How exactly can Servus Publishing help me?
When it comes to your book, we’ll do as little or as much as you need.
For example, many members of Jim’s community have ideas for potentially great books. If you’re one who has a book “in you,” but you know nothing about the writing or publishing process, we can get you started. We can develop a roadmap for you. We can help you brainstorm your book. We’ll find a writer for you (called a “ghost writer”) if you don’t have the skills or time to turn your ideas into manuscript. We’ll find an Editor to get the grammar bugs out. We’ll find a cover designer to create a high-interest cover. We’ll get your book published as both an ebook (such as on the Amazon Kindle) and in paperback format.
If, however, you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum as some are, and you have a book completed and edited but you don’t want to mess with getting it formatted in ebook and/or paperback formats, we can do that final step. We can get your book up for sale on Amazon and elsewhere immediately.
You mentioned using a ghost writer if I don’t have time or all of the skills needed to turn my great ideas into a book. Isn’t using a ghost writer wrong since I won’t be writing the book that lists my name on the cover as the author?
Using a ghost writer is absolutely not wrong, and is often encouraged. Unlike almost any other medium, people have been using ghost writers to put their ideas into readable books with their own names on them ever since Job jotted down God’s inspired words about 4,000 years ago.
Although you can’t steal a Van Gogh and put your own name on his paintings to sell as your own, you must understand that a book is somewhat akin to being part of the soul of the book’s originator: you! It’s your story. It’s your teaching. It’s your idea collection.
The ghost writer’s job is purely mechanical. His or her job requires getting into your mind and conveying your desires for the book to a wide audience. In the publishing world, it’s 100% acceptable and honest to use a ghost writer if you don’t feel capable, don’t have the time, or don’t have the desire to turn your ideas into a complete book.
How long must my book be?
In today’s world, it’s a great time to be a writer! All you need is a great idea, not a lot of words. There’s no requirement to the length for books, such as one that will appear on the Kindle app and Kindle devices. A huge number of Kindle ebooks that Amazon sells are relatively short but command full price.
If you publish a short ebook, like one that is only 50 to 100 pages long (Kindle “screens”), then your book might be too short for a paperback edition. However, a short book is fine to sell as an ebook. If the content is powerful, you shouldn’t hesitate to sell your book for as much as any other comparable title. We’ll encourage you to price your books based on content, not length.
Will my book’s publisher be Servus Publishing or will a different company ultimately publish my book when you’re done with it?
You will publish your book! We at Servus Publishing are here only to help fill in the gaps along the way. Our job is to help move your book along in whatever way you desire. We are a self-publishing company. That means you will publish your own book. Even if we have to actually get your book written and published, it will always have your name on it as the author and your publishing company as the publisher.
What are the tax implications of publishing a book?
You know what we need to say first, right? “Consult your tax advisor for any and all tax advice”!
In general, this is a general overview of what to expect as an author: Your book may or may not sell. (We hope it sells almost as much as you do!) Whether one copy or one million copies sell, the payments on books for most people are considered “royalties” and not regular income in the traditional sense. Depending on what your tax adviser says, you may have tax advantages in receiving royalties as opposed to traditional income.
Keep in mind that you don’t need an official publishing business with its own tax ID to own your own publishing empire today! An example to help clarify: Suppose you write and publish five books on five different subjects, you can publish them under five different fictitious publisher names! Amazon doesn’t care, the IRS doesn’t care, and your readers certainly don’t care.
What Amazon and the IRS do care about is where the income goes. This comes from the tax ID information you give Amazon when you create your self-publishing account. (By the way, we can also do this for you or walk you through it.) You might be Julie Smith or Joe South sitting in your pajamas pumping out one book a week in your bedroom. If so, then you may want to be taxed as an individual by simply telling Amazon your Social Security number when you create your publisher account (obviously, if you live outside the USA, you’ll have a similar number for your government’s retirement plan). Amazon will never make you put your name on any of your books as the publisher name. You don’t even have to be the author, you can make up a pen name just as Samuel Clemens did (think: Mark Twain)!
Isn’t self-publishing frowned upon by the traditional big publishers and bookstores?
Yes. Certainly. Without a doubt.
In addition, since self-publishing has so greatly harmed the coffers of the big publishing companies and bookstores who didn’t adjust their strategies quite quickly enough, those guys really frown upon the self-publishing industry!
To be fair, many of the big firms still exist and do great work. Many traditional bookstores, local and a few chains, are still around and sell lots of books.
For the author, however, wouldn’t you rather keep 70% of what Amazon sells your book for than 8 to 12% which is a common royalty book publishers pay their authors? Technology has changed everything. It used to be that self-publishing was derided by the big publishing houses who mocked the process, calling self-publishing “vanity press.” With today’s technology, it’s a whole new ball game. Readers can no longer distinguish between books self-published and those published by the big publishing houses except for the name of the publisher on the spine and copyright page. The dirty little insider secret that you already know is that readers don’t care who publishes your book if your book contains useful information or enjoyable stories.
Won’t the big publishers pay me an advance, not charge me to publish my book, and promote my book so it appears in bookstores everywhere?
In a word…. No.
It’s no secret that the big publishers have fallen on hard times. The self-publisher now has the technology to be a monopoly and the big publishers lost their ability to be a monopoly. If you have a final edited book which is formatted for Amazon Kindle today, it can be selling on Amazon tonight.
The big-money advances to anyone who’s not a Brad Thor are long gone. First-time authors who are able to get their book published by a large traditional publishing firm get little to no advance money. Worse, these publishers won’t promote your book! They expect the author to do all promotional work until the book begins to sell well. Then, and only then, will a publisher start to put money into advertising a book.
It sounds as though I should stay completely away from traditional publishers. Right?
Not quite. They have their place. It’s just that their place is far more limited today for authors than it used to be. Although a lot of publishers have pared down, gone out of business, or consolidated in an effort to fight their loss to the self-publishing book market, some publishers have been publishing books for a century or more. They know what they’re doing better than anybody.
For you, however, as a new author, it’s extremely difficult to get in the door of one of the big publishers no matter how good of an idea or story you have. It’s possible; it’s just not probable.
If anything, getting published the traditional way is even more difficult today than it was when the big publishers controlled the markets and distribution. You might think they’d be more willing to take on new authors to not let those new authors keep all the sales revenue by publishing their own books. The problem is that big publishers are working on much leaner margins than they use to because of the competition. They’re more hesitant to accept new titles. That means, it’s harder than ever to get published by them.
But there is a way to get noticed by them! Publish your own book. Promote your own book. (Remember, you’d have to promote your own book if they publish it first because you have no track record in book sales. They won’t drop a dime on advertising new authors who have no track record.) Provide value to your readers, serve your readers, make your book the best possible title on whatever you write about. Get sales, work that book, buy pay-per-click advertising on Amazon if you have to. If you work it, and your book really begins to take off, guess who’s going to form a line at your front door? (Well, your virtual front door, they’ll be contacting you through Amazon nonstop!) Those big publishing houses will pester you to publish your book!
Does Viking Publishing want to publish a book by a first-time author who’s never written a book before? No. Does Viking Publishing want to publish a book that a first-time author self-published and sold 100,000 copies of that self-published book? Oh, yes. Viking and the others really want that book!
As you see, today self-publishing is the best avenue to get your book published, sold, and ultimately, hopefully, picked up by a big-name publisher who will take your proven book and leverage the sales with lots of promotion and almost always a generous advance on your future royalties with them.
Pro Tip: If you sell 100,000 copies of your own self-published book, you may very well want to ignore those big publishers knocking at your door! Almost always, you’ll make more keeping things just the way they are.
Is it true I retain all rights to my book?
No matter what area of your book publishing that we at Servus Publishing help you with, you always retain all rights to your book(s). That means if we take just a few ideas you have and we ultimately find a ghost writer, and we then get those ideas turned into a final, bestselling book, our job and relationship to that book is completely over. You can do anything you want with that title. Sell it on your own, raise or lower the price, make a comic book out of it and give us nothing from those comic book sales! We never ever want anything from your sales; our job is simply to help you get a book published in any way you need help.
Remember, however, if a traditional publisher ever wants to publish a best-selling book you published yourself, they will take over all rights to your book. They will not, for example, let you keep the ebook rights while they handle the paperback rights. All is theirs for however long the book is in print with them.
Obviously, anything is negotiable, but it’s rare if not impossible to get a book published by the traditional publishing houses and you still retain rights to do anything else with that title until they give you back the rights. Again, to be fair, that publisher will do a lot for you if your book has proved to be a success. They’ll take a big chunk of your book’s income for that work, but that’s not unfair given what they’ll do. To protect themselves, however, they will want all rights to that title and only they will be able to do anything with that title until the publishing agreement you sign with them expires.
Once a book goes out of print with any traditional publisher, after a specified amount of time, all rights to that book always revert back to the author or to the author’s estate. Not even the big publishing firms have found a way to retain all rights to a book forever… but you can bet they’re working on it!
How do you charge? What is the price of your services?
If only we could send you to a price page. The problem is that we have no way to tell you any price for any service we offer because each book and each author differs in needs, book size and goals, knowledge, desires, and so on. That’s why we will need to fashion a unique package price of services for you. We provide a customized quote priced for each step through the process, letting you continue or take over whenever you want our help to stop.
Remember, we help you publish your book. Once it’s published, our job is done and our income is done. All royalties are yours to keep. Forever.
May We Contact You?
View our Frequently Asked Questions section to see if we have your answers.