Short Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
+- What are the advantages of (good) self-publishing?
Advantage #1: No one can stop you. The traditional model of publishing often places authors in a waiting, dependent role; with self-publishing it’s you who decides what to publish and when. You will enjoy complete creative control and possibly the great speed with which you can bring your book to market. You can further expect to enjoy higher royalty rates, typically double or more traditional rates, and a lower cost to purchase books.
+- What are the advantages of (good) traditional publishing?
Advantage #1: Somebody else is footing the bill. Even ‘free publishing’ has costs associated with it, even if it is ‘only’ in the cost of books. Plus, a traditional publisher may be able to substantially increase your reach in the marketplace via bookstore, library, and subsidiary rights sales. Even though your royalty rates are lower on a per-copy basis, your royalty earnings are likely to be higher, and you will not have incurred costs along the way.
+- How do I begin publishing through Epigraph?
For any level of service, schedule a consultation on our contact page
. DIY author-publishers will be able to upload their files here and otherwise initiate their publishing process. You can also call us at 845-876-4861.
+- Why does Epigraph begin their publishing process with consultation?
We begin with consultation because we want you to be happy with your publishing choices and the publishing services we’ll be delivering, so this is our opportunity to make sure we understand what you are looking for. The initial consultation is also offered to authors. Consultations can happen via email, phone, or in-person.
+- Does ‘free, no obligation consultation’ mean I will be contacted by a salesperson?
In a word, no. We feel publishing is a significant, potentially life-altering event that should be undertaken in as clear-minded and informed a fashion as possible, and not under the duress of sales or marketing tactics or people. We do not follow up exploratory consultations with emails or phone calls, though we will, no doubt, be very happy to have you come back as a client. Those who wish to stay in touch can sign up for our newsletter.
+- Is there really any difference between self-publishing company agreements and services?
There are very important differences in self-publishing agreements and the quality of services delivered. A bad agreement will have you paying high rates for poor quality publishing services while restricting your rights and lowering your royalties. Epigraph’s flexible, author-centric agreement and process will help you fully and profitably deploy your full creative and financial rights through a proven publishing sequence.
+- What is Epigraph’s acceptance policy?
Epigraph will accept any book for publication that does not violate the rights of other people. The work must be original to the author, and the author must be the rightful owner of the work. Any permissions required to honor the copyrighted work of other artists and writers must be secured by the author in advance of publication.
+- How do I order books through Epigraph?
By phone or email to a designated contact provided at the start of the publishing process.
+- How do I determine how much my book will cost to print and my royalties?
See our print and royalty calculator for on-demand publishing. Custom publishing authors will be provided quotes in our estimating and consultation periods.
+- How often are royalties paid?
Monthly for any book whose royalties have exceeded $25. Deferred royalty amounts are rolled over to next month, and paid as soon the $25 threshold is met. Royalty reports are issued monthly whether royalty thresholds have been met or not.
+- How many graphics can I place inside my book?
There is no limit on the number of graphics used, but complex book design rates may apply.
+- Can I use my own design?
Yes, either via one of our supported DIY programs or by asking your designer to replicate a design you have provided.
+- How long will it take for Epigraph to publish my book?
You should allow approximately 1 to 2 months for simple to moderately complex books. Complex books may require several months depending on complexity of design, length of manuscript, and the revision process utilized by author.
+- Does Epigraph offer expedited publishing services?
Yes, we offer both expedited design and expedited printing. Contact us for the best quotes and fastest turnaround times in the industry.
Publishing terms you should get to know
+- Self-publishing (in a nutshell)
Author finances publication, retains all rights to their intellectual property, maintains full creative control, and earns profits rather than royalties.
+- Self-publishing company
Self-publishing companies provide publishing services necessary for publication including industry registrations, printing, distribution, editing, design, and marketing as needed by the author. Self-publishing companies generally offer nonexclusive services and do not exert any creative control.
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. ISBNs are a publishing industry requirement for wholesale and retail distribution. Each format of your work requires its own ISBN. E.g. A book published in paperback, eBook, and hardcover editions requires 3 ISBNs.
+- Library of Congress registration
Industry requirement for books sold to libraries. Once registered, your book receives a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), which must be printed on your copyright page. Upon publication, the author must supply a finished copy of the book to the Library of Congress to complete the registration.
+- Bowkers (Books in Print) registration
Largest database for books in print used extensively by wholesalers, retailers, and libraries.
+- Copyright protection
In order to protect your intellectual property from theft and unauthorized use, you must copyright your work. There are two levels of copyright protection. One is the copyright notice published on a book’s copyright page, such to include the copyright symbol (©) associated with the book’s title and the author’s name. The more stringent (and recommended) method of obtaining copyright protection is to file for a copyright with the United States Copyright Office, which can now be done electronically online. Visit www.copyright.gov
for more information.
Barcodes are an industry requirement for all manner of products. They are used to facilitate the tracking of sales and inventory by retailers and wholesalers. Books require specialized barcodes that include ISBN and retail price. Barcodes are printed on the back cover of books.
+- POD and on-demand
POD (print-on-demand) and ‘On-demand’ are interchangeable terms. On-demand publishing has two components, printing and distribution, which are shown below.
+- On-demand distribution
Books are printed and shipped when ordered from online retailers such as Amazon. No advance inventory is required. Print costs are then deducted from sales receipts and the resultant profit is paid to the author as royalties.
+- On-demand printing
Print and ship service for author purchases of books. May be used by author for wholesale transactions. E.g. A bookstore purchases books from author. Author may print and ship the books directly to the bookstore.
+- Wholesale discount
The discount that is given to resellers (wholesale accounts) such as Amazon, bookstores, and book wholesalers, expressed as a percentage of retail price. E.g. A 40% wholesale discount on a $10 book means a discount of $4 and a wholesale price of $6. In on-demand publishing, the lowest wholesale discount that may be offered is 20%. The higher the wholesale discount given, the broader a book’s distribution will be. The lower the wholesale discount, the higher the per-copy royalty.
+- Offset and Web printing
Offset and Web printing refers to the type of printing equipment used in traditional publishing or for larger print runs in general. Significant savings over on-demand printing for 2,000 copies or more. Contact us for quote as these quantities are not reflected on our site’s print and royalty calculator.
+- eBook design, files and conversion
The process of producing eBook files from completed physical book designs is called eBook conversion. eBook files are ready for upload at resellers such as Kindle, Nook, and Apple. In the process of eBook conversion, design components, such as page numbers, are removed to allow adjustable (by the reader) font sizes.
+- eBook distribution
eBook distribution refers to the process of uploading and maintaining vendor relationships with multiple eBook resellers.
Editorial process designed to correct errors in formatting, typos, misspelling, and grammatical errors. It is the common consensus of established authors and most publishing companies that every manuscript needs to copyedited before publication, and that copyediting is a process best done by someone other than the author, and according to established rules of grammar as published in the Chicago Manual of Style.
“Royalties” refers to the monies paid to authors from distributed sales. In self-publishing, royalties should be (and are at Epigraph) the same as profits and are calculated from the formula: wholesale receipts minus printing cost. In traditional publishing, royalty percentages are based on either retail price or net sales receipts (after wholesale discounts have been applied).
Epigraph terms used on this site
+- Free Consultation
Book publishing is complex. The Epigraph publishing process offers (optional, though at no cost) consultation throughout the publishing process and for the lifetime of your Epigraph book. Consultation may include any or all of the following: title and subtitle selections, optimal formatting targets to achieve best results in sales and royalty percentages, wholesale discounting, setting retail price, competitive analysis, rights and permissions concerns, copyright, copyright page layout, back cover copy, marketing, and publicity strategy.
+- Easy to cancel agreement
Your Epigraph agreement may be cancelled at any time for any reason with 30 days’ notice.
+- All rights retained by author
Epigraph agreements are nonexclusive and do not preclude your ability to sell your books or the publishing rights to another company or person. Your rights extend to the ability to set your own retail price and wholesale discount and to the ownership of your printing files.
+- DIY options
Epigraph offers a new kind of DIY (do-it-yourself): Supported DIY. Think Ikea, only with a more responsive team to answer questions, or to provide needed services. DIY is one way authors can reduce their initial publishing costs by either formatting their book’s interior on their own, or by designing their own cover. Print submission requirements and cover templates are provided to author by Epigraph.
+- Accepts Print-ready PDF's
Epigraph’s printers use PDFs to print from. Printer submission guidelines and templates for cover are provided to author by Epigraph.
+- Copyright Page design meets industry standards
We either design or review your copyright page to make sure your copyright information and formatting is within industry standards.
+- Epigraph Custom design
Epigraph's fully custom-designed books, covers, and interiors are original, one-a-kind products, not templates provided to the authors. Our custom design process allows for direct interaction between author and designer. There are no set limitations as to what may be included in a design.
+- Custom publishing solutions
Refers to the processes of custom design, printing, and distribution for books that require manufacturing materials not available through on-demand publishing. Custom publishing solutions are most often used for books dependent on strong visual content such as art and photography books, cookbooks, and children’s books.
+- Bookstore sales and returns
Though on-demand publishing was primarily designed with online resellers in mind, bookstore sales can be accommodated by setting a book’s wholesale discount at 50% or higher, and by offering returns privileges.
+- Bulk quantity on-demand printing prices
Discount schedule for B/W and premium color printing: 50 copies, 5%, 100 copies, 10%, 250 copies, 20%, 500 copies, 25%, discounts from single unit cost: see our print and royalty calculator.
+- Discount complex book design rates
The design and printing of complex books is an Epigraph specialty. We offer our highest-caliber design services to Epigraph authors at a substantial discount over prevailing market values.
+- Epigraph royalties (profits)
Epigraph royalty (profit) formulas are based on sales receipt minus print cost. Since the author has control over setting retail price and wholesale discount, royalty percentages can be exactly known once the design process is complete, and before publication. Since print costs are driven largely for format and page length, Epigraph’s consultation in setting design format targets before the design process begins, may have a great impact, certainly a lasting one, in establishing print costs and royalties.