FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to Common Questions
  1. How do I submit my proposal/book idea?
  2. What are the royalty rates paid to authors?
  3. Why do you require the author to purchase books in the initial print run?
  4. What is the cost of the books purchased by the author?
  5. Why should I have to pay part of the cost to publish my book?
  6. Are you a "Vanity" Publisher?
  7. Do you accept any and all manuscripts for publication?
  8. What is your affiliation with major publishers?
  9. How does Sanford Communications, Inc. fit into this process?
  10. In addition to the number of copies that the author orders, how many copies does PartnerPublishers™ print?
  11. How are the books you publish distributed?
  12. How large is a normal manuscript?
  13. What categories do you publish?
  14. How do I know if PartnerPublishers™ is right for me?
  15. What makes a book a "best seller?"
  16. Once the book is published, does the author have anything to do with creating sales for the book?
  17. So, if you cannot make me a bestselling author, what can you do for me?
  18. How can I know that my manuscript is really a good book? How can I be objective about this?
  19. Are you a subsidiary or are you owned by another publishing company?




1. HOW DO I SUBMIT MY PROPOSAL/BOOK IDEA?
Please refer to the Submission Form found on this website. If you select not to use the form, when sending your initial query/proposal, you should not send us your entire manuscript. Please send us a synopsis (one page or less); an outline (two pages or less); and two or three sample chapters, in addition to your resume. Send them in a common font (Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana), and double-spaced in a Microsoft Word document (a .doc file). Then email your proposal to: submit@Partnerpublishers.com. We do not accept proposals by mail, only by email.

Top of page

2. WHAT ARE THE ROYALTY RATES PAID TO AUTHORS?
PartnerPublishers™ pays author royalties on all books we sell through the retail trade. The current royalty rates are 12% for the first 10,000 copies sold; 15% for the second 10,000 copies sold; and 18% for all copies sold above 20,000. This will be spelled out in the author contract.

Top of page

3. WHY DO YOU REQUIRE THE AUTHOR TO PURCHASE BOOKS IN THE INITIAL PRINT RUN?
There is considerable risk in publishing. That risk increases with new authors. PartnerPublishers™ is dedicated to helping new authors get published, but our business plan dictates that we will not do it alone. The money we receive from author purchases helps pay for the initial editing, cover design, typesetting, printing, advertising, sales team costs, overhead, etc. That is why we tell our authors up-front that this is a "partnership" between publisher and author. We only make a decent profit if your book sells well in the stores.

Top of page

4. WHAT IS THE COST OF THE BOOKS PURCHASED BY THE AUTHOR?
The costs to the author for his copies depend on the quantity ordered. The minimum order is 1000 copies. Click here for the latest discount schedule. Payment for your books can either be scheduled in a two or three payment program. The first payment is due as a deposit when signing the author agreement, the last payment due when the books are ready to ship.

Top of page

5. WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY PART OF THE COST OF PUBLISHING MY BOOK?
There is considerable risk in publishing, and publishing new authors is even more risk. Most major publishers today take very few new authors. Many authors today are told, "anyone who asks the author to help pay for publishing their book is a self-publisher." That may have been true...until now. Our new program offers another alternative...a sort of "farm team" for publishers. If you are really serious about becoming a published author, you may want to consider the option of investing in your work. Many of you invested in a college education and even job training. Why should investing in your writing be any different?

Top of page

6. ARE YOU A "VANITY" PUBLISHER?
PartnerPublishers™ is not a vanity publisher. But sometimes we are accused of being one because, as stated above, we do require the author to participate financially in the initial print run by purchasing books at discount. That makes us different from some of the other full-service publishers who may not have this requirement. But we do this because we are dedicated to NEW authors, and we require that they share the risk.

"Vanity publishers" or "self-publishers" are not selective about who they publish. They take all comers who can write the check. We are very selective about what manuscripts we choose to publish. We also have a publishing agreement with many large traditional publishers that no other publisher has.

Most vanity publishing does not carry with it the full services we provide (editing, cover design, sales and marketing in the retail trade, etc). If you want to get your book "printed," it's easy. There are thousands of printers who can print your book cheap if that is what you are looking for.

Top of page

7. DO YOU ACCEPT ANY AND ALL MANUSCRIPTS FOR PUBLICATION?
We do not accept any and all manuscripts. We only take quality works that we feel have a chance to succeed in the Christian retail trade. We turn down far more manuscripts than we accept.

Top of page

8. WHAT IS YOUR AFFILIATION WITH MAJOR PUBLISHERS?
Some major publishers have an agreement with us to refer authors to us that, for one reason or another, do not fit into their editorial plans at this time. The hope is that we can find new authors that show promise in their writing and eventually become popular authors. In return, we agree to notify the referring publisher if a book or author shows promise through retail sales. There are no fees paid for this reciprocal referral and no other affiliation.

Top of page

9. HOW DOES SANFORD COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FIT INTO THIS PROCESS?
Sanford Communications, Inc. is our editorial partner in this process. They receive payment from us for the editorial services they provide on a manuscript by manuscript basis. In addition, if an author who shows promise does not already have a literary agent, we provide information about Sanford Communication, Inc.'s literary agency services to the author for consideration.

Top of page

10. IN ADDITION TO THE NUMBER OF COPIES THAT THE AUTHOR ORDERS, HOW MANY COPIES DO YOU PRINT?
The number we print depends on several things. First, it depends on the target audience for the book. Obviously, if the book is geared to a specific and smaller sector of the Christian population (for example, pastors or youth directors) then we would print fewer than if it were geared to a broad general audience (for example, Christian women). Second, our print run is influenced by the subject matter. If there are many books on the same subject already out there, we print less than if this is a fresh idea. Third, it depends on the author. If the author is well known or has a broad speaking ministry already established, we tend to print more than if he/she does not. Finally, we use "Just-in-Time" technology. What that means is that we get a daily report from our distribution system as to exactly how many books are ordered and how many we have in stock. When our computer system sees a book moving and our stock reaches a certain level, it triggers additional printing that arrives in our warehouse in a seamless system of providing books on time to the retail trade. This helps avoid waste. We are not a POD or "Print on Demand" publisher. All of our books are done on state-of-the-art web and sheet-fed presses.

Top of page

11. HOW ARE THE BOOKS DISTRIBUTED?
Send the Light (STL) in Tennessee performs PartnerPublishers™ distribution. They are recognized as one of the best and they do it for many major publishers. They do the warehousing, picking, packing, shipping, invoicing, credit returns, etc. and keep track of our inventory.

We market and distribute your book in all of the major retail outlets in the United States, Canada, and England. PartnerPublishers™ marketing partnerships are some of the most powerful in the industry. Our distribution power has three parts:

First, our distribution starts with the great sales and marketing team at STL. This team is led by Darren Henry (formerly with Multnomah Publishers), along with David Sheets (also formerly with Multnomah) and Terry Draughon (formerly with Thomas Nelson). They call on the large Christian and secular retail chains such as Barnes & Noble, Family Christian Stores, LifeWay, Borders, Books-a-Million, and all other bookstore chains and "big box" retail outlets. They also provide your book to Amazon and other major book websites. In addition, they make sure your book is stocked at the wholesale distributors such as Ingram/Spring Arbor, Baker/Taylor, and Appalachian.

Second, your book will be marketed to over 1000 independent Christian retailers. Our sales team for these stores is the Genesis Marketing Group, and they call on these 1000 stores at least four times a year. With over 35 years of sales and marketing experience in the Christian publishing industry, Genesis is a leader in this niche market. Their coast-to-coast coverage with a highly trained and experienced sales force allows for strong relationships with buyers and vendors alike. Genesis has 10 full- time field reps and 10 full-time inside telemarketers.

Third, we also work with three ABA sales teams who represent our books to the secular bookstore trade.

While there is no guarantee that your book will sell well, our sales team is one of the most comprehensive in the world, and they will do their best in presenting it to the hundreds of retail outlets across America.

Top of page

12. HOW LARGE IS A NORMAL MANUSCRIPT?
A normal size trade paperback book is about 200 pages when finished, which is about 60,000-75,000 words. Obviously, some books are smaller than that, but if substantially smaller, unless a specialty book with other graphics or photographs, they are very thin books, even using larger type. We like to see manuscripts that are at least 30,000 words in length, and we prefer manuscripts of at least 60,000 words. Fiction can be double this size, up to 120,000 words.

Top of page

13. WHAT CATEGORIES DO YOU PUBLISH?
PartnerPublishers™ does not target a single category as much as we target good writing from new authors. Because of this, we publish all kinds of Christian books, which include, Christian Living, Bible Study, Fiction, Family & Marriage, Devotionals, Inspirational, Church Growth, etc. We also publish books on Theology and Doctrine, but under a different imprint. We do not publish Poetry books or children's books that require lots of interior color.

Top of page

14. HOW DO I KNOW IF PartnerPublishers™ IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Our partnership program is not for everyone. If you do not have a way to sell your copies to your constituency, we do not want you to end up with a garage full of books. If, however, you have a way to sell your own copies (church, seminars, speaking, students, radio, mailing list, website, etc.) and you let us handle all the bookstore retail trade, then the partnership we offer may be a fit. The only exclusive rights you grant to PartnerPublishers™ are the retail trade. You are still free to sell your own copies anywhere except to bookstores.

Top of page

15. WHAT MAKES A BOOK A "BEST SELLER?"
Contrary to most people's thinking, advertising does not necessarily sell books. Advertising can support the sales of a good book, but many books that have had hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on various kinds of advertising did not sell well. Books sell if they can find their audience. (We suggest you read "The Tipping Point." It will give you a better idea of how bestsellers 'happen'.) Having said that, there are four key things that we think make a book a bestseller:
  • First, you have to have a good manuscript that is fresh, crisp, and lively...with a great title and cover.... that gets talked about and recommended by the reader after it is read.
  • Second, as an author, you have to have a good handle on your audience and initially be able to get the book into the hands of its audience. Notice all the authors who are pitching a new book on the talk shows? That is not an accident. Authors are the key to helping jump-start their book.
  • Third, you have to have an excellent distribution system set up to handle the demand if and when the book takes off.
  • Finally, a book that becomes a bestseller ends up selling itself. People talk about and recommend a good book. "Word-of-mouth" is the most powerful form of advertising, and without it, very few books become bestsellers.
Top of page

16. ONCE THE BOOK IS PUBLISHED, DOES THE AUTHOR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH CREATING SALES FOR THE BOOK?
The author as EVERYTHING to do with creating sales for their book! Good authors know where their readers are...and they certainly know how to get to them better than most publishers do. Authors find them via radio, TV, seminars, speaking invitations, the Internet, etc. A publisher is really the second wave for bigger sales volumes with a good sales team and, most of all, a good distribution system to get books out there fast and efficiently to meet the demand.

Remember, this is your book, your story, your life, your idea, and your audience. PartnerPublishers™, or whomever you choose, is only a partnering facilitator. In the end, it is your book, your talent, your passion, and your audience that will get the ball rolling. The truth is, authors should consider their publisher as a support, a coach, and a partner; not as a "magician" that can make your book a bestseller. Many authors are disillusioned because they have expectations from a publisher that are not realistic. A PUBLISHER CANNOT MAKE A BOOK A BEST SELLER! Only a good book that finds its audience can make itself a best seller.

PartnerPublishers™ enjoys working with authors who understand their vital role in marketing their book. Some writers think that their job ends when the manuscript is finished. But books that sell well do so because the author takes an active role in marketing their work. Authors that frequently speak to groups of people (pastors, teachers, seminar leaders, workshop leaders, convention speakers, CEO's, men's and women's retreats/groups, evangelists, radio and television talk show hosts or guests, celebrities, business owners, etc.) have built-in opportunities to market their books. When a potential reader can hear you in person, they are much more likely to purchase your book than if they just see it on a shelf somewhere.

That is why we like to work with authors who have some ministry or constituency already in place. Nothing kicks off good sales for a book better than "word-of-mouth" advertising. The books you buy personally in the initial print run will not only earn you a good profit, they will also help jump-start the sales process, giving your book a better chance to succeed.

Top of page

17. SO, IF YOU CAN'T MAKE ME A BESTSELLING AUTHOR, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?
We can only tell you that should we become your publisher, we will do everything we can to make your book a success. We will tell you the truth about your manuscript and push you to rewrite or edit where we think it is needed to make it better. We will tell you the truth about titles and cover design, and insist that we not finish until we all agree it is the best it can be. We will make sure your book has the best distribution system anywhere. Our partnership with STL distributors is the very best. We will stack our sales team up against anyone's.

PartnerPublishers™ may or may not be right for you. But know this: we will not lie to you, and we will not just "print" your book to make a quick buck. If we do your book, we will take the time to work with you to make your book better...hopefully the best. But we cannot guarantee that your book will sell well, and any publisher that tells you otherwise is not being truthful. View the Endorsements page from some of Bill and Nancie Carmichael's VMI Authors.

Top of page

18. HOW CAN I KNOW THAT MY MANUSCRIPT IS REALLY A GOOD BOOK? HOW CAN I BE OBJECTIVE ABOUT THIS?
First, ask yourself hard questions:
  • "Do I believe in this book?"
  • "What is this experience of trying to find a publisher telling me about my book, about me?"
  • "Am I on a quest to get published because I have a passion for my message and my writing, or do I want to get published for other reasons?"

    Then, if you still feel a passion for your manuscript and its message, submit it to more than one publisher and see what happens. Don't be discouraged by rejection letters. Keep trying.

    Top of page

    19. ARE YOU A SUBSIDIARY OR ARE YOU OWNED BY ANOTHER PUBLISHER?
    PartnerPublishers™ is a subsidiary of VMI Publishers which is owned by Bill and Nancie Carmichael. We are not a subsidiary of any other publisher. The major publishers who work with us are not affiliated with PartnerPublishers™ in any way other than the agreement to refer us to potential new authors for review and possible publishing. PartnerPublishers™ assumes all responsibility for the contents presented on this website and for the business relationship that may develop with authors. No other publisher is liable or responsible for the outcome of any agreements or publishing contracts that are developed out of this relationship.

    Top of page

    View the Application >>>