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Frequently Asked Questions


What do you publish?

We’re looking for manuscripts that are well-written, interesting and well-edited. Other than pornography, hate literature and illegal activities, all subjects are welcome. We're proud of the books we publish, and know that every WingSpan author is proud to have our imprint on their book. Our Resources page offers access to a world of information about making your writing the best it can be.
Note: We accept English-language manuscripts only for publication under the WingSpan Press imprint.

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Do I have to sign an exclusive contract?

No. We are a publishing services provider. You are free to take your book wherever you want, whenever you want. If you ever wish to cancel publication, an email to your WingSpan Press representative is all it takes. They're your rights - don't give them up by signing an exclusive contract.

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How long does the whole process take?

The short answer: 6 to 8 weeks from submission of final manuscript and all materials. There are things that can affect your book's timeline, such as complex layout, lots of pictures or tables, making additions and corrections after we accept your final manuscript, etc. but most authors are holding the first copy of their book in their hands in less than 2 months from submission. Anyone who does it faster is cutting corners on quality!

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Can I get a paper proof instead of a pdf?

Once your layout and cover design are complete, we will send you pdf files for review. This works for most authors who can either proof the book online or print it themselves. But, we can send you a printed and bound proof copy for review for a fee (see our Other Services page for details.)
Changes after the layout is done are handled through the Change Request form found in your WingSpan login.

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Can my book be hardcover? How about color?

YES! Your book can be softcover or hardcover, or both.
Keep in mind that color printing is a lot more expensive than b&w. Your WingSpan Press sales rep will be happy to discuss cost and options with you.

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Do you publish Kindle books and ebooks?

All WingSpan Press books can also be formatted and published in Kindle and ebook versions. After your print book is complete, we'll reformat it into Amazon's Kindle format and publish it through Amazon.com. We'll also format your book as an epub ebook, the most popular standard besides Kindle, and publish that version through Ingram Book Group, the same distributor that carries your print book. That will make it available through dozens of online retailers, and readable by Nook, iPad, Sony Reader and pretty much all ebook readers.

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Who sets the cover price of my book?

We set a minimum Retail Price on all our books because there are some costs that you just can't reduce, e.g. printing. But we've attempted to set the minimums as low as possible and still allow you to make a reasonable profit. Pricing your book above the minimum will increase the amount you make per sale, but only you can judge how your book should be priced for your market.

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How much will I earn?

Authors earn 20% of their book’s retail price. If you choose to set the cover price higher than our minimum, you'll also earn $.50 on every dollar over that minimum price. Royalties on Kindle and ebooks are discussed on our Royalties Page.

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How often are authors paid?

Sales are posted to your author login page monthly, usually by the end of the first week following. Amazon reports Kindle sales around the middle of the month following. You'll receive a check in the mail if your account balance is greater than $50. Those with less than $50 are carried over to the next statement until they reach $50 or the end of the year, whichever occurs first.
Foreign authors are normally paid through Paypal.

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What does it cost to purchase copies of my own book?

Generally, you may buy any number of copies of your book at a 50% discount off the cover price from our Recommended Pricing Guidelines. A few things may cause that to vary, like selecting a larger trim size. If you want to order 1000 or more, we will provide you with a custom quote for an offset print run.

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Can I provide my own design?

You may. We work with outside designers frequently. Your customer service representative can help you with the technical specifications.

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How will my book be distributed?

Your book will be listed in Books in Print and the Ingram Distribution catalog. Virtually every bookstore in the world depends on those two resources to order books. It will also appear on Amazon.com, BN.com, Booksamillion and dozens of other online stores both in the US and worldwide. (Borders has stopped listing self-published books.)
All our books are also printed and distributed to the European market through our UK print and distribution partner.

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How many free books do I get?

Upon publication, we'll send you 5 copies of your softcover book. Then, you can buy as many, or as few, books as you like for your own use at our low cost of %50 off the cover price.

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Can my book be returnable?

Yes. No. We no longer offer returns on self-published books. Please read our article Returns: The Worst Idea in Publishing Since the Depression.

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Who's going to do the promotion of my book?

The big 'P'. Everyone asks this question. And nobody's happy with the answer. Which is 'YOU'. You are going to either do or pay for pretty much every bit of promotion for your book. But here's the really bad news...that's true whether you publish your book yourself or you wind up with a nice, traditional, New York publishing contract that gives you a $5000 advance. Ask any first-time author in any field. Unless that New York publishing house has a zillion dollars invested in you, they aren't going to take out ads in the New York Times Review of Books, or twist Barnes & Nobles' arm about an endcap, or book you on a cross-country TV morning show tour. They will expect you to spend most of your advance to promote yourself, because everyone knows that if you don't sell through that first 5000-book print run, there won't be another one.

It's worth reading about the publication woes of five-time Emmy Award winner Peter Lance when he sold his first fiction book. The interview with him is available through the excellent web site www.writerswrite.com.

But the good news is that we offer several useful marketing tools. Visit our Marketing page for details.

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How do I get started?

It's really simple.
Read our Submission Guidelines.
Print, read and sign the Publishing Agreement, and fax or mail it to us (we'll return a signed copy to you).
Then send us your manuscript to info@wingspanpress.com and we're off and running. You can use that email to ask us questions, or feel free to call us at 1-866-735-3782. (1-866-SELF PUBLISH)

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What is an ISBN, and who does it belong to?

The ISBN is the International Standard Book Number that uniquely identifies your book. To quote isbn.org, the organization that manages ISBNs:

'The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors'.

In other words, the ISBN is just an identifier so that publishers, distributors and bookstores can keep it straight with all the other millions of books out there. ISBNs are specific to publishers. If you take your book to another publisher, they will automatically assign one of their own ISBNs to your book. If you want to re-issue your book on your own, you must acquire your own ISBNs since you are becoming the 'publisher of record.'

NOTE: ISBNs are not related in any way to who owns the rights to your work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something, usually palette loads of books you can store in garage without any clue how to get them distributed.

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Can I get my own ISBNs? Can I buy just one?

In recent years, RR Bowker, the company that manages ISBNs has established www.myidentifiers.com, where you can buy one or ten ISBNs. Owning your own ISBN makes you the publisher or record and let's you publish under your own imprint. But there's more to it. If you're interested in starting your own imprint, read this: Publishing Under Your Own Imprint.

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Will you still publish my book if I use my ISBN?

Yes indeed. Your manuscript will go through the same process as books produced under our imprints, including setup and layout, printing, sales and distribution, but it will be printed with your ISBN and imprint on the cover and on the copyright page, and be listed online under your imprint name. In fact, WingSpan Press is the 'production department' for several small publishing houses.

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By David O'Neill Design