Virtual Bookworm
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Virtual Bookworm


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Virtual Bookworm
Manuscript screening: Yes
Kind of contract: Non-Exclusive
Distribution: Through their site and online retailers mostly
Basic fees: Paperback publishing Basic paperback fee is $360.00.
Hardcover publishing Basic hardcover fee is $430.00.
Combo publishing Basic combo fee is $590.00.
Color publishing Basic color publishing fee is $625.00.
eBook publishing eBook publising is $65.00 as an add-on or $99.00 when purchased separately. It requires a separate (and exclusive) contract.
eBooks are made available as PDF, Kindle, Nook and iBook eBooks.
Royalties are 50% of net receipts.
Royalties: Royalties are 50% of net receipts.
Author's discount: Basic discount is 30%, bulk discounts may apply.
Break-even point: Less than 200 copies of an average length book sold through external channels.
Basic retail price: Authors get to set both their retail price and the wholesaler's discount. The suggested retail price is competitive ($13.95 for a 200-page paperback).
Layout: They format your book for you, or you can submit your own layout for a $50.00 rebate (subject to approval).
Graphics: Up to 15 graphics are included in the basic setup fee, more can be purchased as an extra.
Cover options: They provide you with a basic cover design or you can submit your own for a $50.00 rebate (subject to approval).
Trim size: You have a number of trim sizes to choose from.
Additional options: There are a number of add-ons that are either included in the more expensive packages or can be purchased as an extra. These include things such as a more sophisticated cover design, LCCN, marketing packages and so on.

You are free to mix and match to suit your needs.
Pros*: *They screen manuscripts.
*Good distribution
*Good contract.
*They pay good royalties.
*Competitive (suggested) retail price.
*Authors have an input when it comes to both retail price and wholesaler's discount.
*Reasonable setup fee.
*You can supply your own cover and layout and get a good discount in the process.
*eBook publishing is not bundled in with their services (a word of caution here: as is the case with most POD publishers, their eBook publishing package is not particularly favorable).
Cons*: *Author's discount can be described as average to low.

This is one of two publishers I have actually worked with, and I have to say that in ten years I have had no major problems with them (though that is just my personal experience). The other publisher I have worked with is CreateSpace, though that is a far mor recent development. For a more personal take on the reasons behind both choices and how my experiences with both companies compare to each other you may want to read the following blog post: Virtual Bookworm or CreateSpace?

And now for a little note of caution:

While Virtual Bookworm is not officially a Christian publisher, this company is run by a guy who is pretty religious. The fact that they won't publish material that they deem to be morally objectionable, combined with the fact that they don't fully disclose their position in that regard anywhere in their site, can lead to some rejections that will leave authors scratching their heads.

I realize that mentioning this issue is not entirely fair, as it is based on my personal experience rather than the publisher's site (and that in turn means that this is one area in which I can't possibly hope to make a fair comparison), but at the same time it is something I feel ought to be mentioned. And for the record, this doesn't mean that your book has to be of a religious nature to be published, it just means that a book that openly espouces non-Christian values is unlikely to be accepted.

The Bottom Line*:

Virtual Bookworm gets the top ranking here because it provides a full service package for one of the most competitive fees around while offering a good contract, good royalties, good distribution, a good breakeven point, competitive printing costs and full control over several key aspects of your book, such as retail price and bookstore's discount.

This is a fairly well established company, one that has been around for a while, with a pretty solid reputation and it does not discriminate based on place of residence.

Visit the publisher's site
Last updated: 03-30-2013

* These represent my personal opinion based on what I've seen in the publisher's site.

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