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ISBN for your book in your name

Very generous royalties

Buy copies of your book at print cost

Complimentary copies of your book

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UK and international press release

Complimentary Kindle version of your book

Complimentary hardback version of your book

Your book produced entirely in the UK

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Welcome to

Made in Britain WRITERSWORLD Self-Publishing Guide

Please take your time to read our extensive Self-Publishing Guide online, or print a copy.

A General Statement

Whether you decide to use WRITERSWORLD or not, there is a wealth of information in this document that may save you a lot of grief, time and money down the line. This document points out the myriad traps and minefields you can walk into when self-publishing a book, if uninformed or not wary.

It takes a lot of time and effort to write a good book, as hopefully you have done, so with respect, grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and take a little time to read this document—and when comparing various self-publishing companies make sure you compare ‘like with like’.

As you will see, a complex process is involved if a book is to be properly produced and made readily and easily available to the public—a process that requires the specialist skills and dedication of a whole team of people.

Table of Contents


Graham Cook, the founder and owner of WRITERSWORLD, is more than happy to arrange a two- to three-hour telephone conversation to discuss publishing your book, if you feel it would be helpful. He is available throughout the whole process of getting your book to print to discuss any queries you may have.

Our Golden Rule

Everything WRITERSWORLD does must be legally, ethically, morally, professionally and physically better than any of our self-publishing, print-on-demand competitors; it is as simple as that, no ‘ifs and buts’—this is our policy.

About Us, and Why We Are Your Best Choice of Publisher

WRITERSWORLD aims to be the ‘gold standard’ of the UK print-on-demand book publishing industry in the market sector where it operates. There is no other print-on-demand book publishing company that includes all the following services:

  1. We arrange for the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to be issued in the author’s name, or that of the author’s publishing company, remembering that if the ISBN is not in your name, or that of your publishing company, it is akin to buying a car and putting someone else’s name on the registration documents—with the result that you will never have absolute control over your book. The ISBN is an international identification code which is unique to a particular edition of a particular title. It serves to facilitate accurate cataloguing, ordering, accounting, billing and stock control. Your book will be assigned its individual number and we are one of the few print-on-demand book publishers in the world that, as part of our publishing packages, will purchase the ISBN for your book in your name. We purchase in your name the minimum batch of 10 ISBNs so you will have some left for any other books you publish. Your book’s imprint/copyright page will state that the book was published in the name you designate ‘in conjunction with Writersworld’. As the author, you agree that the above designation text will remain on the imprint/copyright page while the author is listed as the book’s publisher.
  2. We give authors 90% of their royalties. Our royalty payment system is one of the fairest and most generous in the entire print-on-demand book publishing industry.
  3. We permit the author to retain all rights to the cover and content as well as ownership of the completed digital book files, which are returned to the author at no extra charge.
  4. We submit a digital copy of the author’s book to Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ programme so as to increase sales. When customers look for a book on Amazon they can find the actual words from inside your book – not just the author, title, and keywords – and will be able to read 20% of its contents.
  5. On the author’s behalf, we submit each and every book title to the Legal Deposit Libraries in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In the UK, the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 and the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (Ireland), make it legally obligatory for publishers and wholesalers in the UK and Irish Republic to deposit their publications within one month of publication. The six libraries that collectively maintain the national published archive of the British Isles are: the British Library; the Oxford Bodleian Library; the Cambridge University Library; the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh; the Dublin Library of Trinity College; and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. This is a four-centuries-old tradition which will make your work available in the reading rooms, preserved for the benefit of future generations, a part of the national heritage. Your book will be recorded in the online catalogues of these libraries, all of which are accessible online, and provide essential research tools for generations to come.
  6. We warn the author not to expect to make a full-time living from the retail sales of their book (the industry is notorious for deluding authors into believing they can). You will make the most profit from the bulk sales of your book, which you will be able to purchase direct from the printer at actual print cost.
  7. We undertake to produce a book in 60 days or less, with the cooperation of the author.
  8. We use higher quality paper than is standard for the industry, both for the cover and inside text pages. We use as a minimum 115 gsm coated paper for the text pages and 300 gsm paper for the paperback covers. In addition, the paper for the text pages of our books is produced via an independent certification process that ensures that the trees from which it is produced come from well-managed sources that exclude the risk of using illegally logged timber, and/or are printed on recycled paper.
  9. We load our books at our printers with all black and white interior images and photographs at 300 dpi (dots per inch). Consequently, the printed pages are near photographic quality. We also publish in full colour which is also comparable to photographic quality.
  10. Our book covers are custom designed in full colour and at no time do we use templates. Templates are where you are offered a series of photographs or illustrations to choose from and you are asked to ‘plonk’ your name and book title etc. into it. Needless to say, dozens of other books could look like your book. The quality of our custom-designed covers is second to none.
  11. We do not source work outside the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland and, consequently, we do not exploit cheap foreign labour; and our sub-contractors are paid full rates.
  12. Our copy editors and book cover designers are highly skilled and experienced in the self-publishing print-on-demand industry, and you will have direct one-to-one contact with your designated copy editor and book cover designer. You will also be provided with a dedicated mobile number so that you can communicate with WRITERSWORLD at any time within normal working hours with regard to your book’s progress.
  13. We guarantee not to ask for more money once the contract has been accepted as it is a fundamental principle of WRITERSWORLD that there will be no unexpected add-ons, or extra fees requested from the author once the book is accepted for publication: all this in an industry notorious for sucking authors in.
  14. We supply our authors with books at print cost plus shipping. Delivery is guaranteed within 14 days of placing an order, subject to holidays and weekends.
  15. We print and ship our clients’ books worldwide and arrange book distribution through all major UK-based book retailing websites and hundreds of bookshops throughout the United Kingdom.
  16. We provide the author with complimentary copies of their book to the value of £185 including shipping costs.
  17. On the Standard Service, Poetry Book & Children’s Book Service, we provide the author with a free Amazon Kindle e-book version of their book.
  18. We provide a comprehensive book promotion service as part of all our book publishing packages. This involves publicising your book with our press release distribution package, which includes the professional writing of your release, media targeting and distribution to all relevant UK media contacts including the press, consumer and trade publications, broadcast media and online agencies.
  19. We submit your book title to Nielsen BookData Enhanced Service, which disseminates information for English language titles electronically to over 3,500 booksellers, Internet retailers and library customers in the UK, and to over 100 countries worldwide, making your title discoverable to thousands of potential book buyers along with a description of your book and author biography that will also appear on the book retailers’ websites.
  20. We insist on the highest ethical standards relating to what we will or will not publish. We at WRITERSWORLD have gained a reputation for being very particular as to the type of book we are happy to publish, and very firm about what we will not; for example we will have nothing to do with the following: any form of pornography; gratuitous violence; unsupported conspiracy theories; books by misogynists or misanthropists; books which promote racial or religious intolerance, the subjugation of women, forced marriages or honour killings; and any books that are otherwise not in tune with Western values.
  21. Author protection. In the event of libel action, we undertake to try to protect the author: in the case of a libel complaint involving or requiring the assistance of WRITERSWORLD, we will use one of the premier media and libel law firms in the UK (providing there is no client conflict or they do not refuse to represent the author). However, as an act of good faith to any complainant and to mitigate any alleged damage, WRITERSWORLD will withdraw the book from sale until the matter is resolved. If WRITERSWORLD believes the complainant’s case or alleged libel to be valid, any required changes to the respective book will be made free of charge by WRITERSWORLD prior to the book being resubmitted for publication. In such a case the revised copy will be made available to the libel complainant for acceptance of any redactions and/or changes.

NB. Please note that WRITERSWORLD is a print-on-demand, self-publishing book publisher based in the United Kingdom and is not a literary agency, so we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or submissions. Please note also, so as to protect our trademark, it’s always WRITERSWORLD or Writersworld, but never Writers World. Finally, please note that for the money we charge, WRITERSWORLD is unable to supply any book shop with physical copies of your book for them to maintain them as a stock item.

Authors Who Have Self-Published in the Past

Well-known authors who have self-published in the past include John Grisham, Irma Rombauer, Richard Paul Evans, Jack Canfield, Mark Hensen, James Redfield, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Paine, Gertrude Stein, Deepak Chopra, Upton Sinclair, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Tom Clancy, Stephen Crane, Margaret Atwood, L. Frank Baum, William Blake, Ken Blanchard, Robert Bly, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Byron, Willa Cather, Pat Conroy, E.E. Cummings, W.E.B. DuBois, Alexander Dumas, T.S. Eliot, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Benjamin Franklin, Zane Grey, Thomas Hardy, E. Lynn Harris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, Robinson Jeffers, Spencer Johnson, Stephen King, Rudyard Kipling, Louis L’Amour, D.H. Lawrence, Rod McKuen, Marlo Morgan, John Muir, Anais Nin, Tom Peters, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexander Pope, Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, Irma Rombauer, Carl Sandburg, Robert Service, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Strunk, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman.

Obviously, this list has to be understood in perspective as it wasn’t until about 1850 that mass production brought down the cost of commercially produced books, and it was 1900 before the 100 titles a year became 6,000 titles a year. In 2014 the UK released more than 22 titles every hour over the year; so it looks as if book publishing – in one form or another – is here to stay.

Imprint/Copyright Page

Here is an example of the imprint/copyright page that appears near the front of every published book:

Example imprint page

How Does Print-on-Demand Publishing Work?

Other publishers must guess how many copies of each title will sell. They print them, store them, and hope their guess is accurate. If the initial print run becomes exhausted, the publisher makes a decision on whether to commission another print run. In the majority of cases this would be ‘no’ and would mean that a book becomes out of print and no longer available. Since the average shelf-life of a book is six months, an author would see years of hard work disappear. With WRITERSWORLD we can do a print run as small as a single copy, which means the book is never out of print. Of course, common sense suggests that one copy would not be cost effective when adding in postage, so the printer has requested that an author orders a minimum of twenty-five copies.

Test the System

If you wish to see how the system works, as an example take one of our ISBNs e.g. 9781904181002, and see how it is listed at Amazon, one of the UK’s largest book retailers.

Health Warning

Here are some of the difficulties an author can encounter when travelling the self-publishing route. Right at the start, before you part with a penny of your money, make sure you have a fixed-price quotation for the design of the book cover, editing, proof reading and all other setup costs, so you do not get lured into a bottomless pit of extra charges. That is how some self-publishing companies work; they will lure you in with what appears to be a low charge and then start adding on to it.

But with WRITERSWORLD there is never a dispute: you know exactly where you stand, no more and no less—so you can relax, stop worrying, and enjoy the process.

All Clients Are Treated Equally

WRITERSWORLD treats all its clients alike in that every client pays exactly the same amount for every publishing service as at the time of placing the contract. No client gets an extra or special discount, additional complimentary copies or any other form of preferential terms.

Our Policy of Not Publishing for Under-Eighteen-Year-Olds

When a young person or parent approaches WRITERSWORLD about publishing a book, they often do not understand that publishing a book for someone under eighteen can be fraught with problems, mainly because of the parental, legal, ethical, custody or guardianship situations that might be involved when a parent wants to sign a contract on behalf of such a person. We would legally and morally be required to determine that in the case of an under-eighteen-year-old he or she is not subject to a custody proceeding and that the person approaching us has the right to execute our contract. This is why WRITERSWORLD cannot accept a contract signed by anyone other than a person the law considers to be an adult, i.e. eighteen or more years of age, and that person confirms in our contract that they are eighteen or over.

In fact, as an author taking on a contract under British law, for each book written by an author under eighteen years of age, we would have to run and pay for a Disclosure and Barring Service check – which can take a long time – for each person at WRITERSWORLD, including all the sub-contractors etc. who are involved in the process of producing that book, as the under-age author would be deemed a new employer.

Our Use of Sub-Contractors

The self-publishing print-on-demand book publishing industry is both seasonal and inconsistent as to the number of books that come in to be published at any one time. It is not therefore economically feasible to have copy editors and book cover designers on the company’s payroll with all the addendum expense and legal demands that are required, for example, by the Health & Safety at Work Act. Consequently, we rely on a stable team of vetted sub-contract copy editors and book cover designers. They all have different specialties and preferences, are versed in our method of operating, and are self-employed in their own right. As previously stated, they are all based in the UK or Republic of Ireland and, because of their skills and individual expertise, are able to produce books to the highest standard. And of course, our clients have the added benefit of direct access to sub-contractors in the same time zone.

Personal Service at Its Best

Once you have submitted your contract and made the required payment, at the very start of the process you will be offered a two- to three-hour meeting with the founder and owner of WRITERSWORLD, Graham Cook, where you will have the opportunity to ask all those remaining questions you may have about the WRITERSWORLD book publishing process. You will get some common-sense practical advice about whether to set up a limited company to promote your book, open a separate bank account, or register for VAT etc. You will also be provided with a mobile phone number so you can contact Graham Cook at any time during normal UK working hours to discuss your book’s progress or exchange ideas regarding your book. These consultations are informal and usually take place at the King’s Arms Hotel, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. If you wish, we can also meet after your book is published to go over any points you may have.

Preparing Your Submission

Submitting your book could not be easier. All that we require is that you send it to us via email or an online file-sharing service, or on a flash drive (memory stick), in the format you used for your manuscript e.g. Microsoft Word. It is likely you will also wish to submit a synopsis of the story, an index if required, a dedication, acknowledgements, preface and/or foreword—and that’s just fine with us.

The author must discuss and agree the book’s size, font and font size at the outset of the process during early discussion with the designated copy editor, as changing these near or at completion of the book will create all sorts of reformatting problems, which means taking extra time. It is suggested that the author prints off a few pages from time to time to check that the printed page accords with expectations.

If your book contains photographs or illustrations, either in mono or in colour, there is no extra charge for inserting these. To ensure the best possible print reproduction, digital images should have a resolution of 300 dpi.

Word Count

The prices we quote for all our publishing services are for books that do not or will not exceed a word count of 80,000. If you think your book is likely to exceed 80,000 words, you will need to discuss this with us prior to sending in your contract as there will be an extra charge of £12 per thousand words or part thereof, paid directly to the sub-contract copy editor who works on your book. This will need to be paid when the sub-contract editor has produced the final PDF file and you have signed off on it, and before it goes to the printer.

To check your book’s word count:

Page Count

To estimate a page count for your book, please try our book sizing system. Choose a font and font size, and insert your word count. You can then choose different book sizes to get an idea of the minimum number of pages your book will have. This is of course useful when it comes to estimating print costs.

Book Sizes

We are able to bind any size between A6 and A4, although a standard size would be 234 mm × 156 mm (Royal). But don’t worry about your book size, as our printers can print to just about any size you want; simply let us know your preference. The book sizes shown in our book sizing system, and also those in the Printing Costs section below, are only a guide, and in no way reflect all the book sizes we can arrange to be produced and printed.

Recommended Basic Layout Specifications

“My Book Is Ready for Publishing as It Is…”

We used to have a service whereby, in the case of a book that had not been published before, we would accept a ‘complete’ text file and book cover from a client on the basis that our sole role here would be to ensure that the book was published and that printing arrangements were taken care of. Hence this service cost a lot less than if we were involved in designing the book’s cover and were responsible for the copy editing and formatting.

This system proved most unsatisfactory given that we expected the book cover and text file to arrive in pristine condition. With only one exception, books would arrive at WRITERSWORLD to a standard that we could not accept as publishable manuscripts. We often had to invest considerable time and effort addressing a whole spectrum of shortcomings in these files in order to maintain our high standards and meet client deadlines, thereby incurring a range of additional expenses and substantial loss of profit.

WRITERSWORLD recently terminated this service. Unless someone has worked in this area previously, it is unlikely they will have the requisite expertise to prepare a book in a format that will prove acceptable for publishing/printing.

In addition to the more obvious likely shortcomings, WRITERSWORLD has also to consider libel issues that may arise, as well as the privacy rights of third parties, so it’s crucial we know what is in a book prior to becoming involved in its publication. Our experienced copy editors, while not involved in the legal profession, can as lay persons serve as one reasonable line of protection for all concerned.

Non-Fiction Books

There are particular cautions concerning non-fiction books. Authors and publishers in England and Wales have to contend with the spectre of libel (in which the plaintive has in general the burden of proving that any written statements are false), and we now also have a person’s expectations of the right of privacy under the Human Rights Act 1977.

A Very Simple Explanation of English Defamation, Libel, Slander and Invasion of Privacy Laws

In law, defamation (also called calumny), libel (for written words), slander (for spoken words), and vilification, is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. It is usually, but not always, a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant). In common law jurisdictions, slander refers to a malicious, false and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism.

With regard to a person’s expectation of the right of privacy, a landmark legal ruling case entitled Loreena McKennitt vs Neima Ash actually came about because of a book WRITERSWORLD declined to publish because there was so much information about the private life of Canadian songwriter and performer Loreena McKennitt, based on confidential information gleaned by Neima Ash in very private conversations. We advised Neima Ash to cut out the sections that Loreena McKennitt objected to. Sadly, she ignored all our advice and went ahead and published the book herself. She subsequently ended up in the High Court in London and lost because the court decided she had violated Loreena McKennitt’s rights of privacy; and she barely escaped bankruptcy as a result of Loreena McKennitt’s lawyers’ determined efforts to collect on the huge amount of damages and costs awarded against her by the court.

So if your work of non-fiction is about, or references third party entities or persons, you absolutely need to submit to them what you have written about them and get their approval (assuming they are alive, of course), otherwise you may end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit, either for libel or breaching someone’s rights of privacy, and that is a far from pleasant position to be in. Loreena McKennitt vs Neima Ash is now the landmark case in England and Wales.

One of the benefits of a print-on-demand book is that if all the fail-safe systems fail, and a person complains about the contents of a book, we are able to withdraw the book immediately from sale or distribution, remove the offending content and replace the file at the printers. As a result we would be seen as mitigating the damage, which in law is an important issue.

Permissions, Copyright Releases & Accreditations

If any of the above are required, they must be applied for, received by the author, and embedded into the text file at the time of submitting to WRITERSWORLD. For the purpose of obtaining advice on permissions, copyright releases and accreditations, The Society of Authors may be useful—type into the search box the word ‘permissions’.

In the event that on publication of the book a complaint arises, that any permission or copyright release has not been properly obtained, or an accreditation is not adequate, the author shall be liable in full for any costs incurred by WRITERSWORLD in resolving the dispute.

Poor Man’s Copyright

This refers to the method of using registered dating by the postal service, a notary, lawyer, public or other highly trusted source to date the intellectual ownership, thereby helping to establish that the material has been in one’s possession since a particular time. The concept is based on the notion that, in the event that such intellectual property were to be misused by a third party, the poor-man’s copyright would at least establish a legally-recognised date of possession before any proof that a third party might possess. The PMC was originally used by authors who sent copies of their own work to themselves through the mail without opening the envelopes, in the hope it would grant them legal protection by establishing a date at which the work was created. Use of this method may not hold up in court as it is simple for individuals to pre-send envelopes which can then be used later. The flaws are that there is no provision in copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and if you have real copyright concerns, it is best to use the UK Copyright Service, which charges a minimal fee.

Registering intellectual copyright in the European Union is covered by the EU Copyright Office.

Our Paper and Cover Standards

The text pages of our standard books are printed on 115 gsm coated paper; also available is 150 gsm coated. gsm stands for grams per square metre and indicates how dense the paper is, which generally indicates quality. All paperback covers are printed on 300 gsm cover board.

Hardback books are printed on 150 gsm paper. Hardback covers, which means what would traditionally be a loose jacket, are mounted on 2.5 mm board and known as a PPC (printed paper case). This involves extra print costs which you would need to discuss, and likewise if you require a spiral-bound version.

We can also arrange for the hardback (PPC) version to have a book jacket/dust cover, but this creates a set of problems, not the least of which is the extra print costs, as the number of hardback copies to be ordered or required by the book wholesaler will not be known. Consequently, the number of book jackets to be printed up in advance to match with orders that may be forthcoming for the hardback version will also not be known. Does WRITERSWORLD think that having a book jacket is essential? Far from it; however, we will do all we can to accommodate the author’s wishes.

Printing Costs

Your Book’s Cover

To print, gloss-laminate and bind the cover for a softback book costs 95 pence per book, and a hardback cover (PPC) costs £3.75.

The following table shows the costs per page, in pence, for books of different sizes, including monochrome, colour inserts and full-colour books.

Inside Pages: Price Per Page

Book SizeMonoColour inserts (less than 20% of book)Full colour book
Standard up to 132 × 197 mm1p5p3.5p
Demy 138 × 216 mm1p5p3.5p
A5 up to 225 × 150 mm1p5p3.5p
Royal up to 156 × 234 mm1p6p4.5p
A4 210 × 297 mm1.5p7.5p5.5p

Colour Printing—Keeping the Costs as Low as Possible

If your book has over 20% of its pages in colour it becomes a ‘full colour’ book and is priced accordingly.

Coloured Inserts

There is a print cost to colour inserts as the table shows. If you have colour images/pages within a mono book, each page will cost extra. A colour image on one side with mono text on the other is one image. A colour image on both sides of a page is costed as two images. Over 20% colour the book becomes a full-colour book and is priced as per the table.

It is important to remember also that any page with any colour on, no matter how small, including coloured chapter headings or coloured page numbers, gets classed by the printer as a colour page. So, if the print cost of your book is an issue, look at each colour photograph or illustration and ask yourself how best they could be arranged to keep the costs as low as possible.

Changing a Colour Image to Greyscale

If you plan to produce a monochromatic version of a coloured illustration, it is advisable to test it out beforehand by setting your home printer to greyscale to check that it reproduces well, although the result will not be the same quality as when it is professionally printed by WRITERSWORLD.

Distribution: Getting Your Book Out to the Public

The most important point that many self-published authors appear to overlook is that it is a pointless exercise if people cannot buy their book. The ready availability and the economical and reliable distribution of your book is critical. WRITERSWORLD sets up the distribution for your book to assist the book wholesaler and consequently the retailer and purchaser.

This is where yet again WRITERSWORLD comes into its own, for although it is possible to get by without using the services of a book wholesaler, the choices are very unpalatable. A book wholesaler is the entity that stores copies of the book in a warehouse, distributes the book to the book retailer, collects the money from the sale of the book by the retailer, and advances the royalties to WRITERSWORLD who in turn pays the royalties to the author.

Of course, a self-published author could distribute the book him/herself, but that would require having to go to the post office and mail off a copy or copies to whoever wanted to buy them. This then leaves the problem of the author having to raise invoices each and every time they mail those copies and just hope they get paid.

Another way round the problem is to sign up for the Amazon Advantage programme, the problem here being that Amazon takes up to 65% of the retail price in royalties. They will also send in one-off orders, which often means that, after taking into account the cost of postage and packing and their time, the author actually loses money on every book, and also has to put up with Amazon’s long-winded and draconian payment terms and exclusivity requirements, which means being precluded from other outlets.

Of course, there are other print-on-demand publishers who purport to offer distribution, but they frequently fail to point out that their distribution is not only very limited, but they also charge an ‘administration’ fee, which inevitably means the self-published author’s revenues are depleted. WRITERSWORLD alleviates all this complicated and inefficient mess.

Nielsen BookData Enhanced Listing Service

Our composite range of services includes another agency that is involved in publishing your book. Nielsen is the entity responsible for issuing your ISBNs and whom we use to provide the data from which all the major book retailers take their information, such as price and availability. We provide Nielsen’s BookData Enhanced Listing Service with a description of your book, paid for by WRITERSWORLD, which will make the book easier to find by search terms at the very numerous book retailers’ websites, and boost the opportunity for the book’s sales. We are not aware of any other print-on-demand book publisher providing this invaluable service.

When an order comes in from a book retailer it automatically goes to Nielsen’s database to the special account we will have set up for you (this central database thus links the author with the book retailer and the book wholesaler). From here on in, the order for your book goes automatically from Nielsen to the book wholesaler we have chosen to distribute our clients’ books, and a copy is literally taken from the rack and mailed to the bookstore or book purchaser.

NB. It is important to note that if a person goes into a bookshop to purchase your book and the screen comes up with phrases such as ‘unavailable’ or ‘out of stock’, it does not mean your book is out of print. Phrases such as these simply mean our wholesaler does not have copies of your book physically in stock. The customer can still make the purchase and the book will be printed and distributed by our book wholesaler to the retailer.

Later in this document is a step-by-step guide to the book retailing process.

Our Book Wholesaler

The relationship WRITERSWORLD has with its book wholesaler is unique as their normal policy is not to deal with authors or publishers who have fewer than four titles in their inventory. However, by virtue of the fact that we afford our clients the dignity and right to have the ISBN of their book in their own name, as a result they become book publishers in their own right and fall outside our book wholesaler’s normal policy which would make it difficult to engage their distribution services.

Would you please be aware that the fact that our book wholesaler has granted WRITERSWORLD a concession and has agreed to distribute our clients’ books is a privilege granted by them and not a right. Our book wholesaler is based in the UK and WRITERSWORLD greatly values their support to its clients.


Having taken account of the foregoing, let’s explain the royalty formula.

The retail price of your book, less the book retailer’s sales commission of 25%, less our book wholesaler’s commission of 15% of the retail price, less printing costs =


In other words, the book retailer who sold the book on your behalf, and the book wholesaler who made the book available to them, deduct their combined commission of 40% from the retail price of your book.

It is very clear that neither WRITERSWORLD nor the author could pack and mail a copy of a book for the amount that our book wholesaler charges, which is approximately £1.50 for a book retailing at £9.99.

The process as to payment of royalties is as follows:

  1. When you have approved your sample copy, which will be sent to you direct from the printer, we start the ball rolling by sending our book wholesaler five complimentary copies of your book. As a consequence, your book will be treated by the wholesaler as an in-stock book, and appear the same at the many thousands of book retailers’ websites and bookshops throughout the world.
  2. After a book’s publication date, WRITERSWORLD will be the direct and only liaison between the author/publisher and our book wholesaler in order to try and persuade them to stock further copies of your book. If successful, this will involve our book wholesaler ordering bulk copies of the author/publisher’s book through WRITERSWORLD via email. In turn, WRITERSWORLD will forward our book wholesaler’s orders on to the author/publisher who will then order them from the respective printer and pay for them. The printer will ship the order to our book wholesaler using a specially designed delivery note. As WRITERSWORLD will provide you with complimentary copies to the value of £185, you can, if you wish, use these initially to supply our book wholesaler who will stock your book; WRITERSWORLD will provide you with a delivery note that meets their requirements.
  3. You can keep an eye on how many copies of your book have been sold via retail outlets and distributed by our book wholesaler by going to the wholesaler’s website and typing in your ISBN (without hyphens or spaces) in the Search box on their home page. The search results will tell you how many copies of your book have been delivered by our wholesaler to book retailers by the number of copies of your book they still have on their racks or shelves. For example, if they have had 100 copies and have 20 left, they have distributed 80 of your books.
  4. As for the authors/publishers being paid by our book wholesaler for the books they hopefully will have ordered through WRITERSWORLD, in the past a very small minority of clients have jeopardised this process, letting other authors/publishers and WRITERSWORLD down by their activities. These activities have involved our book wholesaler having to contend with authors/publishers ‘demanding’ they stock their books and even at times incurring verbal abuse; books being shipped to them that they had never ordered; and even being invoiced for books they still had in stock and not distributed etc. Our book wholesaler, while most reasonable, is not a charity and it will be clear to the majority of authors that they cannot pay out for books they have stocked but which have not been sold and so not distributed.
  5. Because of this very small number of authors/publishers who have unrealistic expectations, WRITERSWORLD has had to tighten up its method of royalty payment, which is now as follows. Each month WRITERSWORLD receives a list of all its clients whose books have been distributed by our book wholesaler, showing the number of titles distributed by them during the previous month and the royalties owed on each book title, taking into account the five complimentary copies sent to them by WRITERSWORLD.
  6. As stated already, the author/publisher is able to establish how many copies of their book have been distributed by our book wholesaler at any time by going to their website and typing the respective ISBN into the Search box (no hyphens or spaces). Additionally, the author/publisher is welcome to telephone WRITERSWORLD to get the distribution figures. We invoice our book wholesaler en bloc on behalf of all our authors/publishers and every quarter we pay each author/publisher 90% of what our wholesaler has paid us for the respective book title, and we do so ‘bank to bank’. Of course, after a period of time we will use our best endeavours to persuade our book wholesaler to allow you to have a direct account, which is in our interests too.

Book Retailing Process Step by Step

  1. The customer purchases a copy of your book from a bookshop or Internet book retailer: the customer orders and pays for the book and 25% of the book’s retail price is deducted by the retailer from the purchase money paid to them.
  2. The wholesaler receives the order from the bookshop or Internet book retailer: the wholesaler, through the database system set up by WRITERSWORLD, gets the order from the bookshop or Internet book retailer who sends an order to WRITERSWORLD to supply the wholesaler with the required number of books. By this time the wholesaler will have in stock the five complimentary copies which WRITERSWORLD will have paid to have printed out of the fee the author has paid to WRITERSWORLD.
  3. The wholesaler ensures they have adequate stock levels of your book, dependent on sales volume: if and when the wholesaler does not have enough copies of your book in stock and requires more, the wholesaler will send a purchase order to WRITERSWORLD who will then prepare a delivery note to meet the order. WRITERSWORLD then forwards the delivery note to both the printer and the author. The printer sends a quote by email to the author, who pays the printer direct.
  4. The printer delivers to the wholesaler books that have been ordered by them: once the printer has been paid by the author, the printer will deliver the books to the wholesaler along with a copy of the delivery note prepared by WRITERSWORLD, upon receipt of which the wholesaler will deliver the books to the respective book retailer(s). At this time the wholesaler may place a further order with WRITERSWORLD to either replenish or increase the numbers of a particular book in stock.
  5. The wholesaler pays the author’s royalties directly to WRITERSWORLD: at the end of each month the wholesaler sends WRITERSWORLD a cumulative statement listing all the book titles produced by WRITERSWORLD that have been distributed that particular month. This cumulative statement shows the money owed to WRITERSWORLD on behalf of its authors, less 15% of each book’s retail price, which is the fee the wholesaler charges for collecting the author’s money from the book retailer(s) and delivering the book or books to the respective book retailer(s).
  6. WRITERSWORLD disseminates information provided to it by the wholesaler and on a quarterly basis provides all the information to the author about the number of books distributed, and consequently the royalties owed in a given monthly period. The author raises an invoice on WRITERSWORLD for the sum total of the quarterly royalties owed to the author, and each quarter WRITERSWORLD pays to the author 90% of the money paid to them by the wholesaler, via a bank-to-bank payment direct to the author.

Book Promotion Package

We will publicise your book with our press release distribution package, which includes the professional writing of your release, media targeting and distribution to all relevant UK media contacts including the press, consumer and trade publications, broadcast media and online agencies. Our press releases go out to approximately 230 countries with a selection from a database of 1.7 million media contacts with over 175,000 media contacts in the UK alone.

With Us, Authors Buy Copies of Their Books at ‘Print Cost’ Plus Delivery Charge

We will set up an account direct with the printer, load your files into your account and will not take a penny from your in royalties or on the copies of your book you buy direct from the printer. Consider the idea of an author who has paid to have a book published but is not able to buy books direct from the printer at cost plus shipping! If you paid to have your house painted, would you allow the painter to charge you money when people looked at it? Of course you wouldn’t.

The norm in the print-on-demand book publishing industry is to mark up the cost of the books that the authors buy by 25% of the retail price—for buying copies of their own book! Let’s give an example of a book we have published, ‘Cotswold Memoir’, which retails for £9.99. The author orders 100 copies of the book which she receives at a print cost of £2.78 per copy, thus costing her a total of £278. If she were to use the services of a self-publishing company that charges print cost + 25% of retail, the self-same quantity of books would cost her £527.75, and of course the books would not be of the same print quality as WRITERSWORLD or indeed even have her, the author’s own ISBN on them.

Supporting Your Local Bookshop

On average in the UK, two local bookshops a week are going out of business. In 2009 Borders, a huge book retailer, went out of business, and in 2010 the largest book chain in the Republic of Ireland went into administration. This brings us on to supporting your own local bookshop, which can often supply a book as fast and at the same price as the huge Internet retailing giants, and of course, if there is a problem, you will have a real live human being to help you. Local bookshop personnel are usually also able to give advice about books generally, in particular those that involve the local area, or the rural and urban infrastructure, and many support book reading groups and bring in authors to talk about their work to the public.

Important Notes

No matter which company you choose to publish your book, if you are not prepared or are unable to promote your book, it is unlikely you will recover the cost of publishing your book from the royalties of retail book sales. Options include: contacting local bookshops to stock your books and/or offer you book-signings; doing local radio and newspaper interviews; arranging book launches; publicising your book in magazines/journals and so on. We will assist all we can, without promise, to arrange local book signings in the UK with Waterstones.

Do not be persuaded by claims from other print-on-demand book publishers that you will make a full-time living from the royalties on Internet retail sales of your book as the volumes and margins are simply not there.

Ask yourself if you would even be truthfully informed, or indeed have direct knowledge from the printer as to how many copies of your book were actually sold and printed via any print-on-demand Internet retail sales. Then ask yourself why that print-on-demand book publisher needs to insert themselves into the royalty payment process when, as with WRITERSWORLD, you could have your own ISBN and be listed as your book’s publisher, have the dignity of direct access to your book’s wholesaler, know at all times how many copies of your book have been sold and directly receive 90% of any royalties.

NB. Something to be aware of if you are going to send out copies of your book to reviewers: do buy a rubber stamp stating BOOK REVIEW: COPY NOT FOR SALE, and put this stamp on the imprint page, because it has come to our attention that some book reviewers are parcelling up books sent for review and selling them off to businesses such as Amazon.

Our Copy Editing Process

With this service, in addition to having the cover designed and before your book is submitted to our printers, it will be worked on by one of our copy editors. We want your book not only to look attractive but to be able to convey its information to the intended readership as easily and effectively as possible. Your copy editor will help you consider things such as the size of your book, its formatting and layout, the best font to use, styles of chapter headings, spacing between paragraphs, headers, footers, page numbering, table of contents, possible bibliography or index, and so on. They will then go on to perform essential checks for spelling and grammar errors, punctuation, correctness of page and chapter layout, and so on. Most importantly, they consider your book from the point of view of the reader: does the story flow from one event to the next? What happened to a certain character? Is there consistency etc.? For factual or educational books, are the references and quotations correct? Is it accurate in every respect? Does it flow logically?

Sometimes, for the content to be coherent or to read well, it requires the copy editor to reword, add, or insert text, but this is always in the author’s voice. Any reworking will have all the appearance of being written by you, as of course it is not intended that our copy editors should rewrite your book, and any changes or additions will be agreed with you along the way.

This process usually involves several rounds of exchanging files of latest draft versions between you and the copy editor. We have found that most books require at the least two or three draft versions, each of which advances the work another step closer to the finished book.

If an index is to be added, this will be the very last process once all the text and pagination (page numbering) has been agreed, since subsequent changes to the text will affect the index too. Please note there is an extra fee of £250 to be paid by the author in advance direct to the copy editor if creating an index is required. This charge covers the first 250 words or phrases to be indexed and an additional charge of £1 per word or phrase thereafter.

If logistically possible, we will arrange for you to meet your designated copy editor in person at the very outset of the process. If not, he or she will keep in contact with you by telephone and/or email and will provide you with a sample draft early on to make sure he or she is going in the right direction with your book. Your book cover designer will also keep in touch with you throughout your book’s production process.

We appreciate it is likely you have spent years of work on your book, so you may well view the prospect of reading over several more versions with less than whole-hearted enthusiasm! At WRITERSWORLD we view this process as extremely important, however, and as you have entrusted us with publishing your book, the finished book should reflect our highest standards, so please help our copy editors to help you! Your readers will thank you.

At the very end of the book-publishing process, after all the copy editing opportunities have been exhausted and the author is happy with the final Word file, a PDF (portable document format) file is created and sent to the printer. A sample copy is then produced, which exactly replicates the book as it will appear after production.

Designing Your Book’s Cover

All the book cover and book jacket designers that WRITERSWORLD uses have the required skills, experience and expertise to do the important task of the one-glimpse-and-it-sells test for the cover of your book. You do not want your self-published book to appear amateurish or homemade, and all our graphic designers, who are very knowledgeable about the book printing/publishing industry, have very high levels of skills and creativity, as well as the most up-to-date software and access to stock photography so as to make your book’s cover stand out from all the rest.

After we have received your contract and payment you will be contacted directly by one of our designated book cover designers who will ask you to provide your careful thoughts as to how you want your book cover to look, as this is entirely down to you. Whether you have ideas, thoughts, a photograph or illustration, they can be incorporated into the design of your book’s cover, and of course you can make changes and corrections to your original thoughts or ideas, within reason, until you are fully satisfied with your cover’s final look. You will also need to give some thought to what text you would like on the back cover that will give the public some indication of the content of the book.

Putting Your Photograph on Your Book’s Cover

Of course, most celebrities display their photograph on a book cover, or inside, but these people are already well-known and have a recognised following. Non-published authors are not in general marketing themselves to an existing audience, therefore including personal images here is unlikely to present any significant gain and may even risk a potential purchaser/reader putting your book down in favour of another. Whether we like it or not, we need to recognise that we live in a world where prejudice and bias are no strangers, and WRITERSWORLD would encourage you to consider that the benefits to leaving these images out may outweigh the risks of inclusion.

Our Publishing Fees Policy

It is the defined policy of WRITERSWORLD that after you have placed your contract, pursuant to the conditions outlined in our Self-Publishing Guide and our contract terms and conditions (including prior agreement on additional payment for books with a word count of over 80,000 words, indexing etc.) there will be no additional charges.

If upon receipt of the complete file relating to your book we think from the outset your book is not suitable for WRITERSWORLD to publish, we will refund any money you have paid us in full.

Book Publishing Process Step by Step

  1. Author sends contract and files to WRITERSWORLD. Contract returned to author via email.
  2. WRITERSWORLD sends author International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
  3. WRITERSWORLD selects the appropriate sub-contract copy editor and book cover designer.
  4. Copy editor and book cover designer establish direct contact with author and work directly with author on the respective tasks.
  5. WRITERSWORLD receives completed ISBN application form from the author, creates imprint/copyright page, forwards the form to Nielsen, the ISBN agency, and pays the registration fee on behalf of the author.
  6. Author receives the list of their 10 ISBNs. WRITERSWORLD begins to enter information into the database, from which all book retailers take their information about a particular book.
  7. Once the author has approved the sample copy of their book, WRITERSWORLD arranges with the printer to send five complimentary copies to the book wholesaler, six copies to the Legal Deposit Libraries and complimentary copies to the value of £185 to the author.
  8. WRITERSWORLD submits the book cover and text files to Amazon’s Look Inside programme.

Our Standard Book Publishing Service

Payment plans are available—please contact us for details.

Fee: £3,245

Included in the price of this service, our professional editing team will check for and correct any inconsistencies, amend any spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors, and will also provide layout and cover design services. This way you get the benefit of a properly designed and laid out, visually pleasing, professional quality book, not something that looks like a bound word-processor document as is the case with some self-publishing companies.

We will create a high-quality, full-colour cover, custom designed by our skilled jacket artists in consultation with you. Simply put, we will not palm you off with a book cover based on a template that is used over and over again with just a different title and author’s name on it. The whole team will liaise with you throughout the process and revisions will be made only with your approval. You decide on your own preferred retail price for your book, based on manufacturing costs as determined once the design is completed. Given that all internal illustration work is completed to an acceptably high standard when submitted to us, and that no unforeseen delays occur, the time frame from acceptance of submission to publication can be 60 days.

On acceptance of your book for publication, and receipt of the completed text and your payment, we are committed to undertake and complete the following:

Poetry Book & Children’s Book Service

Payment plans are available—please contact us for details.

Fee: £2,995

As there is little copy editing with a poetry book and they tend to have a low page count, we are able to offer all of the services we offer with our standard service but at a lower cost.

Having Your Book Spiral-Bound

If it better suits your book’s purpose, it is possible to produce a spiral-bound version of your book in place of the hardback copies. To do this we use one of your nine spare ISBNs; change the imprint/copyright page plus the bar code on the back cover to reflect the new ISBN; make another set of six legal deposits; and send five introductory copies to the book wholesaler, plus a copy to you. These are also paid for WRITERSWORLD and of course you will receive 90% of the royalties on this version of your book. Any requirement for further such copies will be paid for and ordered in the same way as for further soft cover copies.

Amazon Kindle E-Book Service

Amazon Kindle now represents over 60% of the worldwide e-book market, and Waterstones, the UK’s largest book retailer, is selling the Kindle through its bookshops and website. Our perspective as to where the e-book market is heading is that Amazon’s Kindle is achieving market dominance. WRITERSWORLD now offers, therefore, a worldwide Amazon Kindle setup service and e-book distribution for all its authors. This service provides the opportunity for clients to earn extra income and at the same time gain marketing opportunities. As for the ISBN you will need for your Amazon Kindle e-book, you will be able to use one of the spare numbers we purchase on your behalf when you publish your conventional book with WRITERSWORLD.

We used to offer our e-book service with outlets other than Amazon Kindle and found that, apart from the complexity of organising the payment of royalties, the actual royalties paid to our clients were derisory and frankly not worth the effort. We have come to the conclusion that the issue of Amazon Kindle vs. its competitors is akin to CDs vs. cassette tapes.

We are now able to set up a free Amazon Kindle account for you and the royalties will be paid to you direct by Amazon Kindle.

Printers & Printing Overseas

Would you please note that producing/publishing a book is a totally different function to printing a book. Whereas the cost of printing a book depends on how many copies are being printed, the cost of producing or publishing a book is the same whether one or hundreds of copies are to be printed. WRITERSWORLD is a book production company and not a book printer, although of course it has arrangements with printing companies. In simple terms we are the builder who builds a house and then arranges for the supply of utilities to bring the house to life. Similarly, we produce a book file and then arrange with the printer to do the printing; what we do is very different from what the printer does and vice versa.

As regards getting a book printed overseas, although WRITERSWORLD has print arrangements with some printers outside the UK, if you wish to print in any other country we will arrange to transfer copies of your digital files to any printer of your choice overseas, at no cost to you as you will own all the rights to your book’s digital files.

WRITERSWORLD has never asked for or received money, gifts, or cash from any printer it has used or recommended and does not belong to any book retailer affiliate programme, nor does it derive any profit from the sale of any book, nor receive any money or gifts from any book wholesaler or wholesaler it uses or recommends.

Attention Tax Payers

In the United Kingdom

If your book is directly related to your business, then the cost of publishing your book, i.e. what you pay WRITERSWORLD, should be fully tax deductible as a business expense, and if you file self-assessment tax returns you may wish to discuss this possibility with whoever compiles your tax returns.

In the United States

If you file your tax returns with the US Inland Revenue, you may be entitled to a tax deduction for the cost of setting up your book with us, i.e. our publishing fees. After you have entered into a contract with us and paid the publishing fee, if you reside outside the United Kingdom you may also be entitled to a tax deduction for the direct and legitimate expense of coming to the UK to discuss with us the book production process. On both points, why not discuss this possibility with your State and Federal tax preparer to see if Uncle Sam can indirectly and legitimately assist you financially to publish a book.

In Other Parts of the World

We cannot offer any input as to possible tax write-offs or deductions you might make if you live elsewhere in the world. All we can advise is that you take advice from whoever prepares your tax returns.

Public Lending Right

Whether you use WRITERSWORLD or not, we recommend that you register with the UK-based Public Lending Right office (part of the British Library) which through its website aims to provide published authors with an easy route to register for ‘PLR’, which is a legal right to payment from the UK government each time an author’s books are borrowed from UK public libraries. They provide further details of the work they do through the Media Centre at their website, which gives a unique insight into the nation’s book-borrowing tastes from data collected from libraries across the UK.

To Conclude

Here are the five essential points we think you should not give any ground on if you want to retain control over your book, maximise your revenues and avoid the possibility of being exploited down the line.

Insist that:

Phew! You have got this far having read all our bumf, and hopefully you will have learned a plethora of things regarding the processes, pitfalls and opportunities involved in self-publishing a book.

We hope that by this stage you have also come to the conclusion that WRITERSWORLD is best placed to take care of the process for you, and by extension take care of you, the author, too.