News room: The 'CompletelyNovel' way to self-publish

The 'CompletelyNovel' way to self-publish by Sarah Juckes

Write books? Well, you’re in the right place. CompletelyNovel was made with you in mind.

We get a lot of questions from writers like, ‘hey you guys! Who the devil are you?’ – and – ’what’s with the name, CompletelyNovel?’

Well, allow us to introduce ourselves. Then it’s your turn – write to us. Tell us what you’re writing and what you want to achieve from your book. We’re serious when we say we want to know!

First of all – let’s answer those questions:

Who the devil is CompletelyNovel? was created in 2008 to be a print-on-demand publishing platform with a difference. As well as being the place to learn about publishing and create high-quality books, we also offer a completely novel (see what we did there?) subscription-based publishing model, designed with professional authors in mind.

What does ‘subscribing to publishing’ actually mean?

In a nutshell – it means that professional authors can earn more money.

The old way: Commission

You’re probably familiar with other print-on-demand publishing platforms such as CreateSpace and IngramSpark. Both of these platforms operate a business model whereby they take a commission from every book an author sells. For CreateSpace, this is 40%. This means if your book has a retail price of £10, £4 of that will go to CreateSpace. The remaining £6 has to cover the cost of printing, and then whatever’s left will be your royalty. For IngramSpark, their commission can be between 30%-65% of the retail price.

The new way: Subscription

CompletelyNovel has done away with this commission, meaning that authors receive 100% of the profit from every book sale. We don’t take any slice of the royalties. Instead, our authors pay a low subscription fee – as little as £7.99/$11.99 per month. There are no set up fees, and you can cancel any time – in which case your book will simply become unavailable (particularly useful for those authors who are snapped up by agents!). Our pricing structure has the added bonus that authors are able to price their books far more competitively and still earn a respectable royalty.

There’s a lot of numbers there, so here’s a nice picture to illustrate what we mean, based on average CompletelyNovel (subscription) and CreateSpace (Commission) prices:

Based on selling ten Pride and Prejudice books at £10 ($15.50) each. Author profit in USD equates to approx $24.50 for subscription, and $10.75 for commission.

Would ‘subscribing to publishing’ work for me?

We used Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as an example book in this self-publishing price comparison, and found that Jane would need to sell just six books a month to cover her subscription cost – and every penny of every book sale would be hers to keep.

So, on average, CompletelyNovel works especially well for authors who sell six books or more a month – usually professional authors who want their book to do well.

To help our authors sell these books, we focus on author education, have a friendly team on hand when needed, and boast some of the highest-quality print books around. A CompletelyNovel author has access to the same market as an IngramSpark or CreateSpace author (such as the ability to sell on Amazon), but keeps more money per book sold.

Of course, CompletelyNovel isn’t for everyone. Authors selling less than six books a month might find they are better off on a commission-based platform. Also – as we focus on self-learning and DIY creation tools – authors who feel they need guiding by the hand through the creation process might find they are better off going to a company who are set up to do this.

Right – and who is behind CompletelyNovel?

We’re a small, friendly team of REAL PEOPLE based in Brighton, UK, although we work with authors all over the world. We have some great technology behind the website that makes it efficient for us to link authors to printers and distribution networks, so we can concentrate on generating advice, helping authors one-to-one (no one likes speaking to a machine!) and creating great opportunities for the books on our platform.

Sounds good. What kinds of books do well on CompletelyNovel?

Although we have ‘novel’ in our name, we are proud to publish some of the most exciting fiction AND nonfiction around today. There’s no one type of book that does particularly well on CompletelyNovel – we’ve found that success can come from the unlikeliest of sources, which is exactly what made us fall in love with self-publishing all those years ago.

We’ve found that successful books are always down to the authors driving them. You don’t have to have vast experience in marketing, or know lots of people in high places for your book to do well. In our experience, all you need is a great product, a willingness to learn, the passion and determination to succeed and – of course – a great platform behind you.

So now you know all about us, we want to hear all about you! Add your author bio as a comment below, or get in touch with the team to organise a one-on-one publishing consultation. Any questions? Let us know.

Further reading:

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Written by
Sarah Juckes
Published on
Completelynovel and Self-publishing