Frequently Asked Questions
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Does Rapier provide editing services?
Once Rapier commits to publishing your book, and your manuscript is submitted to RPC, RPC does review your manuscript, and provides light editing; however, the overall editing is the responsibility of the author. Editing is a long, and timely process, and it can be very costly. Rapier can provide in-depth editing and manuscript overhaul starting at $500.00 to $5000.00(+). We send your manuscript to our editors who will edit your book. Editing is very crucial in selling your book, so make sure your book is edited. Invest in getting your book edit. If you need an editor, RPC will assist you in getting you a competent individual who will professionally edit your book. Editing is a key element in your book’s marketability. Your Voice in print needs to be interesting and well-written, but if it contains typos and mistakes, it’s a liability for a bookstore to carry it. No matter how interesting or powerful a story is, bookstores are a business, so they choose to carry books with a low risk of being returned.
Why should an author choose RPC as their publisher?
Rapier is committed to partner with you in getting your voice in print. We are small but growing in leaps in bounds. Our motto is partner publishing, where we become a team, and you are the team captain. We hear your voice, your desire and your heart for your book, and will make sure that the final product will be pleasing to you, and your readers. In fact, your story will not be published until you are completely satisfied.
Understanding Royalty Rates and Book Pricing
Royalty is the money that is left over for the author after his/her book is sold. Royalty is determined after print cost, taxes, shipping, and other administrative costs are deducted after the sale of the book. (Retail price minus retailer charges minus production cost equals Royalty (Net Profit).
Royalties are only provided on book sales from web book sites, other sites that sell books, brick and mortar bookstores, or brick and mortar establishments that sell books.
Royalties from other venues, such as Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon.com, bookstores, retail stores and other entities as such, are at the discretion of those entities and not the Publisher. The Publisher has no control over these entities royalty rates distribution. (This is industry standard to get your book on the sites and in bookstores.) However, the royalty rate from these entities shall be distributed at 70% once the Publisher receives them. These entities purchase books at a 55% discount. Therefore, if your book retail cost is $15.00, these entities at a 55% discount will pay only $6.75 per book. If the book cost $3.00 to print, the remaining balance is $3.75. After the admin cost (not to exceed 2% of the transaction), the author receives 70% of the remaining balance. (Admin cost is the returned book fee, and website upkeep to promote the book on the website and social media.)
Having your book on these sites is very advantageous; however, in the beginning, I recommend that the Author establish book sales by selling his or her book to establish a larger platform and to increase the numbers of book sales on these sites. These entities are good for large numbers and not necessarily profitable gain until a larger audience is obtained. This goes for having your book in bookstores. Again, the most economical way for an Author to make profits is to market and promote his or her books via social media, going on book tours and setting up book events. (Even huge stars and musical personalities go on tours to market and promote their products.)
Compensation or royalty payments from these entities are three months in the rear. For example, if you sold 50 books in June, you will not receive a royalty payment until the end of September or the 1 st part of October. They do this because some patrons returned the book, so the purchase of the book sale is deducted from the sales or profit for the month.
Due to the increasing number of books published, RPC will no longer sell books on its website. However, RPC will have a direct link to all its author's books, so an individual can purchase a book directly from the author. It is highly encouraged that authors have a website that enables individuals to purchase books.
Placing Books Through Other Sources
Rapier has no control of pricing through other sources of distribution, i.e., Amazon.com, B&N.com, etc. In order for your books to be sold on these sites, there is an automatic 55% discount off the purchased cost of your book, leaving 45% to be distributed between the print cost, RPC and the author. (This is industry standard.) The positive side to this is, through mass distribution, the books are distributed nationally and internationally. This means, more people will get a chance to review and purchase your books.
Royalties from these sites will be distributed after a three month period. If you have royalties from books sales in January, you will not receive a royalty check until April. This wait is needed in case books are returned. RPC does not have a book return fee; therefore, all books returned will go against the author's royalties for that period. RPC has the right to wait until there is at least $50.00 in royalty payout to distribute royalty checks. If $50.00 is not attained at the end of the quarter, royalty checks will be mailed the following quarter. The author will receive an end of year royalty statement for taxes. It is the author’s responsibility to report royalties to the IRS.
Placing ebook Orders
The publishing industry considers an eBook a separate book with a separate ISBN. Therefore, eBooks are a separate package and cost. If an author is interested in getting his book in eBook format, the cost is $300.00 with an additional $.60 per page. Ebooks sales from Amazon (Kindle)/ B&N (Nook) and Apple (iBooks) will distribute 70% royalties. After all accrued expenses are paid.
Placing Book Orders Through RPC
At RPC, it is our job is to provide competitive book pricing that is equal or below the average industry book print cost. Our goal is to make sure the author is able to afford his books and at the same make a reasonable profit. Although print and distribution cost has risen in the past years, it is our pleasure to inform our authors that we are still able to fulfill our goals in making sure our pricing is competitive. Our authors can purchase books through RPC for $3.00 each above print and shipping cost. The number of books purchased, and shipping cost will determine the price of each book. However, if an author purchases a large number of books at one time, volume pricing is available to authors at discounted prices. Our objective is not to increase the cost of books, but to create a profitable exchange for the author and RPC. All books sold via eBooks.
Marketing Your Book
Before You Write Your Book:
1) Create your book marketing plan.
2) Conduct market research (make sure a market exists for your idea and get to know your target buyers, what they want or need, and what influences their buying decisions).
3) Set up your author website (or even a branded website for this particular book or series).
4) Set up your social media profiles if you don't already have them.
5) If you're writing nonfiction, start building your reputation as an authority in your niche or industry.
6) If you're writing fiction, become active in reader communities related to your book (from joining forums to publishing a book review blog). Help fans of your genre know who you are before your book comes out.
While You're Writing Your Book
If you choose to do an author’s blog, post to it regularly. Create a blog editorial calendar filled with post ideas to take you through at least one month after your book release. Consider writing several posts while your manuscript is on with your editor and schedule them to go live in the coming weeks or months.
Start actively building your social media networks and building relationships with friends or followers. A common mistake is thinking you need to be everywhere. Choose one to three social networks to focus on. These won't necessarily be the ones you like the most, but rather the ones your target readers use the most (and which tend to influence them the most).
3-9 Months Before Launch
Set up an account with an email marketing service (like MailChimp or Aweber) and start building your list. If you don’t want to use these services, there are others to choose from. Just choose!
Send occasional emails to your list (bi-weekly or monthly is enough).
Build a preliminary list of influencers or target reviewers.
Build a list of blogs, websites, and other publications or media outlets you'd like to appear in (interviews, excerpts, guest posts, etc.) during your launch publicity tour.
Build a media list for press release distribution (industry publications, your local media outlets, etc.).
Create a list of special event/holiday tie-ins. Are there any holidays, conventions, book fairs, etc. that you can tie your book promotion to?
Have your author headshot taken. Add it to your website and all social media profiles. You're looking to build a consistent image.
Do not keep changing your photo in the months leading up to your launch date.
3-6 Months Before Launch
Create a simple marketing calendar to help you track appearances, guest posts, interview dates, etc.
Reach out to the outlets you'd like to visit during your publicity tour. When you land a guest post, interview, or appearance, try to confirm the date early. Use your marketing calendar to keep track of these. (For things like guest posts, track both deadlines to submit your material and the date your content will go live.)
Contact key reviewers who might be open to reviewing an advanced copy.
Send an advanced copy of your book to any key reviewers who express an interest (especially those with long lead times).
Start writing guest posts early as soon as you get confirmation from hosts.
Have a video trailer created for your book (if you plan to use one).
Look the Part
Think about what the interview is about and the organization you represent, then pick appropriate clothes. If you work for an environmental legal firm and are invited to do an interview about a specific case, dress in business attire. But if you’re the spokeswoman for a weekend environmental rally, it makes more sense to wear a T-shirt featuring your group’s logo. Use your outfit as a tool to support your credibility and the credibility of what you say during the interview.
Wear Solid Colors
Certain patterns look blurry on television, so it’s best to avoid patterned clothing altogether. Stick to solid colors, especially blues, pastels, and natural tones. Avoid wearing red, white, and black. Red bleeds on screen, while white can make you look washed out. Contrary to what you may think, black clothing does not have a slimming on television. The lack of contrast means the camera will have trouble di_erentiating your clothed arms from your clothed torso in the shot, which can make you look wider.
Light-catching the diamonds on your rings or the glass on your watch can be distracting during a TV interview. Dangly earrings and bulky necklaces, meanwhile, can create noise that’s picked up by lapel microphones. Wear simple pieces of jewelry, and make sure your glasses are glare proof. Unless your interview is about jewelry or accessories, avoid distracting details that will keep the audience from listening to what you’re saying.
1-3 Months Before Launch
Add a sales page for your book to your website or blog. You can keep it private until launch day unless you're accepting pre-orders.
Create your media kit (author Q&As, high-resolution author photos and book cover images, your launch press release, etc.).
Write your launch day press release.
Contact more potential reviewers.
Send more advanced copies to reviewers (new ones or those with shorter lead times).
Continue writing guest posts or preparing excerpts for publicity tour hosts.
Prepare your elevator speech/elevator pitch (be able to describe your book to someone within 30 seconds). You can use this when contacting potential reviewers or members of the media.
Pre-write some social media updates promoting your book (anything from tweets to excerpts to unique articles related to your book). Don't load them with hype, exclamation points, or pleas for followers to buy your book. That makes you look like an amateur, and it also makes you look desperate. It's okay to announce the release, but make sure most updates have value to your followers -- tips to educate, fun facts to entertain, etc.
1 Week Before Launch
Schedule as many of your pre-written social media updates as possible (when the networks allow it).
Confirm any upcoming guest posts, interviews, live appearances, etc.
Monitor comments on any guest posts or online interviews that have gone live, and take the time to respond (politely and professionally).
Contact additional potential reviewers and send review copies when requested (to keep an early flow of reviews coming in).
Make sure your book information is live and correct on distribution sites (Amazon, Smashwords, your own private
delivery service for direct sales, etc.).
Set up related author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, or other book distribution sites or author communities if you haven't already.
Announce your book release on your blog or your website.
Announce your book release via social networks (and take the time to thank or respond to others who share your news).
Send out your launch day press release.
Add "buy now" links to your website and anywhere else relevant.
Add a link to your book sales page to your email signature and any relevant forum signatures.
Send out an email newsletter to your mailing list with a link to buy your book.
Hold a launch party or other book release event if you want to.
1-3 Months Post-Launch
Send "thank you" notes, emails, cards, to people who helped you promote your book (such as publicity tour hosts and interviewers or advanced reviewers).
Continue to seek reviews for your book.
Continue posting to your author blog to keep a regular reader coming back. Close each post with a call to action related to your book.
Continue updating your social media accounts.
Continue making publicity tour stops (online or in-person).
If you've received particularly good reviews or testimonials, ask the reviewer if you can share them in whole or in part on your website.
Plan a contest to drum up fresh interest in your book.
Submit your book for award consideration if appropriate.
3-6 Months Post-Launch
Continue to seek reviews for your book.
Continue posting to your author blog to keep regular readers coming back. Close each post with a call to action related to your book.
Continue updating your social media accounts.
This is your chance to be creative and think outside the box!
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We look forward to getting your voice in print!