What is the process to take my book from contract offer to release?
When your submitted manuscript is accepted by Wings ePress you will be sent an IMF (Information and Marketing Form). We suggest that you take care in filling out the information asked for in this form. It will aid the executive editor and art director in assigning your editor and artist. See the section below on IMFs for more details.
Each book is assigned an editor and a cover artist to work directly with you to help you realize the maximum potential from your novel. These people are paid on a share-of-royalty basis which means they are making an investment in your work. Their time is limited so please be sensitive of this constraint when seeking modifications and advice. You should assume that there will be only one complete edit of your manuscript and one mock-up of your cover art. You will be asked to revise the text and suggest tweaks of the cover art and you will be expected to review the final galleys. Though every attempt is made to help you produce the best novel you can, there is neither time nor budget for extensive reworks.
In addition to those people with whom you’ll be engaging, there are others behind the scenes, including a copy editor, an artistic director, an executive editor and a publishing/distribution manager to get your book to the point where your readers can purchase it online. Much of this will happen without your involvement or even knowledge but, rest assured, there are several of us doing all that we can to help you see your book available in print and eBook formats to as many vendors as possible.
The goal is to start this process several weeks in advance of your publication date and to complete it in the month before publication date to allow for pre-release.
How is my book formatted?
Wings uses CreateSpace for preparation of all paperback books and Smashwords for creation of all eBook versions. These organizations have very strict formatting rules. Your editor will work with you to get your book into the best format for publication but it may be changed in the copyedit and final publishing phase. These rules are beyond the control of Wings, so much will be dictated rather than negotiated. For example, special fonts are forbidden and blank lines are problematic. A short Table of Contents is required for eBooks but not for paperbacks. Undoubtedly these kinds of things will change over time and your editor will let you know of anything in your book that is likely to upset the publication process and should be able to find a rework that satisfies you and the publishing engines.
EBooks are distributed via Amazon and Smashwords. They are sold through a large number of online retailers including: Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor’s Blio. This list of retailers will change from time to time as Smashwords updates its Premium program. All Wings titles are loaded both on Amazon and Smashwords and then Smashwords distributes them further.
Will Wings ever sell any books directly from their website?
No. Wings does not have a shopping cart. The major online retailers will always have the latest and most secure technologies in this area so they are the best place for readers to purchase their books. Wings publishes and will focus on producing the highest quality books possible, leaving the retailers to focus on the sales transactions. Though we will not directly vend books from our site, customers and authors can follow links seamlessly from our website to the CreateSpace and Smashwords shopping carts. The vendors have been set up so the customers/authors will be sent directly back to the Wings website when they have finished purchasing a book/eBook
What can I do to help make my book a success?
The Wings ePress staff will occasionally schedule seminars or help groups to work with the authors in all of the areas below but there are several things that you should be doing within the Wings umbrella once you have signed your contract: sign up to Wings Google Groups to stay in the loop, submit your completed IMF (see below), be responsive to your editor and cover artist. There are also broader things you can do to help make your book a success. These include:
1) Build an Amazon Author page (create your profile on Author Central). All your books available via Amazon can be linked on this one page which can help your readers find your work and learn more about you. Spend some time on this site to see how you can take advantage of tools Amazon provides authors.
2) Build a Smashwords Author profile. This is similar to Author Central on Amazon except you can’t link your books yourself. Wings must publish using a ghost profile and then, once you send Wings your Smashwords profile, we will link your book. But you have to create and maintain your profile; Wings can’t do that for you.
3) Build a Website. Every author should have their own website. There is a plethora of information on the web to help if you aren’t sure how to start and other authors from Wings ePress may volunteer to help if they have time to spare.
4) Market online using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your own YouTube channel,... and the list goes on. It’s up to you to figure out the best way to work this limitless network. But keep up with Wings on its Google Group; there are plans afoot to help with marketing tips and tricks.
5) Consider avenues in your local community for author talks or book signings.
6) Stay on the Wings Google Group. Share ideas, learn from others, help us all become better marketers and authors.
How important is Marketing?
Marketing is encouraged at Wings ePress. As soon as your book is edited, copy edited and approved for publication you will receive a PDF version of your manuscript. We encourage you to share your eBook with reviewers. Reviewers may request a different eBook format of your book. In that case, contact us and we will make any eBook version available to you. Some reviewers will only review paperback versions of your book. If that is the case, you can order your paperback versions through us at your author discount and send paperbacks through the mail.
Authors are very creative people but marketing is the 'business' of your vocation. Marketing needs to be handled professionally. Please investigate the reviewers you plan to send your books to and write to the reviewer for permission to send your book. Only send them to reviewers that are interested in your genre. When you send your eBook to them via an attachment or a paperback in the mail send a cover letter or email with your title. The cover letter/email needs to remind them that they gave your permission to send your book. Include your book genre and blurb so they can decide who will review your book. Give them your contact information along with links to your sites. Most importantly, keep track of the books you send out for review. BJ Haynes is putting together some on-line marketing seminars. They will be announced on Wings Google Groups so please try to attend. They will be interactive with everyone participating so we should have lots of good ideas and can help one another.
What are the AIF and CAIFs?
These were the Author’s Information Form and Cover Art Information Form filled in by authors to assist the editors and cover artists in preparing the books. They have been merged and replaced by the IMF (see below).
What is the IMF used for?
The Information and Marketing Form (IMF) is critical to the publication and selling of your book on the internet. It tells the editor, cover artist and backroom staff, details about your book that only you as the author will know. If needed, your editor will work with you to develop a good web blurb to entice your readers. The Key Words, listed in order of importance, is crucial for helping readers find your books. Without this information, your book could miss out on potential sales and, worst case, could fail at the first publishing hurdle. That is why this document is mandatory and your book will not progress far in the publishing phase until Wings has received it. Marketing on the internet is becoming very sophisticated and that information is needed for Wings to do a credible job of marketing your books. It’s not overstating the matter to say that the IMF is almost as important in the publishing process as your manuscript itself.
How is the price of my book set?
Wings sets the price for all books in its catalogue, taking into account the book length for paperbacks. We reserve the right to change pricing as market pressures and cost structures vary.
Where is my book sold?
All Wings eBooks are available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. In addition, Smashwords distributes eBooks through a variety of channels. These can change without notice being given to publishers or authors. Right now the channels that SW names are: Apple, Kobo, Scribd, Inktera (formerly PageFoundry), B&N and Baker & Taylor. Wings and you, as the author, will always earn the most if your readers buy their eBooks through Smashwords.
All Wings paperback books are available via Amazon and CreateSpace. In addition, CreateSpace distributes through what they call their Expanded Distribution. There is no defined list of vendors but it does include Barnes & Noble and if you go onto Amazon, look at your paperback, click on the "new" under the paperback box, you'll see a list of a bunch of other places readers can buy your books.
In all cases involving secondary vendors, those vendors charge their % of sales. In a few cases they can charge up to 55%. If you add that to the 15% of sale that CreateSpace and Smashwords charge, the amount that Wings ePress and the author receive can receive very little for their book sales. We cannot pick and choose which vendors CreateSpace or Smashwords contract with. It is a 'package' deal. Philosophically, we have to look at some of our secondary sales as promotion and exposure to justify the sales. Authors and all staff receive their 'royalties' from the monies Wings ePress receives from the vendors. We cannot pay out what we do not have so we will always encourage our customers to purchase from SmashWords and CreateSpace.
What royalties can I expect from sales?
Wings always pays 30% royalty on the sales amount received from retailers as stated in our contracts. The remainder of monies collected through sales goes to pay support staff and cover expenses. This amount may vary as fees and contracts change over time but regardless of our expenses, the author will always receive a 30% royalty.
When can I expect my royalty payment?
As Wings sells all of their books via retail outlets, we are constrained by their payment practices. In general, retailers pay anywhere from 1 – 4 months after a sale is made (depending on where the sale falls in their quarter). Wings reports royalties to authors after the end of each quarter (payments made in April, July, October, January) on all royalties received throughout the quarter. If the royalty is above $25, a payment will be issued to the author (by check for US authors, by PayPal for international authors). If the royalty is below $25 it will be rolled over into the next quarter and payment will be made when the amount earned is above $25 or twice per year (January & July payment), whichever comes first. At the end of the year, all balances are cleared regardless of amount.
When will my book be available for sale?
Your book will be available for sale on all/most of the online retail outlets on the first day of the month of publication. Where possible, pre-ordering will be made available for eBooks, allowing readers to purchase in advance at a discount, their order being fulfilled on the first of the month of publication. This hopefully gives you a chance to do some advance marketing and hit your release date with a large number of sales to boost your book’s profile on the various sales outlets.
How do I get my author discounted copies of my book?
We have discovered that the only way that the authors get their full royalty on their paperback books is for them to purchase their author copies through the staff at Wings ePress and we do a direct sale with CreateSpace.
Some authors with Amazon Prime accounts order their copies through Amazon. Since their shipping is free they can save a substantial amount of money on their books and will still receive their quarterly royalty from the sales. Keep in mind, though, that Amazon takes their % of sale out of the amount we receive from them so the royalty for the sale is considerably less than it would be through a direct sale using CreateSpace.
For the reason above, all author orders will be processed through the Wings staff.
Please go to the ORDER PRINT BOOKS page.
How do I communicate to/with Wings staff and authors?
Laura Rittenhouse is our author Liaison. If an author has any issues she/he needs to contact Laura at Things will be resolved much more quickly if they come through her. Wings ePress gets a lot of email activity in a day's time and your inquiry might be set aside or overlooked. Laura will see to it that we address any issues.
Look at the About Wings page on the Wings website for contact details of Wings staff. Join the Wings on Google Groups (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!categories/wings-epress) where Wings staff and authors share tips, problems and ideas. We’re an international mob with no fixed address, so answers and questions can come at any time.
What is the Wings transition and how is it progressing?
In January 2016 Wings began a facelift. All of the people involved in the organization have been involved at various times throughout Wings’ life and decided that it was time to make some changes to the operating methods to take advantage of new technologies and publishing trends. At that time the Wings website was rebranded to Books by Wings ePress (http://www.books-by-wings-epress.com/ - some of the more obvious names were already taken, Wings is a popular company name) with a new look and feel and no shopping cart. This transition is not a quick process as it involves reloading all books manually.
Late in 2015, it was decided that all paperback books would be printed by CreateSpace. This involves manually reformatting each book to meet that company’s requirements.
Reformatting and reloading the entire back catalogue is a huge undertaking and is an ongoing process. Updates on progress will be made periodically on the Wings Google Group.
Why doesn’t my cover image show up on some online bookstores?
Wings does everything possible to ensure book covers are formatted for swift and successful display online. However, sometimes cover images simply aren’t loaded. If you find your book somewhere with no cover image, the best and quickest resolution is to email that channel directly. They will likely request you send your cover art to them in a small format. You can use the image provided by Wings and reduce the size using any number of free picture formatting tools. If you still have problems, contact the Wings Author Liaison or Art Director for assistance.