Q. Why do I have to use the website submissions form?
A. Our submissions form provides us with critical information, such as the author bio, intended audience, number of words, genre, book description, and of course, the manuscript itself. This allows our entire staff of editors to review the work in the best context. Submit your manuscript here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/submit-your-work/
Q. Will they actually review my manuscript?
A. Absolutely. After publishing over 1,700 titles, our editors are quite good at quickly determining the quality and commercial viability of a manuscript. Whether it is academic, a memoir, or a novel, they will review each submission.
Q. Do you accept all manuscripts submitted?
A. No. Manuscripts must meet our quality standards for writing and subject matter. We typically accept for consideration only about 30 to 40 percent of submissions. Those that make the cut are assigned for further evaluation to one of our acquisition editors, AEs.
Q. What’s an acquisitions editor?
A. An AE is an experienced editor/writer who takes a deep dive into a manuscript and then reaches out to the submitting author. We have five AEs.
Q. Will you let me know if my manuscript is accepted?
A. If it meets our quality standards, you will hear from one of our AEs, usually within a week or two, to set up a phone or Zoom call. You will not hear from us if your manuscript does not make the initial cut. No offense intended.
Q. What happens on the call?
A. You and the AE get to know each other a little. You can talk about your story and ask questions about the publishing process and how Koehler Books works with authors.
Q. Why do you have two publishing models?
A. We have traditional and hybrid publishing models, enabling us to work with new and emerging authors, as well as experienced and agented authors with very high-quality work. You can view our models here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-models/
Q. Why can’t I get a traditional publishing deal?
A. You can if you earn it. To earn it, you must fulfill our criteria, which can be found here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-services/publishing-options/traditional-publishing/
Q. How can I meet those criteria if I’m a new author?
A. It is very difficult for new authors to receive a traditional publishing deal. If the quality of your work is outstanding and the author has a collaborative attitude, a decent marketing plan, and some followers, we may award a traditional deal. It is possible but rare for debut authors.
Q. Will I get an advance if you offer me a traditional deal?
A. Yes. We usually offer a small advance of $250-500.
Q. So, if I don’t fulfill the quality standards, why would you offer me a hybrid deal?
A. We offer hybrid deals to emerging authors who have a quality manuscript, the right attitude, and want to be published in the best possible way. We are known as an author incubator because our goal is to not just create a professionally polished book but also coach and teach the author how to become a professional author with the right stuff. Details about our hybrid model are here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-services/publishing-options/co-publishing-hybrid-model/
Q. Are hybrid books treated differently than traditionally published titles?
A. No. All our authors receive the same level of creative development, distribution, and support. The only difference is the financial arrangement between the author and publisher, which is kept confidential.
Q. But isn’t hybrid publishing just like self-publishing?
A. No. it is vastly different. We use the same methods and quality standards as with our traditional deals and with the same staff. We subscribe to the hybrid publishing standards codified by the Independent Book Publishers Association: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/about/hybrid-publishing-standards/
Q. Is hybrid publishing expensive?
A. Our hybrid fees range from $4,500-$8,000, all in, depending on the number of words and the quality of the work. Novels are more expensive because they usually require developmental line editing and copy editing. Pricing includes ALL aspects of the publishing process—editing, design, layout, distribution, printing, and marketing. You can view a sample invoice here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17sxsjTmgsrlWl45AYbilRS1C13CeVI7-/view
Q. But I probably have to pay more later, right?
A. No. Our pricing is all-inclusive, with no add-ons, upselling, or book-purchase requirements. Some authors spend more money later on things such as advertising or buying heavily discounted copies of their book to sell at events.
Q. Why should I choose Koehler Books?
A. Our success is founded on three things: the quality of our work, transparency, and the way we collaborate with and teach authors.
Q. If the call with an AE goes well, will I get a contract?
A. Yes, if you are ready. If you are offered a traditional deal, you will get just the contract. If you are offered a hybrid deal, you will receive a contract and an invoice. The traditional and hybrid contracts are nearly identical. To view a sample contract go here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17oKPzLcn16TLE2U-jM2_JUUYuo-VD_Hk/view
Q. If you offer me a hybrid deal, will you give me a bill?
A. Yes. We will include an invoice attachment to the contract with a line-item breakdown of all costs. These include costs for the tip sheet, cover and layout, editing, eBook, digital ARC, and 30 printed books.
Q. How long will it take for my book to come out?
A. Usually about seven-to-eight months for pre-order and ten months for launch.
Q. Do you include eBooks?
A. Yes. Normally, authors give us the right to publish their books as softcover, hardcover, and eBooks for a term of three years.
Q. I’ve reviewed the contract and am ready to move forward. What’s next?
A. You will sign the contract and return it to Koehler Books. Usually, the author just prints out the contract, signs it, scans it or takes a good quality photo, and emails it back to us. Step 2 is to sort out your payment if you have a hybrid deal.
Q. I signed the contract and made the payment. What’s next?
A. We will send you a welcome and creative email detailing your ISBN numbers and next steps. There will be several files attached, including an author questionnaire (AQ).
Q. Why do I have to fill out the AQ?
A. It is kind of a pain, but it will provide outstanding data about you, your book, your audience, your genre, your cover, your marketing, and more. This information will be critical for the success of your book. You will love it, and so will we.
Q. What happens after I complete the AQ?
A. You will email that to us, and assuming it is done well, we will ask you to schedule the first of the two welcome and creative calls.
Q. What will we cover on the calls?
A. All aspects of the entire publishing process, top to bottom, including the schedule, the process, marketing, and collaboration.
Q. What will my schedule look like after I sign?
A. Naturally, you will have a publication date, the end date, which typically is about 10 months after you sign with us. But there will be 2 other key dates:
a. The first will occur about eight-to-twelve weeks before your pub date, which is critical for marketing. We will provide you with a digital advanced review copy (ARC) of your book, saved as a PDF file. We will also post your book on Ingram, our distributor, so it will become available for pre-order.
b. The last key date will be about a month before your pub date. You will deliver your digital ARC with final changes marked up, along with the endorsement quotes you have gathered.
About a month later, your book launches.
Q. What will I do during the five months before you start editing and design?
A. Build your infrastructure. Create a website and social media. Start using them to build a following of readers. Create a list of organizations, schools, and groups who might be interested in your book. Contact them.
Q. How can I build a website without the cover?
A. If you build it, they will come! You have plenty of data about and from your book, and by then, you will have filled out your AQ, which will be a gold mine of data. Build the website! Some authors will create a temporary cover that will be replaced by what we create.
Q: When does editing start, and who will be my editor?
A. Editing usually begins four-to-five months prior to your publication date. You will receive an email from your editor requesting your manuscript with our formatting and style guidelines. KB’s executive editor assigns manuscripts to staff editors. All KB editors work collaboratively with authors.
Q. What should I do after the editing is finished?
A. Likely, you will be hearing soon from one of our designers to begin work on your cover and layout. As far as marketing goes, we recommend you read the POCKET GUIDE TO BOOK MARKETING again to refresh yourself.
• Prepare your list of eight Koehler Books authors you’d like to get a quote from.
• Prepare your list of groups and organizations you will contact to see if they are interested in having you give a book talk.
• Continue working on your social media and posting blog stories.
• Read through the marketing page again: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-services/support-services/marketing/
Q. When do I see book covers and the interior layout?
A. Cover design, like editing, is collaborative and generally occurs around the time editing begins. The design director assigns each book to a member of her design team. The author works directly with the designer, reviewing and discussing various cover options.
Q. What should I do after the design and layouts are done?
A. After your layouts are done, we will create the digital ARC and tip sheet, and post your book on Ingram, which means it will become available for pre-order on over 30,000 booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many others.
This is a big deal for your marketing. Plan on announcing the pre-order and telling your followers where your book is available. Begin using your digital ARC to reach out to your list of those you’d like to get an endorsement quote from.
Read the POCKET GUIDE TO BOOK MARKETING, starting on page 71, referring to getting quotes. It includes a script on how to ask on page 74.
Q. What does the entire publishing process look like from start to finish?
A. After you sign and have the welcome calls, you will work on building your website and social media and establishing a following of readers.
Creative production will start about four-to-five months before your pub date. This will include editing, cover design, and layout.
Then you will get your digital ARC, and we will print softcover and hardcover copies of your book. We will also post it for pre-order.
During the next four-to-six weeks, the author sends out their digital ARC to get endorsement quotes and also compiles any final corrections.
You can study the process in more detail here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/author-101/production-process/
Q. What will I be responsible for to market my book?
A. We will coach you and help you put together your part of the marketing program. During the first few months after you sign, you will concentrate on building your infrastructure. There are two primary elements you will work on:
1. Your social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, a blog, Pinterest, podcasts, YouTube, etc.
2. Your website—usually, these are in the name of the author.
Q. What else besides my social media and website should I consider?
A. We will walk through all that material during the welcome and creative calls. We will use our website marketing page as the primary source: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-services/support-services/marketing/
This is where we do the most coaching by helping the author focus on the marketing tools that will best suit their needs.
Q. Will Koehler Books help me market my book?
A. Absolutely. Our marketing page on the website shows all the things we do, and it is an impressive list: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-services/support-services/marketing/
We will create a page for you on our website, use social media to promote your book, give you a tip sheet to use, provide you with digital and printed ARCs, and offer below wholesale book purchases, eBook campaigns, marketing, coaching, training, awards assistance, and inclusion in four different catalogs.
Remember that it takes two to properly promote and market your book: the publisher and the author.
Study our marketing resources more than once:
- Our website marketing page: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/publishing-services/support-services/marketing/
- Our POCKET GUIDE TO BOOK MARKETING, which is a free download on our website near the top of our website marketing page.
- Our FAQs located here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/author-101/faqs/
Q. What about royalties? Will I get them?
A. Of course. Details about royalties are found on the contract. We consider royalties to be sacred. You will start getting quarterly royalty reports six months after your pub date. You will get paid if you have accrued at least $100 of royalties.
Q: Where do we receive our sales data?
A: We get our numbers directly from our distributor. They share the raw data with us. Every sale that is made online and to book stores will appear in our account, and you will receive royalties on these. The only sales that you will not receive royalties on are those you’ve made directly through our book orders page to resell yourself, information which is included on that page.
Q: How can I track my sales?
A: We use Author Nexus to allow our authors to see their sales numbers and last royalty statements. These numbers are also pulled directly from Ingram. However, there is a slight delay in receiving the data, especially right after publication.
The Author Nexus is not a formal statement, but meant to give you a general idea of how much you’re selling. We will always use the raw data directly from Ingram when creating your royalty reports.
Q: I’m not seeing all of my sales reflected in Author Nexus, why is that?
A: The Author Nexus will show a snapshot of your sales two months back and before, but it is not a final, formal report. Sales are much slower to appear accurately during the pre-order stage and right after publication. Roughly 3 months after publication, sales data “catches up” and becomes more accurate.
Please note that Ingram states: Print sales are reported within 7 days after the date of sale, and Ebook sales are reported up to 25 days after the end of the month of sale.
Q: Can I receive a “more accurate” report?
A: You must wait until each royalty statement arrives for the most accurate report. Many publishers do not offer automated tools such as the Author Nexus, so most authors have no way of knowing any sales numbers at all until their royalty report arrives. This is standard practice in the business. In fact, many publishers only send royalty reports every 6 months instead of quarterly as we do.
We have always prided ourselves with being extremely transparent in our accounting and payment of royalties. Everything mentioned above can either be found in your contract or on our website.
Q. How do I order copies of my book?
A. Use our order form here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/kb-authors/book-orders/
You can order softcover or hardcover or both. Pay attention to the details, such as minimum box requirements and the time for delivery, typically two-to-four weeks. You will get a volume discount for quantities of 100, another at 250, 500, and a huge one for 750. You can ask for multiple prices.
Q. What if a school or organization wants to buy my book?
A. While author order discounts are well under wholesale, book sales to anyone other than the author will get a 30 percent discount and no returns. Terms for wholesale orders are found under the order form. Authors receive royalties from wholesale orders.
ISSUES WITH RETAILERS
Q: Why isn’t my cover / look inside / author photo showing up on Amazon / Barnes and Noble?
A. The online listings don’t all appear at once, and sometimes the individual listings will be missing metadata information while they’re processing. You may see your title appear without a cover right after we’ve finished the ARC. It will usually appear after a day or two. The other common issues we see are the “about the author” sections not appearing until a few days after the rest of the book information and the “look inside” feature on Amazon not appearing until about a week or two after the book has been listed.
Q: There is incorrect information appearing for my book on Amazon / Barnes and Noble. Who do I contact to fix this?
A. Please email email@example.com with an explanation of which information is incorrect. They will either correct the issue or, in the case of Amazon glitches (books pointing to the wrong author, appearing in the wrong category), they will submit a support ticket on your behalf.
Q: Amazon is showing long delivery times / Amazon sent out an email to my customers about delayed shipping. Why is this?
A. While we absolutely understand that it is frustrating for the customer when their order is delayed, we’re afraid that this is a retailer matter. Any orders that our distributor receives from retailers such as Amazon are usually printed within 1-2 business days of receiving the order.
For any concerns regarding delayed shipping, the customer will need to get in touch directly with the retailer for clarification about their order. There are often instances, such as during the busy holiday season, where increased ordering volume may be the cause of any delays Amazon is advising on their orders. In these cases, they may warn of longer delays than are true in order to give themselves more buffer time.
Q: Amazon is showing my book as “Out of Stock”. If my book is POD, why would this happen?
A. As our books are print-on-demand (POD), they are always virtually in stock and available to order from Ingram, our distributor.
However, each retailer independently determines whether to list a title and how to display that title’s availability on their website. We are pleased that most retailers like Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Books-A-Million, always reflect an “In Stock / Available” status for our titles. With this in mind, we recommend that should Amazon show an “Out of Stock” status for your title, you refer your readers to the retail partners who show your title with immediate availability.
END OF TERM OPTIONS
Q. What happens to my book at the end of my three-year term?
A. You will have to decide which of the three options we have for you to consider, shown here on our website: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/end-of-term-options-for-authors/
You can do nothing and just let the book fade away, we will send you all your book files so you can self-publish later, or you can pay us a fee to replace our branding with yours and transfer your book to your own IngramSpark account.