Frequently Asked Questions
StoneThread and EPublishing FAQs
NOTE: If you submit your work to StoneThread Publishing and we accept it, we will consider your input, but to protect both our own reputation and the reputation of our authors, we must retain artistic control over editing, formatting, layout and cover design. If you cannot agree to this stipulation, please do not submit your manuscript to us. Thanks for your consideration.
Does my work have to be professionally edited before I submit it to you? Across the industry, editing is separate of and a prelude to the publishing process. Your manuscript should be in the best possible shape before you submit it to any publisher. If you believe your manuscript needs to be edited or if you aren’t sure, we recommend sending it to our partner at HarveyStanbrough.com for a free sample edit. If Harvey believe your manuscript would benefit from a professional edit, he will offer to edit it for you at a competitive rate per word. If he does not believe your manuscript needs an edit, he’ll tell you that as well.
Are StoneThread Publishing and HarveyStanbrough.com the same thing? No! Absolutely not. The same person owns both, but StoneThread Publishing is a no-fees, royalty paying epublisher. In addition to running StoneThread Publishing, Harvey Stanbrough is a writer, writing instructor, freelance editor and cover designer who also provides paid services for those who would rather self-publish. To investigate those services, visit HarveyStanbrough.com.
If you accept my work, will you also publish a trade paperback? No. We are strictly an ebook publisher and we have no aspirations to assume the headaches that come with print publication. That is not going to change. If print publication is of primary importance to you, or if you would prefer to have one publisher who handles both print and ebook publication, please do not submit your manuscript to us.
Can I make changes in my book after it’s been published? Typos and other small errors are all but unavoidable. If you or we find an error after a work has been published—depending on the severity and location of the error—we’ll correct it. However, author-mandated revisions are not allowed.
Can I make changes in my book after acceptance but before it’s published? What you send us should be the final draft, and we justifiably expect it to be polished and ready to go. However, yes, we will accept changes to your manuscript up to a certain point. Once we’ve formatted the work, we will send you a galley proof, a formatted, ready-for-publication document. It represents a final opportunity for you to check for errors, but not to revise or rewrite.
May I provide my own cover? You may provide your own cover art as long as it meets our specifications, which we derive from the various sales venues. Even if you provide the cover or the cover art, we retain the right to decide whether and how best to use it.
Who decides what the cover will look like? To protect our own reputation as well as the author’s reputation, we have the final say on editing, formatting, and cover design.
What if I insist on deciding the cover or other aspects of the book (formatting, editing, etc.)? We understand you might be more comfortable self-publishing and retaining all control of the creative process. In that case we recommend the editing, formatting and cover design services at HarveyStanbrough.com.
From acceptance to publication, how long does it take before my book is published? Most often, we will publish your work within two months of acceptance. It might take longer occasionally, depending on our workload. “Acceptance” occurs after our edit or proofread of your work.
When will readers actually be able to purchase my book online? Every eformat version of your book (Kindle, Nook/iPad, PDF, etc.) will be available through Smashwords the same day we publish it. That’s what we like so much about Smashwords, and that’s why we use them for conversion and distribution. The Kindle version of your book will be available on Amazon.com the following day. After your book is accepted into the Smashwords Premium Catalogue (about two weeks after publication), Smashwords distributes it to the various vendors (Apple, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo, Sony and others). Most vendors get the books up within a few days of receipt from Smashwords, but sometimes Apple can take as long as a month or more. Within a month or so of publication at Smashwords, readers will be able to purchase your book in over ninety markets worldwide.
Where will my book be available for purchase?The Kindle version of your book will be available within 24 hours of publication through all Amazon.com markets: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the USA and Vatican City (current on 25 August 2012). Of course, through Smashwords your book will also be available worldwide through markets established by Apple, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo, Sony and others. Apple alone now sells books in fifty different nations, including the latest venues in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and New Zealand.
If my book is already published in paperback or hard back, can I still publish the e-version through StoneThread? Absolutely. Just be sure you own the electronic (digital) rights and that your work is not in the public domain. If your contract with your print publisher includes “all rights” or digital or electronic rights, you’ll have to get them to revert the e-rights to you. Please do that before you submit your work to us, and be prepared to show proof. Of course, publication with StoneThread also is contingent on us accepting your work. You can take a look at our Publishing Agreement.
If you accept my book for publication as an ebook, can I still submit the manuscript to agents and publishers in hopes of publishing a print version? Absolutely. You retain full ownership of your copyright and can assign your print rights and other rights as you see fit.
Can I download my own book? Yes, from Smashwords, or I’ll email you copies on request.
How should I price my work? StoneThread Publishing establishes the price of everything we publish. For more information, please download our StoneThread Royalties information sheet. If you are self-publishing, there’s some very good information at DeanWesleySmith.com. Click on his Think Like A Publisher tab.
Can I include footnotes in an ebook? No. Footnotes are not possible in ebooks at all, and because it’s a formatting nightmare, StoneThread Publishing does not allow end notes or indices. You can include end notes in a self-published ebook, but it’s a labor-intensive process. For information on the bookmarking-hyperlinking process you would have to use to create end notes or indices, see The Essentials of Digital Publishing or The Smashwords Style Guide. (See next entry.)
What do you mean when you say there are no pages in ebooks? Just as print books come in various sizes, so do e-reading devices (laptops, tablets, Kindle, Nook, smart phones). In a print book, the viewing area (the printed area inside the margins) and the text that’s printed on it remains constant. For example, in a trade paperback, the viewing area is about 4 x 6 inches and the font size is about 10 or 11 points. In an ebook, although the physical viewing area (screen) itself remains constant, the reader can manipulate the text size, line spacing, etc. to change the virtual viewing area. For that reason, the publisher can control only the most basic layout options (for example, the initial font size, font attributes like bold or italic, and text alignment). So if you would like to have something centered vertically on a page, you can’t do that. If you want to use footnotes, you can’t do that. If you’d like to wrap text around a photo and you want your ebook available in more than .pdf format, you can’t do that. As with any technology (even print books) there are limitations.
You talk about Smashwords a lot. What is Smashwords? Smashwords is a conversion engine and distribution port. It converts our correctly formatted Microsoft Word document into several ebook formats. Smashwords also distributes to Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Baker & Taylor and others.
What if I want you to publish my title only to Amazon and forget the others? If we accept your work for publication, it will be offered for sale in as many legitimate venues as we can find world wide. If you want it offered only through Amazon, we recommend you self-publish and that you use the excellent services at HarveyStanbrough.com.
Do I have to send you a Word document or can I send some other form? We prefer your file in .doc, .docx or .rtf.
Can I submit a hard copy (paper) manuscript? No. We’re an epublisher. We accept only manuscripts submitted as an attachment (never in the body) via email.
Can I mail you my manuscript on a thumb drive or flash drive? Sure, but we’ll download your manuscript and keep the thumb drive or flash drive. We aren’t big on subsidizing the US Postal Service.
Do I have to sign up for an account with Smashwords or Amazon? We would like for you to create an account at Smashwords. Whether you create one at Amazon is up to you. If we accept your work, we will publish it through StoneThread Publishing’s Smashwords and Amazon accounts, but the book will also be listed on your author page at Smashwords. (If you do not create an account with Smashwords, we will create a ghost account for you.)
Do I have to have a PayPal account? No, we can mail you a check, but we much prefer to pay your royalties via PayPal. See our note above regarding supporting the USPS. Sign up for PayPal at http://www.paypal.com.
Do I have to purchase an ISBN for my ebook? No. The cost is prohibitive. Let your publisher (us or whomever) handle ISBNs. If you self-publish, both Smashwords and CreateSpace provide a free ISBN, and neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble use one. They use their own stock numbers.
Can I use the same ISBN for both my print and ebook? No. Each edition (print and electronic) must have a different ISBN.
Does an ebook even need an ISBN? Yes, but Smashwords will provide a free ISBN for those vendors who require it (Apple and Sony). StoneThread Publishing is still your publisher of record.
Copyright & LCCN FAQs
I strongly recommend reading my Blog Post on Copyright and the Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN).
Do I have to register my copyright? No. Your copyright belongs to you the moment your work is finished. Copyright registration is more a function of fear than of necessity. If you insist on registering your copyright, I suggest you register all your new works once a year under a single title (e.g., Works of Author Name, 2012) and a single fee.
I’ve heard that if I want my book to get into libraries, I need an LCCN. Should I purchase an LCCN? An LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) ensures a listing in the Library of Congress database, but it does not ensure that your book (ebook or print) will be included in the actual Library of Congress itself. Having an LCCN number has absolutely no bearing on whether your book is listed or carried in any other libraries. I recommend against purchasing an LCCN. It’s neither required nor necessary. This is just one more way for scammers and near-scammers to make money from writers.