Aster High Publishing

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Aster High is a Publisher of Christian Books


Have you written a book? Did you try to get it published? Did you find out that it is almost impossible to get a regular publisher to accept your manuscript? Did you discover that they will not accept it unless you are a "name," a well-recognized person or VIP who has several thousand followers on a social media, like Twitter (now "X"). The fact is, they cannot afford to publish your book unless they think they can make money on it, and they cannot make money on it unless you are a well known figure, regardless of how important your book may be. So, now what do you do? Is all that time spent working on your book now wasted?

Publishing Options

If a publisher won't accept your manuscript, what options do you have? There are at least three. One is to publish the book yourself, as by using a desktop publishing system. One of the most popular systems is Amazon's DTP network (the DeskTop Publishing or Kindle program). By using the Kindle method, you can create an eBook (or digital) version of your book, although you will have to learn how to use the system. When you get a sale, you get 35% of the sales prince and Amazon gets 65%. Once you have created your eBook, if you choose, you can then create a paperback version, although this requires more time since the whole book has to be reformatted. This can be done by using the Amazon Kindle add-on to the MS Word program. Amazon's Kindle system uses the print-on-demand method of printing. This means that, when someone orders a paperback copy of your book, one single copy is printed at that time and shipped to the customer. The cost of printing, which may be around $8.00, lets say, is then taken out of the sales price of the book. So, if your paperback sells for $13.00, the $8.00 is then subtracted from that, with $5.00 remaining. Of this, Amazon gets around 65%, and you get 35%, or $1.75. At least this way, it is no longer necessary for you to have hundreds of copies printed all at once and stored by you in your garage or elsewhere. Of course, if the book is published by you, this will be indicated in some manner in the book's display page on Amazon in other words, your book will not be associated with a publisher's name.

Besides engaging the Amazon Kindle system, you will also need to apply for, and purchase, a copyright from the United States Copyright Office, which costs around $69.00. And you may also want to purchase an ISBN number for your paperback, although this is optional for eBooks since Amazon has its own internal numbering system. An ISBN costs around $125 (albeit, these can be purchased in bulk, such as buying ten at a cost of $295). A company named Bowker is a good place to get this number. But learning how to use and navigate through all these systems takes time. And what if you are employed, trying to raise a family, or involved in other pursuits, and just don't have the time to deal with all these issues? Besides, you may want to just write and not have to spend time trying to get your book out to the public. What, then, can you do? Is there an alternative option?

If you decide you do not want to go the route of publishing the book yourself, your second option is to try to use a self-publishing company. These are publishers who will publish your book for you for a price. Normally, publishers who accept your manuscript will pay you to publish your book because they think they can make money on it. But if this is not the case, self-publishers will publish it for you, if you will bear the cost of the production. Typically, the cost to publish, let's say, a 250-page-book, can be anywhere from $2500 or $3500, up to as much as $9,000 or $10,000 (although, according to one website, Reedsy, which also contains a wealth of information about self-publishing, the price can be as low as $500 or even $250 with certain over-seas publishers). Westbow, a subdivision of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a good example of the former range of costs, although they do not have good online reviews for some reason; Scriptor Publishing Group is another and there are many others. But what if you don't have thousands of dollars to invest in this process, especially if you plan to write several books over time? Can you afford to repeatedly spend $2500 or $3500 to get all your works out into the public? If not, what, then, can you do?

Actually, there is a third option: you can use Aster High Publishing. We publish ebooks and paperbacks using the Amazon DTP system but charge much less than do other self-publishers, in part because we do not offer additional services, such as proof-reading, editing, promotional, or distributional services. Other self-publishers may offer some of these services. (However, we do offer to list your book on our website for free.) Concerning proof-reading, we can recommend a couple of companies that offer this service, such as (associated with Amazon) and Reedsy, the cost of which is usually around a thousand dollars for a 250-page book. We do require that manuscripts adhere to standard English grammatical requirements acceptable to the publishing world. Manuscripts need not be 100% perfect, but we do require that writers demonstrate the ability to meet some proficiency in their writing skills. Or writers can find their own proof-readers or editors. Remember, you are going public with your work; if your book is full of typos and grammatical mistakes, this will reflect poorly on yourself and us as well.

Our Publishing Details

If you are interested in what we can offer, you can contact us for an estimate of what it would cost for us to publish your book. A typical rate is $200 for a 250-page eBook (although, this price is subject to change without previous notice). The price may vary a little according to the length of the book, but, in reality, there is little difference in the time required to publish a short book as for a long book since publishing usually does not deal with the internal content of the book unless your book contains charts, graphs, internal images, etc. Obviously, these would affect the price because they require special treatment and thus, more time. Creating a paperback version would cost an additional $50. Concerning internal images for paperbacks, it is recommended that they be in black and white since color doubles or even triples the cost of printing.

We note that the $200 price for an eBook does not include the cost of the copyright or an ISBN. A copyright costs $69. As mentioned, an ISBN for an eBook is optional since Amazon has its own internal numbering system. But it is required of a paperback. Our company can provide one at a cost of $30. As mentioned, producing a paperback version would cost an additional $50. We recommend starting with an eBook and deciding later if you want a paperback, after you have seen how the eBook turns out. Incidentally, a separate copyright for the paperback version is not needed; only one copyright is needed for both. However, a separate ISBN would be needed since a paperback is a separate volume. After signing an agreement, a non-refundable down payment of $50 will be required for us to be able to start work on your book.

Our work is guaranteed. This means that if not satisfied with our work, you can request a refund; after being granted, your book will be "unpublished" and removed from the Kindle store. However, the down payment is not refundable, nor is the cost of the copyright ($65) or the ISBN ($30), if these have been acquired. There is a 30-day limit to the refund offer (after the date of the publishing of your book).

Concerning book cover images, we prefer that authors submit an image they wish to use. There are thousands of images that are available online, which can be acquired; some are free, and for others, there may be a reasonable cost. We will require proof that a particular image has been acquired legally and/or ask for the source of the image. Alternately, authors may submit a picture that they themselves have taken since they own the images they have taken. Once we receive an image from a writer, we will modify the parameters in order to make sure it is compatible with the Kindle system. Here are some examples of websites that carry images:,,,, and so forth. To find more such websites, simply run an Internet search for "images for sale." But be aware that there are fraudulent websites supposedly selling or giving away images. If uncertain, the author can search for reviews of any particular site, such as "reviews of" or consult the BBB (Better Business Bureau) online. On the other hand, if an author is unable to submit a book cover image, we can use one of the simple cover images available in the Kindle system, which usually consists of some kind of colored pattern. If the author prefers, we can create a cover image, although there will be an additional cost of $50 for this service.

Another advantage for using our company to publish your book is that you are the one to set the sales price on Amazon. If the primary motive for publishing your book is not to make money, you can set the price as low as you want, although Amazon's minimum price is set at 99 cents (for eBooks). So, if you are more concerned with getting your work into the hands of the public, you can sell eBooks for as little as $1.00, $2.00 or $3.00 (of course, paperbacks have a much higher minimum due to the printing costs). If sales increase rapidly, you can increase the price. It's all up to you, although we do charge a small fee for making price changes for you. Typically, Amazon will pay you a royalty of 35% of the sale's price for each eBook sold. So, if you set the price of your eBook at, let's say, $3.00, you will get $1.05 and Amazon will get $1.95. And for paperbacks, the royalty is 60% for each one sold (after deducting the printing cost, of course). The money is sent directly into your bank account by Amazon. Of course, we have no part of this and do not profit from any sales, unlike the regular publishers. However, be prepared for low sales and even no sales for months at a time, unless you have a significant following. As one self-publisher (Mike Wourms of Christian Services Network, now out of business) once said, "The only thing harder than writing books is trying to sell books." Buying advertising in Christian magazines or elsewhere is expensive and typically yields little or no results.

There is still another advantage for using our system: you can makes changes to your works or update them at any time. Perhaps, in the interim of having published your book and reviewing it on occasion, you discover a mistake, and you want to modify the wording of something, or you may want to update your work we can make those modifications for you for a small fee. There is no need to update your copyright unless major changes have been made.

If you would like us to take a look at your book, please use the submission link below. However, please keep in mind that we are a small organization, and the number of books that we can work on at the same time is limited. This is to say that we cannot accept every book submitted to us, but will consider any that are submitted. Also, authors need to understand that, if we do accept your manuscript, you can claim to be "self-published;" you cannot claim to be "published." The same is true of all other self-publishing publishers.

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Books Published by Aster High

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