General Questions

Is Brandylane a traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing company?

Brandylane is a hybrid publisher. We publish a select number of titles under our traditional program each year. We also offer cooperative arrangements through Brandylane and through our sister imprint Belle Isle Books, under which we fund a portion of the cost to publish an author’s manuscript. We offer self-publishing services only through Belle Isle Books.

Can I submit my book for traditional publishing consideration only?

Absolutely. However, unless an author specifically requests otherwise, we consider every submission we receive for publication under our traditional option. We do not have a separate reading process for traditional vs. nontraditional publishing consideration; nor do we have a separate process for Brandylane vs. Belle Isle consideration. We simply review your completed work and determine which option best fits your particular project. Competitive candidates for traditional publication generally meet the following qualifications: The manuscript is well written, appeals to a national or international audience, and has been professionally edited by a Chicago Manual of Style qualified editor; the author has presented a professional, comprehensive marketing plan and is willing to be highly visible in the marketplace; and the author has an established audience due to previously published work, social media, or other public activity.

What is a cooperative publishing arrangement?

If your book is accepted for publication under our cooperative option, we fund a portion of the cost to package and publish your book, depending on the quality of your manuscript, editing and design requirements, the potential market appeal of your work, and your marketing effort. You or another entity invests the remainder. Our cooperative program is not self-publishing. (Please see the following question for more information on self-publishing.) Rather, we tailor our cooperative arrangements to the individual project. Under this model, your book is packaged by top-quality editors and designers, published under one of our two imprints, and marketed and distributed through standard and emerging industry channels. You have the option to sell copies independently of us, and we earn no portion of the revenue you generate from sales of these copies.

What is self-publishing?

Authors who choose to self-publish their work purchase and register their own ISBN (International Serial Book Number) and are the official publisher of record for their book(s). They also contract and pay an editor, designer, printer, and arrange for marketing and distribution services, either individually or through a company that provides these services.

If my book is published under a cooperative arrangement, how much can I expect to pay?

The cost of publishing a book varies from project to project and depends upon a variety of factors: editorial and design requirements, the book’s format (hardcover or paperback), printing costs, trim size, final page count, potential market, and other considerations. If we are interested in publishing and investing in your book after we have reviewed your manuscript, we will estimate total publishing costs, then determine how much we’re willing to invest. Generally, author share of the investment falls in the $3,500 to $7,500 range.

What type of publisher is Belle Isle Books?

For works that are not a good fit for Brandylane’s title list, our sister imprint, Belle Isle Books, offers cooperative arrangements, self-publishing and publishing guidance services, as well as book packaging services for individual authors, businesses, organizations, and other publishers. We offer a full menu of a la carte services, including professional editing, professional cover and cover design, printing, ebook production, indexing, marketing/promotional guidance, and consulting. Belle Isle does not publish books traditionally.

What is your self-publishing / publishing guidance program under Belle Isle Books?

Under our publishing guidance option, we guide you through the publishing process and offer a la carte services, including editing, cover and interior design, and printing. When you publish your book with the help of our publishing guidance program, you are the publisher of record. Your book does not carry our imprint logo, and we do not sell your book or post it on our website. Rather, we provide you with packaging services and publishing and marketing guidance to help bring your book to the marketplace under your own imprint. This option is only available through Belle Isle Books. We connect you with an international distributor, who will make your book available in English in the US, Canada, U.K., Europe, Brazil, Australia, India, Poland, Russia, China, and South Korea.Under our publishing guidance option, we guide you through the publishing process and offer a la carte services, including editing, cover and interior design, and printing. When you publish your book with the help of our publishing guidance program, you are the publisher of record, and we do not sell your book. Rather, we provide you with packaging services and publishing and marketing guidance to help bring your book to the marketplace. This option is only available through Belle Isle Books. We connect you with an international distributor, who will make your book available in English in the US, Canada, U.K., Europe, Brazil, Australia, India, Poland, Russia, China, and South Korea.

Under your cooperative and self-publishing options, do you offer financing?

Your investment for production is divided into four to six installments over the production period, which is generally six to twelve months. We are happy to work with you on extended financing.

If I publish through Brandylane or Belle Isle Books, do I retain the rights to my work?

You will retain the copyright to your work, and Brandylane will hold the publishing rights for a minimum of three years.

What kinds of books do you publish?

We publish books in most genres, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir, children’s chapter and picture books, and middle grade and YA. We do not currently consider submissions of individual poems or short stories, but we do consider short story and poetry collections.

Brandylane’s title list has narrowed to better reflect the values and ideals of our press; a list of the qualities we’re currently seeking in manuscript submissions can be found on our Author Submissions page. Our doors remain open for authors who wish to submit manuscripts in other subject areas to Brandylane or Belle Isle Books.

How do you decide what to publish?

We read every submission in full on a first-come, first-served basis. Our readers review completed manuscripts to determine which of our publishing options, if any, is the best fit for a particular submission. Like any reader, we like to be surprised, moved, and inspired by the manuscripts we read. All of these qualities come in a range of styles and content. We decide whether to publish a manuscript based on a variety of factors, including the quality of the writing, the manuscript’s subject matter, its potential market appeal, the amount of editing needed, and your willingness to be visible and active in the marketplace.

How long will it take you to review my work?

Given the volume of submissions we receive, it may take 8-12 weeks from the date of submission for us to make a decision regarding your work. A fair and careful review of your manuscript takes time, so we appreciate your patience!

I’m not sure if I’m ready to publish. Do you provide editing or manuscript evaluation services?

Yes! We provide a range of editorial services through Belle Isle Books, including developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading, as well as editorial evaluations. These services will increase your manuscript’s appeal to potential publishers. If you wish, we are also happy to provide a fee-based formal manuscript evaluation. Our experienced editors will examine all aspects of your work, from basic grammar, mechanics, and usage to sophisticated aspects like voice, tone, development, pacing, organization, and appeal to your intended audience. All of our recommendations are made with the goal of giving you a significantly better, stronger, more engaging, and more marketable book. Please include your manuscript as a Word document attachment when you inquire about editing services, and we will be pleased to provide more details about our services.

I have an idea for a book, but I’m not a writer. Can you help me?

Possibly. Many people have a book in mind and simply need help getting it onto paper. Contact us with your idea, and we’ll talk about the options.

Manuscript Submission

How do I submit my manuscript for publishing consideration?

You should submit your work via our online submission process, providing your manuscript to us in full as a Microsoft Word document attachment. Before submitting, please review our complete submission guidelines.

Do you accept queries without a full manuscript?

In order for us to know if we’re interested in publishing a work, we need to read the full manuscript, so we ask that you submit only completed manuscripts. Queries make sense if the alternative is sending a heavy and costly package through the mail; however, we require that authors submit their work digitally via email.

If I’m submitting a children’s book, should I submit illustrations with it, or do you prefer to engage your own illustrator?

It’s a good idea to hold off on illustrating a book until it’s been edited, as story details (and subsequently, illustrations) can change during the editing process. However, we are happy to consider children’s book submissions with or without illustrations. We do ask that you follow our guidelines when submitting any illustrated work.

In some cases, upon reviewing your submitted illustrations, we may decide that different or more professional illustrations are necessary in order to proceed with publication. If you’re seeking an illustrator, we can find a great illustrator for your book, as well as provide cover and interior design services to prepare your book for print.

The Publishing Process

How long does it take to publish a book?

This answer varies depending on the book, and is influenced by a manuscript’s page count, how much editing is required, whether illustrations are needed, how involved the design process will be, and other considerations. Most projects take between six and twelve months from the signing of the contract to the shipment of the first copies. If this sounds like a long time, remember that large publishers typically plan projects eighteen months in advance!

When we draw up a publishing agreement, we include a tentative production schedule. It’s tentative because a variety of factors, including unforeseen complications on your end and ours, can cause delays. We do our best to stick to the production schedule, but we ask authors to be flexible and to hold off scheduling book events until we have a ship date for their books. If you need your book published fast—within a matter of a few weeks or months—we’re happy to speak with you about potential options. Be aware that short turnaround times come at the expense of editing and design quality.

What are the steps involved in publishing a book?

These steps can vary from project to project, but most of our projects follow a standard process:

  • Publishing Agreement/Proposal: If your book is accepted for publication via one of our publishing options, we will first send you a publishing agreement. Once both our staff and you are satisfied with the agreement, we’ll start preparing your book for publication.
  • Editing: During the editorial stage, one of our editors edits your work using Microsoft Word’s tracking feature and passes this edited proof back to you for review. This exchange of proofs between you and your editor may occur multiple times before the final edit is complete, depending on whether your manuscript requires a developmental, line, or copy edit. All revisions are made with your approval.
  • Proofreading: Our proofreader reads your work to catch any last-minute errors.
  • Illustrations (if applicable): We work with you and an illustrator to develop illustrations for your edited text. When the interior text and images are finalized, we move on to the design phase.
  • Interior Design: We format your book with Adobe InDesign and provide you with design proofs, so you can be sure that everything has been proofed and formatted correctly prior to printing.
  • Cover: Our designer prepares several versions of your cover for review, and together we select and develop a final cover design. We write an author bio for you, as well as a promotional description of the book for the back cover or jacket flap. Then we proofread the front and back covers and spine to catch any errors.
  • Printing: When all parts of the book are proofed and complete, we send the final interior and cover files to you for review. When you and we are satisfied with the text and no further changes are necessary, you sign a print release. We then send the files to the printer and wait to receive a printer’s proof. We examine the printer’s proof with you to verify that pages are in order, print colors are accurate, and there are no errors. With your approval, we order the print run. Then we wait for the books to arrive! (Keep in mind that printing times can vary depending on the printer’s location and schedule).
  • Marketing and Promotion: We proceed to market your book through standard industry channels. Meanwhile, you market your book as well, selling copies on your own website and in person by arranging signings and speaking engagements and by contacting individuals and organizations. See our marketing program for more details on this phase of publication.

Marketing

Do you market your books?

We market all of our traditionally and cooperatively published Brandylane and Belle Isle Books titles. Visit our Marketing & Distribution page for more details about our marketing program.

If you self-publish through Belle Isle Books, you will be responsible for marketing and promoting your book under your own imprint, but we’ll be happy to provide guidance.

If you publish my book, will it be made available in bookstores?

We will send a copy of your book to the buyers at Barnes and Noble, and it will be made available on our website, as well as on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. We will also market your book to independent booksellers and send copies of your book to booksellers and reviewers who request it.

The book industry is highly competitive, and no publisher that we know of can guarantee that a book will reach every bookseller’s shelves. Independent booksellers and large chain booksellers in particular are disinclined to stock a title until there is a demand for it. If a consumer visits a bookseller and asks for your book, and it is not available in the store’s inventory, the store clerk will find it on their online database. Most stores will special-order the book from our distributor or directly from us. When your book is in demand, booksellers should order multiple copies to keep in inventory.

Will you get reviews for my book?

We send information about your book to local, regional, national, and international media, reviewers, and bloggers to get coverage for your book; and we send digital or physical copies to reviewers who request it. We work hard to interest reviewers, and almost all of our books are reviewed.

Formats

Do you publish hardcover books?

Yes, we publish in both hardcover and paperback.

Do you produce audiobooks?

Our audiobook program is currently in development, and we expect to begin offering audiobook production in the coming year. Contact us for more information

Do you produce ebooks?

Yes. While we retain a love for the printed word, we publish most of our titles in electronic format.

What’s the difference between digital printing and ebooks?

Ebooks (short for “electronic books”) are the digital version of a book, intended for reading on computers and e-readers. Digital printing refers to a technology that prints high-quality books in small quantities on a digital press, as an alternative to traditional offset printing. Brandylane and Belle Isle Books can produce ebooks as well as digitally printed books. We selectively print books on an offset press that have a limited regional market and that require unique print specifications.

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