The best edition: Meet First Edition Design Publishing
By Liz McKeown Nashville Books Examiner
First Edition Design Publishing is a Print on Demand (POD) and ebook publishing company with clients in over 18 countries. First Edition Design’s scope spans from self-publishing to book distribution to software application development.
Question: Did First Edition Design Publishing get started as a self-publishing company or did it start out with software application development?
Answer: The company dates back almost three decades. Its roots go back to graphic design. That was at the dawn of the internet, web site development and so forth. Early on, we became Apple Developers and Microsoft Solution Providers. With digital technology expertise well in hand, we were well positioned as we grew into the burgeoning ebook industry. Our past experience and relationships enabled us to establish a massive global distribution network. Our background is what moved us into position as publishers, aggregators and Master Distributors.
Question: If someone has an ebook on Amazon already and just wants a distributor and more attention for the book, what does First Edition Design Publishing have to give?
Answer: As Master Distributors, we submit authors’ books to over 100,000 distribution points in over 100 countries including on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. In addition to Amazon, we submit books to Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and scores of other on-line booksellers. We do provide a comprehensive list, which is constantly growing, at http://www.firsteditiondesignebooks.com/html/distributionchannels.html
Question: What does your company offer that its rivals don’t?
Answer: As mentioned–unequaled distribution. On top of that, we provide awesome customer support and the best cost to value in the industry for services.
Question: I know First Edition Design Publishing offers fiction and non-fiction. Are there any categories of books that you and others in your company are particularly excited about?
Answer: Children’s books is an area we have always served, but we are now experiencing a tremendous surge in that department. Academic books are another growth area for us.
Question: I understand that comic book authors have an easier time publishing their illustrated work as ebooks. Can First Edition Design Publishing accomodate authors with pictures, graphs, etc.?
Answer: Yes and no. If you submit your file with color pictures and the e-reader which many are black and white; the picture will only appear to be black and white to the reader.
The availability of color e-reader devices has greatly improved over the last year or two with the proliferation of the Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color, Apple’s iPad, smartphones, and others, all of which support color graphics. You also have to keep in mind an e-reader is smaller than a printed book. Therefore, viewing any details of a picture will be very difficult for the user.
The format of the picture cannot be wrapped around any text. The picture must reside either at the top or under a block of text. If you submit your book with graphics and the picture is not formatted properly, we will move the picture to the top or bottom of the corresponding text area.
One other option is to remove the picture and provide a link as to where the picture resides. You can set up an html page with your pictures, upload the page, right click on the picture and copy picture link. Insert the link instead of submitting the picture. The text of the link should be “picture”. The reader will know to tap on the “picture” link to view.
Question: What’s new in First Edition Design Publishing?
Answer: We had another ebook release, Daria Rose and The Day She Chose by award-winning Children’s Book Author Yvonne Capitelli, hit Amazon’s bestseller list last week. This month, we also further expanded our ebook distribution in Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. We also added MBS Books, Textbooks.com, Feedbooks, OnlineBookPlace, SmartEbook.com, Starland Books and Eguidebooks to our distribution list along with three more Christian book outlets, Mardel, Parable, and Berean. There are a few other dynamic projects in development that we will announce in the upcoming months.
Question: What is the biggest mistake a self-published author can make?
Answer: Since you asked, the biggest mistake would be for an author to not contact us before submitting their manuscript to us. It can save them a lot of unnecessary heartache. With that said, (another big mistake) is not having their work professionally proofread and copy edited. We see so many “rookie errors” in writing style by indie authors in addition to the usual grammar faux pas. It can really kill a book.
From a book marketing standpoint, I see distinct areas for failure. The first is setting unrealistic goals and having expectations for far greater than what the author and book content can generate. With or without high expectations, most authors don’t put nearly enough time or effort into marketing their book. Authors always want marketing advice… but many don’t apply it and follow through. Another area is poor book cover design. We have had some really awful covers submitted. By the time it gets to the submission point—some authors are emotionally attached to their cover. They don’t (or will not) see what a good art editor or designer sees and the author doesn’t want to part with it. It’s just another area where knowing what the market expects, in addition to skill and wisdom, that pays a dividend.
Question: Any advice for people specifically interested in publishing a POD book?
Answer: Be sure your manuscript is error free before submitting it. Typos, misspellings, misused words, etc. can get costly to change later, or disastrous, if you’ve ordered copies and they contain errors. You will have no one to blame but yourself. Don’t worry about interior design. A good self-publishing service will set it up for you and provide a proof to look over for your approval before it goes to the print house.
Question: Would you recommend that a POD author buy about 25-50 copies of the book and sell them at in event, such as a book fair?
Answer: Book fairs, BOR (Back Of Room) sales at author talks, and book signings are all great ways to promote a book. An author should always have some copies on hand, but how many is the question. That’s the beauty of POD (Print On Demand). With First Edition Design Publishing’s service, authors don’t have to order large quantities, unless they want to. A minimum order for print books is only five. Most authors will see that they have the potential to sell many more books on-line. That’s where the value of a Master Distributor comes in.
Question: I have seen a lot of book trailers on You Tube that are nothing more than the author reading from the book in front of a camcorder. What makes an exciting, enticing book trailer, in your opinion?
Answer: Like anything else that’s audio-visual—it needs a hook. You have to grab the viewers’ attention in the first fifteen seconds. It has to have energy.
Question: Is there anything you want to tell me that I haven’t asked?
Answer: The whole ebook publishing industry is in a fluid state. Major announcements are being made on a weekly basis. As a company, we’ve been able to view the evolution from a slightly different angle. As I said, we were on the digital scene well in advance of the ebook arrival around 2007. Authors who shy away from adding an ebook version to their already published print book, or new release, are giving away a big market share. After all, it’s about giving readers what they want and delivering a book in the way they want to read it. And again, it’s about availability through wide distribution.
Amazon has been selling more ebooks than print books by a considerable margin. Border’s Books sat on their corporate hands when ebooks rolled out. They viewed it as a passing fad that would never catch on. The rest is history. What more do you need to know? Ebooks aren’t the future; they’re the present. Authors and publishers have to respond to the market demands.
I was on a flight last night and looked around. I counted seven people reading ebooks on a variety of ereader devices and one person was reading a paperback. Okay—so that’s a small random sampling of the population, but it says a lot. Authors, and future authors, who rail against ebooks, are only kidding themselves. Then again, there were people who couldn’t accept changes in transportation when the automobile started to become popular 100 years ago.
Want to know more about First Edition Design Publishing? Click here: http://www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com/
Liz McKeown, Nashville Books Examiner
Liz has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. She worked as a writer and actress for Shockwave, a science fiction comedy radio show from 1993-1995 on KFAI, Minneapolis-St.Paul. She has more than 1000 followers on Twitter who are indie romance, Vampire, mystery or Chick Lit writers. Liz has over 10 years experience as a secretary for two world-famous research scientists; the late Professor Karl Folkers co-discoverer of Vitamin B12; and Professor Lee Wattenberg, founder of Cancer Prevention Research. Her duties included typing up, proofreading and submitting medical research articles for publication in such periodicals as Cancer Research, Science and AACR (American Association for Cancer Research). In addition to book reviews, Liz wants to interview indie authors, especially those who write romance novels, mysteries, Vampire books, time travel, paranormal romance, New Age and paranormal books.