Welcome to the Soaring Eagle books blog! Instead of a dummy post that says “hello world” we would like to formally welcome you!
On this blog we will show you handy-dandy publishing tips, our author news, new releases, and more! We also have a newsletter which we will partner with our sister company Soaring Eagle Publicity. It’s still in construction, so we are looking for readers, bloggers, and book lovers to join! Authors are welcome too, but selling to other authors isn’t really the goal.
We will also accept guest posts from time to time, but mostly about publishing and author stuff. We are going to be really, really choosy. If your submission doesn’t fit, but it is GOOD, it can be considered for the Newbie Author’s Guide blog.
How Soaring Eagle Books was Born
This story has a happy ending, but necessarily a happy beginning. As an author I entered the world as an independent author without a clue in the world and I have learned that I haven’t been the only one. I had no teachers, no one to ask, and I didn’t really know how to research the subject all that well at the time. I combed through information about companies that are “supposed” to help new authors get their books published–I had no idea I could do it myself or how. I sign on with a company after carefully going over the information that I did have at the time.
To make this part of the story short what seemed like the most exciting thing about my life became my worst nightmare. I wondered how I was going to get out of this and turn this whole mess around. Little did I know the road to catastrophe opened the way to enlightenment. It all started on how to begin again and much information flooded my way and it took years to learn it all.
I read many posts and a few books about several different models of publishing, researched different publishers, publishing models, contractors, marketing, etc joined author groups, talked to authors via social media and email through NAG (Newbie Author’s Guide). The learning curve was steep, but I am a fast and eager learner once I can find and consume information. I found out what I did and didn’t like about the way some publishers did or didn’t do things, why it is this way and not that way. If it could be tried and tested to be done this way, I was willing to try it if it made sense. Some of the visiting author who came to me after reading my story on my blog asked for advice and why I haven’t started my own publisher…
I wrestled with that idea for quite awhile. I had to undergo some other personal changes before I decided to try it. Why not make my own decisions and not have to concede to others’ rules about how to do certain things? I knew I was ready to do it for my own books, but I was a little nervous about working with other authors. When I was recommending other companies (which I will still do anyway, people have choices), they would confirm to me about some of the same things that bugged me about companies also bugged them–even the ones that are considered “good”.
Why Soaring Eagle Books is NOT a Pay-to-Publish Company
Pay-to-publish companies, subsidy publishers or “self-publishing” companies oftentimes get a bad rap and there is a whole debate on what makes a subsidy publisher/pay-to-publish company differ from a vanity publisher. Indie purists say you can’t pay a publisher to “self publish” your book. They aren’t entirely wrong. What you can’t (or shouldn’t) do yourself you should hire out people to help you, but you must find the RIGHT people. A whole different scenario of how things can go bad. You must do whatever it takes to craft a quality book to compete with traditionally published books. That’s the goal here. Who you choose to work with or do yourself doesn’t matter. If it is a quality book inside and out, mission accomplished. Period.
For any subsidy publisher or vanity publisher you are paying them to not only format and design your book, you also pay them for some “marketing” services that may or may not work to create a “package”. It may or may not work for a first book, but if you plan on publishing a lot of series or a lot of books in general, then this may become expensive and redundant in a hurry. They are also listed as your publisher and few–if any–allow you to use your own imprint. Very few–if any–allow you to keep ALL of your royalties after the retailers and such take their share? If you do use one of these companies, then you may not have direct access to your books for price changes and all that. You don’t own the accounts they create for you. You have to depend on them to report your sales to you unless you have devised a way to sort of keep track… Last but not least you ARE paying them to “publish” your book not simply package it for sale. They upload, do the sales reporting, possibly pick and choose your keywords and categories, forced to comply with their royalty rates, their renewals. NOTE: even if you are pure independent, there are renewal costs involved in some situations (website hosting, domain, some distribution, returns, etc). You may even pay or never get a copy of your book files to use for your own personal use.
This may be okay for some people. Some people not so much. That’s fine. However if your book and your publisher both suck, then you are in trouble. My starting out dilemma. The story was good, but the packaging and the publisher sucked, so how good the story was didn’t matter.
Some publishers are honest and some are not, and it’s not just a problem with the vanity publishers. Small presses have even been guilty of failing to report sales and pocketing royalties from authors. I have had this happen to me and I have spoken to a couple authors on Facebook who have had this happen with a small press with a traditional contract which can be even worse than a shady vanity publisher.
With all this going on this is where we come in. We don’t take any of the author’s money. You aren’t paying for us to publish your book. You own everything we create for you including the account we make for you. We don’t ask for your personal information. We simply help you package your book so YOU can publish it or we can help you out if you need us to. We don’t mail out the check or deposit it to your account; they come from the distributor like if you did it yourself. We are there for the folks who need a little help or all they can get. So for publishing we do formatting, interior and cover design, registration and distribution AND give you all printable copies (for print) of your own book for your own personal use (like using a local printer for your personal copies in addition to the standard distribution). If you do ebooks, then we give you all the formats for reviewers or whatever you want to do with them. It’s your book so we don’t care.
While we don’t have in house editors yet (hint, hint–if you’re a freelance editor that can do all kinds of edits aside from the copyedit, I’d like to talk to you), but maybe someday we will, but until then I have people I can recommend that I have worked with before, checked out, or have been recommended by others.
So case in short–Soaring Eagle Book’s publishing model is the middle road: it has the freedom of being totally independent and having everything you need to craft a quality book in once place and we have found the quality ones for you or we can still recommend people. Editing, cover design, and formatting are the biggest parts of the pre-publication process so you can’t skimp there and it show. Everything else will be a waste. We try to find the best price but not skimp on quality. If you can find someone who can do it for cheaper, go you! Just make sure it doesn’t look and feel cheap. Sample their work first or that cut corner will cut you a new one. Just sayin’. I am a miser just as much anyone, but if it cuts into the quality of something, then it’s not worth it.
What about the Marketing?
I do include a little something extra with every publishing level (based on distribution and format–so I may call it a “package”) without charging extra. I am trying to find marketing packages that actually work and not cost a lot. They will be different than what an author can do themselves for less or even free. Until that happens, I don’t plan on offering extra marketing here. I have a few pieces of the puzzle, but not all. I’m still trying to find those other pieces.
Presently what is offered at a lot of publishers are overpriced stuff that doesn’t work at the worst; and if it does work, it usually costs more than what an author can do themselves or hire someone else to do. I have a whole book about that which is going to be updated. There are sites Soaring Eagle Publicity offers things and I have tons of resources on NAG.
So they are a WIP as of right now. I will try them on my own books before offering them to anyone. So if you have some kind of out-of-the-box idea I would like to talk to you.
Questions? Comments? Want to get in touch? Leave a comment or go to the contact page!
Want to submit your book for publication? Head over to submissions. Check out our options in the publishing pages.