FAQ

This page is primarily for Matrika Press Authors reference.

For general information about Matrika Press, please visit our ABOUT PAGE.

Below please find answers to some frequently asked questions. Should you wish to add questions, please email to: Editor@MatrikaPress.com and we will notify you when this page is updated.

Why does Amazon say my book is out of stock when it is not?

This is one of the most frustrating things for any author to encounter. It is another reason why we strongly encourage our authors to be proactive in selling and, when possible, distributing their own books.  It is corporate bullying maneuver and monopolistic practice by Amazon (and sometimes other distributors) against the ever-growing print-on-demand industry. Amazon wants publishers and authors to use Amazon’s printing service (ie:CreateSpace), so – quite simply – they lie to the consumer and say the book is not available, or place lengthy wait times on delivery. If you notice this happens, take these three steps:

1. Direct the consumer to Barnes and Noble (Indigo in Canada; Waterstones in the UK, etc) link for your book.

2. Notify Matrika Press at editor@MatrikaPress.com and we will let our printer know of the retailer’s violation and they will lodge a complaint on their end.

3. Contact Amazon and demand that the status of your book be changed. Your book is always available as it is indeed print-on-demand.

The only time we have encountered delays in delivery are over busy holiday seasons.For all authors, that means November 1 – December 31. For authors whose books are seasonally focused or in high demand for one reason or another, may have the need for advance ordering. For example: a book on “Love” or “Relationships” may experience delays due to demand during Valentine’s season.

Here are some articles that have been written over the years about this concern.

https://writersweekly.com/ask-the-expert/unavailable-on-amazon

https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/amazon-out-of-stock-issues-and-the-pros-and-cons-of-publishing-with-createspace-ingramspark-and-lightning-source/

 

Is it true that I make more money if I sell the books myself?How are my royalties calculated?

Yes. Authors can see on their invoices for bulk purchases the details about the costs of printing + Matrika Press’s commission. Other than shipping, there are no additional costs. So when the author personally sells their books at suggested retail price, they earn a larger “royalty” as there is no distributor or retailer involved in the sale.

When your books are sold via a retailer (ie: online or brick and mortar book store), they also take a share of the book sales, typically between 30-40%. Which drastically reduces the royalty authors receive and is why we encourage our authors to promote and sell their own books at speaking engagements, book fairs, book signings, etc.  Alternately, some local stores will ask for only 20-25% of retail so we encourage our authors to seek relationships with book sellers and gift shops, etc. in their communities.

 

When I look up my book online, the prices some retailers offer is less than the suggested retail price. Why and does this affect my royalties?

Large distributors and retailers may choose to sell your book at lower rates. Many larger retailers, like Amazon, will even do price experimentation that potentially sets the price of your book so low that they loose money on the sale. They may try it for a while and then switch it back to the regular suggested retail price. This does not affect your royalty. The loss is incurred on their end.

 

Can I find out how many of my books are sold on Amazon vs Barnes and Noble or other online retailers?

No.  Our printer does not provide us with such individualized information at this time. Some authors have found it interesting to track through Author pages (such as on Amazon), which can potentially provide them with closer to real-time stats (typically monthly) on their book sales, yet these numbers are not always accurate and as with all print sales are dependent on information collected by Nielsen BookScan (the part of The Nielsen Company that measures print book sales). For a fee, Nielsen will provide more detailed reports to authors. It is up to authors to contact Nielsen directly should they wish to hire their service: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/contact-us.html  Note: Nielsen does not track e-book sales at the time this FAQ page was created.

 

How do I know how many of my books have sold?

Matrika Press’s printer gathers the data from all individual online purchases via its distributors, including any bulk orders from independent retailers (ie: book stores, etc).  They then forward Matrika Press fiscal information about the total amount of books sold, and remit the income from such sales. We share this information with our authors when we send their royalty checks.

 

When do I receive my royalty checks?

Matrika Press remits author royalties according to the arrangements set out in each author’s contract, and subsequent addenda (if applicable).

Some of our contracts state that Matrika Press will pay out royalties to our authors based on when milestone markers of sales are reached such as $500 increments in royalties. Typically we distribute royalties via checks  on a quarterly or annual basis – depending on the anticipated number of sales. 

 

Can I have my check direct deposited?

Matrika Press does not offer direct deposit at this time.

 

Why does my e-book look different on various devices?

From our research it seems that as a result of manufacturer’s inconsistency in updating technology or fixing past compatibility errors for various devices, and the ever-increasing number of new platforms offered by manufactures, consumers have varying results in quality when they download digital copies of books (e-books).  As such, while Matrika Press designers preview and test the titles we publish, we have no way of guaranteeing how they will look on any given consumer’s device. This can be mitigated somewhat for authors who choose to have an enhanced e-book version of their manuscript. But the price index involved in such tends to have our authors selecting the simple format offered in our basic publishing package.

 

Why does Matrika Press not charge additional fees to design and upload e-books as part of its basic publishing packages?

As a boutique publisher, we have found that most of our authors prefer to publish and promote print versions of their manuscripts. With that in mind, we are able to keep our publishing prices accessible to virtually all aspiring authors by publishing our e-books in simple formats.  

 

When publishing e-books, does Matrika Press set it as a fixed layout or as reflowable?

We publish in reflowable format to ensure the widest possible usage of the e-book. While fixed layouts look best on larger devices such as PCs and look ok on larger tablets, they are all but impossible to read on any smaller readers and phones.   

Reflowable e-books are more user-friendly in virtually every way as on the page the reader can resize the fonts (bigger or smaller) and the book will reorganize itself. You can also read the book as landscape or portrait and the text will fill the page as the reader has determined. A fixed layout can look far more beautiful on our desktops as it looks almost exactly like the print version. Yet readers are unable to change the font size or orientation of the page, or any images on the page.

The only times Matrka Press suggests using a fixed layout for an e-book is if there is a desire on the authors, curators, or editors part to have the e-book be viewed in a very specific way. For instance, a captioned children’s picture book or any book with alot of artwork and images may wish to consider fixed layout e-book options. Because the price index for such an e-book is as much as, and sometimes more than, the price of publishing the print version of their book, most authors are content with the reflowable versions even though they are not as artistic or pleasing to the eye.

 

Why is a fixed e-book layout more expensive?

Because it is a separate design project from the print version.

 

What if I want to have an artistic design for my e-book?

We are happy to provide our authors with à la carte services for those who are seeking an enhanced version (more intensive layout/design/presentation) of their e-books.

 

Does Matrika Press assist with book promotion and publicity.

Yes. Most of our contracts state that we will do light publicity, press releases, and we will assist with the book launch when desired by the author. We also cross promote authors’ books in other Matrika Press publications.

Note:

We have found great success in having articles published in local papers promoting our author’s book launch parties! Also, thanks to our partnerships with community television stations across the USA, we have opportunity for our authors to be interviewed on local television.  Please provide us with the contact information for any local bookstores, libraries, gift shops as well as any specific churches, retreat centers, universities, etc you want us to extend outreach to. Include the following details for each:

Bookstore name

Contact person

Website

Email address

Phone #

Mailing Address

Additionally, should there be any summits, seminars or workshops (or other existing events) you know of that you envision yourself speaking at, please forward us the contact info and date of the specific event and we will do outreach on your behalf.  As a reminder, we are not booking agents. We offer this form of light outreach. We will include in our outreach your contact information so that should they wish to book you, they can follow up with you directly. And, should they wish to simply order bulk copies of your books, they can do so through their distributors.

When you host a book launch (or speak at any events and book signings), be sure to take lots of photos and email them to editor@MatrikaPress.com (2-3 photos). We are happy to submit an article to your local papers (print and online) as well as magazines and local community television and radio shows. Again, provide us with the above contact information of the media you wish us to publicize to so we can do the outreach with ease.

 

Can Matrika Press get me on Oprah?  Can you guarantee speaking engagements for me?

Matrika Press cannot and does not guarantee bookings for you. While we are happy, as part of our outreach, to extend invitations to select individuals, event venues and booksellers to review your work, we cannot guarantee they will.  Your contract states how many courtesy invitations we will send on your behalf. Typically we suggest our authors to provide us with a list (including contact information) for local papers, media outlets, libraries, book stores and any alumni associations and other organizations they may be members of who are ideal candidates for sending invitations to.  Often our authors are associated with a liberal church or service club which have proven incredibly receptive to hosting book signings and speaking engagements for our authors. 

Further clarification: Matrika Press is a book publisher, not a booking agent, nor a publicist. 

 

How can I most effectively promote my book? 

We encourage all our authors to compile lists of target audiences for their books and extend outreach to them. Certainly sharing sales and promotion links on your social media networks is important. Extending personal invitations to family, friends and colleagues to support your work is of immense value to all authors. Beyond that, depending on the genre of your book, there are countless avenues of outreach easily at your fingertips via Book groups, Meetup groups, Facebook, Linked In, and religious associations.  Take some time to determine who your target audience is and research how best to reach them. 

The reality is that authors of independently published books definitely bear the weight of self-promotion.  Certainly this can be off-set if/when they hire booking agents and publicists.  The fee for these services can be quite high. And are usually in addition to the base cost of publishing.

 

What are some effective strategies for using social media and online networks to promote my book?

  • Create an Author’s Page on Amazon’s Author Central  
  • Create a Page for your book on Facebook and have your friends rate it with (4 or 5) stars
  • Create a Yelp Page for yourself and have your friends provide a testimonial and rate you with (4 or 5) stars (Yelp allows people to create accounts or log in with their Facebook account).
  • Have Your family, friends and colleagues take Selfies holding your book and post them on Facebook, Twitter, etc with a testimonial about you, your book, your work, etc. + tagging you and your book page in the post.  Be sure to coach your friends to use words and phrases like: “Congratulations” “Wonderful” “Best” “You’ve got this!”  “Best wishes”  “xoxo” “Big News” “New Book”  “Just Published” “Amazing Author” THIS is KEY! PLUS include a hashtag with your book and Matrika Press:  #YourBookName #MatrikaPress.   Why is this important? Because every time you have a friend share a Selfie on their timeline not only does it expose your book to their network, it inserts your book into the FB algorithm. The key words can give higher rating in the FB algorithm, thus having the post appear in front of people they otherwise would not. The #hashtag collates all the posts and can build more online presence in your branding.
  • Have your circle of family and friends be on-the-ready to “Like” and COMMENT Congratulations each time one of your other friends posts a Selfie (or posts any promotion about your book).
  • Save each of the Selfie pictures and repost on your Book’s Facebook page in a Photo Album titled: “Testimonials.”  Then, every other week, “share” one of the Selfies on your Timeline, tagging the person pictured and a “Thank you” message to them. Gratitude is key.
  • Create a media-engagement platform with “excerpts” from your book. This can be done as pictured in the example below with a beautiful photo and the quote from your book. Or can be a series of videos with either photo or art imagery, or with you speaking to the camera directly. (best posted on Youtube or Vimeo, but FB is ok too though it limits potential viewers)

How does Matrika Press prices and services compare with other independent and boutique publishers? 

This is not data we keep updated. Each author should do their own due diligence when selecting a publisher that best suits their needs, desires and budget for publishing and promoting their work.

While we do not endorse these publishers, the list below will give you a glimpse at some of the services and values:

https://www.balboapress.com/Packages/CorePackages/Compare.aspx

http://www.influencepublishing.com/faqs/

https://www.theauthorincubator.com/

You can see from these, other subsidy and independent publishers tend to provide authors with lower royalties than Matrika Press does. Balboa Press, like many independent and subsidy publishers, offer entry-level publishing thru to almost full-service marketing.  But even at Balboa’s highest rate of $15,000 does not offer individualized booking services.  This level of the publishing world has no guarantees for book sales. But you can hire those who are specialists in PR and booking to help increase your chances of exposure and, thus, book sales. 

 

How much does it cost to contract with a PR Firm?

PR firms range between $2,000-$3,500 per month – with 4-12 month minimums. 

NOTE: Matrika Press does not endorse any of the companies or services below. Some of our clients have used some of them and have been happy with them to varying degrees. We list them them for your own reference should you wish to research yourself and potentially hire a PR specialist.  It is up to each author to do their own due diligence on selecting PR reps. (last updated: December 2014)

http://www.brushwoodmediagroup.com

http://win-pr.com

http://buildbuzzlaunch.com/press-room/

Other options with varying services and rates:

http://debbidachinger.com/products-services/

http://leavcom.com

http://www.consumerproductevents.com/

And, this one:

http://consciousmediarelations.com/services/

One of our clients paid them in the vicinity of $4,000 in 2014 as a booking agent for television and radio – with no guarantee of placement.  I believe the result was 2 or 3 online radio interviews and a new press release created. In my opinion not a great ROI. But again, this industry rarely has guarantees. Other authors found better success with them.

 

Can Matrika Press set up and manage my Author Central page?

Yes, we offer this service for a fee. However it is something many authors choose to do themselves:

 https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?ie=UTF8&topicID=200620850