What is the process to take my book from contract offer to release?
When your submitted manuscript is accepted by Wings ePress you will be sent an IMF (Information and Marketing Form). We suggest that you take care in filling out the information asked for in this form. It will aid the executive editor and art director in assigning your editor and artist. See the section below on IMFs for more details.
Each book is assigned an editor and a cover artist to work directly with you to help you realize the maximum potential from your novel. These people are paid on a share-of-royalty basis which means they are making an investment in your work. Their time is limited so please be sensitive of this constraint when seeking modifications and advice. You should assume that there will be only one complete edit of your manuscript and one mock-up of your cover art. You will be asked to revise the text as needed and you will work one-on-one with you cover Artist to create a cover that best reflects your title and 'fits in' with the market. You will be expected to review the final galleys. Though every attempt is made to help you produce the best novel you can, there is neither time nor budget for extensive reworks.
In addition to those people with whom you’ll be engaging, there are others behind the scenes, including a copy editor, an artistic director, an executive editor and a publishing/distribution coordinator to get your book to the point where your readers can purchase it online. Much of this will happen without your involvement or even knowledge but, rest assured, there are several of us doing all that we can to help you see your book available in print and eBook formats.
The goal is to start this process several weeks in advance of your publication date and to complete it in the month before publication date to allow for pre-release.
How is my book formatted?
Wings uses Amazon Print and LightningSource for preparation of all paperback books and Kindle and SmashWords for creation of all eBook. These organizations have very strict formatting rules. Your editor will work with you to get your book into the best pre-format for publication but it may be changed in the copyedit and final publishing phase. These rules are beyond the control of Wings, so much will be dictated rather than negotiated. For example, special fonts are forbidden and blank lines are problematic. A full Table of Contents is required for eBooks but not for paperbacks. Undoubtedly these kinds of things will change over time and your editor will let you know of anything in your book that is likely to upset the publication process and should be able to find a rework that satisfies you and the publishing engines.
What can I do to help make my book a success?
Wings ePress has a very talented Marketing Coordinator who will occasionally schedule seminars or help groups to work with the authors in all of the areas below but there are several things that you should be doing within the Wings umbrella once you have signed your contract: you will be asked to submit your completed IMF (see below), and be responsive to your editor and cover artist. There are also broader things you can do to help make your book a success. These include:
1) Build an Amazon Author page (create your profile on Author Central). All your books will be available on Amazon and can be linked on this one page which can help your readers find all of your work and learn more about you. Spend some time on this site to see how you can take advantage of tools Amazon provides authors. But you have to create and maintain your profile; Wings can’t do that for you.
2) Build a Website. Every author should have their own website. There is a plethora of information on the web to help if you aren’t sure how to start and other authors from Wings ePress may volunteer to help if they have time to spare.
3) Market online using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, your own YouTube channel,... and the list goes on. It’s up to you to figure out the best way to work this limitless network. But keep up with marketing options on the Wings (closed, private) Facebook Group to stay in the loop, There are plans afoot to help with marketing tips and tricks.
4) Consider avenues in your local community for author talks or book signings.
5) Stay on the Wings Facebook Group. Share ideas, learn from others, help us all become better marketers and authors.
How important is Marketing?
Marketing is encouraged at Wings ePress. As soon as your book is edited, copy edited and approved for publication you will receive a PDF version of your manuscript. We encourage you to share your eBook with reviewers. Reviewers may request a different eBook format of your book. In that case, contact us and we will make any eBook version available to you. Some reviewers will only review paperback versions of your book. If that is the case, you can order your paperback versions through us at your author discount and send paperbacks through the mail.
Authors are very creative people but marketing is the 'business' of your vocation. Marketing needs to be handled professionally. Please investigate the reviewers you plan to send your books to and write to the reviewer for permission to send your book. Only send them to reviewers that are interested in your genre. When you send your eBook to them via an attachment or a paperback in the mail send a cover letter or email with your title. The cover letter/email needs to remind them that they gave your permission to send your book. Include your book genre and blurb so they can decide who will review your book. Give them your contact information along with links to your sites. Most importantly, keep track of the books you send out for review. We will offer some marketing seminars. They will be announced on Wings Facebook Group so please try to attend. They will be interactive with everyone participating so we should have lots of good ideas and can help one another.
What are the AIF and CAIFs?
These were the Author’s Information Form and Cover Art Information Form filled in by authors to assist the editors and cover artists in preparing the books. They have been merged and replaced by the IMF (see below).
What is the IMF used for?
The Information and Marketing Form (IMF) is critical to the publication and selling of your book on the internet. It tells the editor, cover artist and backroom staff, details about your book that only you as the author will know. If needed, your editor will work with you to develop a good web blurb to entice your readers. The Key Words, listed in order of importance, are crucial for helping readers find your books. Without this information, your book could miss out on potential sales and, worst case, could fail at the first publishing hurdle. That is why this document is mandatory and your book will not progress far in the publishing phase until Wings has received it. Marketing on the internet is becoming very sophisticated and that information is needed for Wings to do a credible job of marketing your books. It’s not overstating the matter to say that the IMF is almost as important in the publishing process as your manuscript itself.
How is the price of my book set?
Wings sets the price for all books in its catalogue, taking into account the book length for paperbacks. We reserve the right to change pricing as market pressures and cost structures vary.
Where Will Wings Sell our Books?
All Wings titles are made available on Amazon.com at this time. Until very recently, our books were available through a large number of online retailers including: Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor’s Blio. In the past, we have had most of our sales through Amazon.com and they offer the widest distribution of titles locally and internationally and have very good marketing strategies that are offered to benefit all authors. We may choose to go back to a more diverse availability in the future but want to work with Amazon exclusively at this time to take advantage of their marketing programs to improve and increase customer interest and build readership bases.
Will Wings ever sell any books directly from their website?
Yes. Wings has a shopping cart. The major online retailers will always have the latest and most secure technologies in this area so they are the best place for readers to purchase their books. Wings publishes and will focus on producing the highest quality books possible, leaving the retailers to focus on the sales transactions. Though we will not directly vend books from our site, customers and authors can follow links seamlessly from our website to the Amazon shopping cart. The vendors have been set up so the customers/authors will be sent directly back to the Wings website when they have finished purchasing a book/eBook
What royalties can I expect from sales?
Wings always pays 30% royalty on the sales amount received from retailers as stated in our contracts. The remainder of monies collected through sales goes to pay support staff and cover expenses. This amount may vary as fees and contracts change over time but regardless of our expenses, the author will always receive a 30% royalty of the amount we receive from the vendors.
When can I expect my royalty payment?
As Wings sells all of their books via retail outlets, we are constrained by their payment practices. In general, retailers pay anywhere from 1 – 4 months after a sale is made (depending on where the sale falls in their quarter). Wings reports royalties to authors after the end of each quarter (payments made in April, July, October, January) on all royalties received throughout the quarter. If the royalty is above $25, a payment will be issued to the author (by check for US authors, by PayPal for international authors). If the royalty is below $25 it will be rolled over into the next quarter and payment will be made when the amount earned is above $25 or twice per year (January & July payment), whichever comes first. At the end of the year, all balances are cleared regardless of amount. Authors can check on their sales via sales rank and author rank through their Author Central account.
When will my book be available for sale?
Your book will be available for sale on all/most of the online retail outlets on the first day of the month of publication. Where possible, pre-ordering will be made available for eBooks, allowing readers to purchase in advance at a discount, their order being fulfilled on the first of the month of publication. This hopefully gives you a chance to do some advance marketing and hit your release date with a large number of sales to boost your book’s profile on the various sales outlets. We are working to make the books available to the author a few weeks before their release date so they can schedule book signings when their books are released. You will be contacted when they are available for sell to the authors.
How do I get my author discounted copies of my book?
We have discovered that the only way that the authors get their full royalty discount on their paperback books is for them to purchase their author copies through the staff at Wings ePress and we do a direct sale with CreateSpace.
Some authors with Amazon Prime accounts order their copies through Amazon. Since their shipping is free they can save a substantial amount of money on their books and will still receive their quarterly royalty from the sales. Keep in mind, though, that Amazon takes their % of sale out of the amount we receive from them so the royalty for the sale is considerably less than it would be through a direct sale using CreateSpace.