Aventine Press – Reviewed (Updated, March 2011)

Aventine Press is one of those publishing services I continually keep coming across when I read about self-published books, particular in online magazines and self-publishing reviews. It’s like stumbling upon a sheepdog in a country cabin in the mountains sprawled out in front of a roaring fire. You know you are home and you don’t have to keep looking over your shoulder for the wolves. Mind you— didn’t the uni-bomber live in a log cabin in the mountains?

“When you do the math and compare, Aventine Press clearly stands apart from the crowd as a self-publishing company. Whether your book is a novel, poetry book, memoir or technical manual, we place your interests first.”

  •  Author Discount: Most self-publishing authors purchase numerous copies of their own book for marketing giveaways, reviews, to sell or to distribute to friends and family. Our authors pay only the actual printing and shipping cost plus 10% – with no quantity restrictions and no minimum purchase requirements.
  •  Author Royalties: Our royalties are paid quarterly and are substantially larger than the royalties paid by most book publishers. We pay you 80% of the payments we actually receive from sales of printed copies of your book.
  •  Trade Discounts: Some book publishing companies offer booksellers minimal discounts on titles already overpriced for the marketplace, a practice that can doom your book to obscurity. Aventine Press will price your book right and attract booksellers with generous discounts up to 55% off the cover price.
  •  Highest Quality: No self publishing company offers you a higher quality print-on-demand product or faster service and fulfillment. Our trade paperbacks and hardcovers are printed to order usually within 72 hours and are printed on premium quality, acid-free, book-grade creme and white paper stock (must be 108 pages or more). Paperback covers are printed on a bright white 80# cover stock.

The pleasure in revisiting Aventine is that so little changes with the core services offered to authors—unlike so many other author solutions services who choose to chop and change prices and packages. That’s actually the way it should be. Be wary of author solutions services who continually changes their packages and services. It’s a sure sign that the company got it wrong from the start—or bluntly—are hiding something and really haven’t a clue what they are doing. The reason why Aventine has no need to indulge in a re-jigging of their services is because the company got it right from the start—provide a basic publishing package at an affordable price that produces a high quality print product with a very low print mark-up (10% over print cost) and a royalty rate (80% net) which actually favours the author for a change.

Actually that log cabin in the country is like a breath of fresh air when you escape the websites of so-called ‘good’ companies offering self-publishing services to authors in the big city. And that’s the difference with Aventine Press—no fuss, the services are not muddied in market speak or commercial complexity sold to the author at a serious, fashion-conscious mark-up. Rather more, Aventine Press is a strong glass of comfort to sharpen the senses.

Aventine Press makes self publishing fast, easy and affordable for today’s author. Aventine Press has helped authors with books that have been accepted by traditional presses. Our technology allows you to get your book into print quickly, while distributing through Ingram and making it available for sale as well as achieving high sales ranks with the world’s leading booksellers:

  •  Barnes and Noble.com
  •  Amazon.com
  •  Booksamillion.com
  •  Buy.com
  •  and many, many more

The Aventine Press contract is pretty straightforward and like most author solutions services using POD (print on demand), it offers a non-exclusive contract; within that contract are particular occurrences resulting in Aventine Press providing a disgruntled author with a full refund. What is also key to the ‘holding rights’ of Aventine Press is the fact that the company  is one in a few who give back the production files on a cd when the fee has been paid, the book designed and set up and made available to online sales channels and listed for distribution. In a nutshell, if the author decides to go elsewhere, all their investment in their book is not lost, leaving them to start from scratch with another company.

Aventine offer a basic starter package and allow the author to add on additional services:

Aventine Press is a service organization. We provide the author who has decided to invest in his or her own work, the tools to bring it to fruition quickly, expertly and economically. Our services encompass everything you’ll need, start to finish, in the book publishing process while making it an easy, step-by-step experience. It’s both an extremely practical and efficient method for today’s author to get into print with the best possible results.

Our Basic Service Package Includes:
  •  Your choice of cover design; use our professional custom covers (as low as $295.00), our cover templates ($175.00) or supply your own design.
  • Your choice of styles from our Interior Templates.
  •  International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
  •  Inclusion of author photo and cover photos.
  •  Inclusion of author biography.
  •  Electronic proofs.
  •  UPC bar-code.
  •  Indexing, up to 25 keywords free. (On request)
  •  Two free trade paperback copies of your book.
  •  Listing of your book with online booksellers.
  •  Your completed book (final proof) plus cover art on CD.
  •  Quarterly royalty payments and accounting.
  •  Submission to Ingram’s Ipage Registration and Database Listing

Basic Service Package Fee: $399.00

There are basic templates which go with the $399 fee, but I would suggest, an author considering this service, design and submit their own PDF formated print ready files. I have always been wary of publisher templates, and while there is an option to supply your own cover art and photographs—I would still suggest for the price the author is paying—they submit their own artwork at least, if not the finished PDF files.

The costs to an author to purchase any of the books are again pretty straight forward. For a 200 – 300 average page paperback book, selling at $14 – 16; the author gets 80%. That is, 80% of the list price less the print cost and a 10% taking by Aventine. That, again, averaging about $5+ per book. Regarding royalties for the author; it is the list price minus the print cost and the additional amount a third party seller like say Amazon might take; that can be anything up to 55%. With Aventine, the books, by most standards, are competitively priced because Aventine has not chosen to inflate the costs of book production and printing. The profits are actually small for them. In fact, so far, I don’t know another author solutions service that comes to mind making so little on the books they publish. On this note; if you are thinking of going with Aventine, be aware; they do not have an online bookstore. All your books will be sold through third-party sales.
If anything, not having an online bookstore might lead you to believe that Aventine Press’ site is heavy on the author services sales and pretty scant on the highlighting books. Actually it’s the opposite. The main website landing page displays plenty of their successful books with links to third party sellers and author sites. As well as perhaps going to Aventine with a PDF ready book, another would be to already have your own website and a paypal facility to sell your own books. If you are to make the most of publishing with Aventine Press, you really must already have a website and web presence. They do offer a marketing program for $995, which includes a website, Ingram Advance Catalogue Listing, a press release, LCCN (library cataloguing) and copyright registration. The copyright can be a misnomer with several companies regarding the true costs. They build it into packages but do not disclose how much it is costing an author. The truth is–it should only cost the amount of books which are being sent as deposits to the national libraries, as the rest is simply form-filling. Publishers in POD services are skilled at making things like this seem burdensome for the author and then charging the author an arm and a leg to take the ‘burden’ off their hands.

We’re a small book publishing company, but you wouldn’t know it by the quality of services we provide or in the results we achieve. We take a personal interest in understanding your goals, then work hard to help you accomplish them. Among independent reviewers, we are ranked among the best book publishers in the industry!

Aventine Press is by no means the most advanced or sophisticated publisher going. But you know what? This is a company, the more you look at them, the more convinced you become that what is offered and at the price it is offered, sets them apart from much of the competition. The critical things Aventine Press says it will do is comprehensively delivered as part of the terms of the contract offered to authors. Aventine make reasoned and responsible comments on the website about what an author can expect from self publishing books. Their website does not display the heavy handed ‘author-marketing’ concepts so familiar with many companies. Their business operation model does not survive on a template entirely driven by selling author packages. In fact, Aventine and their team would do well to look at ebook sales and a fully driven in-house print facility. They have an awful lot in common with Infinity Press and seem to have a similar homespun value. That is not me being twee, but rather, emphasising the fact that I have found a company which does what it says, properly, and for a reasonable price. And the things it does well are in the absolutely critical areas, set up price, contract, ownership of book files, retail book price, quality of book product, contact accessibility and royalty share.

Additional service add-ons offered:

Because we work with authors of varying self publishing experience and needs, we offer additional services for you to achieve the personalized look and feel you want for your book. These services and fees are in addition to our Basic Service Package:

  •  Custom Cover Design: $295.00Statistics show that eighty percent of what goes into selling a book is the cover design. A professional cover designer will create your cover for you with your input. Please take note of the book covers you’ll find through-out our web site, we have a reputation for producing quality covers that grab attention and sell more books!
  •  Hardcover Edition of Your Book : $295.00 (Includes separate ISBN and sales reports)Your book and cover will be formatted to be produced in a hardcover version, complete with full color dust jacket and durable cloth-style (patriot blue or slate gray) cover with gold foil stamped title on spine.
  •  Copyediting Service : $0.015 / per wordEven world-class writers benefit from good editing. Your manuscript will be copyedited for grammar, punctuation, and spelling to ensure quality. (Yes, we know that self-publishing and print-on-demand are misspelled on our web site. But due to the vagaries of search engines, it cannot be helped.)
  •  Interior Images : $5.00 / per imageIf you choose to add interior pictures or illustrations to your book, there is a $5.00 per image processing fee. Interior images and graphics will be printed in grayscale (black & white).
  •  Image Scanning : $7.00 / per imageProfessional image scans of your photo’s or artwork for use in your book’s interior. We can accommodate photo’s or artwork up to 8.5 X 11 inches in size.
  •  Alteration Fee: $50.00 per hour $75.00 / per hour for webIf you decide to make editorial changes (author’s alterations) or cover design changes to your submission during the production process, we may find it necessary to charge you an alteration fee to defray the additional expense. An alteration fee will also be charged for web changes if we find it necessary. We define an alteration as an authors change to text or template while your book is in production. These fees will be charged to your credit card (a credit card number must be provided in the event that you request changes with the applied fees).
One of the few criticisms I had from my previous review of Aventine a couple of years ago was their lack of advancement into ebook services. Aventine has rectified that, and while this service is not undertaken in-house, it did not surprise me to find that Aventine had partnered with eBookit to provide multi ebook format options for authors. This is a classic case of one outstanding company recognising and affiliating with another of equally strong reputation.
If you plump for Aventine Press – you won’t go far wrong. In fact, you will do far better than that. This small author solutions service is absolutely exceptional in its field, for competent self-publishers as well as those new to this chosen publishing path. My single remaining bug-bear is Aventine’s lack of in-house sales platform. That is critical at this level of self-publishing, and something Aventine Press need to address in the next stage of development and when I revisit for an updated review.

RATING: 7.5/10 (OCTOBER 2019)

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