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Q: WHAT METHODS OF PUBLISHING ARE AVAILABLE
A: There are various methods to get your book published. These include: Mainstream Publishers, Self Publishing, Commissioned, and last but not least, Vanity. The merits, or otherwise of each, are detailed below.
Q: WHAT IS MAINSTREAM PUBLISHING?
A: Mainstream publishers include many well known names such as Penguin and Random House. Mainstream publishers acquire rights to your manuscript and are responsible for all of the costs associated with publishing and marketing. They take on the entire financial risk and as a consequence are extremely careful in what they will publish, therefore as a general rule they will only consider manuscripts with guaranteed commercial potential from established authors in tried and tested subject matter. It can be extremely difficult for a first-time author, or an author writing in a niche field to get their book published with a mainstream publisher. However, it is not uncommon for an author to be signed-up by a Mainstream Publisher once they have achieved some kind of proven success with a book published by a company such as Hallmark Press. Royalties paid by mainstream publishers can be as low as 5% to 10%, mainly because the financial risk is usually entirely theirs.
Q: WHAT IS SELF PUBLISHING?
To self publish your book requires patience,organisational ability and some knowledge of the printing and publishing industry would certainly prove beneficial. To self publish, in the strictest sense of the term, means that YOUR name; or a publishing name that belongs to you, appears on your book cover as the publisher of your book, you will also have been solely responsible for the overseeing of the production of your work from conception to birth, including the finding of suitable professionals to assist you in your task, such as an editor, typesetter, printer, cover designer etc. It has to be said that self publishing can have pitfalls, if you are in any doubt about your ability to produce and organise the publication of your book, be aware that there are companies such as ours who have the necessary expertise and knowledge, and can help you avoid the potential headaches, pitfalls and disasters before they occur.
Q: WHAT IS COMMISSIONED PUBLISHING?
Commissioned publishing is sometimes referred to as 'shared' 'partnership' or 'independent' publishing and can also be referred to as 'Vanity Publishing' by those individuals who prefer to tar all 'paid for' publishers with the same brush. We however appreciate that in business, as in life, there are both reputable people and organisations as well as the disreputable. We reserve the term 'Vanity Press' to refer to the more disreputable elements within the industry. Every business has its good and bad - we describe below, what, in our opinion, is meant by the less scrupulous side of publishing that we refer to as the 'Vanity Press'. Commissioned, shared, partnership or independent publishers (whatever you want to call them) supply a service to those authors who are finding it almost impossible to be accepted by the mainstream fraternity, but do not know where to begin with self publishing, or even if they do, they lack the time, inclination or organisational ability to follow it through. You effectively "commission" an independent book publisher, such as ourselves, to produce your book for you, we become the publisher and you retain the copyright, the words, "No part of this book can be stored on a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by whatever means without the prior permission in writing from the person holding the copyright" will appear in your book to further reinforce the fact that this is your work, we are merely the publisher who produces the book for you. Our service provides everything from editing, through to typesetting, cover design, proofs, printing and marketing if required. Do we charge for our services - of course we do, the professionals we use have bills to pay like the rest of us and we too need to make a living - however unlike a vanity publisher who will charge you an arm and a leg for umpteen copies, our prices commence from £49.95, a sum which, as most people would agree, could hardly be described as excessive.
Although we offer packages from £49.95 up to £3,777 the largest proportion of the latter figure is made up of the publicity and marketing service we provide - if this is not required - you can save money - we do not attempt to sell you any particular service, if you wish to invest £49.95, £595, £1,887 or indeed anything up to £3,777, rest assured it is your choice, not ours.
Human beings will spend up to £2000 to £3000 and beyond on a holiday, with nothing to show for it afterwards except memories, a fading sun tan and perhaps a few photographs, and repeat the exercise the next year, maybe even the same year; your book will remain a 'tangible' product to remind you of your writing prowess, a gift to remain with your next of kin, your little bit of immortality; it is a fact that publishing your book, either by yourself, providing you have the know how and skills, or via a company such as Hallmark, CAN lead to enhanced possibilities, which simply would not exist if your work is left gathering dust on a shelf or cupboard.
That said however, any independent publishing company that promises success in any way shape or form is lying (to put it bluntly), self publishing either by yourself or via a specialist company can offer NO GUARANTEES of success, if you are wanting us to tell you that you will become the next J.K.Rowling and make a fabulous living, think again and welcome to the real world. Rest assured we will always be honest with you, we only accept good, marketable manuscripts that have that 'Je ne sais quoi'.
As was once famously said, there are only two guarantees in life; death and taxes! You may be searching without consciously being aware of it for someone to tell you what you WANT to hear, we will instead tell you what you NEED to hear. We DO guarantee the following; we will always give you an honest appraisal of your work, if we feel it is worthy of publication we will offer you a GENUINE publicity and marketing package, and we also promise, as a famous car hire company says "to try harder," indeed we will try MUCH harder - as your success becomes our success too. Even our critiques will be honest and truthful, unlike a vanity publisher who will tell you what a wonderful example of the genre your work is, and use standard 'template' responses customised slightly with your details, ours will be honest and straightforward. If we feel it needs improving we will tell you, if we believe it is not for us, we will tell you that too. See a critique example by clicking on the said button elsewhere on this site.
Although to earn a fortune or even recover your costs can prove extremely difficult it is NOT impossible to achieve literary success, indeed if you do nothing with your work except leaving it to gather dust on a shelf, or persist for years in an attempt to have it taken up by a literary agent or mainstream publisher you may very well be delaying some kind of recognition, even in a limited way. To be truthful you may even die without obtaining an offer from a mainstream publisher! If you have attempted to go down the mainstream route you will know the truth of my words. If you wish to give your work a helping hand there are other methods, but as always, it is your choice. Once you have your book published by self, commissioned or some other means, it will certainly look more attractive than simply being left on a disc, or as a typed manuscript. Also it can at that stage begin to earn you some money, no matter how small.
If you market the book, either by yourself or through us, then you are being pro-active and taking steps to help yourself, this can lead, as stated earlier to enhanced possibilities which simply would not exist if your book remains unknown. Your investment can then be looked upon as just that - an investment - rather than a pure 'cost.'
Even if you use us for you main publicity, a person going down the self publication route with the assistance of an independent publisher should still be prepared to promote themselves - it is no good hiding your light under a bushel, we can assist and give you advice as to the best methods to use to help you promote yourself; this two pronged approach can prove beneficial to the overall awareness of your book's existence.
For more precise details of our services please visit our prices page. Our name appears on your book simply as: Published by Hallmark Press International, together with our registered office address, everything else relates to you.
Q: WHAT IS VANITY PUBLISHING?
The Vanity Press is in essence a publisher, but without any scruples, they will publish anything; as long as the content is not illegal, and for a price, which it has to be said, is usually extremely high.
We know some people regard ANY independent publisher who charges a fee as a 'vanity publisher' we however prefer to reserve the latter description to differentiate between the less scrupulous side of publishing and the more ethical side of the industry. Our ONLY interest is in offering a GENUINE service with GENUINE publicity (if required) whereby your manuscript is converted into a book which you will be incredibly proud to show people and which will HELP you in achieving literary success, even in a small way.
A few years ago it wasn't uncommon to be quoted up to £10,000 to use this method and there was no publicity or marketing support offered. Well let me elaborate there - they generally can offer publicity - to give a false impression that you are receiving terrific value, things on offer include, placing you on Amazon, registering you with Gardners the wholesalers, depositing your book with the six main UK libraries - most - if not all companies do that - NONE of those things will help to any great extent to to obtain ONE solitary sale. The buying public need to KNOW your book exists via genuine marketing and publicity - if no one KNOWS your book is out there you will not sell any - period!
Vanity publishers will, for obvious reasons, shy away from referring to themselves by such a name, usually preferring a euphemism such as: "shared" or "partnership publishing" to hide who they really are. If you are asked for a payment totalling several thousand pounds and quoted print quantities of 1000 books minimum - then you are more than likely talking to a vanity publisher, no matter what name they have called themselves. The quality of the finished product can also vary considerably. Recently we had a client ring us who had made contact with one such publisher and she had been quoted £6,000 for the supply of 3500 copies of her book, with no publicity; the sum and quantity of books quoted is simply not feasible, as 3500 copies produced as a softback, at say, a possible cost price of £3.50 (for sake of argument) means that those books would actually cost £12,250 to print and bind - how then could someone supply them for £6,000? The figures do not add up, so wisely, she did not take them up on their offer. No reputable, ethical publisher would quote those kind of prices linked with those quantities. The old adage, "buyer beware" should be remembered at all times.
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Q: WILL I FIND DETAILS ABOUT YOUR BRONZE PACKAGE ON THIS PAGE?
A: Details of our Bronze service are contained on our prices page, everything listed here relates to our Silver, Gold or Platinum packages.
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Q: I HAVE A MANUSCRIPT OR WORK IN PROGRESS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO PUBLISH, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
A: We would be extremely delighted to assess your work for potential publication. Manuscripts can be submitted on line via e mail, or forwarded in Word or P.D.F format via a disc and sent by mail to:
Hallmark Press International
78 Croham Manor Road,
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Q: WHO DECIDES WHETHER TO PUBLISH MY BOOK?
A: When your manuscript is first received at our office it will be assigned to a member of our editorial team to access its quality and commercial viability. The Directors themselves will at some point also read your work. With our Platinum package we do forward a copy of your work to an independent publishing consultant for her second opinion, we do this primarily because the author who avails themselves of this particular package is seeking large amounts of publicity and marketing and we need to make absolutely certain that we feel the book warrants such exposure, however the ultimate decision will always finally rest with the Directors.
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Q: WHAT TYPES OF BOOK DO YOU PUBLISH?
A: Hallmark Press will consider manuscripts on all subject matter. Our decision to publish is based purely on the quality of the submitted work.
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Q: ARE THERE ANY SUBJECTS THAT YOU WILL NOT PUBLISH?
A: Hallmark Press will not entertain books which contain extreme/offensive material such as pornography.
Q: DOES MY MANUSCRIPT NEED TO BE SUPPLIED IN DIGITAL FORMAT? (e.g. CD-ROM)?
A: Manuscripts are preferred in CD ROM format although this is not essential. Handwritten or typed work is acceptable, however the digital format helps to keep production costs to a minimum.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY LENGTH REQUIREMENTS FOR MANUSCRIPTS?
A: Yes, your manuscript must produce no more than approximately 800 pages in paperback form and 1000 pages in hardback format. In reality the average book is only about 175 to 275 pages in length, so this is not an issue.
Q: WHAT FORMAT DO YOU PUBLISH YOUR BOOKS IN?
A: : Hallmark Press can publish books in hardback or soft back format, but normally produces books in the following manner - our normal production methods supply a finished product which is supplied with a full colour matt laminated cover, weighing 255 g.s.m. The inside pages are produced on 80 g.s.m white bond paper, with this type of production creating a front cover which is a hybrid of hard and soft back, taking the best qualities of each and combining them into a highly durable cover which is supplied perfect bound. The size of the finished book will be 234mm x 156mm which is a conventional modern size for bookshops and libraries. Hallmark will decide the retail price based on their own experience, however when arriving at this price, account will be taken of discounts to book wholesalers etc., as well as of course the cost of printing, to ensure that there is a sufficiently high royalty payment left over after expenses, to pay the author, and eventually, at some point in the future, to the publisher as well. We recommend that the retail price of your book is at least 2.1 times the actual printing cost.
Q: CAN I INCLUDE PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS IN MY BOOK?
A: Yes, full details would be supplied upon request.
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Q: DO YOU PUBLISH BOOKS IN OTHER LANQUAGES AS WELL AS ENGLISH?
A: No. At present we only accept manuscripts written in English.
Q: DO I NEED TO PROOF-READ MY MANUSCRIPT BEFORE I FORWARD IT TO YOU?
A: It is always advisable to get friends or colleagues to read your work before you submit it. See our prices page for fuller details of exactly what is available depending on the package that you seek.
Q: I HAVE USED QUOTES AND EXCERPTS WRITTEN BY OTHER AUTHORS IN MY MANUSCRIPT, DO I NEED PERMISSION FROM EACH AUTHOR?
A: Not always. A quote from some other source without permission can be used and classified as "Fair Use". However it is extremely important to note that this will depend on:
1. The purpose and character of the work.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
3. The amount, and how substantial the portion used is, in relation to the whole.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market value of the work.
In general, if you are using more than a few adjoining paragraphs from a particular author it is always a good idea that you should get their permission before publication. It is also best if you correctly credit any sources that you use in your work. There is a plethora of information contained on copyright issues via the World Wide Web.
Q: DO I RETAIN COPYRIGHT OF MY WORK ONCE IT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED?
A: Yes, you will retain copyright of your work. Hallmark Press will register the published work with the required copyright libraries.
Q: WOULD I HAVE TO STAY WITH HALLMARK PRESS FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT EDITIONS OF MY BOOK?
A: No, although we would sincerely hope that we would build a good working relationship which would allow our partnership to continue.
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Q: HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR MY BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED?
a: This depends on a number of factors, such as number of pages, photographs, hard back or soft back covers, colour or black and white usage as well as the package that you have decided to take, i.e., Silver, Gold or Platinum. The first two could see the book published within a matter of weeks, Platinum could take a few months as this is definitely the most time consuming, especially since the production involves extremely painstaking methods. We are professionals and need to take as much time as it requires to produce a finished work of quality which both looks good and is also marketable too, We want a product, as I am sure you do too, that is something that you can be proud to have your name associated with. We will always strive to produce the product as soon as is feasible but NEVER to the extent that the finished product has suffered as a result.
Q: WHO WILL EDIT MY BOOK?
A: The process is undertaken by one of two highly experienced female staff. Where editing is included as part of the package you would be supplied with the direct telephone number, email and address of your editor.
Q: WHO WOULD DESIGN MY BOOK?
A: Your book is prepared for print by our experienced production staff. We would commission professional artists to design book covers.
Q: DO BOOK MARKETING AND PROMOTION COST EXTRA?
A: Our basic packages, Bronze and Silver, have no publicity or marketing help from ourselves, this of course does not preclude the author from organising their own publicity. The Gold service has limited marketing, whilst the full marketing and publicity service is included in our Platinum package. Fuller details are contained elsewhere on this site.
Q: CAN I CONDUCT MARKETING MYSELF?
A: You are free to conduct any additional marketing activities you desire.
Q: HOW WILL YOU PROMOTE MY BOOK?
A: Hallmark Press uses an extensive method of marketing with our Platinum service, and to a limited extent with our Gold service - full details are contained on our prices page.
Q: HOW WILL YOU SELL MY BOOK?
A: Distribution will be made via established channels such as book wholesalers, Amazon, the Internet, and our own on line shop, which is presently being created, etc.
Q: HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO PUBLISH MY BOOK?
A: Click onto the blue button to the left of the page entitled "Prices"
Q: WHAT ROYALTIES CAN I EXPECT FROM BOOK SALES?
A: 100% until you recover your costs and then 50/50
Q: WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH IF I WISH TO PUBLISH MY BOOK VIA YOUR SILVER OR GOLD SERVICE?
A: 1. We will require a separate complete print-out of your manuscript which will enable us to ensure that all formatting is happening as expected, no sections are missing, and any graphics are inserted in the correct sequence.
2. The completely-edited manuscript should be supplied as a P.D.F file to our exact specifications
3. Insurance cover for any graphics that you intend on supplying such as photos, drawings, charts should be covered for loss or damage in transit and also while in the possession of Hallmark Press.
6. Select your contract, Silver or Gold, either of which require payment in full and forward full payment to our Croydon address, together with the correct contract which will require signing where shown.
With the commissioned publishing package (Platinum), you will already have been supplied with a specific price and we will have forwarded you a copy of the correct contract to use, in this latter case with the cost being higher than Silver or Gold you will split the agreed Platinum price in three and send a one third payment with your signed contract, with the remaining two thirds becoming payable as described elsewhere on this site.
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