Let the countdown begin! Just ten more days until we open subs. We’ve had a lot of people emailing or messaging our Facebook page with questions, so we wanted to take a minute to answer some of the FAQs here!
First of All
Okay. All clear? On to the questions!
What Do We Charge?
There’s no membership fee to join Snowy Wings Publishing. The only cost associated with us directly is our ISBNs, which are $5.75 apiece (instructions on how to get your numbers are available in the author portal if you are accepted to SWP). However, our standards and guidelines do require that you work with professional freelance editors and cover designers to ensure that your finished product reaches the standards required for IBPA membership—but note that this is a highly recommended expenditure for all self-publishing authors, and we strongly urge that you do this if you are planning on self-publishing at all, regardless of whether you work with us or not. Our in-house editors and designers offer discounts to SWP members, but you work out payment directly with them rather than paying anything to us. Our suggested budget if you’d like to plan ahead is to anticipate $0.005 to one cent per word for line/copy edits, $150-$300 for your cover, and $50-$150 for interior formatting. (Disclaimer: This is simply a rough estimate based on this author’s personal experiences. Please consult with your chosen freelancers for a more exact quote.) If you have not self-published before and are unfamiliar with current standard guidelines for successful indie authors, we recommend you check out 20 Books to 50K® to familiarize yourself. Another great resource is Susan Kaye Quinn’s blog for authors.
Are Our eBooks in Kindle Unlimited or Available Widely?
It’s up to every author individually! You are welcome to experiment with wide distribution or Amazon exclusivity (required for enrollment in Kindle Unlimited). There is more information about the pros and cons and how to upload your books at various retailers in our author portal if you are accepted to SWP.
How Our Books Are Printed
Since SWP is self-publishing with a group, our authors are in charge of their book setup, which ensures that you get 100% of your royalties without having to worry about any middleman. We do require that our authors use IngramSpark for their paperbacks and hardcovers, because IngramSpark enables our wholesale distributors to order directly from them—which means no muss or fuss on your end, just easy availability to bookstores, schools and libraries, and direct payment from Ingram. If you would like to additionally use CreateSpace or KDP to distribute to Amazon only (no expanded distribution) in order to receive a higher royalty rate from sales placed through that channel, that option is available and we have walkthroughs on the author portal to guide you.
Our Current Wholesale & Distribution Partners
Ingram Book Company is one of the major book distributors in the United States, distributing to almost 40,000 retail and library partners. One of these distribution partners is Baker & Taylor, the leading distributor to libraries. Baker & Taylor also distributes to academic institutions and retailers. We have an additional wholesale distribution partnership with Brodart Books, which, according to TCK Publishing, is “a powerhouse for selling into the library market. They help librarians develop their collections and take care of major library orders.” We are currently in talks with other wholesalers and distributors, and while we’re not at liberty to disclose the details, we hope to be announcing new partners over the coming months that will make our books even more widely available in bookstores and libraries across the United States.
How Do Librarians (or Bookstores) Find SWP’s Books?
With our variety of distribution channels and wholesale partnerships, our books are easily available to pretty much any librarian or bookseller who wishes to order our books. The important thing is to ensure that they know about our books.
Being an author-run co-op, Snowy Wings Publishing is focused on getting our authors where they want to be. In 2018, we have had two different focuses, driven by author interest:
- eBook sales and reaching the indie book market: This strategy focuses on driving eBook sales over print sales and has been the primary goal of most of our NA authors as well as our upper YA authors/YA authors who are focused on marketing to adult readers of YA rather than teens.
- Library sales: This is the strategy that’s been favored this year by our MG authors and YA authors who are focused on marketing to teenagers.
To that end, we’ve been working as a group on a big push to schools and libraries in the second half of 2018, and hope to continue to increase our marketing reach in this avenue. In addition to our group mailings and other marketing efforts, individual authors are welcome and encouraged to try their own marketing strategies and share ideas for new marketing techniques with the group.
At this time there has been more interest from our authors in reaching libraries than reaching brick-and-mortar bookstores, due to the lower risk factors associated with library orders (e.g., lower likelihood of returns). However, as our group continues to grow, if authors with different goals join we are absolutely happy to adapt and continue working to expand our reach! You are also welcome to do as much as you would like to target the markets you as an individual author would like to hit. Member authors have access to opportunities offered by IBPA such as advertisements in trade magazines, slots at trade shows, and more, so if that’s what you’re interested in, just let us know. Since this is self-publishing, it’s all about your individual focus on what parts of the market you want to reach. We’re here to support you every step of the way.
TL;DR: Don’t be discouraged if there’s something you want here that we don’t have yet. We are still growing and we’re steered by our authors’ wants and needs. If you are willing to put in the work, we are confident we can help you get where you want to go.
We hope this information is helpful to you if you were considering querying Snowy Wings Publishing. If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, please feel free to leave a comment or message us on Facebook if you have a question you’d like answered privately.