Pen Press was a self-publishing service operated by Indepenpress Publishing Ltd, based in the UK. They were a publishing solutions service who offered tailor-made options across a wide range of budgets to authors from a "5 Book Deal" to a ‘"Full Partnership service."
Pen Press made no qualms about their “5 Book Deal” service. It was simply a print service to authors who perhaps have no pretensions beyond their book being read by family and friends. For an author who simply wanted to see their magnum opus in print , without any world domination aspirations, without an ISBN or on line listing and availability, then this was the package for them. Pen Press also offered “Print on Demand” package service. In 2011, at £695, this included on line listing, a custom cover (from a library photo collection), full layout, a retail price range of £7.99 to £8.99 for a paperback up to 300 pages, retail barcode and ISBN (Pen Press registered), and 50 copies of the book. Later Gold and Platinum packages were offered with more tailor-made traditional strategies of book availability and distribution.
When I was considering writing a book about a web developer, Diju, and her journey from being raised in Thailand to working for large development contractors in Bangkok, to opening with a colleague their own company where they successfully thrived building websites, I looked at what Pen Press offered the independent author. I didn't proceed with the book at that time. However, Diju eventually ended up in the US where she has now has her own coding shop. Just recently I was on her website looking at some of the sites she worked on. Was very impressed to see how well her sites were performing in the search, especially one which listed online US slots for American players like Online-Casino-Party.co. I noticed the site, Online-Casino-Party.co was listed on many social media platforms and was attracting traffic from all kinds of sources, including military bases overseas.
In 2012, Indepenpress launched an ebook-only package for authors. Details were offered on this site. And then the domain registration for penpress.net expired and the site disappeared from the web. The new owner of penpress.net decided to recreate some of the site's content from its 2011 archived pages instead of re-purposing the the site for a new venture. Use the information below for historical purposes or as a guideline when considering self publishing.
Indepenpress Publishing Ltd has since dissolved and ironically its own website has been re-purposed by a company called Indepen Phones that now offer provides affordable phone contract deals for people with bad credit.
The content below is from the site's 2011 archived pages.
As one of the established leaders in publishing solutions for the new author, we are proud to offer tailor-made options across a range of budgets. We realise that today the author has a wide choice of companies and routes to publication, and therefore we are pleased to compete effectively on all levels, providing superior quality and more value for money we believe than standard offers on the market - making us heads above the rest!
· 5 Book Deal– you write your book and we will publish it from as little as five books for less than £50. Ideal for copies for family and friends, or for student theses or gifts, this offer is unique to Pen Press (at the time of writing that is – we know others will follow our lead as always!)
· Print on Demand Bronze and Silver packages– alternatives to standard advertised offers from American POD printers Trafford and the new UK based Grosvenor House Publishing, our prices start at just £695 – POD with Pen Press gives you more than a simple registration and print on order service, including an actual stock of books in circulation.
· Gold Partnership Publishing (Full Publication) – a tailor-made full service from editing, typesetting, cover design, printing through to marketing and sales distribution, you pay only for the services you need. Pen Press were among the leaders in this field, making partnership publishing for a once-only outlay a way to test the market for commercial success and a viable option into mainstream publication. Companies such as Matador have similar options, but with Pen Press we pay for reprints, not the author. Our service is not simply for those who can’t get a publishing deal, but is a route chosen by authors as a genuine partnership where the author’s outlay is limited and where we have a vested interest for the book to do well for our joint benefit. Our successes with this package speak volumes.
· Private Limited Editions – we offer all production services including ISBN registration - ideal for authors who wish to own all books they print, just like offers with established companies such as Amolibros. However, by using the Pen Press service and ISBN, you don’t have to become a bookseller and handle sales and distribution yourself, or employ third party distributors – we will distribute, store and invoice for you, using our eleven-year established trade accounts and contacts.
· Conventional Publishing - success with numerous titles and recognition within the book publishing industry, has led to us being able to offer traditional publication for some titles, where we fund all costs.
We have a small but friendly in-house team who will be pleased to chat to you informally to answer your questions and discuss the option that might best suit your book and your objectives for it. Call us, email us, or make an appointment to visit us – we are always ready to hear from you, and ever on the look out for books to add to our string of successes. Whatever option you choose with us, we know you will be proud to have published with Pen Press.
Pen Press believes books are there to be read. Therefore it is not enough just to give our authors a good-looking book; our ultimate aim is to find its audience and sell it in as large a quantity as possible. Experience has taught us that selling books takes effort, optimism and diplomacy; this is because we are at the mercy of bookshop managers and large chains, with their penchant for big names, limited shelf space and demands for large discounts (usually 45-55%). However, since booksales are in our joint interests, it is a vital part of our service.
As soon as your book is published, it will be accessible to the British public. We undertake all legal registrations, as well as registering it with NIELSEN and BOWKER book data listings - and these are the databases that bookstores download their files from.
As a result of the Seminar, you will have the outline of a Marketing Plan and Press Release, and we welcome you to visit us to finalise the planning on a one to one basis to tailor it to your specific needs. We work with you to launch the book and start the process of creating awareness of your book:
- We assist you in arranging book events at a local level.
- We liaise with local press & radio for reviews & interviews.
- We support any specialist interest events set up by promoting it to local media, and contacting other bookstores in the area to try to secure book stocks.
- We identify very specific target audience groups and endeavour to bring your book to their attention.
- We have experience in approaching the book market, booksellers and book
reviewers in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV to whom we selectively and appropriately submit your book to.
Local events & media
Local newspapers & radio are often interested in local individuals achieving their ambitions – such as releasing their first book - and bookstores in the region are often willing to hold book-signing sessions for local authors, or perhaps arrange a display of author-signed copies for sale. Our marketing team will implement the local marketing campaign, ensuring your book event has every opportunity of being promoted by way of author interview or book review, in the local press and magazines.
We can arrange publicity material on your behalf, charging only a small increment for design time and cost of production, which we don’t mark up. We have a range of local suppliers who can produce posters, flyers, postcards, display jackets and order forms for these events. These are all produced to a very high standard to reflect the quality of your book.
Self-publishing enjoys the luxury of being able to exploit the long window of opportunity, whereas mainstream-published authors experience a One Shot, One Season selling period – and one season means 3 months! Inadequate sales result in an early demise of a title onto the De-listed database.Experience has taught us that selling books requires effort, optimism and determination. Writing and producing the book is only the halfway point; the most successful authors are also the authors who embrace self-promotion and pursue all marketing opportunities. Our Marketing Seminar and book not only ensures you are well versed in what we can do to help you but also how you can best help yourself both at launch and onwards. Your book remains in print, in stock and on databases for as long as there is demand, and we will always remain enthusiastic to hear and build on any ideas you have.
Our recommendation is to follow the Local Launch programme to assess market response, and use this to inform the potential for a National Launch.
National Media Coverage
Whipping up interest at a local level can potentially lead onto national coverage. Pen Press will respond quickly to any opportunities to bring your book to the attention of national newspapers. Reviews in the national media are much desired but are notoriously difficult to get. We are therefore proud to boast of our success with features in media including the Sunday Express, the Observer, the Daily Mail the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Telegraph, Choice, My Weekly and Best of British magazines, plus BBC Radio, and two Richard & Judy TV interviews. Pen Press will submit books to the national newspaper literary editors, but with a very specific approach which is based on previous successes, and it is designed to avoid sending out loads of books that sit in a forgotten pile. We are also able to offer an Advanced Marketing Programme or recommend professional independent PR consultants, which is charged additionally and independently, but this is a big time and cost investment and would only be recommended judiciously.
Pen Press are proud to demonstrate success in sales of rights. We work with associated businesses in this field: Skylight Communications, Indepublishing CIA, and US company Books Crossing Borders NY.
TV, Film, Dramatisation, and Mainstream Publishing Rights
Pen Press offers these associates a first-look option on materials published under our imprint for exploitation within the industry. This includes radio broadcasting, television (free and pay-for), theatre, personal appearances and motion picture, as well as foreign rights’ sales.
Within a few short weeks of working with Skylight, they held negotiations on our behalf with LWT (London Weekend Television) and the independent drama producers, Taylor Made Films. Meanwhile, Sheila Geddes’ WWII novel, A Strange Alchemy, was optioned for a TV mini series, and Colin Campbell’s police thriller, Through the Ruins of Midnight was similarly optioned. Colin Campbell has now moved across to mainstream with US and UK based Severn House.
Due to our links with Indepublishing CIA, Myra Lyng’s teenage adventure fantasy books, Alice and the Witches of Babizar and Alice and the Ofira Charms, were viewed by Universal Pictures, having been selected at the London Book Fair. Our ‘beach must read of the year’ (Mail on Sunday You Magazine) Bastards Leave Suckers Who Love Too Much got similar scrutiny having secured national stock at the time with Borders and Books Etc including airport shops. C.E. Truman’s The Bone Cradle attracted the attention of 20th Century Fox, and the pre-release trade publicity in Publishers’ News and The Bookseller of J.H. Lewis’ The Magic Lantern of Kimbustan secured interest from scouts worldwide, and advance orders excessing 5,000 from major retailers.
The partnerships formed at this year’s 2010 London Book Fair include rights’ buying agents representing publishers in the USA, Chinese, Korean, Italian and Spanish territories, and due to a partnership with a Singapore agent, our catalogue of English language books now reach markets across Asia, including China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.
Large Print and Audio Rights
Ahead of paperback release with Pen Press, popular author Claire Lorrimer’s 80th book, You Never Know was with BBC books for large print and audio publication.
It is obviously very difficult to quote definitive figures without seeing the manuscript. Every book is different, and varying amounts of work will always be required.
SUBMIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT
and start the publishing process
You can either download a pdf version of the submission form, or phone us to obtain a copy of our literature and a form (0845 1080530). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask as we are happy to chat about our services, and in fact about the book industry generally.
Simply fill out the form and return it to us with your manuscript and reading fee so that we may undertake an initial reading to ascertain the work needed on your book and issue a quote for publication costs. This is a no obligation submission and does not commit you or us to entering into a publishing agreement.
We will submit our Reader's Report within 3-4 weeks together with a quotation for publication to a pre-agreed number of copies. If you wish to proceed, we will prepare a contract which you should read thoroughly. This is a standard industry contract, but is open to negotiation.
HOW IT WORKS:
From Manuscript to Launch
Reader's Reports Pen Press make a small charge of £35 per 30,000 words or part thereof, refundable on contract, to provide authors with an honest, independent and thorough critique of the manuscript. Our reports summarise the key themes in the book, pulling out the positive aspects and making recommendations on possible improvement areas. The manuscript is assessed on overall content, quality of writing and market potential in our view; and will suggest which service level may best suit your needs.
Production & Editing We have an independent team of editors who work under contract to us. The degree of editorial input required will vary from manuscript to manuscript, and charges are made accordingly within our package. Editing is at the approval of the author, and we may go through several stages to get a product we are satisfied with. Our in-house production and design staff will work closely with you to typeset and layout your book and our designer will create a jacket design for your comment / approval. Some authors come to us with a very specific idea whereas others may have a few vague ideas. We will build on your ideas, or design from scratch, to create a relevant cover for your subject matter and a design to be proud of. All stages are proofed to you for approval and we ask you to take your time to go through the text word for word, marking up any comments and changes before returning it to us. Any changes after we have sent it to the printers become costly, so don’t be tempted to rush this. We make the changes and return it to you for final sign off before going to print, with one of our selected printers.
Registrations As per national legal requirement, your book is registered with and copies sent (where necessary) to The British Library, The National Libraries of Wales & Scotland, Oxford & Cambridge University Libraries, Trinity College Library (Dublin), Neilsen BookData (who supply information to the majority of the book trade).
We then commence our Launch Phase and our section on marketing will explain how we can go on to promote and market your book in association with our various distributor and rights partners.
Wholesaling & Distribution Pen Press distribute through Gardners, one of Britain’s largest book distributors. We have accounts with all the major booksellers and are experiencing increasing measures of success getting books into bookshops. Authors should be aware that out of 200,000 new titles published every year in the UK alone, large chain bookstores may choose to stock only 200 of these. Increasingly books are bought online and all Pen Press titles will appear on major UK bookselling websites such as Amazon, Tesco.com.
We also look ‘outside of the box’ for sales opportunities via magazines, clubs, and organisations. Our association with Virgin Atlantic is an example of this.
Library distribution We have established accounts with major library suppliers and advise them of the publication of your book. Additionally, Gardners also promote to the library suppliers and hold accounts with all of them. Specific approaches to local libraries can be made upon request, and we always recommend authors include the local library authority details on their Marketing Contacts Schedule
Publication date We recommend a Publication Date which is at least 2 months after receipt of review copies. This is because it can take booksellers 7-12 weeks to update their databases and consider your book for stock on the day of launch; also, book reviewers for magazines, newspapers, radio and TV need a 12 week lead-time to consider a book for review. Therefore, whilst you have copies of the book to give to friends and family, the official launch or publication date is set to accommodate the needs of the media and booksellers.
Production, printing, sales, marketing and distribution AND WE PAY FOR REPRINTS
Securing extraction rights for New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Davies, Rebel Royals, at the London Book Fair