How Do I Submit?
Who is Responsible for Printing of the Books?
You pay for the book printing. The cost per book depends on the size of the book, the number of pages, and whether there are images inside the book (color or black-and-white), and how many images. What makes up for this initial 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% royalites for 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 can tell you, in detail, why. We do offer an alternative royalty arrangement that involves Rootstock Publishing covering the costs of printing. As a result, the royalties we pay to you are significantly lower because we print the books. Please ask us about the Rootstock Alternative Royalty Agreement.
Can I Choose Between Print on Demand (POD) and a Print-run?
Yes, and we 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, as well as for sales through your own website or through online merchants like Amazon. We also help you figure how many ARCs (Author Review Copies) you want to print to send to book reviewers, and to those 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 every author to determine what pricing structure works best for the book. We do not normally print hardcover books (although this is an option you can choose printing through a traditional book printer), our trade paperback books are usually priced from $12.95 up to $19.95, mostly dependent on length and interior graphics
Selling to Bookstores
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 IngramSpark, our print and distribution partner, your book is available to every independent and chain book store in the US.
It is important to note that books sold to bookstores from Ingram and Baker & Taylor are returnable. Although returns from libraries are rare. Read more about returns in a separate FAQ below.
How Do e-book Sales Work?
There are different ways that e-book sales are handled by different online e-book retailers. 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 earn 60% of the net earnings through Rootstock. Most of the major traditional publishers pay 25%. The Authors Guild is waging a campaign to convince publishers to pay at least 50%.
Why Choose Rootstock Publishing and Not a Self-Publishing Firm?
We do not accept any 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 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 most self-publishing ventures do not maintain.
When you self-publish, you do it all. From the list we developed here, you can see how much time and money you must invest if you self-publish and hope to produce a high quality book. With Rootstock, the Rootstock Services Fee creates a partnership between Rootstock and you, utilizing our expertise to produce the high quality book you want. Like you, we care about the books we publish, and the authors we publish. Your success is our success.
The world of publishing is changing dramatically today and high-end hybrid publishers, like Rootstock, are creating a level of excellence and respect that brings authors serious recognition.
Who Ships the Books?
Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor ship orders from bookstores and libraries. Rootstock can fulfill your orders from individuals through your book/author website, or you can do that yourself. Certain fees apply.
Can I See the Agreement before I send the full manuscript?
Once we follow up with you about your initial ten page submission and we request your manuscript for a full reading we will share a copy of the contract so you can see all of the details. Of course, you can also email us with any specific questions prior to that time for clarification of what you see on the website.
How do Returns Work?
The only way a bookstore is willing to stock (carry an inventory) books from publishers, distributors or from authors directly 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 them. But the only way they will take this risk is if the books on consignment and returnable. Bookstores will be able to fulfill special orders (when a customer comes into the store and orders the book). These are considered sell-through by the bookstore, and are almost always sell-through (no returns). This means that if you decide to print 500 books and 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. We highly recommend you read this article in 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 (the distributor price). The distributor then turns around and sells the book to the bookstore at 30% to 40% off the retail price. Thus, a 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 in the $8.53 net, for example.