FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS On this page, potential but hypothetical authors ask OCP publisher Robert Buckland some hard questions, to which he nimbly responds.
Q: If you should decide to publish my book, what would be my contribution?
A: Under the OCP's Launch program, you contribute $895 towards OCP's costs of publishing your book. Nothing else.
Q: How do I know if I'll make anything at all on the sale of my books?
A: This is the beauty of Ocean Cooperative's business model. You and you alone set not only the cover price of your book, but the discounted price required by all retailers such as Amazon. The difference between the book's production cost (see the Author's Agreement in the menu bar to calculate that cost) and the price you establish goes to you. All of it.
Q: What is your actual contribution as my publisher?
A: Under the Launch program, OCP will consult with you, then commission and pay for the design of your cover and book interior, including layout and illustrations if any. We interface with the printer, provide our authors with paper proofs and coordinate production. We register all our books with the relevant national libraries and assign an OCP ISBN number. We provide on-line distribution channels through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Amazon, etc. Our books always appear on distributors' and retailers' screens as in print. Upon publication, we announce the book through established wire services and promote you and the new book through our publishing website (not the OCP site, which is for authors). We handle sales of books that are made through our distribution channels and assure that all royalties on those sales are forwarded directly to the author. Our books are proudly published under OCP's imprints.
Q: How does cooperative publishing compare with what a traditional publisher might do for me, if I could get one to accept my book?
A: Traditional publishers come in all shapes and sizes. OCP provides the same package of services as are provided by many traditional publishers, and exceeds the on-line distribution and sales provided by many. There are several important differences, however.
Most traditionals reserve the right to make editorial changes to your manuscript. Editorial consulting is available through OCP but is not included or required if your manuscript is accepted for the Launch program.
Larger traditional publishers often pay writers an advance on royalties. OCP pays royalties (determined by you) only as your books are sold.
Traditional publishers provide distribution through bookstores. This is extremely limited in the case of many small publishers but the major publishers have powerful leverage for bookstore distribution. OCP can obtain bookstore distribution at additional cost to us and to our authors but does not include such distribution as part of the Launch program.
Traditional publishers customarily offer authors' contracts that may compromise authors' rights in respect to copyright, foreign editions, film and other media. As a matter of principle, OCP maintains a strictly "hands off" policy towards authors' rights unless a specific deal is requested by the author and struck between us.
Q: Are you saying it's better to be published by OCP than, say, Random House?
A: Not at all. As an unpublished or little-published author, if your manuscript is accepted by Random House, Putnam, Penguin, or any of the scores of big or mid-sized publishers, you'd be a fool not to sign on with them, however meager your side of the deal. Although large traditional publishers now consider only a vanishingly small percentage of the manuscripts submitted to them, their books are more likely to be reviewed by established media than small publishers. So try, by all means, but be aware that the industry is changing and companies like OCP are the wave of the future, continuously advancing what they can do for their authors. The new rules are still being written.
Q: So is this vanity publishing?
A: If you mean you're vain enough to think your work is worth reading, the answer is yes. But if you're asking if OCP is a vanity "press" - a printer who publishes anything for money - the answer is no. OCP is a publisher. We accept only work we regard as publishable or editable to a publishable standard and as such we contribute our time, skill and much effort to the launch of the books we accept.
Q: I see a lot about self-publishing. Is this self-publishing?
A: It is not. OCP publishes under its own imprints the best books we can afford and does so on behalf of itself and its authors.
Q: I may need help with promotion, book-store distribution or the launching of a public speaking campaign. Where will I turn for this?
A: Beyond OCP's basic Launch program, all these services can be sourced through OCP and are provided at cost.
Q: Are there any other advantages to being accepted by OCP?
A: We love questions like this. In recent years, titles published by small companies such as OCP have proved effective tools for drawing the attention of larger publishers. And unlike many publishing contracts, your OCP Author's Agreement does not restrict you or your agent from reaching a publishing agreement with a larger company.
Q: Where exactly are you located?
A: Here's a picture, since pictures are reputed to outdo a thousand words.
We're towards the right side just below the big cloud in the right middle. See how the road turns and is briefly obscured by trees? We're there, also hidden by the trees. No no, just there by the little pond and where the ... er, never mind. Get back to your writing. That's what counts. - R.B.
If you've arrived at this page from outside the Ocean Cooperative web site, click here to go to my home page and learn more about what I may be able to offer.
Robert Buckland at Our office telephone number is (613) 659-3666
You can e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can write us at: 640 Sand Bay Road, Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada K0E 1L0