Before you publish a book, reading reviews and researching and comparing publishing service providers is key to making the right choice for you and your work. We’ll be the first to tell you that self-publishing is a brave new world deserving of your due diligence and careful consideration. The below review and comparison is here to help you differentiate publishing offers from Christian Faith Publishing and Dog Ear Publishing. Below we review the publishing packages, book printing costs, publishing contracts/agreements and return on investment (ROI). All things considered, you may find that in many cases Christian Faith Publishing may not be the best choice for you or your book. Let’s begin…
Christian Faith Publishing: No
Dog Ear: YES
Christian Faith Publishing: $7.82/unit
Dog Ear: $4.28/unit
Christian Faith Publishing: $2.47/sale
Dog Ear: $5.61/sale
Christian Faith Publishing is a start up from a former Tate Publishing executive, per the Writer Beware website, "CFP's founder and President, Chris Rutherford, is a Tate Publishing alumnus. He has held various titles with the company, the most recent of which, per his LinkedIn profile, is Chief Business Development Officer (though note the strategic omission of Tate's name)." This self-publishing company is headquartered in Meadville, PA. Although headquartered in Pennsylvania, the majority of the production staff are based in overseas and perform production, sales, marketing, and support services for authors.
When we analyze self-publishing companies we look for a number of things. First, how transparent is the website? All the basic information about publishing should be available for review before you have to call a salesperson. For example, are you able to see the Christian Faith Publishing author contract directly on the site? (No is the answer.) Are author copy costs openly discussed on the website? (No, they are not.) Is there at least a range of publishing prices so that you have time to think about the cost of publishing your book with Christian Faith Publishing BEFORE engaging with a high-pressure salesperson? (No, there are no publishing costs listed on the Christian Faith Publishing website at all.) And finally, there is no way for an author to reasonably discover what return he or she might expect on the investment made to publish a book.
When a self-publishing company goes to such great lengths to hide even the most basic details about costs and contracts, it should be a red flag.
Dog Ear Publishing (DEP), founded in 2004, is a self-publishing service provider specializing in editing, custom-built books, book printing, distribution and book marketing. Dog Ear Publishing is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. 100% of DEP full-time employees performing production, sales, marketing, and support services are based in the USA.
*Since there is no cost information on the Christian Faith Publishing website, it should be noted that the vast majority of marketing services other than those noted will incur additional costs. This is also true for many other services that should be included in book publishing.
**Full package details available at the DEP website.
Put simply, publishing a book is an investment – in thought, time, passion … and money. Recouping your initial financial investment, your return on investment, is an important factor in assessing any offers presented by publishers vying for your book and your business. Below you will find a brief rundown.
Spoiler Alert: The Christian Faith Publishing author needs to sell over 1,400+ to achieve break-even while the Dog Ear author realizes the full return on investment after only about 500 books sold.
As described on the Christian Faith Publishing website, CFP will propose a retail price to be set for a book through distribution and shall give “authors a royalty rate of 10% through distribution channels…” They go on to provide an example of a book priced at $14.95 (retail) yielding the author a royalty of $2.47 per book when sold in distribution. Assuming this book is a 150-page 6x9 paperback, Christian Faith Publishing authors need to sell 1400+ books to recover the cost of their initial investment. Here’s the math:
As described on the Dog Ear Publishing website, the author is in control of setting a book’s retail price and wholesale terms in distribution. The Dog Ear Publishing author yields 100% NET PROFIT from the sale of a book. 100% net profit is calculated like so:
Retail Price (RP) – Wholesale Discount (WD) – Print Price (PP) = Author Profit (100% NET)
For the purpose of comparison, we once again will assume a 150-page 6x9 paperback and a retail price of $14.95 to match the above referenced Christian Faith Publishing example. If the Dog Ear Publishing author wishes to maximize profit per sale for books sold through distribution, the wholesale discount can be set as low as 20%, however our standard discount due to unique relationships we have in the industry, is 40%. Using these terms, Dog Ear Publishing authors need to sell ~500 books to recover the cost of their initial investment. Here’s the math:
Authors planning a book launch, seeking book reviews, and/or engaging in any number of other book promotions will likely need at least 100 books on hand after publication. Understanding how much you, as the author, pay to order copies of your own book is yet another important factor in assessing publishing deals being offered by self-publishers.
Spoiler Alert: Christian Faith Publishing charges a significant amount more than Dog Ear to print author copies. Christian Faith Publishing authors pay $361 more to print 100 books (based on 150 page 6x9 paperback book)
Researching print cost for author copies is important, but it’s not easy. This is especially true in the case of Christian Faith Publishing. You won't find author copy costs on the AuthorHouse website. You have to actually publish your book first, tell them your order quantity, and THEN you will know how much your own books will cost to purchase. Crazy, right? We think so, too. We’ve emailed and called to glean what we need to form the comparison herein.
Based on a 150 page 6x9 paperback book, priced at $14.95, author copies through Christian Faith Publishing cost $7.47/book -- $747 for 100 copies.
Researching print cost through Dog Ear Publishing is quite easy, click here. But wait, there’s more! At the 100 unit quantity used for this example, we’ll provide an additional 10% discount. Based on a 150 page 6x9 paperback book, author copies through Dog Ear Publishing cost $3.86/book -- $386 for 100 copies.
Don’t worry, we are not going to delve too deeply into publishing jurisprudence. Scrutinizing and interpreting the level of legalize in a modern contract can be saved for another day and another article. Our focus here is to quickly assess the degree of “author-friendliness” seen in the Christian Faith Publishing contract versus the Dog Ear Publishing contract. Here we go …
As you might imagine, items of concern could run the board. Author rights, or lack thereof, to use the finished work (all electronic production files), is the most alarming. These files are, after all, the fundamental result of service fees paid to any publishing services provider.
Second to that are the omnibus licenses many self publishers ask the author grant them as the publisher with respect to use of intellectual property and timing to respond to changes in the agreement (e.g. cancellation).
The third category of note for any researched author is terms for payback, meaning ROI, or if things don’t work out, Christian Faith Publishing’s policy on refunds and other forms of remedy. If Christian Faith Publishing’s profit structure for authors can kindly be described as inadequate, the CFP refund policy could be described as execrable. Charging an author $150 to cancel prior to any file submission and/or work being done is just not right. And being on the hook for 50% the day you submit your raw manuscript, but before any work is rendered – that doesn’t seem right or just either.
The Dog Ear Publishing agreement can be found here. You’ll find that it’s short and to the point, approximately 2.5 pages. Within it we discuss authors’ rights to set retail/wholesale terms for their books, rights to electronic production files (no strings attached), 100% net profits from book sales, and our 100% refund policy (for unfinished work). We pride ourselves on the friendliness of our contract, matched only by the friendliness and professionalism of our people.
Thank you reading the publishing comparison presented above between Christian Faith Publishing and Dog Ear Publishing. Feel free to contact us for more information as you continue your publishing research!