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 servies (i.e. Createspace print on demand - they're like a printing service, not many - erm any - independent presses have their own printing press) 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 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 like Penguin Random House or whatever but we do what we do. We basically use Amazon printing services (not publishing services) as a giant photocopier. Oh and you can tell by our "marketing" that we pay thousands of dollars to only the savviest of PR people. I mean 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 and or 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 like '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 The Smiths? Or for bitter writers who hate everyone and want to play by nobody else's rules? 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 unless you pick Option 1 when either you or ourselves can put it together but either way you have to format it quite specifically. This has recently changed to allow us to publish more of the books that you’re all sending to us. Check the individual submission guidelines for the different imprints. It’s painless, we promise.

Will you design me a shithot 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.

I’m a visual/ conceptual artist, I left university/ art school and the super-rich 1% who run the art world wouldn’t let me exhibit anywhere because I didn’t go to the correct high-fee paying art school and I didn’t have a wealthy uncle who ensured that his friends would buy my work and so I work in some shitty job but still like making artworks and I'd like an outlet, will you exhibit my work?

Yeh. Check the Dostoyevky Wannabe Experiment imprint submission guidelines.

We’re into this. We probably can’t make you any money or help you become a world famous artist because we don't have rich uncles either. Also, we can only really show work on our website and in book form. We’d be happy to work with on a ‘Dostoyevsky Wannabe Experiment’ if we like your work though.

Here’s an interesting article from Frieze on how there are going to be a lot of talented artists frozen out of the mainstream: "Amateur Hour"

What size are Dostoyevsky Wannabe books?

Dostoyevsky Wannabe Originals are all 5in x 8in but different sizes are available for other kinds of books such as photo books and things like that on our experimental imprint See book size info on createspace.com and blurb.com because they tend to be the POD people that we use.

If they do it, we can do it. Remember though, bigger books cost more to produce and therefore put up your cover price even when you choose to lower that cover price by deferring any royalties. That just seems to be the way the world works.

Here’s an interesting article, with regard to books of photography, about how by not trying to get these books published by mainstream publishers, people are creatively ripping up the ‘multiply the unit cost by five’ calculations used by mainstream publishers: "Want to Publish Your Own Photo Books, Here's How".