Checklist & Tips for Choosing a Publisher – Be Informed!
Learn what publishers don’t disclose so you can ask the right questions and make informed choices.
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How does The Publishing Circle work?
We break the “rules” when it comes to:
Silly us, but we think the writer, not just the publisher, should make money. We want writers to be able to continue their craft because the world is a better place with creative voices in it – voices that uplift, entertain, and educate. We have one of the most (if not the most) generous royalty structures in the U.S., starting at 25% royalties.
We don’t fit the mold. Your book isn’t just listed along with a hundred other titles on an order sheet and that’s the extent of the effort. After all, if your book is good enough to interest us in the first place, why in the heck would we do less than our best? We want your book to bring in income for a long time, not just in the flush of a single push.
We love bookstores. Next to the word “paradise” in our personal dictionary is a picture of Powell’s Books. But we’re also realists. More than half of the books purchased are now purchased online. That means promoting online is an important part of our formula. (Old stodgy publishers don’t do this, or they don’t do it well, so YAY!, more income for our authors).
Places to Sell Books
Just like online sales are part of our bread and butter, so are places that aren’t commonly on the sales routes for the “traditional guys.” Places like military bases, for example, where personnel and their families want something good to read. Or hospital gift shops, or . . . okay, we’ll stop, but opportunities are out there. We find them. And naturally, we sell to bookstores and libraries, too.
Each book is always important to us and never remaindered. We keep marketing all our books. There’s no such thing as a book’s life span. Remaindering? A foreign word to us, but to other publishers it means selling books dirt cheap. Nope, not with us.
Having a story that is entertaining is more important to us than dictating a prescribed length for a manuscript. You don’t need (and we don’t want) you to plump up your tome like the fat lady at the circus just to meet some arbitrary word count.
Needing an Agent
Unsolicited manuscripts are preferable because part of our whole reason for existing is so writers make more from their work. Will we work with agents? If you insist, but they aren’t given priority. Just follow our easy directions to send your manuscript in for consideration. We keep things simple and straightforward.
If you’re a creative individual you might like writing cookbooks, mysteries, and children’s books. That’s okay with us. We don’t insist on confining you to one track. If we love your work, even if it’s in multiple genres, you will find a home with us.
Your work doesn’t have to fit into a specific genre. The world evolves and so do publishing categories. If your story is fabulous, we’ll find a way to market the work.
You don’t have to have a “platform” of 10,000 people you can sell your book to on the day of its release. If you have readers, great. If not, we help you build your platform when you become part of our team.
If you’ve written a series, of course we want all the books in the series, but if you start some other work, we don’t claim first right of refusal like most publishers. We want you to be so happy with us that you want us to publish the work, but we don’t bind you to us with super glue.
We hold events. When we do, those who so desire will be considered as speakers at these one to two-day events. The same goes for our podcasts. If you’re not a speaker, we’ll help you shine in other ways.
Us plus you equals strength. We truly believe we’re all stronger together, that a publisher should listen to the voices of its authors, and that when authors support each other, great things can happen. So, after we decide we love your book, we want to see if you have it within you to be a teammate, someone who helps everyone within our circle flourish. We accomplish this monthly with our Rule Breaker meetings where we generate new ideas, fun ideas, ideas that make the cash registers go ka-ching.
Why we’re a better choice than self-publishing:
In order for us to make money, we need your books to sell, and sell well. That means we hustle to market and we are creative about the outlets where we sell books. Do you really want to do that fulltime, or would you rather write? Will you hustle for years? If we love your book, we will.
You’re always going to have that little bit of extra clout when you’re accepted by a publisher, because we, like other legitimate publishers, don’t accept every author’s work. This means more doors will open for us when we’re promoting your work than would if you promoted on your own. More places will be open to reviewing your book, too.
The company is self-funded. The reason we’ve done this is because we don’t want to be beholden to moneylenders or investors who may want us to reduce royalties or do anything that would negatively affect our authors. To make this possible, we do charge a fee once you’re accepted. This fee covers our costs, which are: editing; designing the cover for the eBook, print book, and audio book (if applicable); designing the interior for the eBook and print book; optimizing the book for sales; setting up press packets; doing a book launch; and starting promotions.
You’d be paying these costs anyway if you self-publish, plus you wouldn’t have someone who will continue to promote and who looks for multiple ways to sell your work.
You have one of the best editing and design teams working for you when you become one of our authors.
With The Publishing Circle, you become part of a community that strategizes with you and supports your efforts.
Why we’re a better choice than using author service companies:
We make our money from doing a great job selling your books, not from selling you services.
Yes, we require coverage of upfront costs, but our income starts when we sell books.
If we were to compare our costs to author service companies, we’d come in on the low side, plus they don’t continue to market the book, much less do publicity, unless it’s at a high cost to the author. They also don’t sell anywhere that isn’t a traditional sales platform for books—in fact, they don’t sell at all, usually. Remember, we’re only covering our initial costs so we can afford to keep your royalties high.
If you read the fine-print of author service contracts (or can decipher the details) you’ll find that there are charges for:
- cover design
- for print version
- for ebook version
- for audio book
- for workbooks
- interior design
- for print version
- for ebook version
- for audio book
- for workbooks
- for editing (based on word count, which often is for every 10,000 words, and isn’t necessarily with a knowledgeable editor)
- for the ISBN
- for the barcode
- for each press release that’s written
- for writing the book description
- for developing an author packet
- each and every time a change is made
- for placement at:
- For print version
- For eBook version
- all other distribution systems