The IIP Online

Coaching & Editing Creative Writing Workshop Starts

January 2, 2019!

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 Manuscript Editing Development Inspirational Coach


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Attention Future Authors     

Workshop Enrollment deadline: December 15, 2018

Now accepting fiction and nonfiction writing samples (3-5 pages. No Erotica).



$300 Value

Sensitivity Reader for hire in the following areas: African-American  Men and Women, Christian/Religious Men and Women, Physical disorders, Offensive Slang, Racism, Cultural and Ethnic Stereotyping, LBGHQ Bashing, Child Pornography, Spousal Abuse, Geriatric Abuse.

What is a Sensitivity Reader?

"a sensitivity read helps ensure that the portrayal of characters and worlds unknown to the author ring true. But more than that, it helps authors better yield the immense power and responsibility of their words" (Sylvester 2017). 



                          BIG FIVE                                                           MID-SIZE & LARGE                                           SMALL PRESSES 

                Who They Are  

• Penguin Random House, HarperCollins,     Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan     (each have dozens of imprints).


              Who They Work With

• Authors who write works with

  mainstream appeal, deserving of

  nationwide print retail distribution in

  bookstores and other outlets.

• Celebrity-status or brand-name authors.

• Writers of commercial fiction or genre

   fiction, such as romance, mystery/crime,

   thriller/suspense, science fiction and

   fantasy, young adult, children’s.

• Nonfiction authors with a significant

   platform (visibility to a readership).


               Value For Author

• Publisher shoulders financial risk.

• Physical bookstore distribution nearly

   assured, in addition to other physical

   retail opportunities (big-box, specialty).

• Best chance of mainstream media

   coverage and reviews.


               How To Approach

• Almost always requires an agent.

  Novelists should have a finished

  manuscript. Nonfiction authors should

  have a book proposal.


             What To Watch For

• Author receives an advance against

  royalties, but most advances do not earn


• Publisher typically holds onto all

   publishing rights for all formats for at

   least 5-10 years.

• Many decisions are out of the author’s

  control, such as cover design and title.

• Authors can find themselves unhappy

  with the level of marketing support

  received, and find that their title

  “disappears” from store shelves within

  3-6 months. However, the same is true

  for most publishers, regardless of size.

                   Who They Are

• Not part of the Big Five, but significant in

  size, usually with the same capabilities.

• Examples: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,

  Scholastic, Workman, Sourcebooks,

  John Wiley & Sons, W.W. Norton,

  Kensington, Chronicle, Tyndale, many

  university presses (Cambridge, Oxford).


              Who They Work With

• Authors who write mainstream works, as

  well as those that have a more niche or

  special-interest appeal.

• Celebrity-status or brand-name authors.

• Writers of commercial fiction or genre

  fiction, such as romance, mystery/crime,

  thriller/suspense, science fiction and

  fantasy, young adult, children’s.

• Nonfiction authors of all types.


                Value For Author

• Identical to Big Five advantages.


               How To Approach

• Doesn’t always require an agent; see

  submission guidelines for each publisher.

  Novelists should have a finished

  manuscript. Nonfiction authors should

  have a book proposal.


              What To Watch For

• Same as Big Five, but advances and

  royalties from mid-size publishers may

  be lower than Big Five.

• Some mid-size publishers may be more

  open to innovative or flexible agreements

  that feel more like a collaboration or

  partnership (with more author input or


• University or scholarly presses typically

  pay a very low advance and have very

  small print runs, typically with a focus on

  libraries, classrooms, and academic


                    Who They Are

• This category is the hardest to

  summarize because “small press” is a

  catch-all term for very well-known

  traditional publishers (e.g., Graywolf) as

  well as mom-and-pop operations that

  may not have any formal experience in


• Given how easy it is in the digital age for

  anyone to start a press, authors must

  carefully evaluate a small press’s abilities

  before signing with one. Legitimate small

  presses do not ask authors to pay for



               Who They Work With

• Emerging, first-time authors, as well as

  established ones.

• Often more friendly to experimental,

  literary, and less commercial types of



                Value For Author

• Possibly a more personalized and

  collaborative relationship with the


• With well-established small presses:

  editorial, design, and marketing support

  that equals that of a larger house.


                How To Approach

• Rarely requires an agent. See the

  submission guidelines of each press.


                What To Watch For

• You may not receive an advance or you’ll

  receive a nominal one. Your royalty rate

  may be higher to make up for it. Diversity

  of players and changing landscape

  means contracts vary widely.

• There may be no physical bookstore

  distribution and/or the press may rely on

  print-on-demand to fulfill orders. Potential

  for media or review coverage declines

  when there is no print run.

• Be very protective of your rights if you’re

  shouldering most of the risk and effort.               


             HYBRID PUBLISHING                                SELF-PUBLISHING: ASSISTED                            SELF-PUBLISHING: DIY

           Key Characteristics

• Author funds book publication in

  exchange for expertise and assistance of

  the publisher; cost is often thousands of


• Author receives better royalties than a

  traditional publishing contract, but makes

  less than if self-publishing on their own.

• Such books will rarely be distributed into

  physical retail bookstores, although in

  some rare cases, it may happen.

• Each hybrid publisher has its own

  distinctive costs and business model;

  always secure a clear contract with all

  fees explained.


                Value For Author

•Get a published book without having to

  figure out the service landscape or find

  professionals to help. Ideal for an author

  who has more money than time.

• Some companies are run by former

  traditional publishing professionals, and

  offer high-quality results.


             What To Watch For

• Some self-publishing (assisted

  publishing) services have started calling

  themselves “hybrid publishers” because it

  sounds more fashionable and savvy, but

  such companies may be nothing more

  than an assisted self-publishing service.

• Not all hybrid publishers are created

  equal. Fees dramatically vary and quality

  dramatically varies. Research carefully.


       Examples Of Hybrid Publishers

• Curated. These companies are selective

  or may have editorial guidelines to follow.

  Examples: SheWrites Press, Greenleaf.

• Crowdfunding. Authors must raise money

  for the publisher to contract the work.

  Example: Inkshares, Unbound.

                Key Characteristics

• Similar to hybrid publishing: authors pay

  to publish. An older term for this would be

  “vanity publishing.”

• Contractual arrangements vary, but the

  best services charge an upfront fee, take

  absolutely no rights to the work, and pass

  on 100% net royalties to the author. They

  make money on charging authors for the

  services provided (editorial, design,

  marketing, and so on), not on copies


• Such books will almost never be stocked

  in physical retail bookstores, although in

  some rare cases, it may happen.

• Many assisted publishing services have

  different packages or tiers of service,

  while others offer customized quotes.


                 Value For Author

• Get a published book without having to

  figure out the service landscape or find

  professionals to help you. Ideal for an

  author who has more money than time.

• The best and most expensive services

  offer a quality experience that is

  comparable to working with a traditional



              What To Watch For

• Most marketing and publicity service

  packages, while they can be well-

  meaning, are not worth an author’s


• Avoid companies that take advantage of

  author inexperience and use high-

  pressure sales tactics, such as

  AuthorSolutions imprints (AuthorHouse,

  iUniverse, WestBow, Archway).


   Examples Of Good Assisted Services

• Matador, Mill City Press, DogEar, Radius

  Book Group, Book in a Box, Girl Friday

  Productions. To check the reputation of a

  service, search for Mick Rooney’s

  Independent Publishing Magazine


                 Key Characteristics

• Authors manage the publishing process

  and hire the right people/services to edit,

  design, publish, and distribute.

• Each author has to decide which

  distributors or retailers they prefer to deal



                  Value For Author

• Author keeps complete and total control

  of all artistic and business decisions.

• Author keeps all profits and rights.


               What To Watch For

• Some authors don’t invest enough

  money to produce a quality product.

• First-time authors may not have the

  knowledge or experience to know what

  quality help looks like or what it takes to

  produce a quality book in their genre.

• Bricks-and-mortar retailers, professional

  reviewers, and mainstream media will

  rarely offer help or coverage.


        DIY Print And Ebook Services

• Primary ebook retailers that offer direct

  access to authors: Amazon KDP, Nook

  Press, Apple iBookstore, Kobo. Primary

  ebook distributors for authors:

  Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Pronoun.

  These services offer little or no


• Print-on-demand (POD) makes it

  affordable to sell and distribute print

  books via online retail. Most often used:

  CreateSpace, IngramSpark. With printer-

  ready PDF files, it costs little or nothing to


• These retailers and distributors operate

  primarily on a nonexclusive basis and

  take  cut of sales; authors can leave

  them at will. There is no contract.

• Some authors may hire a printer and

  manage inventory, fulfillment, shipping,

  etc. and sell via Amazon Advantage.