Do you write, thoughtfully and well? Tellectual Press offers a fair, convenient, and realistic alternative to self-publishing. Although we have no pretensions of being a “real” publisher with all the name cachet and bookstore placement those guys promise, you might do better working with us than trying to handle all the details of editing and book production yourself.1
Tellectual provides a solid “traditional” approach to book building, while appealing to more independently minded authors who find the benefits of self-publishing appealing, but who may not be sure where to begin with that. We bridge the gap between these two branches of the publishing industry, offering authors excellence in publishing as well as a fair deal: 50% of net revenue.
Take what Amazon et al. pay us in royalties for your book. Deduct our modest costs directly attributable to it2 and any advance we’ve paid you. (We do pay modest advances for stuff we really like and believe has sales potential–think hundreds, not thousands.) Half of what’s left comes to you.3
Most of our authors are active participants in selling print copies of their books. To facilitate that, we offer them as many copies as they like at a wholesaler’s price of 2.5 times our cost. This is low enough for the authors to make a little profit of their own selling their books at the cover price, or to cover the consignment cost of getting some “local author” copies placed in a boutique bookstore. And it’s high enough for us to still make a little profit, which–like all other net revenue–is ultimately shared 50-50 with the author.
We are asking new authors to commit to an initial purchase of fifty print copies of their books under this program. (Most of our authors have ordered more, and earned their money back from doing so.) That shows a level of commitment not just to their outstanding writing and working with us in the editing process, but also to the challenging final act of marketing the published work. Other than that, there are no up-front costs to you. This isn’t a vanity press out to take advantage of people’s misguided ambitions.4
We think all that is pretty fair, and simple, too.
Our founder Ed Suominen, a writer himself with two books out thus far, is a meticulous editor whose attention to your text can help keep your thoughts focused and powerfully expressed. He hates sloppy sentences, typos, and ugly layout as much as you should. He loves eye-catching graphics on the covers of our books, and on illustrations inside them when that makes sense.
If we like your work and accept it for publication, we will act as the refiner’s fire on your manuscript. Our goal will be to bring out the best in it, and in you as the author. We will put a lot of effort and pride into making your work as good as it can be, without compromising its integrity or yours. From cover design to footnotes to the various levels of editing, the author-publisher relationship at Tellectual is more hands-on than what many midlist authors receive in larger houses.5
Tellectual Press is not just in this for the love of ideas and words. Publishing your book as a polished, professional work gives it a better chance of actually selling, in a very tough market that is stacked against the little guy. But we are not slaves to the bottom line: We are much more willing to take on a project based on its artistic and philosophical merits than the big publishers are.
If you think you’ve got something that would interest us–nonfiction or fiction so long as it is meaningful and well-written–let us know.
Regarding pretensions, sorry about this business of referring to a one-man shop with the plural pronoun. There seems to be no other shorthand to use when referring to the company as a distinct entity from its founder. So bear with–ahem–us on this, please. ←
Depending on the project, those expenses can include ISBN numbers, copyright registration, contracted content (e.g., a cover done by somebody else) if that makes sense, a press release, and online advertising. ←
Multiple co-authors split that among themselves. If you and a friend co-author our first improbable best-seller, you each get 25% of the net revenues that come rolling in. ←
It must be said, in all candor, that few books actually make any money, and your masterpiece is unlikely to be an exception. A Kindle edition on Amazon with a page rank of 100,000 is doing better than perhaps 95% of what’s available on the Kindle Store, yet it’s probably not selling more than a single copy per day. ←