Skein Press was set up in 2017 as a small collaborative project between writers and publishers to publish beautiful, thought-provoking books by writers traditionally underrepresented in Irish publishing. Skein Press has published six books and will publish four more by the end of 2023.
Our model is non-profit, and our goal is to create the conditions for equality to flourish in the literary and publishing sphere. We acknowledge that we are constantly striving for better, and that failure is part of the process. We continue to review our business model to maximise income for the writers we work with through commission fees, appropriate advances, sale of subsidiary rights and robust and creative sales and marketing plans.
We fully endorse the The Arts Council’s Paying the Artist policy on the fair and equitable remuneration and contracting of artists.
While the advances have increased as the company has grown, all writers have received royalties based on 10%+ of the recommended retail price on every copy of their work sold since we set up. The figures below represent the terms of our latest contracts. We continue to work towards increasing income for our authors.
The Solstice Stories series is structured slightly differently as those works have, so far, been commissioned. The collaborators for Solstice books received non-refundable commission fees rather than advances against royalties. Where the book is not a limited edition, royalties are also paid. As each Solstice book is a unique project, terms will be agreed based on the nature of the work (commission v submission, limited edition v more commercial publication, varied art forms, etc.).
Advances are based on 10% of the recommended retail price (RRP) of the book multiplied by the number of copies in the first print run. For example, if we plan to print 5,000 copies in the initial print run and sell them at €12.95 each, the advance paid to the author will be €6,475. We usually pay this out in two instalments: 50% on signing of the contract and 50% on acceptance of the final manuscript.
Printed books: We pay royalties to writers on sales of printed books based on the recommended retail price (rather than on the net amount paid in) in the following increments:
- 10% on the first 5,000 copies
- 12.5% on 5,001-10,000 copies
- 15% on 10,001+ copies
Ebooks: We pay 25% of net income on ebooks, that is 25% of the money paid into Skein Press on sales of ebooks is given to the author.
Audiobooks: We pay 10% of the recommended retail price on audiobook sales.
If publication rights in a title are sold on to another publisher (hardback, paperback, translation, audio, etc.), Skein will pay 75-80% of these fees to the author, in most cases. The 20-25% retained covers the cost of any professional advice sought and the administration in-house.
- Skein Press will request a fee of at least €250 plus travel and accommodation costs from festivals and other hosting organisations for authors when they are invited to participate in events related to the presentation and promotion of their books.
- For publication launch events, we will cover travel and accommodation expenses where necessary. Where we request an artist to introduce writers and speak at a launch event, we offer a fee of €250 plus expenses.
- For workshops of 3 hours, we offer a fee of €300 for facilitators and guest speakers plus expenses.
We are led by the artists on what their fees should be. To date we have paid between €200 and €400 per artwork. Our agreements with artists ensure that further fees will be paid to them if publishing rights in their artwork are to be sold on (e.g. in a translated edition of the book).
Freelance and consultancy fees
- Consultants (marketing, strategic planning) are paid a daily rate of between €350 and €500.
- Typesetting and design: €40 per hour on average.
- Copyediting: €20–25 per 1,000 words or €40–45 per hour.
- Proofreading: €10–15 per 1,000 words or €25–35 per hour.