Q. Is MiddleStone Publishing (MP) a Vanity Press?
A. No. A vanity press is a company that requires a fee to publish your book. Many times these fees are hidden. We are selective in the books we accept for publication and we don’t have any hidden fees.
You should know that MiddleStone Publishing does make efforts to assess whether an author still believes in the book he/she hopes to republish with us, and whether he/she is actively planning to promote the book (at least a little). For this reason, we provide a questionnaire that allows us to assess the kinds of marketing a prospective client will use, e.g., Facebook posts, book readings, etc. Every project is fact-specific. Publishing contracts are extended with the expectation that the author will commit to whatever marketing plan he/she provides to us.
MP is not a vanity press, nor are we a repository where lazy authors (who don’t promote their own books) can list their dead titles. We are a second chance at full publishing for deserving authors of good books.
Q. How much will I get paid for my book?
A. Writers are paid based on book royalties. If your book is selected for publication, you will receive a unique offer. Offers vary by title and author based on situation specific facts about each project.
Q. Do I have to buy anything?
A. You have to keep your word (nothing more). As part of the submission process, we ask how you plan to promote your book. We then expect you to honor whatever promises you make. If you submit your manuscript with the promise that you will promote your book on your Facebook page, then you will be expected to do that. If you submit your book and promise to purchase 500 copies for book signings and various contests, then you are expected to do that.
MiddleStone Press is easy to work with, and we don’t require you to buy anything. We do, however, take your marketing promises seriously. Your marketing plan is one of the many considerations we take into account when we decide whether we will publish your book. Publishers are expected to be honest and keep the promises they make to authors. We believe it’s reasonable to expect authors to do the same.
Q. Is MP Right For me?
A. Only you can answer that question. MiddleStone Publishing is a small book publisher. If you already have a large following, and big budget advertising is a key consideration for you, then MP is probably not the right fit. As a smaller publisher, we don’t have the budget for large advertising campaigns. We want popular authors, but first and foremost, we want what’s best for authors.
If you are a writer in the middle of your career, MP is probably a perfect fit. We provide professional publishing that opens doors for motivated authors with good titles. We make beautiful books you can be proud of.
Q. Do you assign the ISBN?
A. Yes. MiddleStone Publishing provides an official ISBN through our relationship with Bowker (not a third party). You do not need to pay for the ISBN. As your publisher, we cover that cost for you. We also supply the book’s bar code and other necessities.
Q. Is there a reading fee?
A. No. We understand why you are asking. Reading manuscripts is a full-time job for publishers, and it is a very expensive process. But charging reading fees isn’t the right answer. We strongly encourage writers to avoid reading fees. Publishers that sell books can afford to read manuscripts. Reading fees bring in huge revenue, but they aren’t fair to writers.
Q. Where can readers find my book?
A. Your book will be for sale on Amazon.com and at other fine booksellers.
Q. How do you promote the book?
A. Initially, we do little more than issue press releases and place a few paid ads. We don’t pretend that we can afford to do everything big publishers do for popular authors. We invest more as book sales increase. Publishing books is risky and advertising budgets are very limited. Because MP specializes in re-released books, our investment risk is higher than many other publishers.
As an author, you should carefully consider if this is right for you. If you expect your publisher to mass market your title, MP is not a good fit for you. If you are willing to organize book signings, readings, and otherwise engage in some self-promotion, then MP might be exactly what you are looking for. Our royalties are above average, and we offer plenty of support to bring your book to market.
Keep in mind that MP is only interested in working with active authors. Be honest with yourself. If you’re lazy or expect your publisher to do all the promoting, then save us all a lot of headache and submit elsewhere. If you’re planning to be active in the promotions, and you believe you still have a truly good book readers will enjoy, please send it to us for consideration.
Q. Do I have to pay for the book cover?
A. No. We realize some publishers hide costs all over the place. We don’t.
There are no hidden fees or up-sells.
Q. Who decides the trim size, fonts, layout, and overall cover design of my book?
A. MiddleStone Publishing is responsible for the design of the book. There are many considerations that are best left to your publisher. MiddleStone Publishing is not vanity publishing or self-publishing. You will need to allow us to do our job. Layout and design are our responsibilities.
Q. How do I know how many of my books have been sold?
A. We send you sales reports on a set schedule.
Q. Are there any requirements I don’t know about?
A. You must sign assurances that the title is not available anywhere else. It cannot currently be actively distributed in any format, anywhere, under any name. We only publish books by US citizens, subject to the laws of the United States. You must provide a copy of the manuscript in MS Word format, and supply proof of identification with your submission.
Q. Do I have to pay for proofreading?
A. No. Even though we assume your book has been previously edited, because it has been previously published, we do proofread your manuscript. Proofreading is not the same as editing, and some accepted language conventions change over time. It’s assumed your manuscript has been professionally edited before you submit.
Q. Can I hire MP to edit my book?
A. No. We don’t sell services to authors. Doing that is too much like vanity publishing. If you submit an unedited book, it’s unlikely you will be selected for publishing. Our selection criteria is high, and any title that is being re-released ought to have been properly edited. Please, only send books that are ready to publish.