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What is Bridge Publishing?

On this page we answer this and many other questions about book publishing, and essentially the differences between commercial and self-publishing. Zaccmedia aims to provide for authors a balance between these two types of publishing, to maximise their book’s potential. Read on for further explanation.

Commercial standard self-publishing for independent authors

We welcome all manuscript submissions with a Christian ethic

Distribution to retail outlets around the world

Flexible non-exclusive contract for authors

Zaccmedia bridges that gap between commercial rejection and self-publishing fear or hassle.

Who we are

Is Zaccmedia a Self-Publisher?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Zaccmedia is a bridge between commercial publishing and self-publishing. Hence our term “bridge publishing”.

Our goal is to try and give all our authors a commercial experience with their books, working hard to get them recognised and seen both by the commercial book trade and the end user/buyer. For many authors, it is impossible to secure a commercial contract with a mainstream publisher, but they are also wary or intimidated by the complexity of self-publishing and worry if their book will be of sufficient quality and be available to shops. Many times, authors will create outstanding work, but their working niche means it has little commercial appeal. Yet, the author feels compelled for the world to see it – whether it’s a life call, a passionate dream or a compulsion to communicate a message the world needs to hear. Zaccmedia aims to fulfil that purpose.

It may just be a very niche work of information that a small group of enthusiasts would love to have access to, and a publisher is needed to make the book a reality and available. Zaccmedia bridges that gap between commercial rejection and self-publishing fear or hassle.  Just because a commercial publisher has rejected a work, it doesn’t mean it should not be published. Far from it.

There is a self-publishing element to what we do, in so much as we try to give the author as much flexibility as possible as to how their book is created. Zaccmedia offers the author choices throughout the process of publishing, but will equally make those choices as best as possible for the author, based on our experience, if the author wants a trouble free process. The financial investment is also made by the author, as seen in our excellent package prices. Our package prices are very reasonable, based on our high quality services. As a publisher of the book, we take a small percentage of each sale, with the author taking the greater percentage of the sale. This means both parties have vested interests in the wide and successful sale of the product, motivating the book’s promotion and sale. In that sense, Zaccmedia and the author have a commercial working partnership. Zaccmedia can be regarded as a bridge publisher, rather than merely a self-publisher. You get the best of both worlds.

We welcome all submissions, from amateur authors that wish to publish a family memoir to more experienced authors hoping for commercial success.

How we work

Does Zaccmedia publish anything?

We welcome all submissions, from amateur authors that wish to publish a family memoir to more experienced authors hoping for commercial success. We  service both. Like a commercial publisher, Zaccmedia does have a process of selection over what books it chooses to publish. Based on Christian values, Zaccmedia will only publish materials that do not compromise our morality, convictions and creed. We also want to ensure that the book is publishable and for its niche market, has sufficient depth and potential to generate sales. Zaccmedia reserves the right to turn down proposed books. To this end, we have commercial and moral standards that should encourage all our authors who come on board with us.

About Distribution

About Zaccmedia Publishing

Book publishing services have improved dramatically over recent years with technology enabling high quality digital printing comparable to traditional offset print quality. With these print technologies combined with traditional publishing services, such as editing, typesetting and cover design, the modern author has a solid platform for producing his/her own book at economic prices. Economic, because digital print-on-demand enables the author to buy as many or as few books as required, without having to commit finance to long print runs of a 1000 or more books.

Zaccmedia provides distribution as part of the publishing package, meaning your book can be ordered from over 30,000 retail outlets around the world, via Ingram, one of the world’s largest book distributors. Ingram also own the print presses we use, meaning there is superb integration when printing to meet the demand of the distribution channel. Your book never, technically, ever goes out of stock. If it has been ordered at a retail outlet, it will be printed and sent out straight away.

Distribution channels do not equate to sales. It is essential that you understand that distribution channels are tools in your hand. It is up to the author to market and publicise the book to generate interest. The distribution channels are there to ensure the book is available, whenever it is ordered. Sales won’t happen by magic. But having a distribution channel is a major part of successful publishing and will get you on to Amazon. We do provide some marketing tools to help get news of your book out, and can be found in our Z-Launch Marketing Package.

Your book can be ordered from over 30,000 retail outlets around the world, via Ingram, one of the world’s largest book distributors.

professional ebooks

Kindle eBook Conversion and Amazon Distribution

We include professional eBook conversion as part of our Print & eBook Distribution Package, publishing to Amazon’s Kindle platform. We no longer sell or distribute eBooks to other platforms. To date, Amazon accounts for over 70% of the eBook marketplace, with remaining sales very thinly spread over a wide variety of other platforms at a cost that is no longer sustainable as an eBook distribution model. Kindle represents your best opportunity for eBook sales. However, we do offer the possibility of selling “open” ePub eBooks via our Bookstore. By open, we mean it is possible to sell eBooks from Zaccmedia’s store as a download, but they won’t be encrypted with anti-copy software. If that doesn’t concern you (and to many, it doesn’t), then we can make an eBook available for download to anyone’s device. If you would like this additional option, please contact us.

Zaccmedia is positioned between commercial publishing and self-publishing.

Other reasons authors self/bridge publish

Control

Some authors like to be in total control and hold exclusively on to the rights of their own material, giving them total freedom in how, where and when their book is published. The internet has made mass self-promotion a possibility, and the potential for generating sales without any restrictions as to how and where to make those sales is appealing.

Commercial alternative

An author has tried to secure a commercial contract with a mainstream trade publisher, but has thus far been unsuccessful. The author believes in his/her book and just wants to get that story, message or fact across to the world. The author needs help with the nuts and bolts of putting a well presented book together and would love for it to be available through bookshops and Amazon.

Commercial Publishing Versus Self/bridge Publishing: An Unbias Perspective

With many thousands of brand new book titles being published every month it has become exceptionally difficult for authors to secure a commercial contract and self-publishing opens an alternative door of opportunity. Click through the sections below for further helpful information.

With the exception of the elite few, commercial publishing is out of most people’s reach. The main reason why an author would want to first try and seek a commercial publishing contract is because such publishers take on the entire financial risk of the project and pay for all the production costs of the book, with a view to recouping income and making profits through the volume sale of the book through bookshops and online retailing. Authors do not pay a penny for the process. The publisher takes on the entire cost of editing, typesetting, cover design, printing, marketing and distribution. For every sale the author receives a modest royalty, often 15% of the net receipts, which can generate several thousand pounds of income if the book sells well (in thousands), and more if it sells particularly well. Obviously the author might receive very little if the book is a commercial flop – and many do flop. Selling books is hard.

There are disadvantages to commercial publishing. You may not have full control of the editing process, potentially undermining your wishes. This is uncommon, as the goal of any publishing house is to enhance a book. You may not like the cover design chosen by a commercial publishing house, as they will produce a cover based on their marketing insights. But the biggest potential downfall in committing to a commercial publishing house is that you sign away your publication rights, and if you don’t read the contract, this could be for an indefinite period of time. Long contracts can hide away unsavoury terms that leave you out of pocket. Some commercial publishers can have you commit to giving them publishing rights and lock you in on low sales performances. Once locked into a contract it can be challenging to get your rights back unless you buy them out. These are worst case scenarios, and in many cases you will be happy with a commercial publisher, so long as they make your book available. Zaccmedia contracts run just a year (but you can stay with us longer!), and are non-exclusive, ensuring your rights are with you at all times. After a year, you can cancel your non-exclusive contract with Zaccmedia.

Book publishing has never been so fiercely competitive, and securing a commercial publishing contract is like discovering gold – it’s rare. Unlike prospecting for gold, sometimes perseverance won’t get you anywhere. If your book isn’t commercially viable, no publisher will take it on for the simple reason that it would cost them thousands of pounds to publish, and they would stand to lose it all if it didn’t sell. They won’t risk it. This should be sobering to you, the author. Why? Because if you are looking to self-publish, you have to ask yourself the question: If an experienced commercial publisher won’t risk spending money on it, why do I think I can recover my costs publishing it myself? It’s an important question you need to answer before proceeding with your project.

Our advice to new authors paying for publishing services is simply: publish responsibly.

Purchasing publishing services can become very expensive and it’s worth doing the math on what fits your budget. Happily, Zaccmedia is a safe and sensibly priced place to have your book published, because we have your best interests at heart. Hence our advice. We obviously want to make a profit for our effort in providing services too, but you can be assured that in working with Zaccmedia, you will always be steered towards value, not ever greater, hidden expense. Nevertheless, never invest in a publishing project if you can’t afford to lose the investment capital put into it.

In times past self-publishing had a reputation for taking advantage of peoples ignorance and charging exhorbitant fees for producing an author’s book, taking advantage of their passion to get published. Eventually, these so called publishers were nicknamed “vanity publishers”. Some self-publishing companies still carry such reputations, and it’s true that you have to be exceptionally careful in reviewing the pricing structures of what each company offers.

Zaccmedia wants to be totally transparent with you in our pricing, which we think represents excellent value (though it’s still not a cheap enterprise). You will therefore find our Cost Calculator extremely useful in providing a close estimate to what our Print & eBook Distribution Package costs, and our other range of services. We do our best to provide fair cost levels for our modular “Pick & Mix” book production services – these book production services are for those authors who don’t want our all-in-one packages but just want access to an editing service only, or just want a cover design or typesetting, or a mixture. The limitation of using our modular services is that we don’t offer any distribution, ISBN and other details served exclusively in our packages. Since books have so many permutations for our modular services, we will need to verify the cost calculator estimate.

Self-publishing isn’t a last resort for many who want to be published. Increasingly, it is becoming the preferred option. Self-publishing puts the process of publication under your control. With Zaccmedia, you are not just self-publishing. As a bridge publisher, we walk the entire process with the author. If you purchase our editing services you will have the opportunity to review the changes. If you are unhappy with a change, you can amend it. You can also provide a design brief for the front cover and have opportunity to change the text on the front as you want it. Throughout the process you will be given a personal service, ensuring our advice is available with every choice you need to make to create a professionally produced book.

Unlike working with a full commercial publisher, taking ownership of your own publishing process essentially means you hold the publication rights to your book and are the financially invested producer of it. This is different to holding copyright. Copyright is the work that is originally yours, is protected as such, and cannot be copied elsewhere. When you give rights, it means you are giving permission to use your work in whatever capacity of terms you agree. With most commercial publishers they will want EXCLUSIVE worldwide rights in ALL languages, and they will also want what is termed subsidiary rights, which includes audio and eBook rights, as well as rights for using the material for movie screenplays or cartoons, etc. The author always holds the copyright, but if you give away your rights contractually, then you need to understand what terms you are giving those rights on. If the book is outside of your legal rights to produce and distribute it, and that power is in someone else’s hands on an exclusive basis then that third party becomes the Publisher once they produce the book.

With Zaccmedia, we have non-exclusive contracts. You hold your rights at all times and can publish your book anywhere else at any time. Whilst Zaccmedia produces and distributes the book for you, it is you that pays for the service and we distribute the book for you via Ingram. Zaccmedia needs to create an income out of the distribution service, and we do that by taking a commission from each sale. You also typically receive the larger sales commission (usually 60% net), known as a royalty. The rest goes into manufacture cost and the retailers cut.

There are two main ways you can make money in Publishing with Zaccmedia.

  • By selling both printed and Kindle eBook editions of your book through our distribution channels which are part of our Package Deals. For every book sold, you receive a royalty. See our royalty section on our Package Details Page.
  • By purchasing your own book at a special author discount (usually around 50% of the RRP) and then selling them on for a profit, for example to delegates at a conference where you may be speaking, or at local bookshops, to friends, organisations and whoever else is connected to your network. See our “Author Purchase Discounts” section on the Package Details page for more information on how this is costed.
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