Sunday, 4 April 2010

youwriteon and happy easter holidays!

I mentioned on 21st March that I was concerned about the distribution of Invisible by YouWriteOn, the Arts Council-backed publisher of the bridge edition of the novel. I'm pleased to say that the distribution problem has been sorted out and I wish to thank Ed of YouWriteOn for resolving the matter so quickly and generously.

I was also interested to hear about the new plans for the company's publishing programme that will be implemented in two to three months time, as the result of increased Arts Council funding.

Enhancements to the programme will include:
  • Sales of YouWriteOn titles direct from its website
  • Opportunities for those whose books sell well to cross the bridge to mainstream publishing
  • Better communication between the company and its authors
I remain enthusiastic about YouWriteOn's bridge publishing concept and wish the company every success.

Happy Easter Holidays!


  1. Hi Frank
    Is was interested in your endorsement of YouWriteOn. Do you think I should approach them with my Ring of Roses, if an agent is not forthcoming? Janine

  2. Hi Janine,

    Good to hear from you.

    I think the decision to approach YouWriteOn should be taken carefully, after examining how the company's revised scheme is intended to work.

    It's important to consider whether the YouWriteOn approach is right for you and whether you believe you can make it work for you.

    YouWriteOn only arranges the printing and distribution of the book and while there may be some publicity resulting from the inclusion of titles on the company's website, all publicity and marketing is really up to you. (This state of affairs btw is actually not that different from no-frills imprints being rolled out by big publishers.)

    An excellent initial source of marketing advice is the Society of Authors’ Guide to Marketing Your Book (free to members, £2 to non-members,

    The printing and distribution model YouWriteOn uses--the Lightning Source one--is very good and the pricing of the books is extremely competitive for print on demand. The royalty deal is also reasonable, I would have said.

    In future, though, it looks like there is going to be some sort of public ranking of YouWriteOn authors on the company’s website and this won't suit everyone. (A lucky few, however, will win mainstream publishing contracts as a result.)

    Having said all the above, I would have thought YouWriteOn should only be considered if you have a specific purpose in choosing the bridge publishing option or if a book fails to interest an agent or publisher.

    I chose YouWriteOn because I wanted to make Invisible available in a bridge edition until I had time to launch the StreetBooks one. YouWriteOn was attractive because under the company’s contract the author retains the rights to the book and the contract can be terminated with one month’s notice.

    But if you don’t have a specific purpose in wanting to publish your book in a bridge edition, or if a novel fails to interest an agent or publisher, why is it worth making it available through a company like YouWriteOn? Mainstream publishing is in a state of flux because of technological innovations such as pod, ebooks and the web, so firms are finding it difficult to spot which fiction titles are going to sell. It is likely, therefore, that some authors are going to find audiences through alternative publishing models.

    On the other hand, an author only has a chance of doing this if the book is well written, the writer really believes in it, and the writer is prepared to put a lot of time, effort and creativity into marketing it.

    Hope this helps.