1. Rights – Do I retain
all rights to my novel?
Yes - the only right Star holds
is the right to print paperback (and we do have hardcover and ebook options too) for only as long as the contract is with
us. To cancel the contract, all you have to do is email me with the request and wait 30 days. All rights revert back to you.
2. Contract – Is
your contract non-exclusive?
If you sign on with Star, we
do ask that you don't release the paperback English language version with any other publisher until of course, 30 days after
dissolving the contract with us. This keeps two versions of the same book from competing against itself. However, you
are free to pursue different versions (film, audio, etc) if they are not covered in the contract with us.
3. Manuscript Screening –
Do you screen and only take those MSs you believe are well written and marketable?
Yes. We are not infallible
and can't promise something is marketable, but I'm very picky and critical of what comes in to our submissions. I refuse
to print something just for the sake of adding another title to Star's list or making a buck. I'm not in this business strictly
for the money. We do print books with small niche markets, as in local interest, as long as the author understands that
the book is not likely to go national or global. I have seven college credits in creative writing, over a dozen novels
of my own written, years of writing experience, and teach two novel writing workshops. I judge a book for its quality though
I work hard to not let my opinions cloud my judgments. (I like adventure, thrillers, and fantasy, but not so much of memoirs
or straight romance.) In short, I look for great writing and strong characters and plots and authors who are knowledgeable
about what they are getting into.
4. Editing and Cover
– I’d like to confirm that you have editing services and will create the cover I’m thinking of. I would be open to looking to outside services for this. I’m also open to having your editing staff make
suggestions to improve the story.
We have editors on hand and
they do much more than a simple copyedit. I also proofread/copyedit after the author has reviewed and applied edits.
It takes a little longer, but I would rather sacrifice speed of release than great quality.
As for the cover, if you look
at Star's homepage, I've done the covers for Truth and Honor, Gifts of a Dead Man, Redemption Key, Wai-nani and all of my books, the most recent all the covers for the Disillusionment
Series, straight from original artwork I created. I do all my own covers for my fantasy books and am happy to send
you samples of my latest art if you would like a look. At the end of 2012, I will have 23 art and design college credits.
Although, Truth and Honor, Gifts of a Dead
Man, Wai-nani, and Redemption Key
are original artwork, the design and elements of the covers color and layout were all driven and chosen by the authors. I
also put together the cover for When They Go and You Do Not, and Lumberton
from elements the authors provided. Most of the other covers you see there were provided by the authors. I do everything I
can to meet what the author wants for their cover as long as I know it will also print well to look great on the final product.
I know what colors have a risk of turning green instead of yellow and that metallic golds, silvers, and other metals can't
be done, but I can create metal effects using highlight and shadow.
5. Royalties and Retail Price
– What would be the retail price for a 500 page book (115,000 words)? Is it competitive? What would be the royalties? How
often are they paid?
A print cost for a trade paperback
book in any of these 3 sizes - 5x8, 5.5x8.5, or 6x9 (I advise what size would be best for the book after I've worked on it
some) is this - .90 (add $6 for hardcover) per unit and .015 a
page which would be approx $8.40. For the retail price, we have to set it high enough to cover the 55% needed
for stores (15% to Ingram and 40% to the store), and the 30% Star needs to cover operating costs for the book (filing fees
from the printer and bookwork for royalties etc) and whatever royalty the author wants to see. We can keep our prices
competitive but not on the low side that I'm seeing a lot of books going to. With that said, I'm also seeing the big
publishers cutting on quality like the quality of the paper they are using, the size of the text and fonts - we aren't sacrificing.
I'm doing what I can to keep costs down but not cut into the final look and feel of the book.
All that said, My Rise of the
Arcadians was a little over the word count you give and came to 332 pages in a 5.5x8.5 book priced at $17.95. I clear about
$1.54 from each book sold at a store after print cost, store cut, and Star’s 30%.
6. Author Discount –
What would be the discount for a 500 page book for me?
For author copies - those you
order yourself - they would be $10.08 (print cost plus Star’s 20%) (add $6 for hardcover) for the 500 page book a copy.
Anything you make off copies you sell is yours to keep. You owe nothing to Star. Star also does not pay royalties on books
you purchase through the publisher.
7. Returns – Do you have
a return policy? I believe this will help to get hard copies on the shelves.
Yes, we accept returns but
the author has to agree to buy back any returns for their books that come in, otherwise, Star could drown in debt quickly.
I do everything I can to make sure the authors coming in are aware of how things work with the stores and to protect the authors
as much as I can from total heartbreak and crushing debt that can result from many returns. As I said, I'm not in this
to make a lot of money but I can't risk losing my skin either. We do provide everything you need to get your book stocked
in stores and have contacts with stores. Unfortunately it's not always a "safe" thing to do to stock in a lot of stores.
We try to cover all areas leading to possible sales to give our authors the best chance at seeing sales. Please don't think
I'm against getting stocked in stores because I may seem hesitant. I just want you to understand exactly what to expect before
you jump in with both feet. Whatever you choose to do, we here will be behind you to help wherever we can.
8. ISBN and Barcode –
Do you provide an ISBN number and a barcode?
Yes - both are included.
9. Book Size and Binding –
Do you provide the standard book size and binding for a fantasy novel?
What's standard? There
really isn't any true and hard standards for any genre anymore. We do have trade paperback and hardcover options and
the sizes are the three I typed above. I have all of my books, four which are Sci-fi fantasy or futuristic fantasy, in the
5.5x8.5 sizes but I've recently decided to put my trilogy out as all one book - 658 pages formatted (a lot different than
658 pages in Word) to a 6x9 book. I've included original sketch work. In researching, I've found that most of the other fantasy
combined books have it done pretty much the same way although mine doesn't have tiny font like one of the Dragonlance trilogy
combos a friend of mine just received. I have to price it higher and can't add the $6 for hardcover though and I'm not expecting
anything back in royalties from the stores to keep the price down for readers.
10. E-book – I do NOT
desire to have my novel turned into an e-book. I want no electronic copies sent to customers. Can I elect not to have
my novel turned into an e-book?
Absolutely — yes. For
those who want their book available as Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, and other formats, that option is also available, but by
no means mandatory.
11. Hardcopy –
Would you be open to reading a hardcopy of my novel? I’d rather not email any electronic copies through email unless
a deal has been made.
Yes, I'm open to hardcopies.
We usually work through the computer because it saves time and postage but if time isn't a real issue (some authors who come
want the book out in a handful of months), and the author covers the shipping costs I'm willing to work with it. I'm
a very easy going and flexible woman. I do find, however, that once the process is contracted and begun, editing is
easier for both the editor and you done in Word with tracked changes. There's no strain in reading hand writing or any question
about the suggested change because of criss-crossed pencil lines and things like that.
12. Distribution – Obviously,
this is a big one. I believe my novel to be highly marketable with international appeal. Ideally, I would like the
distribution to include getting physical copies into the shelves at Barnes & Noble, etc. I would also like this done
in the UK and Canada.
We've looked into true distribution
and to be honest, for what they charge verses the return, it wasn't feasible for Star as a company. We have had authors who
had copies of their books in dozens and dozens of stores nationwide just with their own efforts. One did especially well.
He is still with Star, but be aware, it's a cautionary tale. Star books can be ordered anywhere nationwide. The printer
we use does have a UK and Australia
branch. Your book will be listed at online stores that deal globally.