About Us

What is Brown Wall Publishing?

Brown Wall Publishing is an independent, small publishing house with a simple goal:  helping talented writers get their works to print.  We understand the frustrations with large publishing houses, and want to provide an alternative.  With that in mind, below is a list of questions that should help you, the reader, understand a little bit more what services we can provide to authors.

About Brown Wall Publishing:

Are you a Vanity Press?

No.  Our business model is very different.  We are very selective in our clients.  We do not retain rights to the author’s work.  The author retains all rights.  In addition, we offer several plans for publication, including one that requires no out-of-pocket costs.

What is a Vanity Press?

A “Vanity Press” is a colloquial term for a publishing house that agrees to publish your work on one concept:  that you believe that your own book is so good that you will be willing to front all of the cost.  Vanity presses usually require a substantial up-front cost and/or the pre-purchase of a block of books.  They will do very little checking of the quality or content of the book, because their business plan is to make money off the author’s belief that his or her book will sell, not on the actual sales of the book.  If, however, the book actually does take off, the vanity press wins.  Either way, they come out ahead.

Our business model makes very little profit from the author’s financial investment into the book.  We make our profits from royalties, and therefore it is in our best interest to secure quality titles.  Our goal with this business is to allow clients to do the entire publishing process with no out-of-pocket costs.

What are your distribution channels?

We have plans that distribute through print-on-demand suppliers as well as ebooks.  See our “Distribution”  page for more information.

That sounds a lot like self-publishing.  Why shouldn’t I do it myself?

That is a good question, and one that will require careful thought.  We formed BWP after the stark realization that publishing takes a lot of time and a good deal of experience.  It involves a lot of frustrating work to prepare a book for various distributors, especially when each one requires specific and differing formats.  We figure that there are writers that would like to spend their time, well, writing.

So, you’re a self-publisher.

No.  We have an imprint (ISBN prefix) and a business name, and our service is to other authors.  Ingram requires an imprint and a business account.  They are not alone; several other distributors have similar requirements.  In addition, a debatably unfair stigma with self-publishing–and also with vanity presses–may make it difficult for you to get bookstores to take your book seriously.  We are selective in who we publish, which will limit our author list, but will push our overall quality to a higher level.  Having a publisher of quality titles backing your work will add to your credibility.  Not to mention, many bookstores will not seriously consider your book unless they can get it from a large distributor like Ingram.

What are your royalty payments?

Most publishers take a standard royalty of 50% of the difference between the cost of production, including distributor fees and royalties as well as shipping, and the retail price of each book.  Brown Wall Publishing is a much smaller company that outsources some of our services, so we only ask for 15% of the difference between the cost of production, including distributor fees and royalties as well as shipping, and the retail price of each book.  Additional royalties or one-time fees may be required for contracted services (photography, models, editing, etc.) based on the desires of the client.  Contracted parties set these fees and/or royalties.  The author can also make an independent business arrangement for these services and simply provide a release agreement to Brown Wall Publishing for things like cover art, photos, book contributions, and the like.

Why do publishers charge so much?  They didn’t write the book.

It is true that publishers are not involved in the creation of the work.  However, the refinement of the book takes a considerable amount of time and expertise.  Each page has to be adjusted so the text fits properly on the page, and the book needs to have correct printing specifications, be a readable font, and meet standards for readability and file conversion.  The cover has to be manipulated so that it will properly print without color or position shifting.  The table of contents and the required cover pages have to be generated.  All of the headers, titles, chapters and sections have to be standardized and aligned, adjusting for the trim of the book.  This is only the start of things a publisher does to the book itself; all of these things need to be repeated for each trim size/edition.  This tedious work requires careful attention to detail.  In addition to the physical manipulation of the book, the publisher has to work less tangible tasks such as web site editing, price negotiation, distribution agreements, royalty negotiations with contractors for photography, additional services, and editing, and the list goes on.  In the end, the effort getting the book ready for publishing is often equal to the effort of writing the book itself.

Do you require a contract?

Yes.  However, the contract can be cancelled at any time with sixty days notice and a registered letter or equivalent.  This gives us time to cancel all of the distribution agreements and to wrap up final royalty payments.  Keep in mind that some books may still be available for some time as the cancellation works through the distribution channels, and those who already purchased ebooks will still be able to download them.  Some royalty payments might not be available immediately, depending on the distribution plan you selected.  Brown Wall Publishing will retain rights to any formatting, layouts, or cover art that we created and/or designed.

How do I publish with Brown Wall Publishing?

Take a look at the ‘Publish’ section of our web site for more information.