What We Do
What is Faber Factory?
Faber Factory is the UK’s leading integrated ebook service designed for publishers, by publishers. We currently support 150+ publishers who want to develop their digital publishing programme and succeed in the rapidly growing global ebook market.
Faber Factory is an award-winning end-to-end service. A one-stop shop for publishers who might not know anything about ebooks, or simply don’t have the time or resources to manage a global ebook programme. Our members become part of an inclusive and expanding publishing community. We value sharing our knowledge, data, skills and experience. Our services cover all of your needs: conversion, distribution and account management – all of which are designed to be as painless and cost-effective as possible for you. We set up and negotiate deals with Faber Factory partners (aggregators and retailers) and manage the relationship for you. As a member of Faber Factory you will also receive on-going support in the form of our education programme which provides analysis of industry trends and best practice by industry experts and is designed to help publishers get the most out of their digital publishing. Faber Factory has a dedicated Promotions Coordinator to keep you updated on the latest promotional opportunities across the key retailers, and facilitate getting your titles into those promotions. This is a core feature of our programme, and one that other service providers don’t tend to offer.
How is Faber Factory different to other ebook distribution services?
What distinguishes our service from other ebook distribution services is that our service was built from the ground up to serve our publishing needs. Because we are publishers, we understand publishers, and your needs are our needs.
The issues that concern you will be the same issues that concern us and it is in our publishing interests to provide a service that aligns the requirements of digital publishing with the requirements of a publisher. We speak in the language of publishing. We want to engage your backlist and frontlist, and get to know your catalogue. We respect that these are your titles, not simply ‘content’ or ‘files’.
Is Faber Factory an exclusive service?
The arrangement needs to be exclusive with retailers within territories as it is problematic for a retailer to be supplied with exactly the same file for sales in the same territory and report back to two separate distributors. Having two identical files for sale from two different distributors can also be confusing to the consumer.
As Faber Factory has global reach we advise for your own ease of administration that you keep your distribution arrangements as simple as possible.
How much does it cost to join Faber Factory?
A benefit of joining Faber Factory is there are no start-up or hidden fees.
Costs, expressed as a commission, currently apply in two areas: distribution and account management. There are no storage fees and a commission is only levied if a sale is made. We also offer a conversion service at very competitive rates, though this service is optional.
How will I receive payments for sales of my ebooks?
We will provide you with a monthly statement relating to sales and monies received from the sale of ebooks. The payments will be net of our commission and inclusive of VAT and will be made no later than 60 calendar days plus 10 business days after the calendar month in which the ebooks were sold provided the monies have been received from the customers.
What happens if I want to leave Faber Factory?
We wouldn’t want you to have to stay with Faber Factory if it is not for you. When you sign up for Faber Factory we do ask you to make an initial commitment of two years. After that if it’s not working out for you then all you have to do is provide us with notice to allow us to close the account, delete your files from our server and withdraw all your titles from the aggregators and retailers.
Who will look after me once I’ve signed up?
When you join Faber Factory you will be allocated an Account Executive who will work closely with you to maximise the availability of your content and our Promotions & Marketing Executive will help co-ordinate retailer promotions. The Account Executives also offer training and on-going support on our systems (Dashboard) and will update you on major developments in ebooks and the ebook market.
How do I keep track of my ebooks and sales?
Faber Factory will monitor, consolidate and report all activity back to you. When you join you will be granted access to a range of digital service tools which are designed to give you the utmost transparency and control over your ebook publishing at your own convenience. The Dashboard is the tool that allows you to track the status of your ebooks from ingestion through to going live as well as access to the most up-to-date sales information and view it by title, author, retailer or territory. Dashboard is secure and password protected so only you and Faber Factory have access to your data and is accessible from any web browser.
How do I keep up with all the developments taking place in the ebook market?
It won’t have escaped your notice that the ebook market is very fast-moving indeed: what looks like the future one day can be all over the next. Being part of Faber Factory means that you will have access to our experience and expertise including Ingrams’ invaluable insight into the US ebook market, the largest and most mature ebook market in the world. You will also be kept abreast of developments and opportunities via regular updates, monthly newsletters, online resources and bi-annual conferences where you will also have the chance to meet other Faber Factory publishers to share knowledge and experience. At Faber Factory, we believe there is great value in our growing community of publishers, and we facilitate a variety of events to bring our members together, for conferences, seminars and workshops.
Furthermore, Faber Factory is itself under constant review and with enhancements and new modules rolled out on a regular basis in order to better serve our clients. Modules currently being worked on include:
- FREE Marketing Toolkit
- New tools for pricing tracking and analytics
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Listening and Monitoring
- Digital Publisher: a content creation tool which provides a digital workflow
Distribution And Conversion Arrangements
Which retailers and aggregators do Faber Factory supply?
One of the most exciting aspects of the ebook market is that it can provide access to markets which were difficult to reach with physical books. You can see the full list of aggregators and retailers currently supplied by Faber Factory here.
We have global reach and so this list is added to on a regular basis. Check back for new additions.
What's the difference between a retailer and an aggregator?
A retailer has a direct relationship with the consumer. Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore and Kobo are all online retailers. Whilst an aggregator may also have a direct relationship with the consumer their role is primarily to supply other retailers. They occupy a role similar to that of a wholesaler in the world of print books.
Do I need to set up separate agreements with all the retailers and aggregators?
No. This is a key part of our service. Commercial arrangements are in place with Faber Factory so you need not worry about the time and expense involved in reading, checking and negotiating with retailers.
However the exception is Google who insist that they sign directly with the rights holder of the content. To do this you first have to sign up for an account with Google via this link: https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount?service=printpublisher&hl=en_US<mpl=books&continue=https://books.google.com/partner/signon
Then you can pass consent on to Faber Factory and we can maintain the account for you as we do with all other retailers. Your books will then appear in the Google Preview program and for sale through Google Play.
Can I sell ebooks from my own website?
Yes! We have launched a Direct-to-Consumer solution which will offer publishers the option of selling ebooks directly from their own website through a partnership with the Firsty Group (http://firstyexpress.com/)
This D2C package offers a fully integrated, publisher-branded and categorized ebookstore and allows publishers the option of applying DRM, non-DRM or digital watermarking at title level. The management of supply chain data, sales reporting and payment is all handled through existing Factory arrangements. Please contact Faber Factory for more details.
Which ebook formats does Faber Factory produce?
We can produce for you all of the industry standard ebook formats.
Currently the two main file formats being used in the market are ePub and mobi/prc files. ePub works on most e-reading devices, including the iPad and Kobo’s range of ereaders. Mobi is the format used by Amazon on their Kindle device. We produce mobi files using KF8, the latest version of Amazon’s software, which offers more advanced functionality and features.
The majority of ebook files in the market are reflowable, which means that the text can be resized by the reader. However, this does not work for all types of books. When the title is particularly dependent on keeping the same layout as the print version (as it would be with an atlas or a picture book for instance) then a reflowable ebook will not offer a good reading experience.
For titles like these we can produce fixed layout files for you, though these can cost more to create. This is an option that allows the print layout to be recreated almost exactly and is supported by certain retailers such as Apple, Amazon and Kobo. Apple, Kobo can all support fixed layout ePub files, though each one requires a slightly different version, which can again lead to additional charges for conversion. Amazon supports fixed layout in their KF8 files.
We can also produce web-optimised PDF files for you, which are the favoured format of some library suppliers. These files offer the functionality of a regular PDF file but have linked bookmarks and a lower file size in order to make them more manageable and user-friendly.
What is DRM? And does Faber Factory apply it?
DRM is Digital Rights Management. It is used as a means of preventing piracy and illegal sharing of digital files.
There is a lot of debate about whether files should have DRM applied to them and, if so, just how restrictive it should be. The Faber Factory view is to be cautious and see how the market evolves. We are sympathetic to arguments against DRM, but as a publisher ourselves we are very aware of the importance of copyright and the threat posed by piracy. All agreements we have require retailers to supply files to consumers with DRM.
Through our Direct-to-Consumer solution you are able to set the level of DRM by title, with the options being full DRM, no DRM or Digital Watermarking. This last option is more of a ‘social DRM’ in that it marks the files with the customer’s details as a deterrent against them making the files widely available.
Who owns the files that Faber Factory converts?
You do. You’ve paid for conversion therefore they are your files. We hold a copy so that we can supply to new retailers and aggregators, but the file is your property.
Will Faber Factory just do conversion work?
The core part of Faber Factory is distribution and account management. We offer to help publishers enter the ebook market by offering conversion at competitive rates. If you only require conversion work then we suggest that you approach a professional conversion house directly.
Can I supply my own ebook files for Faber Factory to distribute?
Yes, we understand that you may already have an established relationship with a professional conversion house or that you are willing to spend the time doing the work yourselves. We only ask that when supplying files originated elsewhere you can confirm that all ePub files have been validated and have also been checked on a reader such as the iPad, ideally, or Adobe Digital Editions, and that files supplied for Kindle have been tested on a Kindle device or Kindle Previewer.
For more information about file formats and required testing please read our HOW IT WORKS.
Promoting your ebooks
There are an increasing number of opportunities to promote your ebooks via the Faber Factory retail partners. The most active retailers at present are Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Kobo and OverDrive, some of whom run a range of regular, seasonal and themed promotions. We will notify you of retailer promotional schedules, the proposed terms and invite submissions from you.There is also the opportunity for you to put forward suggestions for promotions to retailers via our Promotions Coordinator. If you already have a good working relationship with a particular retailer and wish to arrange your own promotions then we won’t stand in your way!
Publishers remain responsible for all other marketing activity around release, but we are happy to help advise you on what marketing tools are the most effective, and to discuss campaign strategy.