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Original Writing Review

Original Writing has been going in the Republic of Ireland since 2006. Based in Dublin, they claim to be Ireland’s leading self-publishing company.
A few weeks back, Garreth Bonner, Sales and Marketing Manager with Original Writing was interviewed here on this site. You can check out that interview here.

“Original Writing is an Irish self publishing company based in Smithfield, Dublin. Founded in 2006, we have already helped over 100 Irish authors successfully publish their books. At Original Writing we understand the importance of working closely with authors on every aspect of their work. Authors are free to visit us to discuss their self-publishing projects in detail and remain in control at every stage of the publishing process.”

Original Writing are open about the business of self-publishing and the author services they provide. They welcome visitors to their Dublin offices and their contact phone number and address is clearly displayed on their site. They have an on line bookstore to their catalogue, where books can be purchased, as well as a linked blog and a writers forum for writers to discuss their work and display sample work for feedback. The main website features plenty of book advertisements for present and new release titles.

http://www.writing4all.ie/writing4all/index.php

http://www.originalwriting.ie/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=2061

Original Writing says they offer two distinct author service packages, but effectively it is actually one, either hardback or paperback publication with 100 author copies offered with each.

We offer two standard publishing packages for your book – either hardback or paperback. Both packages include 100 free copies of your book and full completion of all administrative aspects of publishing. We realise that every book is different and can also put together bespoke quotes for individual publishing projects, large or small. Full details of our packages are listed below:

Design:
Professional inside page layout and typography

Full colour joint cover design

Full range of book formats

Up to 5 electronic proofs for review

One final Proof (only if required and unbound) prior to final decision to print.

Publish:
100 paperback copies delivered to author specified address

The packages include, non-exclusive rights, ISBN allocation, full original colour cover design (450 euro as a stand alone bespoke service), full internal layout and design, legal deposit to national libraries, 100 author copies (will have an additional delivery charge depending on author’s location), a range of book sizes, 5 rounds of electronic proofs and a final single unbound paper proof. This also includes on line distribution and a listing in their own bookstore. Unlike many UK based author solution providers, Original Writing use an indigenous Irish digital printer and provide all on line fulfilment. Orders are forwarded on to Original Writing from on line sellers and books are shipped directly to customers from Ireland.

Pricing as of 2010:

“Pricing

The price for the paperback package is Euro 1595 payable and the price for the standard hardback package is Euro 1895 with Euro 500 due on commencement of project and the balance due on sign-off of final Proof Copy.”

Original Writing does include some marketing with these packages. A summary marketing plan will be prepared and offered to the author as well as their standard web listing page on their bookstore site. Authors ordering more than 500 copies of their book will also receive a full author website dedicated to them and their book. A circulation brief will also be submitted to bookstores and libraries as well as author review copies (amount not specified). Further marketing services are also available to the author on request.

“In addition to the free marketing support the Author may order some or all of the following marketing materials and services:

 Flyers  Invitation cards  Posters  Business cards  Print on canvas  Individual Author website with or without Adwords campaign  PR campaign  Targeted Press release campaign  Targeted Book reviews”

Authors can purchase additional copies of their own books, with a restriction of a 25 copy minimum at between 4.50 and 5.50 euro per copy. Without knowing Original Writing’s own print costs, it is difficult to judge how much of a mark up per book added by the publisher, if any at all.

The price for the above package is 1595 euro payable as 500 euro on commencement of project and the balance on sign-off of final Proof Copy.

An additional per page cost if final layout is over 224 pages (Normally around one Cent per each additional page per copy).

Ouch! This is a potential limitation, with the 200 page moderately-sized book just coming barely in under this.

Proofreading and editing services are not included with these packages, though Original Writing can refer an author to an outside source. The author’s work ideally needs to be delivered to them in Microsoft Word format and the production timeline is estimated to be approximately nine weeks from submission.

Royalties are calculated at 75% of net sales, that is, after wholesale and print costs have been deducted and also a handling fee.

The Author will earn 75% royalties on margin achieved by Original Writing on all sales online and to retail and wholesale outlets. The Royalty is payable every six months. Margin is calculated as to net selling price less cost of printing and transport and after deducting 1 Euro for handling fees

The 75% royalty on net sales is competitive when compared to other author service companies, and Original Writing also only subtract the print costs, 1 euro handling and transport fee for books sold at their on line bookstores. This is where many authors will depend on sales of their book. Books sold by other on line sellers are also subject to the standard wholesaler discount which can be 40% or higher. The average price of Original Writers books is 15 euro (£12 on Amazon UK).

Another strongest part of the above packages is the additional marketing tools, review copies and circulation brief. Too often companies refer to their ‘marketing’ services, only for the author to discover that they simply amount to some postcards and bookmarks. The packages may seem on the expensive side at 1595 euro, but authors should bear in mind that they are getting a full cover design (authors can supply ideas and/or their own artwork if they so wish) as well as 100 free author copies. The one downside is the limitation on book page-length and it is a pity this has to be tied into these packages.

Original Writing offer a reasonable competitive package and they will appeal to those authors who want some input into the production and publication of their book, but do not want to be hands on with the technical stuff.

The critical challenge for Irish author solution companies who use printers here is maintaining competitiveness and attracting overseas authors.