Dolman Scott are based in Berkshire in the UK. I have come across them in trade publishing magazines and Google ads on the Internet, which is why their low volume of titles listed on Amazon surprised me. Their titles cover a span of approximately eighteen months, right back to November 2007. Again, Dolman Scott’s on line ‘portfolio’ page only features eight titles and they do not support their own on line bookstore. This is not a good sign in spite of the strong presentation of their website with built in flash media.
“We publish books as hard backs and paper backs, in full colour and black and white and in a wide range of sizes. We also have E book and Audio book options with world wide distribution.”
These are very favourable options, particularly the Audio option, which is not something offered by many author solution companies.
“Dolman Scott gives you the widest range of options available in how to self publish a book. You can choose to have a traditionally printed book or, you can choose print on demand self publishing. If you wish to take advantage of new technology and distribution we will create an E book and even an Audio book from your manuscript.”
Dolman Scott suggest that authors should have their books reviewed and edited and consider using their services, particularly if they intend making their books available beyond just family and friends. The manuscript can be submitted in word file form or as an already edited and proofread print ready file (PDF) provided it conforms to their required format specifications.
There are two packages on offer from Dolman Scott; the Standard service and the Premium service. The Standard service is priced at £450.
“Our Standard service deals with an author’s already proofread manuscript, which is then formatted for printing and fully prepared cover image. Authors receive a sample copy of their work to check for printing errors before the book is released for retail sale. Authors are then given 5 review copies of their book free and thereafter these are available at print cost plus 25% of the retail price (PoD only).”
This service requires the author to submit completed PDF files, cover and internal files. Dolman will supply paperback publication, ISBN allocation, one sample proof and five free author copies, on line and database distribution with royalties paid on any copies sold. Again, Dolman seems at pains to stress that the book must already have been edited and proofread.
The Premier service, priced at £990, deals with a submitted manuscript which will be proofread and have a cover designed by them. Authors receive all of the services in the Standard package, including one proof to check, ISBN and on line distribution, plus ten author copies, further author copies available at print cost plus 20%, and legal registration. Authors should note that the proofread is limited to 80,000 words and books beyond this will be subject to a £3.50/per 1000 words charge.
Dolman list other additional services including cover design, basic and full design services, various depths of editing, proofreading required above the 80,000 limit, and costs for additional photographs/illustrations.
Dolman Scott does also offer digital short prints runs and litho printing. Authors should contact the company directly for quotes on these print runs. Dolman does have further format options including hardback and combination print runs. More expanded details are available on their FAQ page.
“What about Marketing my Book?
We do not judge submitted books on their commercial merits, so consequently we cannot afford to market them. We do, however, offer help where we can. Marketing is down to the Author and we will give you basic tips on how to go about this, and give you the names of organisations which specialise in marketing books, including PoD books. Most sales will have to be made as a result of your own efforts. If you are not prepared to market and sell your own book we would advise that you are unlikely to see a return on your investment.”
Dolman Scott pay royalties at 80% net of the retail, meaning that print and wholesales discounts subtracted before that percentage is applied. Dolman do not give any examples of print costs, but authors should bear in mind that there is already a 20% to 25% mark up on copies sold to authors, so that author profit is based on 80% of what is left after all deductions are made. On a book retailing at £10.00, if we take away the average minimum wholesale discount of 40%, we are left with £6.00. Based on Lightning Source’s POD prices of £2.70 for a 200 page paperback—add Dolman’s 20% mark up—that leaves £2.76, with the author getting 80% of this (£2.20), and the remaining £0.56 going also to Dolman.
Dolman Scott is up front about the fact that they do not market the books they produce for their authors. There are many author service companies who are not so up front and lead the author down an avenue of assumption about the success of their books once they are made available. While Dolman Scott is far from the most expensive service, they may not suit all authors’ needs. An author with PDF files might find a use here with Dolman Scott, but much of the work and expense still remains for an author to promote, market and reach their buying public. An author also does have the flexibility to use their own ISBN’s or Dolman’s if they wish.
The fact that Dolman Scott has so few titles listed with Amazon may reflect the fact that many author’s using this author solution company choose to use their own registered ISBN’s and publishing imprints, treating Dolman more as a intermediary print solution provider than as an actual publisher.