Dymocks, a major Australian book retailer, has made an announcement that could change the face of self publishing in Australia.
In October, they will launch ‘D Publishing’, a new web-based book publishing service that will enable authors to take control of the professional creation, publishing and distribution of both printed books and eBooks.
D Publishing will offer four services:
- Create My Book: authors will have access to web-based tools to turn their manuscript into a publishable book.
- Improve My Book: editors and graphic designers will help authors to refine their manuscripts; Dymock’s Booklovers Club will be available to give feedback on drafts.
- Print My Book: authors will have access to print-on-demand services for personal or public distribution.
- Publish and Distribute My Book: books will be available for sale through Dymocks stores and other retailers (with an ISBN, barcode and publishing imprint) as well as print-on-demand versions.
When my workmate Joseph brought this to my attention this afternoon, my mind began to race with possibilities. As an aspiring Australian author seriously considering self publishing, this was very interesting news for me. But it’s a bit early to be jumping up and down with excitement, in my opinion.
Here’s what I think:
- As a prominent Australian book retailer, Dymocks could offer a lot more credibility and exposure for a book than smaller self publishers.
- D Publishing will manage customer orders including printing and distribution – which would give the author more time to concentrate on marketing the book or writing their next one.
- If the book was selected to appear in Dymocks stores, this would negate one of the biggest downfalls of self publishing – limited distribution channels of print copies.
Sounds awesome, right? On the surface, absolutely. But I have a lot of questions that Dymock’s announcement doesn’t answer. And until I know these answers, I won’t know how appealing this offer really is to me. My questions are:
- How much will these different options cost me?
- What cut of sales will Dymocks take?
- Can I still sell paper books internationally through Amazon and other websites or will rights be restricted to Dymocks’ website? They say books will be available through other retailers, but is that at Dymocks’ discretion or mine?
- What about e-books? Can I make it available on Kindle and other devices or will rights be restricted to a Dymocks e-reader device?
- If my paper books are chosen to be available in Dymocks retail stores, will they be shelved with other books in my genre or tucked away on a ‘self published’ shelf? (a separate shelf is better than nothing, but obviously it would be better for my book to be in the Young Adult section).
What do you think?
Is this momentous news for aspiring authors or just another self-publishing option entering the market? For my international readers, have any of the bricks-and-mortar book retailers in your country taken this approach? If so, have they been successful (both for the retailer and the authors)? Are there other questions that I’ve missed?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this!