C O N T A C T U S A N Y T I M E !
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS for Authors . . .
1. How popular with the market is House of Penguin?
We are an industry leader for book production, editing, design, and distribution. We have been designing and producing books since 1983.
2. How does the publishing process begin and end?
First, understand that we are the designers and producers of books to the publishing industry. When a publisher decides to release a title, they come to us and we design, edit, and produce the book to their needs and specifications. In addition, we provide distribution and royalty tracking. In this case, YOU are the publisher. What we do is provide the books, guide them through the entire process, and oversee distribution and royalty collection if the client (publisher) needs those services.
3. How do sales and royalties work? In other words, when a book sells, how does the money get distributed between the publisher and me?
Again, YOU are the publisher. What we do is print the book and distribute your title into the marketplace. As for royalties to you, the formula is very simple: Take the cover price that you believe the market will bear, and deduct 70 percent. The 30 percent is paid to you; we take care of the production and distribution of the book (printing costs, shipping, etc.) and deliver the book to the retailer(s). OR you can just order books directly from us and the cost per book varies based on the title itself. But you will know what your cost is, so you can adjust your cover price to provide you with a nice profit margin.
4. How is the number of copies printed decided?
Sales to retailers and online merchants are based solely on need for the title. For instance, if 100 readers purchase your book on Amazon.com, we are notified of the sale by Amazon. We provide them with those 100 copies, and they ship the book to their customers. Same with all of the other online retailers like Barnes & Noble, WHSmith, etc. Then there are Direct-to-Trade sales, such as to brick and mortar stores and libraries. Again, we will receive the order request from the retailer, and then provide the books to them.
5. Will the book be sold online and in bookstores?
Yes. Online sales start immediately upon publication of the book. Bookstore sales generally follow beginning in six months as the title becomes known in the catalogs and in Books in Print. Buyers decide which books to purchase based upon reviews, relevance of the title, and online sales figures. You as the publisher of your title can jump start sales by sending out as many copies of your book to newspaper, television, and publisher industry reviewers like Publisher's Weekly and the many online book review sites. Readers and industry people review these sources constantly.
Also, you may order copies of the book for yourself in any amount that you choose, at any time. So if you wish to order 150 reviewer copies, you may do so. Five months later should you need 25 copies for a book signing appearance, no problem. Selling your book online directly from your Web site? Maybe you'd like to have 50 copies on hand in order to fulfill your own direct sales efforts. No problem. There are absolutely no minimums, which gives you total control over standing inventory.
As for payments to you: Whatever you sell in a particular month is paid on or before the 10th day of the next month. So if you sell 53 books in the month of March, you will receive payment by April 10th for the March sales. The book is active as long as you say it is in print. Should you ever decide to pull the title, that is when we would cease sales efforts on your behalf.
6. On average, how long does the publishing process take, beginning with the publisher receiving the manuscript, to the book being in the reader's hands?
Again, YOU are the publisher. We are your designer, editor, and printer ― along with providing immediate distribution services. As far as the time line: It all depends on the length of the book, how intensive the design requirements are, and many other production factors.
However, it has been our experience that from our receipt of your manuscript to finished book in your hands is no more than 30 days. Many times it takes less time. It also depends on our current production schedule. But you WILL receive a definite publication date once we've had a chance to review your materials, and we have never missed a publication delivery deadline in all of our many years of providing the publishing industry ― and now to authors direct ― with the finest book design and production available today.