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Ocean Reeve Publishing

Self Publishing, Traditional, or Assisted – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions with Ocean Reeve Publishing
Ocean Reeve Publishing is an assisted independent publishing house. We offer a fee-for-service publishing process that’ll help you get your story out into the world. But what makes us different is we also have a very successful marketing program and modules to support it, and a reputable distribution network. This is different from self-publishing because it is all in one place. Our team of professionally trained creative are heavily involved and invested in the success of your book as you are.
TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING QUESTIONS
Ocean Reeve Publishing is an assisted independent publishing house. We offer a fee-for-service publishing process that’ll help you get your story out into the world. But what makes us different is we also have a very successful marketing program and modules to support it, and a reputable distribution network. This is different from self-publishing because it is all in one place. Our team of professionally trained creative are heavily involved and invested in the success of your book as you are.
Unfortunately, no. We do, however, run a Manuscript Competition where the winner is offered a trade contract under our trade brand Ocean Reeve Press. Keep connected with us to be informed on when the next competition is occurring.
You might be surprised, but we hear this all the time. Your book might have a brilliant story and your manuscript might be beautifully written, but that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be a bestseller. If there was a guaranteed formula, big publishers would be producing bestseller after bestseller. We hope you do have a bestseller. But just know that lots of people think the same thing, and there’s heaps of competition.
Of course, your book may need work. But traditional publishers are generally risk-averse. Their resources – even as far as the big multinational publishers go – are not inexhaustible. There are lots of reasons your book might be declined. They might not consider it marketable. You might’ve submitted an epic fantasy about an evil goblin who takes control of the government, but the publishers might’ve just accepted a similar book and thus not want another. And, possibly, they just might get it wrong. The best example is Harry Potter, which was rejected umpteen times before finding a home. Think of all the publishers who got that call wrong. Often, rejection might simply be because your book isn’t ready.
SELF-PUBLISHING AND ASSISTED INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING QUESTIONS
This means that you will need to pay for the services you require, e.g. editing, layout, and cover. Some you might consider optional, e.g. you might get your book independently edited, or edited by a friend who has expertise in this field. However, just because you have a friend who is a journalist doesn’t mean they know how to edit. Some requirements for the production of a book are compulsory, e.g. if you plan to self-publish your book, it will need an ISBN. The main cost of self-publishing is usually printing. Self-publishing also means you manage your marketing and distribution independently with no professional assistance unless you pay for it.
We offer self-publishing services. This is where you pay for only what you want. For example, you may just want an appraisal or a book cover design or book printing services. Keep in mind, by introducing the full publishing process to your book with our Marketing Mentorship and Distribution network, you are stepping above self-publishers.
We are very proud of our reviews and testimonials. You can find some of our testimonials here.
We do offer a manuscript appraisal service, which will provide you with a detailed overview of your manuscript than a simple assessment. An assessment is usually 2-3 pages which is more an expanded review of your manuscript. An appraisal looks at far more and can often be a 12-15 page report. Review the Manuscript Appraisal page for more information.
Editing a manuscript has four stages. The first is developmental or full structural editing. This is where the editor works closely with you in rewriting and restructuring your manuscript to be the best it can possibly be. It is the most complex and time-consuming stage of the editorial process, and the most expensive. This is why a manuscript appraisal is recommended so that the issues within your manuscript are raised and identified, along with solutions, so you can address this yourself. The next option in the editing process is called a light structural edit. It follows the appraisal process and looks at the book’s content, the structure, the cohesiveness of the story, the characters, the plotting, if the prose is under or overwritten, etc., and how it all functions to tell your story. The third stage of editing is called a copy edit. Here the editor looks at the text, line by line, and cleans up grammar, punctuation, misspelling, and will cite any awkward expression. Finally, the last step in editing is a proofread. This is done to ensure any final error are picked up on including random anomalies from the formatting and design process. It is recommended that whoever embarks on any of these editorial stages is trained and qualified in this specific process.
There are many options to economically have a book cover designed. However, what has to be taken into account is theme, genre, audience, size, fonts, bleed, imagery and description. People say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but it is the first thing we see and draws us in or turns us away. It is strongly advised that you engage a designer that has the experience and creative ability to design a cover suitable to your target demographic. Otherwise your greatest marketing tool, your cover, can potentially be sending the wrong message to the reader. Also when looking at who to utilise to design your cover, you need to be able to effectively communicate with your designer and understand the process. With us, we will liaise with you, talk about what you need, and submit a few drafts that you can feedback on before the design goes to far.
There are many options to economically have a book cover designed. However, what has to be taken into account is theme, genre, audience, size, fonts, bleed, imagery and description. People say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but it is the first thing we see and draws us in or turns us away. It is strongly advised that you engage a designer that has the experience and creative ability to design a cover suitable to your target demographic. Otherwise your greatest marketing tool, your cover, can potentially be sending the wrong message to the reader. Also when looking at who to utilise to design your cover, you need to be able to effectively communicate with your designer and understand the process. With us, we will liaise with you, talk about what you need, and submit a few drafts that you can feedback on before the design goes to far.
You have put a lot of time and energy into your book. Your cover should reflect as much energy and power as your professionally edited text. The person who can provide that is someone who’s trained in graphic design and specialises in book covers.
Bottom line is this … you wouldn’t fix your car engine if you aren’t skilled at it, you’d hire a professional mechanic. The same goes for your book cover design. Yes, it is more expensive than what you can do yourself. However, a professionally designed cover translates into an increase in the number of books sold. People do judge a book by its cover so don’t risk it.
That’s okay! We will provide you with a design brief that helps you to assess what you should consider on your cover. This will then give us some information to undertake some concepts for you.
Anywhere between 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks. However, it is usually produced during the final stages of editing, as we need your edited and approved back cover blurb to also be included during the initial design process.
Yes we can use your images and happy to do so but you must have permission to use them commercially. The images will need to be high quality with the following specifications: Colour CMYK – Image size 300dpi (dots per inch) – preferably as a JPEG.
Only if you are looking at designing your own cover. Most professional publishing companies, like Ocean Reeve Publishing, has access to their own image and font libraries readily available with thousands of options to choose from. If you require a licensed font, this will likely be an additional cost.
On the imprint/copyright page, we can add: Book Cover designed by name of designer or publishing company.
Much like the management of other stages in self-publishing, you can source illustrators from various online options. However, this is not recommended as there are several elements of the illustration process which can be challenging.

First, you need to map out a storyboard and brief for your book so you know you have the right amount of illustrations for the kind of book you are producing. The brief must also be clearly highlighting the strongest parts of the story. Once this has been determined, you have to ensure you have agreed to a fair and equitable remuneration for the illustrations and ascertain who holds the rights to the final illustrations. Finally, the illustration process in itself needs to be managed effectively and within a fair and reasonable time frame. Quite often the creative vision an author has and that interpretation from the illustrator can differ and communicating this so it aligns can be the most challenging part of the process.

All of the above can be incredibly overwhelming. We have discovered that through Assisted Independent Publishing, where your publishing coordinator acts as the buffer between you and the illustrator, the author is more relaxed through the process and differences in style or brief interpretation can be addressed without the authors involvement to minimise any unnecessary stress.
Printing books has become more accessible for authors in the competitive market of commercial printing. If a local print shop does not have the facilities to digitally print and bind your books internally, they will likely act as a broker and outsource the printing to a connection that can do the work. Digital printing is excellent when you are looking to produce 50-500 copies as the costs are economical and the quality excellent.

You also have the option of print-on-demand with companies like Amazon and Ingram Spark, however there are limitations with this method due to technological barriers. Only certain paper can be used, sizes are limited and colour reproduction is not as appealing as digital or offset printing. However, this method is perfect for on-demand (orders as low as 1 copy) up to around 50 depending on book specifications.

There is also the option of offset printing for large quantities of 500 or more or hardcover books. This has been the oldest print method originally done through letterpress machinery and is very economical per unit regardless of the book specifications.

To determine which option is best for you, reach out to discuss your options and we can discuss the right print method for your project.
BOOK MARKETING QUESTIONS
To begin with, you need to ascertain your audience. Who is it written for? Book sales for the first wave are all about who you know. How big is your network? What target audiences can you promote this book to? Secondly, who do you know who has a big audience of their own who’d be willing to review it, interview you, or even assist you in promoting the publication?

Every book needs marketing and in this day and age that has to be led by the author. Best starting point is to start building your audience as soon as you can. Book marketing starts when you commit to writing and publishing so making connections with others in your target demographic helps get things moving.
This is critically important from beta-readers in the early stages of editing, to pre-sale reviews to be used around launch time, to post-launch reviews for ongoing activity. Let’s also not forget influencer or celebrity endorsers. Word of mouth reviews and testimonials are the best avenue for book marketing so it is important to build a list of those suitable to request their help and to review your book.
Most authors would prefer to lock themselves away and write. Many have a strong aversion to any form of self-promotion or marketing. The problem is that publishing is defined as making information public – how can that happen without marketing?

There are traditional ideas like book tours, library and bookstore based book talks and signings, rent a billboard or other media placement. These can create a broad stroke awareness of your book. There are now more digitally based marketing ideas that can be implemented such as blogging, online review sites, podcasts and ZOOM interviews.

But we need to consider what marketing will make the most impact for your particular book. There are only so many hours in the day and you cannot do it all. Contracting experts to assist you in marketing is a highly recommended option and with us, we have the Book Marketing Mentorship – the ultimate solution in book marketing for independent and self-published authors.
Unlike the traditional publishing journey where they have direct links into bookstores, as an independent or self-published author, getting into bookshops is a challenging process. The most obvious option is to find a distributor for your book.

Begin with doing a Google search in your territory for book distributors, e.g. Australian Book distributors. Read through their site or make a call and ask if they distribute independent titles. From there ascertain their process so you can see if it will work for you.

There are fees and costs when using a distributor. It could be between 60-75% of your Recommended Retail Price (RRP) depending on the organisation. That percentage is split between the distributor and the bookseller. After all, they are there to make money from book sales like you.
We have a promotional package which includes a pull-up banner, 500 business cards, 500 flyers and 500 bookmarks or stickers for $690. This includes the design for each. It makes sense that the designer of your promotional material is also connected with the publishing process of your book so the theme, branding and styles can be replicated throughout.
It is easy to find professional photographers online in your territory simply with a Google search ‘professional photographer – profile photography’. With Ocean Reeve Publishing we have one of the best professional photographers in Queensland who is available for portrait photos and book photos. So we’re sure to be able to help with whatever sort of photos you need.
GENERAL QUESTIONS
Ideally, software that is most familiar. Microsoft Word is the most recommended however some authors like using online platforms and apps like Scrivener. Work with what you are most comfortable with.
This is opinion only but based on the recent trends, romance, coming of age, science fiction & fantasy specifically teen, new & young adult, and dystopian. Fiction outsells non-fiction by about 4 to 1.

With non-fiction the most popular genres are in health, fitness & dieting, personal and professional development, self-help and biographies. Almost all non-fiction books that end up becoming best-sellers are self-help and motivation, or biography/memoir (and those are almost always of influencer or celebrity status)..
Blurbs are in effect, the sales copy for your book. What you don’t want to do is go on about yourself in the blurb and focus more on the what, why, where and how. Also look to include powerful endorsements as part of your blurb. Third party endorsements are worth their weight in gold. Expect the editors to also carve the blurb to become even more enticing to the reader.
Enough to make your investment back. The biggest issue we have seen over the years is that authors will spend thousands self-publishing but choose to print 50 copies or even just list their book through a print-on-demand network. There is no accountability here and regardless of how you choose to print or not, marketing is required to ensure your book is being noticed and potentially purchased.

We work with our authors to ascertain exact targets needing to be sold to ensure that investment is back in your bank. Our ultimate goal is to have you say that you have published a quality trade standard publication and it cost you nothing but time.

We don’t have first-time authors over-commit and will not print more than 1000 copies for a first-time author unless they can show us they have a proven and confirmed market for the publication. Again another noticeable element within the publishing industry has been authors printing too many books and having them years later in boxes in the garage.
While there is a wealth of information online about the publishing process and industry, it is recommended to find a publishing consultant of executive who can be specific with the answers to your questions. This industry is always evolving so some information online can be dated or not relevant.

Ocean Reeve Publishing runs various seminars and workshops on publishing along with online webinars to further educate authors and inspire them to publish with pride, passion and purpose. Our latest webinar is available simply by subscribing to our free webinar series here.
Ocean Reeve Publishing does offer package options. Please note that these are guides based on a 30,000 word manuscript. If your manuscript is more or less, we will tailor the quote to suit.

Every book and every author is different. Whilst we highly recommend that every author goes through our Assisted Independent Publishing process, Book Marketing Mentorship and Distribution network, it is your decision on what services you wish to engage in. You can apply for a Free Quote tailored specifically to you and we will send a breakdown through to you including a financial forecast on how you can make your investment back.

Unlike self-publishing, the Assisted Independent Publishing process is an investment and we want you to make a return on that investment. Through the Book Marketing Mentorship we are committed to assisting you in achieving this.

So to answer the question on how much Assisted Independent Publishing costs, it is an unknown until we have more information but can be between $2000 – $20,000 depending on your word count, type of book and services requested. Quite often we run specials and discounts which we will alert you of when we quote you and we do offer a 5% discount if all that has been quoted is approved and paid in full. Alternatively, you may choose to pay in stages where we break the process down to what is most important and collect funds for just that part of the journey and then invoice you for remaining services when we reach that stage. For example, you may pay for editing and mentoring first and then when ready for the design process you then pay for the title registration, typesetting/formatting and cover design.
There are other ways to raise funds for your publishing journey. One is to sell advertising space within the book, your website and promotional material. This can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on who and why you are listing advertisers.

Crowd funding is an option however the waters have got dirty over the years as many have misused this platform. To utilise this option it is recommended your book is connected with a charitable or socially responsible theme. Another alternative to this is bulk-ordered pre-sales. This is where you pre-sell large quantities to organisations who would want your book and use the funds to cover your publishing costs.
These FAQ on assisted independent publishing make your publishing journey simpler because we only provide you with what you need to succeed. Remember, we are here to be of service and will be with you every step of the way, helping you become an Independent Author.

Certain aspects of our publishing process are optional, however, to access our distribution network, we need your manuscript to go through our publishing process. This consists of Title Registration, Editing, Formatting and Book Printing.

The Book Publishing Process

  • Complete the Free Quote form and explain simply what your vision is for the book and you as an author.
  • We give you a quote on the publishing project, including marketing support, based solely on your request. We will also provide you with other recommendations we have to ensure your book can be the best it can be and any tips on minimising your costs.
  • If need be, we will contact you to have a more in-depth discussion at this point to ensure your project meets your expectations and how it should be handled.
  • You approve the final quote and pay the deposit. The deposit is based on stages, so that it is less overwhelming for you and manageable.
  • If editing is required, you will be looked after by a specialist publishing manager. They will guide you through the editing process step-by-step. The same applies to book formatting and cover design. At each one of these stages, we send the manuscript/files to you for review. You need to give the final ok before we move onto the next stage.
  • You review the files and either submit editorial or design revisions or approve them.
  • We produce a physical unbound proof copy for final approval. Once approved, we then print a book run, produce your eBook and, if requested, action distribution.
That’s it! Publishing is meant to be an enjoyable process so our development process is designed to be very client-friendly. We will communicate with you at every step of the process. We are only a phone call or email away.
Ocean Reeve Publishing - bringing stories to life. FAQs on self-publishing, assisted independent and traditional publishing.
Ocean Reeve Publishing – bringing stories to life