Self-publishing becomes respectable…

The act of publishing your own work because you couldn’t find an agent or publisher prepared to take it on was, until recently, seen as a sign of desperation. And there were plenty of agencies out there to feed upon that desperation, going under the heading of ‘vanity publishers’ who offered grand promises in return for large downpayments. As word got round that this was a dead end, and as mainstream publishers became increasingly risk averse and closed their doors to unsolicited manuscripts, and their ‘gatekeepers’ – the literary agents – then also became quite difficult to elicit a response from, other than the standard rejection letter, it seemed that there was no place to go. 


Until now. With the advent of eBooks and the ease of online promotion and selling, the door not only to getting published, but also to promoting and selling books, has been blown wide open. Authors – from those venturing out for the first time to seasoned authors with considerable backlists – have been quick to realise that, at last, there is some place they can go.


Authors of all hues are now moving towards self-publishing in their droves, bypassing the vanity publishers, bypassing the literary agents, bypassing the publishers, and arming themselves with the know-how needed to publish and market their own work. There is a great sense of independence and empowerment in the air, coupled with excitement about the opportunities for innovation that is inherent in eBook creation and marketing. 



…and Firsty responds with a great self-publishing package


The Firsty Group started looking at how to respond to this situation. And we found ourselves in the very fortunate position of having, in spades, the two main areas of expertise required: building eCommerce websites and providing digital solutions to publishers, including eBook conversion and development. We put the two together and created the Firsty Author Package.


So far as we can ascertain, the Firsty Author Package ( is unique.


The package gives authors all the tools they need to create, promote, distribute and sell eBooks. Once signed up to it, they can – in less than a fortnight:


-       create an eBook

-       build a customised website or add selling facilities to their current website

-       upload the eBook to eBookstores

-       start promoting it via social media links on the website and via other means

-       start selling the eBook securely (with inbuilt Digital Rights Management) via their website


And thereafter they can use the website for all their subsequent eBook conversions, promotion, distribution and sales. Given that many authors also want to promote and sell books in print format, we are in discussions currently to add a print dimension to the Author Package.


PS  It’s not just authors that could find our Author Package useful. For publishers, for example, the eBooks uploaded via the package could become, in effect, a slush pile; the package also gives their current authors the tools to promote their titles and the publisher’s name. Literary agents might consider referring writers they can’t take on, but consider promising, to the package, with the option of following them up should their self-published work appear to do well. Creative writing tutors could, through the package, offer writers a viable alternative route to getting published and – as important – getting noticed by publishers and agents. And author / writer service providers could add referral to the package to the services they already provide. 




A fuller response

Firstygroup's picture

Do you create a website for authors that gives them all they tools they need to promote, market and sell their books (or amend their current site to do the same?). That's where the cost of our package lies - it has got NOTHING whatsoever to do with vanity publishing. We are not in the game of making spurious promises to authors about turning their books into bestsellers. What they publish is their business (although we advise them to seek editorial input, etc.). What we do is give them a vehicle to create, promote and sell their work, accompanied by loads of face-to-face support. Our authors come from the whole spectrum of writers/authors, appreciate the personal advice and guidance we provide, love the customised websites we build for them, and then go off and sell - and, it seems, spread the word.

A fuller response in due

A fuller response in due course. We hope by then that the 'commenter' has looked at the package and realised it has nothing to do with 'vanity publishing' (if that is indeed his contention?) and everything to do with building eCommerce websites for authors who want to promote, distribute and sell their work online.

Alternative ?

AUK's picture

Or they could come to us and join the thousands who already have a NO COST route to market, and a simple revenue share with their book added to pretty much every major retailer and outlet in the world ?

We charge nothing for ANYTHING we do, from conversion, to cover creation, to sales and distribution. NO deductions at all...and we spilt every penny that comes in from sales straight down the middle - its as simple as that.

We have authors and publishers signed to us ranging from first time writers, to New York Times best selling authors putting their books out with us. We dont believe in charging people anything as that would be just another form of vanity publishing. We have enough confidence in what we do to do it for free, on the basis some books will earn us an income and some we will lose on. Its a win win for the authors and publsihers alike.


Look at the package

Firstygroup's picture

A fuller response in due course. We hope by then that this 'commenter' has actually looked at the package and realised that it has nothing to do with 'vanity publishing' (if indeed that is his contention?) and everything to do with building eCommerce websites for authors that incorporate all the tools they need to promote, distribute and sell their work online.

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