Subsidy Publishing

Do these publishers advertise the part about “assisting” in the costs? Or, is it just common knowledge? If you’re offered a contract with one of these publishers on the condition that you “help” financially, is it bad form to pass on the offer since the LDS market is so small?

I don’t think any of them advertise that they offer author assisted publishing. If you’re interested, you may need to ask them. In our company, we don’t mention it unless the author has indicated that they might be interested in self-publishing.

No, it is not bad form to say no thanks to this type of offer. You don’t have to accept any offer you don’t like. Here’s the thing–everyone knows you’re going to make a decision based upon what’s best for you. Author assisted publishing is not your best option and should only be considered if all other avenues are closed. Publishers know this. If you want to publish traditionally and you still have options elsewhere, explore them. If you later determine that you’ve exhausted all traditional methods for publishing your book, you can always go back to the publisher who made the offer and see if they’re willing to re-open negotiations.

And don’t worry about intra-industry gossip lessening your chances of being accepted by publisher B if you turn down an assisted offer from publisher A. First, we probably wouldn’t know that you’d taken a pass on the offer because we don’t generally sit around and talk about who turned US down. Second, even if we did know, it wouldn’t be a negative. Depending on who made the offer to you, it might even work in your favor. But I wouldn’t include the fact that you passed on the offer in your query to other publishers. It’s not good form.

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I have a question about the smaller Mormon presses. I believe in years past some of the books Cedar Fort published were “author assisted”, that is the author paid for some of the costs of publication. Do you know if Cedar Fort still does that? And do any of the others–Granite, Spring Creek, etc, do it?
Thanks


I moved this from the comments trail on another post because I think it’s a good topic for discussion. It comes up every once in awhile and people usually have strong feelings about it.

Yes, Cedar Fort does it. I think Granite does too. Some other smaller presses do it, but aren’t very vocal about it. My company has done it once or twice.

There is a thin line between “author assisted” publishing and vanity press, and it all depends on how the publisher handles it. I’ve blogged about it before here and here.

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Subsidy Publishing Pt. 2–"Author Assisted" Publishing Through a Legit Publishing House

June 12, 2006

Is it a good idea for new authors if it’s a reputable publisher. Also, if a publisher asks for $4000, is it too much? Do you suppose all of that money goes toward the publishing of the book? Based on the last half of your question, I’m assuming you’re referring to an increasingly common option […]

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Subsidy Publishing Pt. 1–The True Vanity Press

June 12, 2006

Can you talk a little about subsidy publishing. Is it a good idea for new authors if it’s a reputable publisher. Also, if a publisher asks for $4000, is it too much? Do you suppose all of that money goes toward the publishing of the book? Are you asking about a true subsidy press (aka […]

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