Thursday 7 June 2012

My FeedARead Experience

I thought I’d write a post about my experience of publishing with FeedARead because it might be helpful for any other new indie authors out there.

FeedARead is an independent publisher funded by the UK Arts Council. They provide a great service to self-publishers – it is free to set up your book for publishing. FeedARead uses Lightning Source to print the books (LS are one of the world’s largest printers) so they guarantee a “bookstore quality paperback”. I have to say – when my proof copy arrived I was very, very impressed with it! It certainly does look like any paperback you’d find in a store.

I found the set up process easy. Once I had formatted my manuscript and cover images to FeedARead’s specifications – I wanted a 5inches x 8 inches book – I simply uploaded them to the website. They were then both approved by FeedARead within two days. FeedARead provide very detailed instructions on formatting and their cover creator will automatically resize your images for you. One thing to note: the cover needs to be three separate jpeg images – front, spine and back. An ISBN is also provided free of charge (this does mean FeedARead are named as the imprint on record).

Once I had double checked the manuscript PDF and cover (note: FeedARead rely on the author to proof their own work and if you find mistakes after publication they do charge you to make revisions), I then had to choose a price for the book. FeedARead sets a minimum price, based on the number of pages in the book and how much it costs to print. Mine was ₤7.99 and as I was happy with that price (and the royalty I will receive after printing costs) I agreed to this. I then went ahead and clicked that wonderful ‘publish’ button. This is where the waiting began as Lightning Source take ten working days to approve the files for printing. I’m not sure why it takes so long, but I suppose they’re pretty busy! :-) All I know is the two weeks felt the longest of my life.

After the ten working days I was able to order a proof copy at a discounted price. I ordered the book on a Thursday morning and was holding it in my hands on the following Tuesday. Very happy! The book looks great; the cover colours are just right and the inside paper is textured cream – just like you’d find in a traditionally published book! I can’t recommend Lightning Source highly enough. They’re excellent printers.

As for FeedARead – I highly recommend them too! I’ve had such an easy run with them; as opposed to another print-on-demand publisher & printer that I started with who managed to post my proof copy to the wrong address, and once it did arrive I wasn’t overly impressed with the book’s quality. The FeedARead and Lightning Source book is far superior.

So my novel Run to Me is available to buy directly from the FeedARead site. I also chose to invest in their distribution package which means the paperback will soon be available through all online bookstores – Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble etc. Lightning Source has a global network that means books printed by them are available through major wholesalers such as Ingram in the US and Gardners & Nielsen in the UK. This takes 3-6 weeks to set up so another waiting game! Distribution even means bricks-and-mortar bookshops can order and stock the book. But as far as I know self-published books aren’t usually ordered by the big shops.  

For now you can find my book on the FeedARead site - 'Run to Me'  

FeedARead will post to most countries, and Lightning Source has branches in the US, UK and Australia - so if you're ordering from any of these countries you should be able to get a book sent from their local branch. 

If you'd prefer to buy the paperback through other online bookstores then, sorry, you'll need to wait the same 3-6 weeks as I am. What fun! :-) 

All in all, a great experience with FeedARead. Sales and distribution success remain to be seen, but I know one thing for sure - holding my book in my hands (the whole reason I started this self-publishing journey in the first place!) has brought me a lot of joy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that Erin. Just what I needed, as I'm about to embark on using FeedARead for the first time and was trying to find some info on other authors' experiences. Sounds promising! Hope your's is going well.