Got a book on New Age philosophy that you want to publish but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps a metaphysical novel? Or a memoir of a profound spiritual journey?
If so, Turning Stone Press is looking for you.
Here’s their mission statement:
“Specializing in nonfiction and fiction titles with spiritual, metaphysical, or self-help themes, Turning Stone Press curates every book published, carefully selecting only those titles that fit within specific parameters.
“Our objective is to offer an exclusive opportunity for authors within these genres to reach their intended readers by providing them with the tools and support needed to give their work the best possible chance for success.
“If you’re looking for a publisher that thinks outside the traditional publishing box, Turning Stone Press is for you.”
And then you click on the “Download Services” PDF. Once you get to the second page you discover that all that outside the traditional publishing box thinking will cost you a coll $7500.
Somehow, I doubt if Turning Stone Press is all that selective when every author they sign up brings in another $7500 in the coffers.
Technically, publishing your own book is free, but face it, coming up with a cohesive, well written, error free manuscript all on your own is next to impossible. You will make more than a million separate key strokes in the course of writing your book. Even with spell check to alert you of your errors, you will still miss lots and lots of them.
And having written it yourself, you become too close to the story. You don’t notice the holes in the plot or the fact that the character you think is hilarious comes off as a crude stereotype. That’s what editors do. They get rid of the superfluous adverbs, the inconsistencies and eliminate the boring parts that readers tend to skip over.
Unless you happen to be married to one (lucky you), you have to pay them.
But a good editor will not cost you anywhere near $7500. I did a little checking online. Amazon’s Create Space comprehensive editing package is $470 per 10,000 words, so a 70,000 word novel will cost you $3290. Other editors will charge less, but it’s generally between $1000 to $3000 for a full length novel.
Covers cost money, too. You can get a custom designed cover for around $500 to $800. Or if you want to buy “off the rack,” there are pre-made covers that cost around $20. Fill in the title of your book and your name and you’re done.
Even if you go all out and get the full Create Space package plus a custom designed cover, your total cost would be around $4000, about half the price of publishing with Turning Stone.
So what else do you get? Turning Stone’s website says that marketing help is included. Every author receives a press release, a marketing plan and social media tips.
Those are all things you can do yourself for free. If you google “Write a press release,” hundreds of sites pop up with the titles “How To Write A Press Release.” Or if you don’t feel like writing it yourself, there’s a site called Send2Press that will do it for $200. The Forbes site offers a template for a marketing plan.
And there are no end to tips on how to use social media. Just go to Twitter and use this hashtag (for the uninitiated, a hashtag is a word with the “#” sign in front used to look for a topic other people are tweeting about ) #bookmarketing. You’ll find a host of links to everything you’d ever want to know about book marketing online, and then some.
I’m sure Turning Stone is not the only press offering publishing services for a fee. They may do wonderful work. But before you hand over your life savings to them, you should be aware that the primary source of income for this outfit comes from selling its publishing services, not from book sales.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s plenty of help on the web.
Here are are a few links:
With a little help, you can do this yourself and keep about five grand in your savings account.