable company basically rips you off in more ways than just money.)

02-09-2016, 09:55 PM
I'm not clear, do you want an ebook, a print copy, or both?

If it's e-book...

1. I know a guy who offered to format my stuff for $100. I can give you his name if you want.
2. There's places online that sell lots of covers for around $30-50 a pop.
3. See #1, he'll probably do that for you. If you go with Amazon you upload the cover art and manuscript in different prompts, so you don't have to join the two of them together.
4. Nope. You're gonna have to learn Amazon KDP menu prompts and drop-down boxes. Fortunately it's pretty easy.
5. Fffffff no. No one reputable will do this for you. Anyone who accepts is either a relative or will screw you over, or both.
6. Go searching on youtube, man. I'd be surprised if someone hasn't done a "how to use Amazon KDP" walkthrough. Or just go googling for that. Seriously, Amazon's made their interface stupid easy. No headspace required, just common sense for the most of it. Best part is that you don't have to put in all the information at once, the system lets you fart around with it until it's right.

Take it from a fellow lazy guy, you're gonna have to learn a LITTLE. Shoot, man, you went this far to give your son a unique gift. You can't go a little farther?

02-09-2016, 10:16 PM
Remember, too, that registering for KDP involves your personal information, including banking (for payment purposes). You DO NOT want to go handing that out to random people and then trust that all they'll do is create your accounts and not log back in to take your info or switch your bank account for theirs or something.

02-09-2016, 10:42 PM
Here's an idea that might be what you're looking for: There are plenty of "micro-presses" around that aren't that hard to get accepted by. I mean the kind where someone self-publishes a book or two of their own. Then, once they learn the basics, start taking on other authors' books, too.

That would give you someone to take care of all the hassle for a cut of the profits (if any), rather than you having to pay them. You might also feel like you're getting a bit of "street cred" for being with "a publisher" rather than self-published. That matters a whole lot to some people but not at all to others.

I haven't looked up Archway but I will say please be very, very leery of the vanity presses. They often try to parade as something else. Basic self-publishing is not complicated nor expensive so please do not to go with anyone who wants you to dish out thousands, or even very many hundreds, of dollars! I know money isn't your main issue here but I'm sure you wouldn't feel good to end up realizing you handed over a huge wad of cash for no good reason, either. However, since you do appear to have a few bucks to play with, you might well find an easier acceptance with a micro-press if you offer them a couple/few hundred dollars.

Micro-presses are plentiful and easy to find. For starters, you can just start clicking on the books published by members here. Google the publisher name. If it leads to a small site without many books listed, bingo! Then look over the books and check out the quality and consider contacting some of the authors. :)

J. Tanner
02-09-2016, 11:53 PM
Oh, I missed that last sentence about Archway. As Fruitbat mentions, they are a vanity press, Author Solutions operating under one of their many names to (poorly) disguise who they really are. They have a horrible reputation. You can find lots of info about them in the Bewares of AW and with a general google search. Run far, far away.

02-10-2016, 12:40 AM
You've gotten some pretty good advice so far. It may well be to your advantage if, in the course of due diligence, you were to broaden your knowledge and horizons within the publishing game. Consider some of theses sites:





The point is that you should not select a path that leads you as an author into having to pay anything up-front (except for professional covers or editing) to a publisher--that flirts with the stigma of vanity publishing (a metaphorical tar-baby best avoided). Publishing services, w/distribution to vendors, that accept a percentage of sales proceeds (typically 10-15%) may be more to your liking.

Whatever you decide, best of luck!

02-10-2016, 01:06 AM
I'm not sure you wouldn't be better off going to your local print shop and having them print and bind some copies for you. If it's a gift for your son, why bother with Amazon at all?