The Derwent Press
is a small author solution service based in Derbyshire, England. They began in 2005 and have produced quite a small output of books (32 listed on Amazon.co.uk). Their last produced book is listed as a new release from June 2008. Books are actually well represented on their website from the main page to pages devoted to the authors as well. All their ‘buy’ links are directed to Amazon pages, which suggests they do not sell books directly for their authors.
“The Derwent Press has published over 40 books for clients in UK. We are interested in fiction, non-fiction, poetry… in fact any work which reflects a passion for writing, and the author’s desire to see their work offered to the public. We offer a partnership publishing service, whereby for a small fee we will transform your manuscript into a professionally produced book, which can then be ordered worldwide on Amazon or at your local bookshop.”
While browsing through what Derwent have to offer, you can help but get a certain localised feel about the list of authors who have used their publishing services. This may very well be the appeal Derwent have for their authors.
“We work in conjunction with major book distributors (Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Whitakers/Bookdata, Gardners etc.) which means that your book can be ordered at almost all real-world bookshops (sadly, we cannot guarantee that any particular bookshop will stock your book, but they can order the book via our distributors).”
An honest self-appraisal of what Derwent Press can offer authors with no hard sell or marketing spin. Derwent deal with each book submission individually and provide author with a non-exclusive contract and a four to six-week turnaround.
Royalties are set at 40% of the retail price less the wholesaler’s discount (normally 40% to 55%), though, they do not mention if the print costs are also subtracted. Unusually, Derwent Press offer a full refund if authors are not happy with the quality of the book. They refer to their service as partnership publishing and it is priced at £595. This fee includes ISBN allocation, database and distribution listing, colour custom designed cover, and internal layout based on a submitted word file. Editing is available, but at an additional fee on request. Authors should also enquire about the cost of books they might want to order from the publisher as this fee does not include a print run or author copies.
Book retail prices are reasonable for their paperbacks and range from £7 to £9.
“There are no additional charges or hidden fees whatsoever!”
There are no marketing and promotional services with this deal and much of this work, as with any self-publishing project, falls squarely with the author.
Derwent Press presents what they do extremely well and concisely. The product of their services—the author’s books—are given large prominence on their website. Authors interested in Derwent Press would be advised to firstly follow their own offered advice.
“If you have any questions, or would like further details, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will e-mail you our full contact details, including address and telephone number, so you can discuss any additional points or requirements you may have.”
The Derwent Press is a small operation—almost a cottage business—at times this can work in an author’s favour. If I have one reservation—and it is an important one to take note of—it would be their low output over four years since their establishment, and in particular, the fact that the last book they have produced and advertised dates back to June 2008.