How does Glen Margaret Publishing differ from other publishers?

There are three major categories of book publishers — trade, school and academic. School publishing provides texts for public schools, and academic publishing creates books for university level courses. We can create academic books, but Glen Margaret Publishing concentrates on trade books that are sold in bookstores to the general public.

Publishers are further classified by whether or not they pay royalties. Publishers that pay royalties assume the entire risk of the publication, and are contractually obligated to pay a royalty for each copy sold. Publishers that do not pay a royalty (and Glen Margaret Publishing is one), are selling their services to help the writer create the book. In this arrangement, the writer assumes the risk as well as control of the publication.

Currently, we know of no other non-royalty book publisher in Atlantic Canada that offers a complete publishing service, which includes distribution. In other parts of Canada and in the U.S., printers create most of the self-published books, but they do not offer distribution. Many companies on the Internet are American, but most are actually printers. Needless to say, distribution is accepted as the biggest problem for self-publishing writers using these services.

Will Glen Margaret Publishing accept my manuscript for publication?

This question is more appropriate for royalty paying companies, as they assume the risk and therefore reject far more manuscripts than they accept. Most companies supplying publishing services will accept all manuscripts for publication, because they can leave the problem of distribution to the author. As distribution is a major part of our business, we will not accept a manuscript unless we feel that we can distribute it successfully. There are several exceptions to this rule, including specialized and academic manuscripts.

What does it all cost?

Each book is priced after receipt of the final manuscript and consultation with the writer. Any manuscript can be turned into a very expensive or inexpensive book. Usually a very expensive book fails in the marketplace as fewer buyers are available, while a very inexpensive book can fail if produced too cheaply. It is important to look at the competition and price accordingly. If required to choose between spending $5,000 to get a return of $7,000 or spending $3,000 and getting a return of $2,000, few would chose the inexpensive money losing option.

This is a common mistake for the inexperienced, who believe that cheaper is better. They fail to look at the competition and therefore go too low in price and quality. As most books are produced by competitive royalty-paying publishers, writers who want to self-publish require expertise.

Are self-published books of lower quality?

Self-publishing has an honourable history. Beatrix Potter, Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain self-published some or all of their books. Two current examples of successful self-publishing are 'The Celestine Prophecy' and 'The Wealthy Barber'. The authors of such books are often approached by royalty-paying publishers and given an offer too good to refuse.

The quality of books published by royalty publishers varies as much as that of self-published books, but the best self-published titles are as good or better than any in the bookstores. Some publishers can produce high quality books that sell well, yet others produce inferior ones that sell poorly. The same is true of authors who self-publish.

How quickly can I see the first copy of my book?

Often, a tragedy in the news is followed within days or weeks by an 'instant book' on the subject that appears at your local bookstore. The technology exists to create books very quickly, but in most cases the expense is not cost effective. As the three months preceding Christmas account for the sale of most books, a publishing date can easily be set that makes maximum sense financially.

There are many exceptions and each book must be evaluated in a number of ways; determining the ideal publishing date is just one of them.


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