Somewhat Grumpy Press was founded in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2020, by author, artist, and volunteer DA Brown. Brown moved to Kingston, Ontario, but Somewhat Grumpy Press stayed on the east coast, and is now operated by technical and freelance writer Tim Covell.
Somewhat Grumpy Press offers à la carte services for fiction and non-fiction authors, including manuscript review, editing, formatting, web site design, and hybrid publishing. We are a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, and offer publishing services consistent with IBPA Guidelines.
Authors are welcome to use our services from first draft to published book, or only use the services they require. We will publish only books which have been edited, and which are consistent with our publishing goal — to become a reputable publisher of entertaining and enlightening fiction and non-fiction.
Pricing and terms depend on the services and work required, but in general the pricing covers our costs and our time to work on the book. Authors always retain copyright, but grant us a non-exclusive right to distribute the book for a limited amount of time. All costs are made clear before you begin, and you approve every step of the publishing process. There is no requirement for you to purchase any of your own books, and you receive all or most of the proceeds (royalties) from books sold by us. Contact us for more information about pricing.
Read on for more information about our services, and tips on preparing your book. For even more tips on publishing, read our blog series on independent publishing.
Editing includes all or any of manuscript evaluation, line editing, and copy editing. This is the most expensive part of the process. You do not have to use our editing services, but we do require that a book be edited.
You can reduce costs by requesting friends or beta readers review the manuscript for plot holes or inconsistencies, and by using automated editing software such as the Microsoft Word Editor to catch spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors.
If using MS Word, be sure to set the language of your document appropriately – for example, Canadian English or American English. The language appears in the bottom bar. To change the language, select the entire document (or the portion to change), then click on the language currently used, and select the new one from the options.
A well-structured document is easier to edit and format. You should use styles in your document. For example, the title should be Heading 1, all chapter titles should be Heading 2, and so on. MS Word and Google Docs both have styles available.
Whether you are creating an eBook or a printed book, the document file needs to be converted into file format suitable eBook distribution or printing. There are many tools available for creating eBook files, free and paid, but a smaller number for print files. Vellum is good paid software for creating eBook and print files, but available only for Apple computers. Reedsy offers a free online converter for both types of book. eBook files, once prepared, can be edited with Calibre. Freelance book designers can do the conversion, and of course we can. It is relatively inexpensive.
If we do the formatting, changes and updates are available at little or no cost. For example, if, after publication, you notice an incorrect character name in one location, we can correct that immediately and at no charge.
If we do the formatting for a book which will be both an eBook and a printed book, both books will have exactly the same content, and the same front cover. This is often fine, but if you prefer to have additional content only in the eBook, there are additional costs to prepare and change the files.
After the book is formatted, proofs of the eBook and printed version must be reviewed and approved. For printed books, it’s wise to also review a hard copy, to ensure cover colours and any interior photos print correctly. When setting sale dates and arranging presale promotions, it is important to allow enough time for reviewing proofs, shipping hard copies, making any necessary changes, and shipping again if necessary.
eBook covers are relatively simple. You need a good quality image in a 1:1.6 pixel ratio. For example, 1000 pixels wide by 1600 pixels high. A higher resolution, such as 2000 pixels wide by 3200 high ensures a clear image on high resolution displays and allows for zooming in.
Print covers are more complex. They need to match the physical size of the book, and they cannot be completed until the book is formatted, since the page count determines the spine width. In addition, the back cover and spine text and imagery must be created, and there are strict requirements for image quality and colour encoding.
If we create the print cover, the eBook cover is the same as the front of the print cover. Covers often display as thumbnail images, so it is important that any text on the cover be large enough to be visible when the cover is a small image. The cover should also be legible in black and white, for display on some eBook readers.
It is essential that you have the rights to use any images and fonts on the cover. If you are obtaining images from a service that provides free images, review the terms and conditions carefully. There may be additional restrictions on any images that include identifiable individuals. Retailers may refuse to carry a book if the cover is too similar to another book.
We can prepare basic covers from your ideas – we did the covers for the books currently in our catalog. We can also work with your cover designer, if you prefer to have someone else prepare the cover.
ISBN and Imprint
Somewhat Grumpy Press Inc. is the publisher of your book, and we will supply the ISBNs required for all versions. If you later distribute the book with a different publisher, you will need to obtain a new ISBN. We also supply copies of your book to the Legal Deposit Program.
Copyright is automatic in Canada. We do not register the copyright, as it remains with author. Authors may wish to register for the Public Lending Rights Program, which issues payments to creators based on the presence of their works in libraries, and the Access Copyright Program, which issues payments to creators based on the estimated copying of their work (for example, by educational institutions).
Printing and Distribution
We use IngramSpark for printing and distribution. This makes your book available in all popular eBook formats, and available for order from most bookstores. IngramSpark can also be used for print copies only, if you prefer to distribute your own eBooks. We do not arrange for the books to be carried in stock at chain bookstores, as this can be costly, however we work with some independent bookstores and local branches of Chapters/Coles/Indigo to place your books on consignment. We also sell books through our website, and can supply books for you to sell.
We are not yet preparing audiobooks, but we do not purchase those rights. This means you are welcome to make your own arrangements for an audiobook version. We are working on making audiobooks available, however recording an audiobook is expensive. You can record your own audiobook, however good quality recording equipment and audio editing software is required.
We will work with you to market your book, including arranging for reviews. We make some review copies available, but reviews are not guaranteed, and we do not pay for reviews. It is easier to obtain reviews before the book is released for sale, so you may wish to allow several months between the printing date and the release date to allow for distributing Advance Reader Copies.
As a small publisher, we have limited resources for paid advertising, but are experimenting with various ways to promote both our company and our books. Meanwhile, we rely on our website and social media accounts to promote your book (and your social media accounts, if applicable).
We have recently started using Publisher Rocket to gather information using keywords with Amazon. Customers of any of our services can purchase Publisher Rocket for themselves at a substantial discount.
Web Site Design
Many authors maintain a personal website with their own domain name. We can assist you in obtaining a domain name, setting up a site, or updating your existing site.
Please contact us if you are interesting in publishing with Somewhat Grumpy Press, or would like more information about any of our services.