“Centred around ‘books with something to say’ our intention is to build a solid, high-quality library of unique and interesting titles that will appeal to thinkers, educators, and discriminating readers worldwide.
Accordingly, all manuscripts are pre-screened for editorial quality, content and theme, and finished books must pass strict quality controls before going to print.
A Checkpoint Press book is a book to be proud of.”
“CheckPoint Press aims to utilise the best of traditional publishing standards with the advantages of modern technology. Accordingly, we offer two forms of quality services: (i) No-fees traditional contracts for deserving authors (see pages 21-23), and (ii) low-cost self-publishing services for quality manuscripts.”
As an ethical business we see no justification in taking additional royalties from self-publishing clients who have already paid us for a book-production service. However, we do levy a 20% administration charge over pure printing costs for each book sold. To ensure absolute transparency, actual printing costs invoiced to us are made available to our authors, and comprehensive book-sales statements can be forwarded to you annually upon request. Coupled with our quality service, we believe this to be quite probably the best author-publisher compensation deal to be found anywhere.”
“Our new ‘traditional’ publishing agreement is an attractive option for certain authors. If accepted, CheckPoint Press will cover all costs associated with the setting up of your title. In return, instead of retaining all rights and royalties as per the Basic, Standard, or Custom self-publishing packages; the author releases the production and distribution rights, and a percentage of the royalties to CheckPoint Press – for the term of the agreement.”
“What Are The Advantages..?
No payment required from the authorPrestige of being published on ‘merit’
Manuscripts get professionally edited and proofread
Avoids ‘self-published’ or ‘vanity published’ stigma
50% net royalties paid on all retail sales
Low, low author’s rate (only 10% over publisher’s cost) for author-direct purchases
Optional buy-out clause if author wishes to terminate contract early
No penalty if publisher terminates contract early
Original materials returned to the author at contract’s end”
“Author shares royalties on sales at 50%-50% with publisher (or as otherwise agreed). Author surrenders selected rights for term of contract. Author may also need to be active in own book promotion.”
Checkpoint Press is contractually committing to paying for set-up fees and book design, but with an expectation from the publisher that the submitted manuscript will already be edited to a professional standard. The really significant costs in publishing a book are expended on marketing and promotion, supplying adequate stocks of review books and media profile, creating advertising space and promotional materials at physical bookstore level. Much of this expense and responsibility will still have to be borne by the author. I would suggest Checkpoint Press seriously consider a different term for this ‘no fee’ service. It is closest to the Partnership Publishing model, and while manuscripts qualifying from their strict appraisal program means the author is not placing their hand in their own pocket for acceptance, expense will still be incurred by the author to firstly produce and submit a well-edited manuscript and any subsequent investment in time and energy to promote the published book.
“Our main concern is that any author who publishes through CheckPoint Press will be genuinely proud of the finished article, and that anyone buying a CheckPoint Press book will not be disappointed. Therefore the standard has to be high. This way, we stand a better chance of developing and maintaining trade awareness of CheckPoint Press books as being some way above the bar – of genuinely having ‘something to say’ – and the author in turn can be confident that their work is in good hands.
As to commercial promise; we also have to assess the sales potential of any given title before deciding between offering a self-publishing service, or a traditional contract. For obviously, we cannot as a rule invest time, money and resources into titles that may not be able to cover their costs in actual sales. Sometimes we will publish a book purely on principle – simply because we feel it deserves to be in print. But we must also remain practical, so as to ensure our continued high standards and the survival of the business.
To this end we must emphasise the importance of submitting work that is already edited, because any work that is liberally peppered with basic punctuation or grammatical errors will not meet our standards, and will therefore not qualify for our services.”
It can be very difficult to apply this model of publishing when the publisher is primarily printing books through POD (print-on-demand). Most successful models of Partnership Publishing choose offset print runs and for very good reasons. Their are digital printers like MPG Biddles in the UK who are starting to offer economical short-print runs of as low as 100 copies. This allows a publisher or author a small inventory of stock to place into the physical marketplace for the purposes of promotion and review or actual bookstore shelf placement. Checkpoint Press do point out that if a book achieves a strong sales record they will switch to a standard offset print-run.
As an interesting aside here regarding offset print runs versus POD (print on demand) for book printing; there was a time, not long ago, when the commercial ‘tipping’ point for an average 200 page paperback was about 1000 print on demand units. Now it is closer to 500 units – meaning if an author/publisher project and decide on a 500 unit POD day one order after digital set-up, it can often come in at a similar cost for an offset short print run.
“You only need to produce a few non-retail copies of your work (an academic thesis or dissertation, research projects etc..)
You only intend to produce a handful of copies of your book to give to friends and family (personal memoirs, poetry, a family history etc.)
You already have a definite market you can sell to without using our distribution service (teachers-to-students, lecturers-to-attendees etc)
You have no interest in putting your work into the international marketplace (e.g. an internal instruction manual for your employees etc..)
You are considering upgrading to the Standard or Custom packages at a later date “
“Seven Free Copies
This is our ‘thank you’ for using our Standard service. Seven copies are usually enough for most authors to send out as review copies, as a legal deposit for national libraries (see below), or to share with family and friends. If you then wish to purchase more copies for yourself—either for resale or as gifts—you can do so directly from CheckPoint Press at the very low author’s rate, which is a fraction over printing costs.
Legal Deposit: Certain countries (including The UK and USA) require publishers to lodge copies of all produced works with National Libraries or other registered authorities (usually between 1 and 5 copies). Depending on legal requirements, these copies will be deducted from the seven free author copies (above), and sent directly by CheckPoint Press. Residual free copies will be sent to the author at the time of first printing.”
Perhaps the best publishing service Checkpoint Press offer is the very one they don’t highlight and market enough! Many authors are becoming a lot more savvy and skilled with the tasks involved in book design and can competently put together their own electronic book files for set-up, (PDF’s). Checkpoint Press charge authors £99 if they can provide completed print ready files.There is a strong argument that such authors should just go directly to Lightning Source and set up their title there, but some may be unwilling to embrace and commit to setting up an imprint and signing off on commercial contracts with LSI.
“1. Editing @ €100 Euro per 1,000 words (substantive and line editing combined). Checking the overall ‘flow’ and structure of your manuscript, including syntax, grammar and general composition; and making corrections.
2. Proofreading @ €5 Euro per page
This is an intensive search of the final book text that uncovers any punctuation, spelling, or formatting errors.”
“Free advice on book promotion strategies
Promotional flyers for reviewers and resellers
Your book details forwarded to all the major booksellers
Automatic placement on dozens of international booksellers’ websites
Placement in our international direct-distribution system
Standard trade discounts offered to bulk buyers
Placement on the CheckPoint Press website
Referrals to professional book promotion agencies at discounted rates
Your book lodged with national libraries”
“1. Have I read the FREE Author’s Guide?
2. Is my manuscript well researched and well written?
3. Has my manuscript been properly edited?
4. Are my expectations realistic?
5. Am I prepared to collaborate in marketing efforts?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to the above, then please send in your manuscript for appraisal – by email attachment.
You will receive an automated receipt email, and within 5 working days an advice on when to expect a full appraisal decision.
In the event your work does not meet our quality standards upon first submission – please don’t be discouraged, as your personalised appraisal will contain notes and advice on how you can improve the quality of the manuscript before resubmission.”
As of April 2010, Checkpoint Press are also pursuing negotiations to fully develop physical distribution for books selling well and for books by authors under their Traditional Contract program. This has the potential to place Checkpoint Press ahead of the competition and establish them first and foremost as a publisher of quality non-fiction.
UPDATE: OCT 2011
Checkpoint Press continue to develop a broad range of quality books, particularly their academic and business range, with several titles coming in from mainstream houses in Asia. Secondary and territory rights success has been a real boon for this partnership publisher.