FAQ

Why shouldn't I publish my book with Dostoyevsky Wannabe?

I suppose the answer to that is because we're not real, proper publishers and we can't help you with very much.

Can you promote my books to ensure that I get lots of sales?

We'll do our best but we're very bad at promotion. Maybe we can say something on social media or something like that and we can interview you over on our sister-site Swimmers Club and that might help contextualise your work to some degree but no, we can't promise vast sales in how we help promote your book or any sales at all necessarily.

You'd probably do better promoting it yourself than we would. We're not a PR company or anything. A lot of the time we're really lazy/haven't got enough time (delete as applicable) when it comes to publicising the books that we write ourselves.

Can you provide physical reviews copies of my books so I can send them out for review purposes?

No. We are merely print on demand so you'd have to buy your own (here's a money saving tip - send free PDF versions to reviewers or only buy a physical copy to send out to reviewers if it's an especially fancy reviewer who you are pursuing with a desperate relish to make it big in the funny papers).

Do I keep the rights to my work?

Yes you do. You produced it. It's yours. We don't have contracts or legal agreements with authors or anything like that because we do it all for the love of it and don't expect to make any money and will no doubt never make any money from doing this.

Who gets royalties on any books sold?

It depends on whether you pick Option 1 or Option 2 (see Submissions page). You have more control with Option 1 and we have less to do, so we recommend Option 1.

What's the deal with Createspace ISBNs? Do Blurb produced books have ISBNs? Why is my book listed on Amazon as being 'Published by Createspace'?

It's boring but fairly easy to understand. We use free Amazon ISBNs which are block bought by Amazon under the name Createspace so they cost the user of Createspace nothing at all but consequently have to be named officially as being published by Createspace.

This is something Amazon are stuck with and it probably makes them uncomfortable and they put clauses elsewhere in their small print saying 'We're not responsible for the content of these books! We're not the publisher of these books!' So, it's a catch-22 for them and borderline annoying for us. The physical books themselves show 'Published by Dostoyevsky Wannabe' on the covers but we assume the barcode reads the ISBN as Createspace if a retail guy scans it (not sure - we don't work in retail).

Somebody said online that you pay Amazon Publishing Services to make your books?

Yeah we saw that and we had look up what Amazon publishing services actually were. It would kind of defeat our DIY zero-budget purposes to actually pay anyone to design our books. Victoria Brown actually designs all of our book covers and we both do the interiors because we taught ourselves how to do it, just like we do everything. We do use Amazon printing services (i.e. Createspace print on demand - they're like a printing service, not many - erm any - independent presses have their own printing press and all use printing services obviously) and we've never made any secret about this. If anyone has a gigantic printing press and lots of free ink and they can teach us how to use it and give it to us for free then we'd be happy to learn.

Apologies if it's not radical enough for anyone that we use print on demand and they'd maybe rather we somehow dreamt up some money that we haven't got to do a print run and then put out books through some other gigantic corporate distibutor then we're probably not for you. We basically use Amazon printing services (not publishing services) as a giant photocopier and that's all. Oh and you can tell by our "marketing" that we pay thousands of dollars to only the savviest of PR people too (someone has to "handle our Twitter, darling!").

Where d'you stand on the ethics of using Amazon?

We stand where every radical bookshop and arts organisation and alternative and independent organisation stand when they use Twitter and/or Facebook , or when they use a smartphone or a laptop made by another similarly faceless corporate entity or by Apple or Samsung or Google. We stand where zine makers stand when they use Hewlett Packard or Canon printers or photocopiers. We sometimes also sit in cars and on buses that pollute the earth much the same as other independent and radical and alternative organisations.

Or as one of our good friends put it recently: "I hear Richard Kern used Kodak film for his movies. Was he really No Wave?"

Can you proof read my book?

Nope sorry. You'll have to do this yourself or get someone else to do it, we haven't got time. We have day jobs. Always a good idea to get some sharp-eyed pedant to proof-read it though (friendly advice: when asking them to proof-read it, don't call them a 'sharp-eyed pedant', call them 'an editor' or something that stands a chance of sounding like a compliment).

Can I publish my own book on my own label and associate it with Dostoyevsky Wannabe in a kind of split my publishing imprint/ Dostoyevsky Wannabe kinda way?

Yeah, cool. We're into everyone publishing their own stuff if they want to. We’re happy to get into working with a network of small labels, shared publicity possibilities, shared support, things like that. We're open to ideas. THINK SMALL. Or big. Whatever you want? We can't promise it'll do you any good.

Why You Should Publish Your Book with Dostoyevsky Wannabe:

Good question - why should I?

We're not sure. Maybe we might get on? Strength in numbers? (probably not). Or maybe you don't want to be sitting there bitterly waiting for a publisher to validate your existence? Getting a bit of feedback (not that we offer a lot)? A Salon des Refusés kind of deal? Or maybe we’re best suited to shy, introverted writers who like Half Japanese or Ezra Furman or Lois Maffeo? Or maybe we can be useful for bitter writers who hate everyone and want to play by nobody else's rules (we're not really useful for this).Or maybe we're useful for queercore/riot grrl writers (we kinda are). There are all kinds of reasons.

Tell us a bit more about Dostoyevsky Wannabe?

Ok. So Entropy Mag asked us the same question. We answered them here in this interview.

Book Trailers and Astronaut Wives Club Mixes? Book related mixtapes? Who makes them?

You do or sometimes we’ll offer to, we’ve been known to do that before but we often don’t have time. So maybe if you don't then no one will but that's ok because they’re not obligatory.

Who designs my book interior?

We put it together. Follow our submission guidelines to help us.

Will you design me a beautiful cover in the Dostoyevsky Wannabe style for free?

Yes. We’ll always do this, in fact we insist on designing part of it as we like to keep our identity pretty consistent. We're happy to work with you on it and want your input also though.

What about physical author copies or physical review copies?

We're afraid we can't provide these as doing the typesetting for free (typesetting ain't just transferring over a Word document and is something a publisher would usually need to pay for and we do it for free) and designing a cover (ditto, but usually more money needs to be spent on a cover) is as far as we can go to help with the effort. Obviously we provide a PDF for review purposes but if you ever want to send a physical copy to an extra special reviewer or get copies for yourself then you'll have to buy them yourselves. What we do with all Option 2 books is that we put them as near to cost price as is possible and that makes it easier for your buy physical review copies and copies for yourself and for sale at events, it operates pretty much as a retail discount might.

A quick bit of money-saving advice. If you're working with Option 1 then it's upto you as you'll be starting your own Creatspace account and you'll be uploading the book, setting the price, writing the blurb for Amazon, etc, etc so at that point it is upto you to price the book in a way that suits the physical copies that you want to buy. If you do Option 1, we wouldn't recommend you buying author copies from Createspace as the books are shipped from America and the postage costs can be high, and the time it takes to ship, long. Instead allow your book to go live on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, etc and then you can take advantage of buying copies at the cover price that you have set as well as gaining all the low-cost benefits and fast-shipping usually associated with Amazon (including the usual free-shipping if you buy a few copies and the price goes over £10. If you have your own Prime account then it's always free shipping (bar the monthly/yearly Prime cost).

How do I complete the Createspace process if I'm doing Option 1?

Just go to Createspace and sign up and complete the guided process and it's all pretty much as easy as dealing with a Facebook or a Wordpress or a Twitter account. There's some financial stuff where you fill out some American tax form thing and add your bank details so you can get any royalties paid directly to you (royalties usually miniscule unless you somehow sell lots of books (and even then!) but all can be set by yourself to your own ends). Adding your bank details isn't really anymore complicated that sending money abroad and adding IBAN numbers from your bank account and so on. All pretty easy.