How Do I Submit?
Who is Responsible for Printing?
You pay for the book printing. The cost per book depends on the size of the book, the number of pages, whether there are images inside the book (color or black-and-white), and how many images there are. What makes up for this investment by you is the fact that you earn much more per book sold than you would with a traditional book publisher. You earn 60% royalties (less certain costs) of the net sales price of each printed book, and 70% royalties (less certain costs) on the sale of each e-book's net sales price. This compares with 8% to 10% royalties as a new author with one of the major traditional publishers. And these earnings are paid from the sale of the very first book, not after advance deductions. We recommend printing with our printing partner, IngramSpark, and are happy to tell you more, in detail. We do offer an Alternative Royalty Agreement that involves Rootstock Publishing covering the costs of printing, but as a result, the royalties we are able to pay to you are significantly lower.
Can I Choose Between Print On Demand (POD) and a Print Run?
Yes, and we can help you with this decision. Many authors choose to print short runs of their book, making a conservative decision about how many books they can reasonably sell. It can be safer to print 100-500 books to start and use them for promotion/publicity, local bookstores, for friends and family, and sales through your own website or through online merchants, like Amazon. We can also help you figure how many ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) you want to print to send to book reviewers and other who may "blurb" the book prior to printing. Once you place your initial print order, you can re-print as few as 10, 20, or 50 books, as demand requires. You can also choose to print through a traditional printing press. Ask us about this option.
How Do I Determine the Price of My Book?
Pricing is an important consideration and we will work with you to determine what pricing structure works best for your book. Our trade paperback books are usually priced from $12.95 to $19.95, depending on length and interior graphics. We do not normally print hardcover books, although this is an option if printing through a traditional book printer.
Your book will immediately be available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, the two largest book distributors in the world. Bookstores receive what is known as the Industry Standard Discount (30% to 40%). Through our print and distribution partner, IngramSpark, your book will be available to every independent and chain book store in the US:
Via Ingram Book Group, IngramSpark titles are automatically made available to tens of thousands of retailers, libraries, schools, internet commerce companies, and other channel partners, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo (Canada), and other well-known book retailers and wholesalers across North America. In the United Kingdom and Europe, your print book will be available through: Adlibris, Agapea, Amazon.co.uk, Aphrohead.com.uk, Bertram Books, Blackwell UK, Book Depository, Books Express, Coutts Information Services, Designarta Books, Eden Interactive Ltd., W & G Foyle Ltd., Gardners Books Ltd., Trust Media Distribution (formerly STL), Mallory International, Paperback Shop Ltd., SuperBookDeals, The Book Community Ltd., and Waterstones. In Australia & New Zealand, your book will be available through: Booktopia, Fishpond Ltd., The Nile, James Bennett, Peter Pal Library Supplier, and University Co-operative Bookshop.
It is important to note that books sold to bookstores from Ingram and Baker & Taylor are returnable. Returns from libraries are rare. Read more about returns in a separate FAQ, below.
How Do e-book (Online) Sales Work?
Various online e-book retailers handle e-book sales in different ways. For instance, Amazon's Kindle uses a different calculation than Apple's iBook or Barnes & Noble's Nook. Yet, no matter which channel an e-book is sold through, you will earn 60% of the net earnings through Rootstock. Most major traditional publishers pay only 25% to their authors. The Authors Guild is waging a campaign to convince publishers to pay at least 50%. Your book will be available online from: 24symbols, 7switch, Amazon, Apple, Baker & Taylor, Blio, Barnes & Noble, Bibliotech Education, Bookmate, BookShout (Rethink Books), Booktopia, eBooks.com, FeedBooks, Gardners Books, Glose, iFlipd, ITSI, Kobo.com, Libreka, Libri GmbH, Lix, SpoonRead, Redshelf, Rockstand (RockASAP), Vida Global, Wook, and Zola Books.
Why Choose Rootstock Publishing and Not a Self-Publishing Firm?
We do not accept every manuscript that comes along. In fact, we are very picky about the quality of the books we publish, and are working to keep our annual number of releases to less than 25. We are what is know as a "curated press."
We create only professional book covers by designers who have significant experience creating them. We insist that all of our books are edited and proofread by experienced professionals. These are standards many self-publishing ventures do not maintain.
When you self-publish, you do it all. From the list we’ve developed here, you can see how much time and money you may invest if you self-publish with hopes of producing a high-quality book. By partnering with Rootstock, you will be utilizing our expertise to produce the high-quality book you want. We care about the books we publish, and the authors we help to publish them. Your success is our success, and we work with that goal in mind.
The world of publishing is changing dramatically, and high-end hybrid publishers, like Rootstock, are creating a level of excellence and respect that brings our authors serious recognition.
Who Ships the Books?
Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor ships orders to bookstores and libraries. Rootstock can fulfill your orders to individuals who purchase through your book/author website, or you can do that yourself. Certain fees do apply.
Who Schedules Book Events and Readings?
As far as book release events, bookstore events, library events, and any other author events, these are the author’s responsibility to arrange according to your own schedule. We send ARCs and promote your book to bookstores, attend NEIBA, NELA, and other relevant conferences, and offer other ways to promote in advance of the publication date. Rootstock does not schedule your events, but we do help you publicize events, providing bookstores with cover art and an author photo for promotion.
Keep in mind, these book events don't happen automatically or quickly. Sometimes, there are weeks, even months, between the publication date and the actual first book-release event. We suggest strongly that you visit bookstore websites and look at their event calendars. Most bookstores like to hold their book reading events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Libraries are also good locations for an author event. Contact libraries you’d like to target and ask to speak to the events coordinator for specific details.
How do Returns Work?
The only way a bookstore is willing to stock (carry an inventory of) books from publishers, distributors, or directly from authors, is on a 100% returns basis. Independent bookstores in particular are usually willing to give new authors a chance to sell in-store and display their book, but the only way they will take this risk is if the book is on consignment and returnable. This means, if you are able to get two books each into 50 independent bookstores, you have to be ready to accept returns (100 books) if the books don't sell. This is why it is so important to work hard on promotion, publicity, and marketing. Bookstores also have the ability to fulfill special orders, if they have sold out of copies and a customer orders the book. We highly recommend you read this article from Publishers Weekly for more understanding of the business of returns: https://tinyurl.com/y7mj5gxa
Understanding Distributor Pricing vs. Wholesale Pricing
Wholesale sales and distributor sales can be confusing for the newcomer to this business. When your Rootstock Publishing book makes a sale through Ingram or Baker & Taylor, it is at a distributor price, usually a 55% discount off the suggested list price (for example, $8.53 on a $18.95 list price). Thus, the distributor is buying the book for $8.53 from Rootstock, at the distributor price. The distributor then sells the book to a bookstore at 30% to 40% off the retail price, and the bookstore buys the book at $13.26—the wholesale price. If the bookstore decides at any point to discount your book, they end up making less profit per sale. Rootstock pays its authors royalties based on the $8.53 net.