On this page we
address the following issues:
adheres to the traditional publishing concept: we assume all financial
risks and all expenses, we earn our income by selling books, and books only.
The author pays no fees of any kind, at any time. We want your book, not your money.
Bookstores do not automatically put a book on their shelves. All stores have full
access to our books, but in order to actually stock them, they must be convinced
that the book will sell. Author: there is work to be done!
Is this a great millennium, or what?
will I see my book in print?
does my book end up in Waldenbooks or at BarnesandNoble.com?
Will a bookstore carry my book?
What are my obligations as an author?
Do I need an agent?
Is this a great millennium,
Answer: Some writers tell
us, incredulously, they can't believe their luck. After all, many of them have
queried publisher after publisher, often without receiving any response at all,
and always to no avail. So how can PublishAmerica do what other traditional publishers
The answer is quite simple. Other publishers
could do exactly the same, if only they would. Our bet is that in the next few
years more than a few of them will change their mind about "unmarketable
writers", now that digital printing technology enables them to save substantially
on overstocking. This new century promises to be the era of the yet-unnoticed
There is so much talent out there. The information
and education age has left deep, positive and lasting marks on the creativity
of millions. It is fascinating how many talented people can write a good story,
and turn it into a good book. It doesn't require rocket science to predict
that tens of thousands of these so far hidden talents will see their books in
print in the foreseeable future.
And it's not a day too
soon. Gone are the times when unknown authors had to consider vanity- or selfpublishing,
the costly rough-and-tumble alternative to traditional publishing. If a book is
good and well-written, traditional publishing is becoming available again. Lower
hurdles, smaller obstacles. After all, it was enough of a challenge to write the
book to begin with. If their talent is real, those who succeed in completing such
a daunting task, deserve to find the road towards publication wide open.
When will I see my book
Answer: The formal answer
is, within a year. The unofficial answer is, between a few months and a year.
The truth is, we want to release an accepted book soon, but wisely.
At the heart of each new book is the author, particularly if it is the author's
first published book. All first books are reflections of the author's own life
experiences, more so than an author's third or fourth book. The emotions of
the book's main characters are often similar to the author's own emotions, and
main events are generally also similar to events that took place in the author's
life. First books typically have a strongly autobiographical content, regardless
whether it's fiction or nonfiction.
As a logical consequence,
if a book is to create a following, it's going to be a following of the book and
the author. Hence the emphasis we place on putting the initial role of local marketing
front and center. The publisher knows the venues of how to inform the rest of
the world. But that's going to be of little consequence if the author does not
make some all-important local noise first. By definition of human nature, there
is no national following without a local following first, and local precedes national,
Therefore, the book industry puts initial local
marketing front and center, there where the author is excellently positioned to
directly communicate with his audience. Because the book is closely and often
intimately linked to the author's personal life experiences, fears, hopes and
dreams, it's the author who today is designated to spearhead local promotion.
Our local direct mailing campaign will help pave his road: we always inform an
author's entire circle of fam, fans, and friends about the book's upcoming release,
and they soon become invaluable helpers in spreading the word of mouth.
Once we feel that all necessary elements are in place, the actual book production
can be a matter of weeks.
To most authors, correcting the page
proofs is a joyous experience as it is the first time that their work is now coming
to life in book form, formatted to size and all. To some, it can also be a little
intimidating when they realize that this is what the public will soon see. That's
why it is very important that the author makes page proof corrections with the
utmost care. Once an author signs off on the proofs, that's how the book will
look in print. To make sure that our editing staff has indeed incorporated those
final corrections, we will forward the corrected proofs one more time for the
After we have received the author's
corrections on the proofs, the book will soon be ready to go to press once our
art department has finalized the cover design.
How does my book
end up in Waldenbooks or at BarnesandNoble.com?
noticed that barcode on a book's cover? It contains a lot of hidden information.
Most of all, it tells the bookstore cash register the book's ISBN and who its
publisher is. The International Standard Book Number is like the book's fingerprint.
It is issued by the publisher who, in turn, had the number issued to them by ISBN
headquarters in Florida. Without an ISBN, a book gets nowhere. With it, it is
recognized worldwide: it indicates title, author and publisher, even the retail
price. Clearly, each ISBN is unique.
soon as we contract a book, we issue an ISBN. At that point, we submit the book
to our wholesalers and wholesalers, such as Baker&Taylor, Brodart,
etc., who process it in their computer systems that have direct connections to
bookstore computer systems nationwide. That is how a book becomes available through
all American bookstores from sea to shining sea.
There are also many independent bookstores, including thousands
of Christian bookstores. By looking into the book's ISBN, they know how to
order fast by ordering a book directly from the publisher or through their wholesaler
(as most stores do). Finally, there is this fast-growing number of Internet bookstores,
such as BarnesandNoble.com, Chapters.ca and many others.
Some order directly from the publisher, others through a wholesaler.
Now, a word of caution is in order. Bookstore availability is not necessarily
the same as bookstore shelf display. For a book to be stocked by a bookstore,
someone high in the hierarchy must decide to order it. Typically, it's not the
store manager who makes such decisions, unless he runs an independent store. Larger
chains such as Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Borders have "buyers"
who select which titles are to be stocked. Oftentimes, they want to see some noise
happening before they move.
Local bookstores like to be
able to demonstrate that there is demand for a book. If they can show demand,
their superiors (those "buyers") may permit them to stock. And since
a book on display helps create demand, a ripple effect begins. This is why it
is so important that authors turn themselves into the center of all local attention.
Face it, you're no John Grisham or Nora Roberts, not yet. So you must not only
beat the drum, but be the drum major as well. All successful marketing begins
Many authors are very creative at this. Just browse through our author
message board to see how inventive your fellow authors are. Or click on our
What's New? section. There are book signings with PublishAmerica
authors virtually every day in bookstores all over the fruited plain. Not a day
goes by without one of our authors being profiled, interviewed or mentioned in
newspapers, magazines, radio, or TV. Some authors become very accomplished public
speakers about their book's topic, or about book writing in general. Others carry
flyers and business cards around that they hand out anywhere they go. And then
there are some whose efforts get a big boost when they discover that a movie star
has agreed to a reading of their book as a potential movie script (among others,
actors Michelle Pfeiffer and John Travolta have been reviewing some of our titles).
Today's author must be active, and he must be innovative. As is the case with all objects of art and creation, there are hurdles to be scaled: there's 250,000+ other authors out there whose new book will be released by the nation's 50,000+ publishers this year, there are bookstore managers who are reluctant to stock unknown books, and, plain and simple, there's jealous peers to deal with, folks who don't want you to be successful. So what else is new? Nothing at all, but it's good to back up words of caution with a reality check.
a bookstore carry my book?
The key question is not whether a book is in print and available, but whether the store manager believes that your book will actually sell. Many PublishAmerica authors will tell you about their successes with regard to having their books placed in bookstores large and small.
Bookstores cannot possibly put all new releases (more than 250,000 per year!) on their shelves. It would require them to add roughly thirty feet of additional shelf space every day, Saturdays and Sundays included, and that's not happening, understandably. They will typically only put books in their store that they believe will sell. As indicated above, this is sometimes seen as an extra challenge for authors without a celebrity status, i.e. most of us.
Regardless, bookstores order a PublishAmerica book hundreds of times per day, each day, for immediate sale, for stocking, or for a specific event such as a book signing. Also see: http://www.publishamerica.com/booksignings.htm.
my obligations as an author?
Answer: An author’s obligations are few, since he/she
already contributes the lion’s part by having written the book. We are very conscious
of that fact. No book was written overnight. It has cost most authors a year or
longer to write it, and often many more years to let the creative process well
We are also conscious of the fact that seeing your
book in print is a life-defining moment. It is something an author never forgets
for the rest of their lives. It is something to enjoy and celebrate. Therefore,
the obligations should be minimal.
The author has really
only one obligation: to provide us with the completed final-version manuscript.
We’ll take it from there.
Does this mean that the author
must sit on his/her hands after signing the contract? Not exactly. We expect the
author to actively promote the book whenever and wherever possible. See When
Will I See My Book In Print.
Do I need an
Answer: Not if you decide to submit your work here. We select
our authors without being preached to by agents, no matter how hard they sometimes
try. There is not much an agent can do for most new authors, other than try to
locate a publisher. If you have already signed up with an agent, tell them to
contact us with your work, and we will gladly study their proposal. But it will
be no different than when you contact us yourself.
Our book contracts
are pretty uniform, although there is always room for negotiating. Most of
our contracts expire after ten years, but you can make it indefinitely if you
want. We will leave it up to you to sign any non-book rights over to us or not,
and there's a number of other issues that you may want to test the flexibility
of. Pretty straightforward stuff, something no one needs an agent for as there
is really not much an agent can do that most of you can’t do yourself. However,
if you are already committed to an agent, you must honor that commitment.
Most agents are very pleasant to work with for a publisher.
Some of our authors
decide to hire a publicist after being signed up by us. This can be a good
decision if the publicist knows how to expose the author locally. It makes very
little sense to hire an East Coast publicist if you live on the West Coast,
or the other way around. We once had a California author hire a Philadelphia media
expert, only to find himself interviewed by one obscure Midwest radio station
with no audience. That’s money wasted.
A word of caution: do not hire a publicist
if you’re unwilling to do the hard work yourself. No publicist can replace you
at the center of your book’s success.