I’d like to use my WordPress blogSpot to introduce Jill Darragh who runs Rangitawa Publishing, Feilding, New Zealand. Hers is a service provider publishing business that helps authors to self-publish their works for a low fee. I asked her the following questions:
Jill, how does your business go about its work? We use digital publishing through CreateSpace, an Amazon company. Therefore all books are available through Amazon, as well as other outlets.
What benefit does that involve for the author? It gives them a global market, and they can also purchase their books at a wholesale price for on-selling.
What prompted you to get under way? It started when I self-published three of my own books. Realising that many writers in New Zealand had written excellent work with virtually no chance to have them published, I have held a short story competition each year and I publish these entries as the Rangitawa Collection. Support has grown each year. There is also a Children’s Story Competition for 2016.
How many books have you produced? In three years I have published 24 (which includes three in the Rangitawa Collection series) plus my own three. That’s a total of 27. Four of them are also in e-book form. That’s a fairly constant flow of work.
Would it be possible for an Indie publisher in a small country like New Zealand to make a living, or if not, what would have to change in order for that to happen? Book distribution in New Zealand is very controlled by the major book store chains. I do supply quite a few shops and wholesalers, but rely on people asking shops for my books. My authors have book launches and arrange the publicity: my core business is publishing. I cannot imagine ever making a living out of it even if I struck a best-selling author.
What services do you offer? I am a one-person business. I offer a free assessment of manuscripts and will advise the author of any corrections or re-writing I think is necessary to advance it to a publishable draft. I do not accept everything that lands on my desk even if authors are willing to pay me. That way I guard my reputation.
What steps are gone through? On receipt of a manuscript I format it onto a template to give it correct margins and page numbers for the digital process. I also design the cover and these are sent to the author as a pdf for proof-reading. The author also receives a hard-copy proof once it is decided to go ahead with publishing. There are other details eg. ISBN numbers and checking copyrights, then I upload the file to the USA printers.
From what you have observed, by what means can a ‘hobby’ writer improve sufficiently to be considered for getting into print via Rangitawa Publishing? In my opinion all amateur writers benefit from doing a writing course or joining a group. The University of the Third Age runs some excellent groups like this. All writers should seek outside advice about their work. I look for the positive aspects of narratives because I wish to encourage writers. I will always offer them the way to improve and it is up to them to work at this.
What link can I give to your website? And may I include an email address? The website is http://www.rangitawapublishing.com. Authors can contact me through my website email email@example.com and should include a few details about their writing experience.
Thank you Jill for this opportunity to reach out to writers who may be considering publishing and wondering how hard it is.
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