In this section:
Your publication date will be set when your Proofs and Cover Workflow sections are approved and confirmed by the Editorial Manager. This means your manuscript and cover are fully edited and proofed and your book is ready to send to the printer. This is normally around 4 months after the beginning of the production process when you first upload your manuscript.
The month after your Proofs and Cover Workflow sections are approved and confirmed by the Editorial Manager we set the publication date for ten clear months later (e.g. for a title finishing production in January, we will schedule a December release). We have a nominal publishing date of the last Tuesday in each month (except December, when it is the second Tuesday) and we aim for the same publication date for ebook and paperback.
There is such a long wait because it takes 10 months (sometimes more) for information about your book to circulate through the trade worldwide, and this is essential to maximize your prospects of long-term success.
Please note that this time may be slightly extended depending on where we are in the annual buying cycle.
The month after your text and cover files are finished, we send your book’s metadata to the trade. As soon as that information is live on retailers’ databases, consumers can pre-order your printed book, so this will usually be around 10 months before publication.
On most ebook sites, your ebook will be available to pre-order one month before publication, and can be downloaded and read from publication day onwards.
We receive notice of Amazon.com pre-orders via our NBN Amazon sales rep, and we are able to monitor early orders, with the aim of predicting and maintaining the necessary stock levels. The distributors then dispatch these orders to the trade accounts in the weeks leading up to publication.
However, we can't track individual pre-orders as and when they come in. We only get an idea of the figure when Amazon etc. place their initial orders a month or two prior to publication. An author can only really gauge pre-orders by checking the sales rank.
If your book’s information (printed or ebook) is not displayed correctly on Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Hive, Indiebound, Waterstones, or your preferred retail site, post a query with your title and publication date on the Sales & Distribution/ Sales Online forum, and we will follow up.
As a blanket rule, we recommend ordering your books 2 months in advance of when you need them. 3 months if you are in Australia/NZ.
But they do count towards the sales figures that automatically trigger extra publicity at every 500 total copies (print and e-book) sold to customers.
Distributors ask for payment from individuals and authors on ordering, and generally accept all credit cards if they have the book in stock. We cannot offset payments against royalties, because the accounts the distributor holds with you are separate from the ones we hold.
Post the order on Sales & Distribution: Sales to authors forum and make sure you mention:
We use three main distributors.
Remember – when you order, say you’re an author or contributor, and they will apply the standard author terms of discount – 50% firm-sale non-returnable on any book in any imprint (the exception is Australia, where it’s 40% when authors order from Brumby, our local distributor).
The books you buy with the author discount are non-returnable, so it is important that you estimate the quantity you require for events. You can sell the books at whatever price you choose.
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
John Wiley & Sons Ltd distributes our books to individuals and trade customers throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Call – + 44 (0)1243 843291 or email [email protected] with your order and pay by credit card, or ask for a proforma invoice (which can be paid either by phoning with a credit card number or by sending a bank transfer). Payments by cheque or postal order are no longer accepted. Delivery charges will be quoted on ordering.
National Book Network
It takes time to ship the books to you, and even more time if they have to be printed first.
As a blanket rule, we recommend ordering your books 2 months in advance of when you need them. And to be absolutely safe, 3 months if you are in Australia/NZ.
In general, Wiley needs 5 working days to process an order, pick and pack and deliver books to a customer on the UK mainland; but if a customer doesn’t order frequently, it tends to add 4 working days – so you can assume 9 working days.
USA (Central and South America)
NBN needs up to 10 working days to process, pick, pack, and ship books to a US customer by Standard Ground UPS.
Large retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, buy centrally; the books go to their central warehouse, then out again, adding a week or so.
Allow 30 working days for delivery due to border customs.
It can take longer to get books a few hundred miles from Pennsylvania to Ontario than a few thousand miles from England to Singapore. British Columbia is worse still.
A wholesaler buys a book from a publisher and supplies it to bookstores, libraries, or whoever else may want your book. A distributor does similar tasks but works for the publisher.
In addition, a distributor provides many services a wholesaler doesn’t, including making sure your book is available with all the different wholesalers, such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bookazine, New Leaf, or Quanta in the US, and Bertrams, Gardners, Westnedge, OLF, or Bookspeed in Europe.
In our case, using Wiley in the UK, we gain a total supply chain solution including demand planning, print and distribution, customer service, and credit collection. Shops normally order your book from a single wholesaler. It is quicker and more efficient than buying all their books from many different publishers or distributors.
Yes you can, but not through us. We recommend the bulk buying of e-books through ebooks.com. They can be used as part of a special offer, or prize giveaway, for example.
For smaller orders, you can purchase on your site; for bigger orders, it's worth contacting them directly.
You can distribute your ebooks in 3 ways:
Ebooks will be in EPUB format and ebooks.com recommend ebooks be read in Adobe Digital Editions Mac and PC and the ebooks.com Ebook Reader app for mobile devices. All software is free.
We aim to have printed stock in the warehouses by the first day of the month in which your book is published, so we place a print order the month before publication. It takes varying lengths of time to get into the shops:
We also gauge how many to print by looking at the Marketing page for any Promotional Plans and Marketing Activities. Above all, please advise any bookstores with which you are in contact to allow us time to replenish stock if necessary. We need at least three weeks’ notice for US, UK and Europe, and more for other countries.
Stores, for whom books are only a small proportion of their stock, may be able to order books through their usual wholesaler.Before we order the first printing, we check in with the trade buyers to see how many they have ordered – we want to have as many orders as possible before we print. Many trade buyers do not make their initial orders of stock until around 4-6 weeks prior to publication, so we leave our first print order as late as we can, so we can get a sense of what the trade are ordering. Shops and online retailers should start receiving printed copies of your book when you receive the Your book is now in the warehouse notification, usually four weeks before publication. If stock is ordered earlier than six weeks into our US warehouse, NBN, they will advance the publication date, which can complicate things. In the US, we aim to deliver stock four weeks before publication so that this doesn’t happen.
We spend a lot of time dealing with queries from people saying their book is not available. Very occasionally, it’s because sales are going faster than we expected and we’re temporarily out of stock (usually two weeks max.). More often, the answer is among the following categories:
Sometimes, a bookstore in one part of the world or another complains that they can’t get hold of a book from our distributor. This is usually for one of the following reasons:
There’s a raft of similar reasons. Do let us know if you come across any problems. But be precise. Press the shop for details – Which store? Which manager dealt with your book? What date was the invoice sent? For how many copies? What was the invoice or order reference number?" – and send those to us, along with the ISBN and title of the book. Distributors get thousands of orders from stores each day. They need the order reference to check. Virtually every time we look into this, the distributor is not at fault.
The total number of books available in English is somewhere north of 30 million. The number available to buy online is over 10 million. The average number stocked in a bookshop (if it's a large one) is around 10,000. Most of these are backlist sellers relevant to the shop’s marketplace, which they know are going to sell. Some are new books, but most of those are by well-known names. We can only get directly to very few of the 20,000 shops in North America/UK, as they mostly buy centrally, or through wholesalers. So, if it is not there, the most likely reason is that the information we sent out to the main buyer and wholesaler was not persuasive enough. Or, if it's a chain, they have allocated it to a few shops, but not all of them. Or if they did buy it, and it is in the month of publication, it may because the book has not got to that shop yet. If it is later than the month after publication, it may be that the shop has had the book but sold it, and not reordered yet, or did not sell and has been returned. Most new books are only stocked for a few weeks and then returned if they are not selling fast enough.
This is likely for the following reasons:
The information from Amazon.com feeds through to regional Amazons in France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. This means that people in those countries can order the book from the US site. Your book may not appear on these sites until your publication date or just after.
If you are searching for your pre-order title on Amazon in a region other than your own (e.g., searching Amazon USA from the UK, or vice versa), you may not find it. or you may see it come up as unavailable. Don't be too concerned about this — readers in that region will be able to find it and pre-order.
Since the demise of the Net Book Agreement in the UK in 1997, Amazon UK has the right – as does every retailer – to sell books at whatever price they choose. In fact, in 2016, Amazon UK implemented a policy of deliberately not displaying the RRP and regularly offering some books at prices £1 or so above it.
If you do see a price promotion on Amazon, it is a great opportunity to promote the book to your networks. It’s also worth pointing out that a discounted price on Amazon or any other retailer doesn’t affect your royalty payments, which are accrued from the trade sale made to Amazon from a distributor or wholesaler, and nothing to do with the final price charged.
Amazon may decide to run a promotion on your title (especially if you have a lot of reviews). We can’t influence these promotions directly. If we find out that Amazon have picked your title for a merchandising program, such as Kindle Daily Deal, we will record it in your Marketing Activities as an “Advert.”
Amazon also offers other publishing merchandising programs. They cost between $5000 and $100,000 and are only worth thinking about once your title has held onto a top 1000 sales ranking on Amazon for a couple of months. These programs are run through our distributor NBN in the US and through Amazon Advantage in the UK.
Misc Amazon info
Amazon.com buys non-return from our North American distributor, NBN (National Book Network), at 50% discount on RRP, and 15% through wholesalers. Amazon.co.uk buys on consignment, paying 45% of RRP on books sold. Amazon typically buys 85% of books direct from our distributors, NBN & Wiley.
We are also on the Amazon UK Advantage program for publishers, which speeds up supply and allows us to exchange editorial, sales, and marketing information with Amazon.
Unfortunately, there is very little we can do to manage Amazon stock levels — their orders are placed automatically based on current stock levels and previous purchase patterns. If you contact us on the Editorial & Production - Printing queries forum, we will let you know their last order details and the current stock at NBN, our US distributor.
The number of copies the retailer shows as being in stock is not significant. These days, retail stock control is highly automated, shipping is fast, and books in the distribution chain aim to match reader demand. This means that many retailers can keep low stocks and order books from distributors, non-returnable.
Big retailers such as Amazon pick up several times a week from the distributor. Our US distributor, NBN, can deliver books within 10 working days (12 at the end of the month); our European distributor John Wiley & Sons, 5–7 working days.
Every book we sell on Amazon offers Look Inside functionality. Readers can read random pages from no more than 20% of the text, mimicking the experience of browsing in a bookshop. We don't have any control over the pages of your book that Amazon chooses to preview. The content is decided by the Amazon algorithms, and they don't accommodate special requests.
Amazon categorises your book according to its own algorithms. This process is highly automated and categories vary by retailer and by region. In some categories, such as History, Amazon's sub-categories will go deeper than the BISAC categories you chose for your book at the beginning of the publishing process.
If you want to change your Amazon categories, you can recommend changes to bibliographic data, including your paperback categories, on Amazon.com via an Author Central account; you can request additional categories or removal, too. You cannot change Kindle categories on Amazon.com. For Amazon UK, if your categories are wildly wrong, please contact us through the Author Forum in Sales & Distribution/Sales Online; we can ask Amazon to change categories for your paperback but not for the Kindle version of the book in the UK. However, be warned: Amazon will remove a category more easily than add one; changes can take several weeks to feed through and aren’t guaranteed.
We, as the publisher, have no power to remove negative reviews. If someone has posted a review of your book that seems really unjust, you can complain to [email protected] or report it through your Author Central account.
Note: Amazon reviews are vital for promoting your book. For advice on how to generate them, please read Marketing 365.
We provide monthly sales figures on your Financials page, by units and value in £ sterling.
All print sales for any given month should be uploaded by the end of the following month. E.g., February sales will be uploaded by the end of March.
For ebook sales, a number of retailers, including Amazon, do not report ebook sales until the middle to the end of the following month. We add the sales to your reports when they self-invoice to us. Your eBook sales will, for the most part, be a month behind when they were bought (or later if we receive the corresponding invoice later).
All ebook sales (worldwide) are listed in the US sales column on your Financials page because they are run through our US distributor, NBN.
The figures include sales to authors but not free copies issued to reviewers.
Print sales numbers are sales to booksellers and not sales to individuals.
So if various individuals report to you that they bought your book from a bookseller in March, and your page reports no sales for March, then those copies will have been recorded on your Financials page in February or in the months before, when the bookseller initially bought the book and added it to their stock.
Ebook sales are all direct-to-reader sales – while customers can return an ebook, booksellers cannot!
Preorders will also show up in the monthly sales figures on your Financials page.
Our books are available to pre-order around ten months before publication. Over this period, authors understandably want to know their pre-order sales.
Unfortunately, we don't have access to individual pre-orders as and when they are made. We only get an idea of preorders when booksellers place their initial wholesale orders a month or two prior to publication. These show up on your Financials page by the end of the following month.
However, checking your Amazon sales rank before publication is a ball-park indicator for how your pre-orders are going with Amazon.
Printed copies of your book are not the same as sales of your book. We print the copies. Then we have to sell them to booksellers.
In an ideal world, we would sell every copy we print, but in practice it is unlikely. We carefully manage our print runs, avoiding too many unsold copies by aiming to keep stock levels at the number of books that have sold in the previous three months.
As well as buying books from us, booksellers also return unsold stock.
If you have negative sales for any given month, it means there were more returns (by booksellers) than sales (to booksellers) in that month.
The numbers you see are net of returned books rather than gross.
Net sales can appear as negative, because orders from over-ambitious retailers are being returned and are often higher than more recent outgoing orders and is now more cost-effective to pulp returned copies.
No, you can't see your specific no. of Amazon sales. If you have an Amazon Author Central account you can see your Amazon sales rank, which gives you an indication as to how well your book is performing.
Amazon also offers Nielson Bookscan data for its Amazon.com site. This gives an indication of books sold at point of sale to customers for the USA only (not the same as the numbers on your Financials page, which is books sold to the trade).
For foreign rights sales go to read our Foreign Rights chapter here.
The current monthly sales figures, going back to November 2008, are accurate, though there may be slippage from one month to the next. Prior to 2008, they are not, particularly if your book was published before January 2005. The royalty statements, however, will be accurate overall, but we have put in an approximation at times rather than checking every royalty statement for each book. Sales of ebooks prior to November 2011 are not given on the website, but will have appeared on your royalty statement.
We are represented by companies that are generally reckoned to be amongst the best independent sales teams around the world:
They work at contacting all relevant wholesalers and retailers, online and bricks-and-mortar, about your book, worldwide. Libraries usually find out about books from wholesalers, so they are covered too. You can be sure that your title will be presented to larger retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hudson, Hastings, BAM, NACS and Folletts in the USA; Indigo in Canada; and Waterstones, WH Smith, Blackwell, Foyles, and John Smith in the UK. Reps also present to library suppliers such as Brodart in USA, and to Bertram Library Services, Askews and Yankee Book Peddler in Europe. We're in constant touch with the above groups, sending them AI/tipsheets and catalogues, and attending sales meetings. All the main reps get access to an AI sheet on every title, and we provide them with subject catalogues that include strong backlists.
Important note: Please do not contact the sales teams directly. They all represent numerous publishers, and it's not feasible for them to work with authors on an individual basis.
Realistically, with us, your best chance of getting stocked in physical bookstores is in the UK, North America, and Europe (and getting them stocked in these regions is tough).
The market in Australia is extremely difficult at present, and it is highly unlikely we will be able to get your books into shops there, unless you're a national name or there's specific demand.
Until the end of 2017, we worked with Hay House in South Africa, but they closed down their operation in that country, and it is no longer financially viable for us to have a local distributor there.
Countries such as India are nigh on impossible because of low retail prices. So, outside the UK, North America, and Europe, your book is most probably going to be available online only, via the regional Amazon or other retailers such as the Book Depository (free international shipping).
A bookseller is far more likely to be persuaded to order copies of a new book if they are alerted to significant marketing. This includes details of upcoming events, scheduled interviews, endorsements from high-profile reviewers, and any traction a book may have gained in mainstream press or on social media. Our Sales Coordinator passes on important marketing information, which the reps then highlight to buyers when pitching your book to bookstores. Tell us about the marketing you do by adding it to your Marketing Activities. For really big news, let us know on the Author Forum.
Our trading terms are effectively sale or return (returnable), and we offer trade accounts a discount off the recommended retail price (RRP) of 35–60%. We never refuse returns from an event and often offer an increased discount.
One of the largest independent sales teams in N. America, they have nine in-house sales staff, all highly experienced, covering wholesalers and central buyers for chains, and use further six sales commission groups with several dozen reps between them for sales to selected independent stores. Andrea Jacobs is our Account Manager. National Account Managers are: Omuni Barnes (Amazon.com), Spencer Gale (Barnes & Noble), Ed Lyons (Baker & Taylor/Mass Merchant), Sheila Burnett (Ingram), and Max Phelps (Books-A-Million, REI, American Wholesale, Select Outdoor). Special Markets: Dennis Hayes (Gift, Gourmet, Special Sales) and Amy Alexander (Special Sales Account Manager). Field reps and territories are: Joseph Novosad and Larry Seidl (Rocky Mountain West); Hand Associates — Lynn Wakabayashi, Jock Hayward, David Diehl, Pam Sheppard (West); Geoff Rizzo, Tom Caldwell, Angie Smits, Teresa Rolfe Kravtin, Jan Fairchild (South); Wybel Marketing Group — Terry Wybel, Ron Prazuch, Bill McGarr (Midwest); McLemore/Hollern & Associates — Sam McLemore, Larry Hollern (Southwest); Mark Carbray (New England); The R&R Book Company — Richard C. Re, Eileen Bertelli, Linda Cannon, Jason Kincaide (Mid-Atlantic). There are a further 100 or so reps on commission who cover the rest of N. America and non-book-trade outlets, like museums, garden centres, craft shops. They are in the top 20 vendors in all sections of the book market.
Headed by NBN Managing Director Les Petriw. Commission reps cover the Canadian retail and special sales accounts: Hornblower Books, Inc. — Laurie Martella (Atlantic Canada & Eastern Ontario), Karen Stacey (Quebec), Roberta Samec (Toronto, Northern & Soutwestern Ontario), Neil MacRae (Eastern Canada & Academic Sales); Rorie Bruce (Winnipeg); Lisa Pearce (Manitoba and Saskatchewan); AV Sales & Marketing — Aydin Virani and his sales group (Alberta and British Columbia), Kamini Stroyan (British Columbia Interior and Vancouver Lower Mainland).
NBN also sell titles for us in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean through a partnership with JCC Enterprises.
Debbie Jones (South West England), Anna Murphy (Scotland), Colin Edwards (South & South East), Ian Tripp (Midlands & Wales), Christine Edgeler (London), Gill Hess Limited (Ireland).
Durnell have a team of three directors/territory managers: Thibault Appell (Finland, France, Iceland, Malta, Switzerland); James Dunphy (Albania, Belgium, Gibraltar, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain); and Timur Sayfullin (Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine); supported in sales by Iva Mikulikova, Dr Alice Sanders and Sarah Moore.
Predominantly MBS titles here, we push separately from the office in other areas.
We produce catalogues twice a year. These cover eight areas:
We also produce "Top 20" lists in BISAC categories and in all sub-categories.
Download these from www.collectiveinkbooks.com, clicking on Catalogues on the top menu.
If the bookseller plans to order in quantity for an event or other special promotion, they may need extra discount, delivery by particular day, or have other requirements. If so, direct them to How to Order on our website, where they will find contact details for the distributor in their region and can contact CI to negotiate terms. They can order on account or not, but non-account holders will be asked to pay in advance by credit card.
The discount and whether returnable or non-returnable terms depends on the type of retailer, credit risk, order history and size of order. In US and Australia this is determined by the respective distributors NBN and Brumby, elsewhere by negotiation with us, CI.
If the bookstore wants to order a few copies for their shelves, they can also order direct from our distributors, via the How to Order, page, or they may prefer prefer to order through a wholesaler. The main book wholesalers in the US are and Baker & Taylor (and New Leaf for Mind, Body, Spirit), and in the UK Gardners.
Please let us know of any trade orders that you are involved in through the Help forum, under Sales & Distribution: Sales to authors. It helps us plan our printing.
Over the years, we have built good relationships with booksellers in particular subject areas, which you can see in the Contacts Database. For instance, in the Mind/Body/Spirit sector we have close links with specialist bookstores such as Watkins Books in London, and Banyen Books in Vancouver. In the Christian market, we have close links with the wholesalers A Great Read and Goodnews Books. Our imprint for radical politics and culture, Zer0 Books, is popular with booksellers such as Foyles, Blackwell, Bookmarks, Housmans, Folletts, Bluestockings, and City Lights.
These outlets market and sell our books by hosting events, displaying books on their shelves and websites, as well as publishing articles, reviews, and adverts.
We also work with festival organizers, colleges and academic institutions, churches and retreats, arts centers and galleries, as well as therapy centers and healing groups throughout the world.
We do not run front-of-store table promotions in the big chains. Exposure for books at the front of a bookstore is “bought” by the publisher at the discretion of the bookseller and costs in excess of $10,000.
If you are an academic, please encourage your university library to stock your book and others on the list, and subscribe to our newsletter. Authors should contact your local public library. Tell them briefly what the book is about, of any reviews, and how to order.
Public libraries now offer ebooks too. So go online and check whether they list your book and, if not, recommend it and any others in the imprint.
Overdrive distributes our ebooks to most public library platforms in the UK & US.
Overdrive will list your book as available in a particular country only if a library has requested it. So ask for it in your local library and get friends in other countries to ask in theirs, too. If a library gets a request for a book from a reader, they will order it. So encourage friends to order in different countries where you can.
Please note, many of these sites claiming to offer a free copy of your book do not actually do so. They are phishing sites, looking to collect your personal data.
Printed books are rarely pirated. Piracy of ebooks is more common.
Along with most publishers, we do not build digital rights management (DRM) into our ebooks because it would restrict their readability and distribution. Third-party stores (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble) add a layer of DRM that locks the book to a specific user account and device.
If you do come across an instance of your manuscript being offered as a free download and you can find a contact email address on the offending site, post this and the URL link to your book on the Help forum in Sales & Distribution/ Sales Online. We will issue a take-down notice to their service provider. Word Press and YouTube are on our side and will take down any offending URL.
If you would like to issue a take-down notice yourself, please use this template:
To the ISP Hosting Company:
[Author name] is the copyright owner of the ebooks being infringed at:
[Insert URL link]
This letter is official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") to effect removal of the above-reported infringements. I request that you immediately issue a cancellation message as specified in RFC 1036 for the specified postings and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its Web address, from posting the infringing material to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to "expeditiously remove or disable access to" the infringing material upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.
I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of here is not authorized by the author, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Please reply to me promptly indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter.
We only publish in the English language, though we facilitate publication in other languages by selling the foreign rights.
We sell about 30 foreign rights a year. Around 360 publishers subscribe to get a mailing from us. Last year we sent out over 500 books for consideration, resulting in 35 foreign rights contracts.
About half our translation sales rights we handle directly, half through agents. We work with ten of these in different language territories.
Agents take 10% or so of any income before it comes to us. We then send you your share when your royalties are due. For this reason, along with bank charges, the sum we receive does not always exactly match the advance given in the contract.
We do not attend the major international book fairs like BEA (USA), Frankfurt, though we go to the London Book Fair. We choose where we spend our money and fairs aren’t one of the big choices. Our distributors and agents are there.
When we sell the foreign rights to your book you’ll be informed by an email notification.
The event will be recorded in Marketing Activities on your Marketing page.
We record the terms of the contract in the FOREIGN RIGHTS SALES section on your Financials page.
No, we do not sub-license editions of your book to other publishers in English, with the exception of sales to India (their retail price is equivalent to our cost price).
If we have the translation rights (the case in around nine titles out of ten), to avoid confusion please log translation queries in the Rights section of the Author Forum.
The financial penalties involved in mistakenly selling translation rights to two different publishers in the same country can far outweigh income gained from selling any number of rights.
We approach other publishers for rights sales once your book is in print. Though some ask for PDF (proofs) by email, most want a physical copy of the book in their hands before they’ll offer a contract, unless you are a well-known author.
If a publisher contacts us asking for copy of a book before it’s published, we send a hard copy if we have stock, or we send a PDF if it’s ready.
If you’re not a recognizable name, or if we haven’t sold 10,000 or so copies of your book, the chances of rights sales are not high.
When we make a sale most advances are at the level of €500–1000, and many are in the hundreds, or in places like Vietnam or Indonesia many are sold with no advance.
€5000 is generally a good advance, though it doesn’t happen very often.
Occasionally an overseas publisher will bring out a translation quickly, but this is the exception.
Your overseas publisher will have to:
Look up the publisher you wish to find in the Contacts Database.
We will send you two copies of the translated book when we receive them from the publisher.
We don’t get involved in detailed correspondence in this area. We do not chase up overseas publishers asking if or when they are going to publish, or how many they are printing.
Publishers overseas prefer to work with authors in their own market, who can promote in their own language, and avoid the very substantial translation costs, which effectively double the investment (which is why we have few translated books on our own list).
Some markets, like self-help and health, are simply too crowded.
In many countries, like India and the Far East, retail prices are anything from one tenth to a quarter of those in the West, and the costs to us of processing the transaction are disproportionate. It does not generate substantial income, being often outweighed by the cost of getting it.
If there are illustrations in the book a good proportion of this is taken up with the costs of administration. It can take months, or even years, trying to sort out the complications of double taxation between different tax offices in different countries, with documents needing to be stamped in the original by Inland/Central Revenue Departments, and occasionally it simply doesn’t get sorted.
Yes, you can help the foreign rights sales of your book.
Approach overseas publishers direct, either contacts already on our database who have published our titles before or others that you know of. We are easy to work with on the agreements. Encourage friends/colleagues in other countries to do the same. It makes a difference if a publisher knows that there are already people in their market keen to see a book.
If they are interested, ask them to contact Lisa von Fircks, our Foreign Rights Manager. ([email protected]).
Authors sometimes have friends/contacts who want to translate the book into their language. Or are bilingual and can do it themselves. Which is great, but we cannot get directly involved with that, in terms of publishing the translation. Effective publishing means finding a local-language publisher in that market. Encourage them to find one.
We don’t get involved in correspondence as to whether the translation (including the title) is accurate or not.
We don’t speak the language, we have to leave it to the local publisher. They’re the ones who are investing in the work.
Similarly, if a publisher wants to shorten the text, we leave it to their judgment.
This may happen particularly on longer books, and especially with languages like German which bulk to one third more than English.
There may be passages that are more relevant to an English audience than overseas one, and they want to delete those. Or convert them to a local example. We give permission for the publisher to do this, without getting back to you, unless you ask us to do so in advance.
Please note: If you have supplied supplied us with pictures or illustrations make sure you retain your own copies.
We can’t guarantee to make these available to an overseas publisher in future years.
The reason is that application software gets updated as the years go on, and earlier jobs reflow when opened up in newer software. It’s often simpler to produce new photographs or illustrations rather than sort the software out.
Feel free to contact them directly:
Please note: We do not forward statements on sales from overseas publishers.
We do record the advance paid to us, with subsequent royalties.
You can make a rough calculation of the numbers sold from royalty received, but we do not track sales of translated titles like we track our own sales. We do not chase publishers for royalty statements. It may be a few years before you receive anything other than the advance. This is because it can take two or three years to translate and publish, and some publishers do not send us a statement until the book has earned through the advance. Different publishers send us statements covering different periods, one might be six months, another once a year.
You can find this information in your Financials page.
As soon as we receive the income, it will be paid over to you in your subsequent royalty statement. We do not pay over your percentage of the advance as soon as the contract is signed, because sometimes it can take six to twelve months to come through, sometimes it does not come at all, and we have to cancel the contract.
There is a sample foreign rights contract in Appendix 2.
Most sales of foreign editions tend to be considerably smaller than those achieved in the home market, and they die down quickly. Which titles are picked up where often seems random, and sales sometimes seem inexplicably low, or more occasionally high, with little logic behind them, unconnected with the clout of the publisher. Our most successful foreign rights title is a seemingly obscure little hardback called God Calling, which was actually first published in 1935, and to which we bought the rights some fifteen years ago. Sales are still steady in the UK, at a few thousand a year, but overseas sales run into the many tens of thousands a year. Norway manages to sell more than we do, but we can’t sell it to Sweden or Finland. Go figure…
God Calling is one of our most successful books in terms of foreign sales