You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers! If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the list below, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
What kinds of books do you publish?
We publish only nonfiction books on topics that help, heal, and inspire. We do not publish any fiction, poetry, reference books, or children’s books, except those with a practical, life-enhancing component. For example, we might publish a children’s board book that aims to help kids deal with divorce, or a cookbook that outlines a new healthful diet concept.
Can you guarantee that my book will be distributed to the trade?
We want all our authors to have a solid shot at success with their books, so when you come to us, we will counsel you to choose the publishing program that is most likely to win you the results you are seeking. All submissions are considered for trade distribution in the Best Book Program; however, some books are simply not suitable, and that is not always a question of quality. If your book’s concept is very niche or academic, or if you don’t have demonstrable authority in your chosen subject matter, we will direct you to our Private Label Program. Regardless of the program you are in, you will have every available form of support appropriate to make your book a success.
Where are your books sold, and who is your sales force?
All our Best Book titles are sold and distributed by Publishers Group West (PGW) in the United States and Publishers Group Canada (PGC) in Canada, to all major North American retailers—chains, mass market retailers, libraries, independents, and online retailers including Amazon. Some of our titles are also distributed to the UK and Australia. PGW and PGC each employ a team of sales reps who actively sell our titles to their accounts. We personally meet with these teams twice a year to give individual presentations on every title on the coming season’s list.
My manuscript is already written and edited. Can I just pay to publish it with you?
Generally speaking, we prefer to work with authors from square one, collaborating on the development of every book concept and manuscript. However, for the right project that happens to meet not only our standards of quality but also our publishing category criteria, we can begin work at the manuscript draft stage. Every project that is accepted into our programs undergoes some level of editing by a Wonderwell editor.
Do you handle foreign rights and subsidiary sales?
Yes, we represent our authors in our Best Book Program for the sale of their foreign translation rights on a non-exclusive basis, and have successfully sold rights to Wonderwell books to publishers in Germany, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Hungary, and India. Our representatives attend the Frankfurt Book Fair each year, where we continue to build on our relationships with publishers and subagents abroad.
How much does it cost to have Wonderwell develop and publish my book?
There are too many variables for us to offer a set price up front for an entire book project. Instead, we custom quote on every project based on its scope, development status, and the author’s time frame for writing and need for editorial support. Most full-scale projects work out between $35,000 and $50,000 in service fees, plus the cost of printing and third-party marketing and publicity services. We take a 40 percent commission on net receipts from books sold in-store, which amounts to a royalty of 60 percent for you.
Do you offer advances? And what is your royalty rate?
We don’t offer advances. As the financial backer of your own work, you never relinquish ownership of it, so instead of paying you a small royalty and keeping the rest of the profits as a traditional publisher would, we take a commission (40 percent of net receipts) to cover the costs associated with distributing it, and you keep the rest. This equates to a 60 percent author royalty.
Can I sell my book directly to readers through my business or speaking tours?
Absolutely, and this is where the beauty of our model really pays off for authors. The trade market has low profit margins across the board, but by eliminating retailer discounts and distributors’ fees, direct sales can be incredibly lucrative, netting you 100 percent of the list price less our handling fee for shipping books to you.
I’ve never written a book before. Would you work with me?
Possibly. When we are considering an author’s strengths, we look primarily at the strength and originality of their ideas, not only at their technical skills. Of course the better your writing ability, the more smoothly the writing process will go and the better the result will be. But being a first-time book author is not an obstacle.
If a traditional publisher offers to publish my book after I have already published it with you, can I take the deal?
Yes, you can. But you won’t want to. As the owner of your work, you are free to end your relationship with us at any time, although there may be costs associated with pulling books out of distribution. Once your book has been developed and put into the market through our distribution network, you stand to collect much more from its sale through us than you would through a traditional publisher, so you’ll recoup your development expenses more quickly by staying with us. If a traditional publisher makes you an offer on your next book, you are of course free to take them up on it—although after working with us, we suspect a traditional royalty split may seem unappealingly meager to you.
Isn’t hybrid publishing just a form of self-publishing, or vanity press?
Hybrid publishing is very different from vanity press and self-publishing services. You the author are the financier and owner of the work, and you have ultimate control over its timing and execution, but that’s where the comparison to self-publishing ends. Self-publishing is a major entrepreneurial undertaking in which you must do all the hiring and other administrative legwork. You must also make all the creative decisions yourself, even in areas in which you may not have any expertise. As a hybrid publisher, we bring expert professional development to you as an author as well as to the book itself. Vanity presses will print and produce any work by anyone, regardless of its merit or marketability. Because our books go into the trade under our imprint, we are choosy about which projects we take on, and we work hard to make every one the best it can be. Of course, you may prefer to self-publish, in which case we will direct you to our Private Label Program.