Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you review submissions?
When Pedernales produces a book, the author joins a select community of our clients who publish quality, industry standard, and market-viable books.  Before offering a contract, we review your manuscript to diagnose the level of edit necessary, if at all.  Most authors come to us already professionally edited. Pedernales will only request that an author go through additional editing if the work does not meet industry standards. We cannot, in good faith or in a highly competitive market, accept money for a project we know is not yet viable. We provide guidance and advice, but we are not editors, and do not offer that service, primarily because we want to keep our business model simple and straightforward for authors with clean, well-written works. We might reject the work, but we do not reject the author. When a talented writer cannot afford a professional editor, we suggest other low-cost options independent of Pedernales. One day, that serious raw talent will produce a polished professional work, and we want to be the ones to publish it.
If I fill out a contact page, what happens next? What is your process?
Once we receive either your contact inquiry or your phone call, we typically will want to know a few details about your book, such as the type of book (novel, poetry, children’s, business, memoir, etc.), the length in number of words, whether it contains illustrations or photos, a brief description of what the book is about, and then a sample submission.

If the submission is accepted, we then offer you a confidentiality agreement and ask for the entire manuscript.  We also discuss your goals for the book, how you envision it being distributed, and tell you the pros and cons of the different distribution options you have.  At some point we will describe to you the various trim sizes available for your book type, and discuss your interior design and cover preferences, if any.

Based on your manuscript’s word count and your trim size selection, we will produce a financial model so you can get a feeling for the profit you might make at various retail prices for your book.  This will eventually lead you to understand the effect the page count for your book, the retail price, and the trade discount you establish will have on your profit.  We will guide you though all those decisions, and explain things every step of the way. Remember, you are the publisher, our price is fixed, so we won’t lead you astray in order to rake in more money from you.

Then, we create several mockups for you of your book’s interior using different fonts and layouts, so you can assess their readability as well as their impact on the page count.

Once you get to this point, you will have a very good feel for what your book will look like and how much profit you will make on each sale.  At this point, we can sign a contract and begin the process of designing your cover and formatting the production version of your book.  As you can see, we do not pressure you to sign the contract up front or try to lock you in.  We get you to a place where you feel comfortable making the decision to go ahead.

How are you different from the other self-publishing companies?

Don’t just take our word for it. The Independent Book Publishers Association has described our business model as “Unique.” The core of our service model is that we do NOT publish you. Instead, we set you up as a self-publisher. That means you own and control everything, and we guide you every single step of the way in a proven, structured process. But one of our biggest differentiators is the intense, concierge-level, personal  customer service we deliver, coupled with the highest levels of quality. We will create and deliver your book in three forms: hardcover, softcover, and various ebooks, all for a single flat fixed price.

For that flat fee, we do the following:

  • Setup an account for you at Bowker (or equivalent outside the U.S.) and then purchase the ISBNs in your name…so that YOU own them.
  • Setup an account for you, and submit an application for a Library of Congress PCN number. This is different from a copyright application.
  • Setup accounts for you with POD vendors: KDP Print, Lightning Source, Ingram Spark as needed.
  • Design your book cover.
  • Design your book interior.
  • Produce your book, to your satisfaction.
  • Setup titles for your book with the POD vendors as per your distribution goals.
  • Create PDFs of your books in the required technical specifications, and upload them to the POD vendors.
  • Once the book passes the POD vendor technical review, we order proof copies to be shipped to you. Proof Arrival Day is one of the happiest days in an author’s life, and we love to hear your stories about it. One woman carried her “beautiful” book from room to room, crying. Another author–a big, burly, man said he “screamed like a girl.”
  • Once you approve the proof, we begin working on the ebook.
  • We setup accounts for you with Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or equivalent ebook aggregator.
  • We setup the ebook titles.
  • We produce your ebooks (different versions for kindle vs other vendors) and then test them using industry standard tools.
  • We upload your ebooks for distribution.
  • We submit your copyright to the US copyright office.
  • We release your paperback, hardcover and ebook for publication and distribution!
  • We go back and update your Bowker account with the final published specs for your book.

We provide a unique focus on customer service. We only work with a few select clients at a time and then service them intensely. We do not have office hours.  If we are awake, we are available. 

In addition:

  • You own the ISBN’s and all rights to your book.  We own nothing.
  • We do not take any portion of your sales or royalties, and all sales reports and royalty payments go directly to you. We never see them.
  • You receive the completed files at the project’s end, and they are usable.
  • You can cancel the project and get your money back at any time prior to publication, no questions asked, and that is written right into the contract.
  • There are no hidden costs or a la carte fees, although the expedite service does have a surcharge. We tell you upfront if you will have extra fees such as for ARCs or multiple proofs.
  • We work with authors to ensure well-edited manuscripts. We won’t publish books that are poorly edited.
  • We are a small independent company. We do not own sister companies that provide similar or additional services. We have never operated under another name. According to the Better Business Bureau, several of the big, well known self-publishing firms are sister companies, owned by the same parent company.

That is our business model.  Service and quality driven, honest, straightforward, and affordable. 

How can you possibly do all that for a flat, fixed, reasonable fee?

We are often asked this question. Some authors shy away because they think this is too good to be true. Read some of our testimonials, some of them say the same thing…they were skeptical. The truth is, you are probably paying too much if you go elsewhere. The key to doing this successfully is to format the book properly so that a single formatting process produces a paperback, a hardcover, and an ebook. We format the paperback appropriately, and then that same file, with some additional adjustments, can be used to generate the hardcover and the ebooks.  The adjustments usually include:

  • Changing the bleed areas surrounding the cover, because hardcover books require more bleed (the areas that get trimmed away) and also require flaps for the dust jacket.
  • Inserting the front cover image into the ebook file.
  • Editing the ebook metadata, and possibly the html code to correct errors often produced by the conversion program. We use a combination state of the art tools, such as Indesign CC,  Oxygen XML Author, Kindlegen/Previewer to do that.
  • Generating multiple versions of the ebook, such as kpf/mobi format for Kindle, and epub versions enhanced for Nook, iBooks, Kobo, etc.

As you can see, the really hard work is generating the paperback cover and interior file. After that, there is work to do but it isn’t the same level of effort as the first part. That is how we can deliver all those services for a single fixed price. There is no need to double or triple charge you. We make sufficient profits to have a good business without overcharging our clients. Many of our clients have told us that in truth, we deliver a lot more than our web page promises, and that is entirely our intent. We do not advertise. Clients find us via referrals from very satisfied customers. That suits us fine, because we believe in working with a select group of clients at a time and then providing them with intense customer service.

What are the payment terms?
You pay us in progress payments. 50% upon contract execution, 30% upon first proof, and 20% when we are done with the project. But remember, if you decide you are dissatisfied with our work, you can cancel the project at any time prior to publication and we will refund any money you have paid to us. We are proud to say we have never had this happen.

If you think about it, a company that makes that kind of guarantee is going to work very hard to make you happy. And that is why intense, concierge level and personal customer service so critical for us. That service, and a relentless focus on quality and value are the keys to how we operate.

So, is it really $3,495 or are there other costs?

$3,495 is your only cost unless you want ARCs, a professionally developed index, more than 25 images, or if you make an unreasonable number of changes to your book after submitting it for formatting (we will both know when the changes become unreasonable).  Or, you might ask us to move into warp speeed and have your proof ready to order in two weeks. You only pay for these extras if you need them.

Some clients ask if they can pay less if they do not need the hardcover or the ebook. We are flexible on that count. Also, if you are a returning customer, you get a discount off our price.

If someone else creates your print-ready covers and interior, and you want us to do all the rest to get you published, we do have a special flat fee for that service.

But our normal package is to deliver the paperback, hardcover, and ebooks coupled with the best personal, concierge-level customer service in the business.

We don’t do editing or marketing. We refer you to industry experts or you can choose your own provider.

Be very wary when someone else tells you that they will “give” you free copies of your book or free ISBNs. The ISBN has to be recorded in your name, so that you are the publisher of record.  That is how Pedernales does it. We buy the ISBNs specifically for you and assign them to your books. If they bought a few thousand ISBNs and assign them to their clients’ books, they are the publisher, not you.

At the end of the project, we send you a list of all of your accounts with the user ids and passwords so you can access them. You own everything. We own nothing.

Pedernales has been exceptional. It was very important that my new book appear professional in every way and Pedernales Publishing has done it”

Laureen Vonnegut – Award-winning film maker, author of Twin Lies, and Oasis. And yes, she is niece of that Vonnegut.

Learn More About Pedernales