Choice Publishing – Reviewed (Updated Dec, 2010)

Choice Publishing is one of the few Irish author solution services and was founded in 2005. The company is located in Drogeheda, Co. Louth.

“Set up in 2005 by Deirdre Devine and Michelle Bradley, who, having worked in the Publishing industry and witnessed the frustrations of local authors, decided to take the publishing sector in Ireland to a new level.”

Choice Publishing utilise print on demand digital technology to publish their books and they make it clear from the offset that sales and distribution are focussed through on line availability and sales. They have their own on line bookstore and take orders directly through their offices. I have been aware of Choice Publishing for the past two years and have seen them steadily grow to a point where they can boast a larger catalogue than similarly sized UK companies. They do not advertise books on their main welcome page, but give plenty of space to new releases and forthcoming titles on their bookstore pages. Curiously, though, their main page features ad-banners for other author solution service companies!

“We are open to new suggestions from our authors and hope that every new author to join us will bring with them their knowledge, experiences and pitfalls, which in turn will help us build a reputable and successful Company.”

That is a pretty open and honest comment from their website, but, again, curiously, they have already told us that their founders come from the publishing industry. Ok, we can all learn no matter what stage our careers are at.

“all aspects of publishing and printing is carried out in Ireland.”

An entirely indigenous Irish operation, which tells us that they do not use the preferred POD print option of Lightning Source UK. This will mean that there may be incurred shipment costs to fulfil book sales in the UK and further afield overseas, and suggest that many authors using their services are actually based in Ireland.

“Choice Publishing offer a choice of publishing packages: 

Choose the Publishing Package which best suits your needs, click on below links to view details of each:

Gold Package, Silver Package, Basic Package, Full Colour Picture Book”
Choice Publishing packages range from 990 euro to 1750 euro. The basic package provides for a standard (basic) book layout, limited to just 200 pages, but with no distribution or promotion. An author can submit a completed cover file or Choice will produce a text only cover. This package comes with 40 free copies, however, authors should be aware that further author copies are restricted to a minimum 50-unit order. There is a restriction on trim sizes too, 5.5 x 8.5 or 6 x 9. ISBN allocation and legal deposit are also included, but it is hard to see many authors who choose this package really wanting these, unless they are considering upgrading later to a higher level package.
The Silver package is suitable for those authors who have the ability to submit completed PDF files. The package includes ISBN, distribution, legal deposit, search engine submission, one proof copy, 150 invitations cards, 100 business cards, 10 posters, a webpage on the publisher’s site, three Irish book review submissions, 40 free author copies and royalty payments.
Their Gold package for 1750 euro adds on a full colour cover and internal book design and layout with up to ten inserted photographs or illustrations included. The submission file should be in a word document format.
Choice Publishing also offer a full colour book package suitable for illustrated books such as a children’s book, but there are limitations to this package. The cost for this package is 1395 euro and includes the all the previous options.

“Note: All Picture Books are saddle stitched and are based on a maximum of 28 pages. (Extra pages can be added but at an additional charge)”

Authors should be aware that this form of binding is not the familiar perfect binding used on standard paperbacks, and combined with the maximum page count of 28, makes this offer seem pretty excessive.
Choice Publishing also offer additional services, including typesetting, book cover design and they provide a list of recommended editors and proofreaders.
Royalties are set at 60% but only after the cost of print and retailer discounts have been taken off.

You set the retail price of your book, which in turn determines the royalty amount paid. Your royalty amount is calculated at 60% of the gross margin. (This means that you earn 60% of the online retail price of your book less all related costs, including the single-copy print cost, appropriate trade discounts [15%-50%] and 1euro handling fee).

I cannot help feeling that any perspective authors looking at Choice will be continually put off by the restrictions placed on most of their packages, from page amounts allowed through to the binding on their Colour package. Even the basic package has a limitation of a minimum 50-unit book order for the author. The harder you look at what is on offer, the less choice an author will find.
Overall the costs are not competitive for an author looking at Choice Publishing and with so many limitations, this company might be far wiser looking at some form of author bespoke service. This is disappointing as there are simply are not enough Irish companies offering a wide range of services to authors. Choice Publishing does have a lot going for them, but a serious revision of their packages is needed.
RATING: 05/10

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