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FROM:

Joe M. Ruggier, Author and Publisher

MBooks of BC


TO THE ATTENTION OF:

All potential authors aspiring to place a book with MBooks


Our publishing services — how the arithmetic works for everyone … the publisher, the printing agency, and for all our authors


Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in our publishing services.  As Publisher, I solicit and wish to locate contracts where the Authors pack a punch, in the sense that they come with people behind them & can be trusted to sell books themselves to their own following.


The Publisher may not allow himself to be left in a financial lurch by the authors he publishes & requires signed contracts which are good business for all three parties concerned: the printing Agency, the publisher, and the author.  In this regard perhaps production of your work may be justified on the basis of "for sale by the Author".  We shall be happy to sell to you 500 books, but not less than a minimum order of 250 copies, of a softcover of 108 pages or fewer with full colour front & back cover, for a cost to you of USD 8.50 each, to be resold to your own public for a figure of USD 19.95. We shall be happy to market a few books ourselves, as much as we can under the circumstances where poetry titles sell in ridiculously small quantities, & pay you a privileged royalty of $CDN 5 ($5 Canadian) per copy we sell in your behalf for $20 (Canadian) each.

We want you to know ….. that this option is available: as long as it is good business 3-ways around, as I said, I should tell you about it clearly & simply.  Should you wish to avail yourself of this offer, or if you wish to discuss the terms of a contract, please do not hesitate to phone me at +1.604.277.3864.  You may also email me.

You ought to know, for honesty's sake, that we publish a few titles the costs of which are borne entirely by our USA sponsor.  These titles, however, are a minimum.  Besides, our sponsor needs to make up his mind on his own whether he wishes to bear costs.  Finally, for a book of ours to be paid for entirely by our sponsor, the book needs to qualify through an extremely competitive process; and a factor which will highly influence this outcome, apart from the high quality of your work, is whether you come with people attached behind you (i.e.: prospective clients who will purchase your book when it is out).


MBooks of BC is a small press with a traditionalist bias & primarily we are publishers of poetry & related literature.  Although we are eclectic in our policies, publishing modernist free form among many other, tighter forms, our bias is for the neo-traditionalist movement, & for neo-classicism, etc.  We do not favour "small talk lop-eared to look like verse" which is a relic of modernism which we positively want to throw overboard.  Honestly, we feel that authors could be doing far better things with their talent if only they were to apply themselves to absorbing better disciplined metrical, prosodic, & rhetorical skills.

The question is if your book is worth the investment unless you yourself can bear some costs and help in distributions. Perhaps you may do better business if you were strictly to produce your first book yourself with an economical printing agency in your own hometown strictly to be sold by yourself to your immediate friends & public. However you ought to know that the option of having your book produced by
MBooks of BC is available if all you want to do is a little good business.  We are not a cynical Vanity Press racket & shall be happy to allow you a proper profit margin, which no Vanity Press does ...  again, only a truly "friendly" editor would give you an honest opinion as I have done.

You ought to know that the charge of USD 8.50 per book covers both direct and indirect costs as follows:

Direct (Production) Expenses:

  • all production expenses owing to our print-on-demand agency, comprising —
  • setup charges (one time only – regardless of the size of the order);
  • all production expenses incurred in printing and binding the books in whatever quantity;
  • brokerage and GST (mandatory for shipping to Canada);
  • all shipping (freight) expenses by UPS GROUND directly to the author’s home;
  • handling fees (per order, regardless of quantity);
  • cataloguing fees (optional);
  • one proof (one real book shipped direct to the author prior to production for the purpose of galley proofing).


Indirect (Administrative) Costs:

The rest is our professional compensation for the publishing service, comprising —

  • formatting, design and layout of the entire book, both cover and interior;
  • basic copyediting recommendations if the publisher feels that they are called for;
  • all typesetting as required;
  • all proofing and all galley proofs as required;
  • the procuring of ISBN and CIP data (which you ought to know establish automatic copyright claims recognizable at Law and without which it will be very difficult to sell the book to libraries).


This charge also covers the scanning of a hard copy by a high end computer scanner (scanning to OCR) if this is called for (viz: if the author is constrained to send a hard copy instead of a file by electronic attachment).


Optional:

The above does not cover data-entry if such is required. If the author requires us to type the book from scratch into a word-processor, such as Microsoft Word, the fee for this service shall be billed separately.


Finally, once the book is released, all revisions to the first printing shall be charged at a rate of USD 60 per revision. Hence, if the author requires revisions to the cover, as well as the interior, which constitute two entirely separate documents (revisions), the charge shall be USD 120. A more detailed breakdown (accounting) of the various costs involved can be supplied to the author upon request. Again the publisher does not feel this is normally called for.

I have suggested that good publishing requires contracts which are good business for three parties, for the printing agency, for the publisher, as well as for the Author. Vanity Presses are good business for the publisher and for the printing agency only. Upon a phony pretext of immortal fame to the Author, a Vanity Press, before the book has even been released, charges the Author far more than he can ever hope to make from booksales, as much as $9,000 and higher for a standard publication of less than 100 pages, upon the self-centred reasoning that the income from poetry or related literature is extremely limited anyway, and the Vanity Press needs way more money than that to operate successfully. By the time, therefore, that such a book is released, in a printing of 500 copies, the book is arguably far too expensive to sell, having positively cost the Author $18 per copy, and usually these books are remaindered for $2.00 each. Quite often there is absolutely nothing wrong with the skills of the authors who suffer this shocking treatment, but this is precisely where these books get stigmatized for being foolish business into which naïve unwary authors are drawn just because they have been promised immortal fame. Many people will tell them: “how on earth could you be so foolish as to give your publisher so much money just because of his phony promise of immortal fame? Could you not have found a printer in your own home-town who would have done a far more economical and equally attractive job for you for less than one-quarter of the cost? And could you not have sold your own book yourself, to your own immediate circle of friends, relatives, associates, and respectful admirers, on the basis of
for sale by the author? You would have made a tidy small sum of money from your own booksales and, aside from your personal satisfaction as a poet, you would have been entitled to retain every single spare dollar that you may have earned in this fashion.”

Practically speaking, if you were to ask me: “Mr. Ruggier, how much money do you need to earn from your publishing?” The truthful answer is: “I need to earn as much money as a Vanity Press makes, but I know that this is unethical! Many artists are as poor and even poorer than me: they all need to earn as much money as a Vanity Press makes and they can’t. The reason I operate successfully as I do is because I love creative people and I am willing to suffer something on their behalf similar to what they suffer. All the authors I have published understand my good will and, whereas they are, by and large, willing to play my game, a lot of them, who are, perhaps, better off than me, allow me to keep the little money we make jointly from booksales, which they do not need, whereas there have also been those who, being independently wealthy, have made me extremely generous compassionate donations. My success as a publisher is strictly a miracle of Providence, good will, and mutual understanding, but I am neither a cynical Vanity Press nor unethical.”


Joe M. Ruggier, Author and Publisher

MBooks of BC


 


Our covering letter to potential authors, which would also include all of the above information, is more or less as follows …

Dear Author:

Thank you for writing, querying, and sending me so many sample poems.
Reading through your poetry ….. [this paragraph is intended to convey a brief critical gloss, opinion, and preliminary assessment of an author’s sample work, more often than not poetry, with courteous suggestions for improvement, or else with appropriate praise] ….. if you can be persuaded to purchase books from us, and if you can be relied upon to sell them yourself, you ought to know that the opportunity of publishing with MBOOKS is always open.

In regard to placing a potential publication with me, of 108 pages or fewer, I am asking you to study and scrutinize very conscientously the attached MBooks_Info.pdf, a document which contains all the preliminary information you require about publishing poetry with me prior to signing a contract.  All poetry publishers agree unanimously that absolutely nobody can do a better job of marketing poetry books than the poet himself / herself.  I am a very good publisher of poetry with top-notch credentials.  Unfortunately I do not always have the marketing resources I would wish to bring to bear upon my poetry publishing and I do not have adequate human resources.  For these reasons, I require to ask you to activate your contract with us by purchasing books.

In regard to my publishing offer, wherein money and time are required, you will always have to think carefully about an offer of this nature.  The money and time required are not astronomical but they are a factor.  I am seriously concerned about your success and satisfaction.  To help you make up your mind whether this venture is worth your while, even though IT IS NOT VANITY PRESS, I am reworking, below, the arithmetic of the enterprise, for yourself to always bear in mind, and giving you some useful advise.

  • the time factor is, the books will arrive at your doorstep within around 8 weeks from the date that you formally turn over the manuscript to me for publication
  • during these 8 weeks you may be required to cooperate with me to produce the book particularly if copy-editing is called for ...
  • when you receive your share of the books you are called upon to devote time at your leisure to sell them out to your own people / following
  • as always, you are required to submit the book-manuscript to me as one long document in electronic form preferably as a document in Microsoft Word (or a compatible format).


The arithmetic of this venture works out as follows ...

  • you are being asked to purchase not less than 250 books but preferably 500
  • the total production costs to you of 250 books are USD 8.50 per book to a subtotal of USD 2,125.00
  • your gross income from selling out 250 books to your following is 250 books sold by you at USD 19.95 per book to a subtotal of USD 4,987.50
  • your net profit to your pocket when you sell out 250 books shall be USD 2,862.50
  • you may use your own judgment and if you wish sell for a slightly lower figure than USD 19.95 but I would advise never lower than USD 16.95
  • I shall myself order an additional 40 books or so for my own inventory
  • I shall myself sell around 20 books for you, perhaps more, and pay you a privileged royalty of $5 (Canadian) per book I sell

Discounts for ordering in quantities greater than 250 books work out as follows ...

  • a minimum order of 250 - 375 books shall be sold to you at USD 8.50 per book
  • 376 - 500 books shall be sold to you at USD 8.25 per book
  • 501 - 625 books shall be sold to you at USD 8.00 per book
  • 626 - 750 books shall be sold to you at USD 7.75 per book
  • 751 - 875 books shall be sold to you at USD 7.50 per book
  • 876 books and upward shall be sold to you at USD 7.25 per book


Please bear in mind that a publishing proposal has to be good business for the publisher also, and not for the author only.  For this reason I do not want you to order books in such a way that I shall only make USD 300 or 400 to my pocket.  I require to make a minimum of around USD 1,000 to my pocket, preferably higher, and if you were to look at your own potential net income, as outlined above, from the sale of your first 250 books, I swear to you that you shall make close to three times what I shall make.  For these reasons you are not allowed to order less than 250 books and I far prefer it, for my own sake, that you order a minimum of 500 copies.

Finally, I urge and advise you extremely pointedly, to make a preliminary short list of names / people you know, friends, relatives, professional or academic colleagues, reviewers, libraries, newspapers, people in the media, readers, poetry lovers, and any other occasional or not so occasional associates, of everyone you know, just as in an address book, who may be persuaded, relied upon to purchase your book from you when it comes out, in such a way that, as soon as the book is in your hands, you may rely upon yourself to sell a large number of copies.  All I am saying is that, unless you work out the arithmetic very carefully, and do the exercise I am recommending, figuring out ahead of publication just how many people you know will buy your book, you might not succeed as you wish and may, perhaps, emerge unsatisfied or disappointed. I am saying this only because I am concerned about you and have at heart your success and your satisfaction.  Apart from that, I know for fact, as any small press poetry publisher will tell you, that no one can substitute the author when it comes to selling a book of good poetry, and that the author himself will always sell more books than any other party who may wish to get involved.

Naturally, for the time element, and for the money, that you have to commit into this venture ... if you feel that perhaps you cannot rely upon yourself to succeed to your utmost satisfaction, then perhaps this kind of book-publishing enterprise is not for you even though the time factor and the money involved are not astronomical.  Bear in mind that you can always rely upon me to do everything I have said I shall do and make up your own mind accordingly.  The reason I have worked the arithmetic line by line with you is to help you think.

One last thing, please consider very seriously the observations, (my own), about what is Vanity Press and what isn't ... which are also featured above ….

I have suggested that good publishing requires contracts which are good business for three parties, for the printing agency, for the publisher, as well as for the Author.  Vanity Presses are good business for the publisher and for the printing agency only.  Upon a phony pretext of immortal fame to the Author, a Vanity Press, before the book has even been released, charges the Author far more than he can ever hope to make from booksales, as much as $9,000 and higher for a standard publication of less than 100 pages, upon the self-centred reasoning that the income from poetry or related literature is extremely limited anyway, and the Vanity Press needs way more money than that to operate successfully.  By the time, therefore, that such a book is released, in a printing of 500 copies, the book is arguably far too expensive to sell, having positively cost the Author $18 per copy, and usually these books are remaindered for $2.00 each.  Quite often there is absolutely nothing wrong with the skills of the authors who suffer this shocking treatment, but this is precisely where these books get stigmatized for being foolish business into which naïve unwary authors are drawn just because they have been promised immortal fame.  Many people will tell them: “how on earth could you be so foolish as to give your publisher so much money just because of his phony promise of immortal fame?  Could you not have found a printer in your own home-town who would have done a far more economical and equally attractive job for you for less than one-quarter of the cost?  And could you not have sold your own book yourself, to your own immediate circle of friends, relatives, associates, and respectful admirers, on the basis of for sale by the author?  You would have made a tidy small sum of money from your own booksales and, aside from your personal satisfaction as a poet, you would have been entitled to retain every single spare dollar that you may have earned in this fashion.”

Practically speaking, if you were to ask me: “Mr. Ruggier, how much money do you need to earn from your publishing?”  The truthful answer is: “I need to earn as much money as a Vanity Press makes, but I know that this is unethical!  Many artists are as poor and even poorer than me: they all need to earn as much money as a Vanity Press makes and they can’t.  The reason I operate successfully as I do is because I love creative people and I am willing to suffer something on their behalf similar to what they suffer.  All the authors I have published understand my good will and, whereas they are, by and large, willing to play my game, a lot of them, who are, perhaps, better off than me, allow me to keep the little money we make jointly from booksales, which they do not need, whereas there have also been those who, being independently wealthy, have made me extremely generous compassionate donations.  My success as a publisher is strictly a miracle of Providence, good will, and mutual understanding, but I am neither a cynical Vanity Press nor unethical.”

Once more, thank you.
Yours sincerely
Joe M. Ruggier
Publisher, MBOOKS of BC
For further inquires, please contact :

Multicultural Books
Suite 307, 6311 Gilbert Road
Richmond, B.C.
Canada V7C 3V7

Contact: Joe M. Ruggier
Phone:  +1.604.447.0979
E-mail: jrmbooks@hotmail.com



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