Frequently Asked Questions
What’s different about My Word Publishing?
There are three big differences that make My Word Publishing unique within publishing models:
1. We have no ownership rights at all, period. You are simply hiring us to help you publish your book, and get you through production, publication, and distribution. We want YOU to own your own publishing company, (which we’ll help you do), which is the only way for you to maintain 100% of all your rights. All royalties go straight into your bank account, not through us, and your publishing company logo is on the back of your book and the copyright page, not ours.
2. We don’t do packages. Every single project we work on is custom designed for that author. Some books are longer than others, some have illustrations, some need more editing, some authors have their own illustrator, or their own editor – which makes “packages” a silly concept.
3. We don’t do contracts. We do each sign an Agreement so we both understand exactly what we agreed upon, but either party can break the agreement at any time for any reason.
What do you mean you don’t do contracts?
We do have an Agreement, because you have to understand what we’ve said we will do for you. But at any point that you’re not happy with our work, you’re not forced to stay with us by a contract.
What are the different kinds of editing?
Generally there are three kinds of editing. Not all manuscripts need all three rounds, so the first thing we’d do is have a couple of editors review your manuscript and see what it needs.
First round: The first round of editing is called the Development edit. That’s when the editor is looking at the manuscript for overall storyline, make sure the plot and characters are developed and that there are no redundancies or holes in the storyline.
Second round: The second round is called the copy line edit and is generally with the same editor as the development round. In the copy line edit the editor is looking at paragraph structure, sentence structure, and word choice.
Third round: The last editing round is the proof edit. This is for grammar and punctuation only. This edit usually goes to a new editor with a fresh pair of eyes, and one that specializes in proof editing, working with Chicago Manual of Style.
My friend is a proof editor, is that good enough?
It depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to put together a nice book for your family or for the goal of “bucket list”, then perhaps that’s fine. After all, you would (presumably) save money. If, however, your goal is to put out the best book you can, then you should hire a professional. While all of us think we’re proof editors because we spot typos, boy-oh-boy, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Can I get a ghostwriter?
We have ghostwriters and if you want one you should choose them very carefully. Writing your story will be a fulltime job for them. We can make a few introductions after chatting with you about your genre, your goals, and budget, but be prepared for the cost. Ghostwriters work on a per-finished-word (PFW) rate. A less experienced ghost writer would be around .30 PFW. An experienced ghostwriter would be around .50 PFW, and a very experienced, nationally renowned ghostwriter would be around $1 PFW. If an average manuscript is about 50k words, do the math.
PS: Then you go into editing. The ghostwriter is not your editor, although there’s a good chance you wouldn’t need the development round of editing.
How long does it take to publish my book?
The length of time it takes to get your book through production and publication depends on many variables: what kind of shape is your manuscript in when you come to us? What are your goals? Having said that, if you come to us with a manuscript in its first draft, you can bank on being through all the production and publication within 4 – 8 months. Sometimes your life takes a detour and it may take a year. If you come to us with a manuscript that has already been through a development edit, it may take 3-4 months. So as the good ol’ answer goes, “it depends.”
How much will this cost?
All of our projects are custom designed, so when we sit down with you at our initial consultation, we will figure out what your goals are, where you are in your project, what you need to hit your goals, then we would figure out your cost.
When do I come to you for help?
You can come to us at many points.
1. Let’s say you have an idea for a book but have no idea where to start. We could find you a good writing coach to help you through the outline and writing, or point you in the direction of writing classes.
2. Many writers come to us with the first draft of their manuscript ready to go into editing. In that case our first move would be to get it to a few editors to see what kind of shape it’s in and what work it will need. You make the final choice of your editor.
3. Even if you’ve started your manuscript and get stuck, please let us help you get to the right coach or editor to help you bring it home.
Do you do children’s books?
Oh yes! We have a great specialist in children’s books, Shelly Wilhelm! She’s worked with children’s book conceptual development for 4 years, and in children’s books bookstore acquisitions for 25 years. She will help you with the conceptual development, the storyboard, layout, illustrator contracts, and all the details for production and publication.
What genres do you do?
We do all genres. Memoirs, self-help, and business books are our top genres. We also do a lot of fiction and children’s books. Occasionally a cookbook or a textbook, workbooks, even a couple of journals.
Do you have packages?
Every project we work on is custom designed to suit your goals, so no, we don’t do packages.
Can you help me find a publisher?
No, we don’t help you find a publisher. The model of publishing we recommend – in order for you to keep 100% of your rights and royalties – is that all of our authors start their own publishing companies. We help guide you through that, and it’s easy.
But having said that, IF getting a traditional publisher is your goal then we do have a couple of contacts that can help you give it a shot.
Can you market my book?
We do not market your book for you. No publishing company – not even the big traditional houses – will market your book for you. But we do have some options:
1. We have some colleagues that can help you with some of the marketing tasks
2. We do have a 2-hour book marketing consultation that comes with a 131-page book marketing plan. It’s $249.
What states and regions do you service?
We serve authors all over the United States. In fact, we also help many authors out of the US.
Do you serve authors from other countries?
Yes, we do help authors outside the US.
What if I don’t have time and I want you to everything?
One of many reasons we do what we do is because you don’t have time. But you have got to be engaged. It’s your book and you will want to make decisions. We try to take the heavy load and make it as seamless for you as possible, but yes, you have to be involved.
What if I’m not a writer?
Almost all of our authors are first time writers, so our wheelhouse is working with first time writers. Our writing coaches, editors, and publishing consultants will treat you with patience – and won’t bite. Promise.
What if I have my own (editor? Cover designer? Etc.)
That’s fine if you have your own service providers. You need to understand though, that we have not worked with them and that they may have different processes and policies than the people we do work with.
What if I don’t want all your services, but rather, just a few?
We love working with DIY authors. To serve them best we have come up with three ways to work with you:
1. Spot Coaching: Spot Coaching is 10 questions over the course of a year. Each question is meant to be about 5 minutes, but they keep you right on task. These are questions, to be clear, not tasks.
Here’s more about our Spot Coaching program
2. Hourly: We also do hourly consultations. We dump as much information as we can on you in one hour, but then you go do all the leg work.
Schedule a 1-hour consultation
3. A la carte services: We also offer any tasks through a project that you’d like to pass on to us. That could include creating your copyright page, opening your KDP account, opening your Ingram Spark account, getting your CIP data, writing your back blurb, etc.
Here is our a la carte menu and prices
Do I keep all my copyrights?
Yes, working with My Word Publishing you keep 100% of all of your rights: copyrights, sales rights, distribution rights, foreign rights, digital rights. All of it. You hire us to help you manage your entire project so you don’t get lost and make expensive mistakes.
Do I need an ISBN?
You need an ISBN if you want to sell your book online or in a bookstore or shop of any kind. IF you just want to give your book away, then no, you don’t need an ISBN.
Can you just do something simple like upload my book to Amazon?
Yes, we have a la carte services where we can do certain tasks for you without managing your entire project.
I just need some advice; can I pick your brain?
Oh you bet. Part of our mission at My Word Publishing is to make sure you stay on track without making very bad, very expensive mistakes, so even if you don’t hire us to manage the entire project, then you could hire us three other ways:
1. You can hire us by the hour. For one hour we pile information onto you regrading your next steps, and you go do all the leg work. It keeps it affordable for you. That is $150 for the hour.
Book an hour with us here.
2. We also have what is called Spot Coaching. That is 10 questions over the course of a year. It’s meant to keep you on track.
Learn more about Spot Coaching here.
3. We could also do certain tasks for you: upload your book onto Amazon, optimize your account, put your copyright page together, etc.
Here’s a menu of our a la carte services.
What if my book is crap? Will you help me anyway?
One of the reasons we do what we do is that we don’t believe in having gatekeepers tell us if our content is good enough to get out into the world. We have professionals every step of the way that can help you get your book into great shape.
IF the editors look at your book and it’s going to take more work than you want to put toward it, then you can make that decision. But no, we are not a gatekeeper.