Traditional Publishing FAQ

What is a traditional publisher?

Book Digest defines Traditional Publishing as “when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher … pays (the author) royalties from the sales.”
Before even submitting any queries to a traditional publisher, an author should research the publisher to learn whether such a partnership would be a good ‘fit’, including questions such as:
  • What types of books are represented by this publisher?
  • Does the publisher have a particular mission? And if so, does it align with my own mission and values?
  • Does the publisher represent authors like myself – perhaps in age, genre or book goal?
Once accepted by a traditional publisher, be sure to get clarification regarding the following:
  • Do I retain the rights to my book? Which rights? For example, if approached by a movie production company, do I retain the right to agree (and profit) from such a venture, or does this contract give all future rights to the publisher?
  • Will my creative input be accepted and respected regarding my book?
  • Do I have any say in pricing, distribution or promotional placements? Will appearances be required of me, and if so, do I have a right of refusal?
These questions should also be asked of a hybrid publisher, as well as any other book contracts an author may enter into.
What is traditional publishing with Red Penguin like? 

At Red Penguin Books, we offer a variety of publishing programs to authors who come to us from a range of different places on the road to publication, with needs as varied as ghostwriting, editing, formatting and promoting their books. Authors—and prospective authors—write in many different genres, and have different book goals, from personal to professional.

While most authors and prospective authors come to Red Penguin Books for paid publishing services, we do have a select number of authors whose books we strongly believe in and wish to partner with more fully. For these select authors, we offer to waive all publication fees, as we believe that books sales and exposure will benefit our author as well as ourselves as a publishing company.

Writing a book is the adventure of a lifetime, and Red Penguin Books takes pride in giving our authors a publishing experience that is stress-free and celebratory all the way. We LOVE books, and we love to partner with our authors to bring their books to the wider world.

At Red Penguin Books, we offer options and opportunities that are unique in the world of publishing, and all of them are designed to keep you—the author we so deeply respect—in the driver’s seat. Unlike other publishing houses, at Red Penguin Books our authors:

  • Retain ALL copyrights and ownership of their manuscripts. As policy, when we lay out and format your book and cover, you will receive copies of all of your files.
  • Receive a downloadable press kit as well as an author’s webpage on our Red Penguin Books website to post upcoming events, book links, photos, videos and more—anytime!
  • Are included in all of our Red Penguin Books promotional activities, including television appearances, regular email and social media postings of their books and book-related events, book reviews and worldwide book distribution.
  • Benefit from generous book royalties – 50% of net book royalties for all books sold through our distribution channels—and special pricing of print books delivered to them anywhere, which they can sell at whatever price they wish.
  • Retain all creative rights—and give us their final approval on cover design, book layout, pricing—everything that affects their book.
  • Can be published and printed in record time—generally just one month from the time of final manuscript approval!
  • media appearances on shows hosted by Stephanie Larkin as available to promote your book.

What do we look for in traditional publishers? 

While it would be impossible make a list of criteria here – as each manuscript is evaluated individually – some things we consider include:
  • With a non-fiction book, is the author well known in their field, so that the book would be launched to an audience of interested readers?
  • Is there something unique about the book that would make it desirable on a larger scale?
  • Will there be an opportunity for bulk sales – for example, as a textbook or other book for use by organizations.
  • Has this author released other books, so that they have a fan base already?
  • Is the manuscript enticing, entertaining and/or enthralling as appropriate?
  • With fiction – is there an opportunity for a book series, as many genre readers prefer series books?

In addition, before any author is considered for the traditional publishing program, they must meet the minimum of the following criteria:

– A fan or following base of more than 100,000 people

– Connections or unique distribution channels

-Exceptional experience and notoriety in related field

– Subject matter which is unique, timely, and delivered from a distinct vantage point.

Hybrid Publishing FAQ

What is hybrid publishing? 

Hybrid publishers are just like traditional publishers, except that in hybrid publishing, the author will subsidize the cost of publishing. The publisher will manage the proofing, designing of your cover, the ISBN, printing costs, review copies and marketing. This marketing includes gathering contacts and contacting them on your behalf, setting up signings for you, looking into advertising, adding books to various databases (wholesalers, bookshops) creating banners, bookmarks, hosting giveaways, writing blog posts and various social media work for you.

Are hybrid publishers scams or vanity publishers? 

Many publishing houses that are referred to as “vanity publishers” simply are not vanity publishers at all. Occasionally someone asks if Red Penguin Books is a vanity publisher. According to the Independent Book Publisher’s Association, a reputable hybrid press meets many of the requirements of a traditional publisher, and is considered are reputable practice in the book publishing industry.

No, we are not a vanity press, we are a hybrid and traditional publishing press. Our team makes a very active effort to make sure we abide by the Independent Book Publisher’s Association’s criteria to hybrid publishing to ensure we live up the standard of being a reputable hybrid publisher. We also offer traditional publishing to a select number of authors whose platform, audience, experience, and quality of work lead us to place the publication risks and expenses solely on Red Penguin.

How do I find a reputable hybrid publisher? 

When choosing a hybrid publisher, consider the following guidelines from the Independent Book Publishers Association. Our team has made a very active effort to ensure that our publishing practices meet the Independent Book Publishers Associations’s standards.

A hybrid publisher should:

  • Define a mission and vision for its publishing program.  At Red Penguin Books, our mission is to empower authors to achieve their publication goals. We firmly believe in ‘changing lives, one book at a time’, and take pride in partnering with authors from around the globe and in all walks of like from start to print, bringing their stories, messages and ideas to the world through digital, print and audiobook publication.
  • Vet submissions. Authors who submit their work for consideration to Red Penguin Books should have a clear sense of vision with their writing, along with publishing goals which align with our own. Submissions are evaluated based upon different criteria depending upon the author’s personal, professional and publication goals, and we are proud to work with authors of all genres.
  • Publish under its own imprint(s) and ISBNs. We are not a ‘self-publishing assistance’ – we publish under our own imprints here at Red Penguin Books.
  • Publish to industry standards. Industry standards are important to us at Red Penguin Books, and while some books may require their own particulars – most especially poetry and art books – all adhere to publication requirements.
  • Ensure editorial, design, and production quality. Our books go through several edits along their path to publication, including line edits, formatting edits, and 2 complete print-out to literally “red pen” the copies, as there is nothing quite like having paper in hand to make edits
  • Provide distribution services. As our authors each have different publication and distribution goals, Red Penguin Books has worked to get our authors books placed everywhere from bookstores and libraries to specialty stores, schools, medical offices and major organizations.
  • Demonstrate respectable sales. Along with book sales, we have been proud to have our authors win many book awards, attain #1 New Release status, and watch their rankings – and sales numbers – grow. Our book sales – and successes – come from many areas, ranging from online to brick-and-mortar book and specialty stores, distribution to educational organization, corporate sales, licencing, and the sales each author makes from the print books we acquire for them wholesale, as well as the digital sales from their own chosen websites, which we can set up for their own profit. Each author is different, and we strive to get their books to the best possible channels to achieve their goals.
  • Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty. Our very generous royalty splits give the author a bigger cut of the proceeds, as is so well deserved. With fewer ‘middlemen’ such as book agents, our authors can better benefit from the fruits of their labor.

What does hybrid publishing with Red Penguin look like? 

At Red Penguin Books, we offer a variety of publishing programs to authors who come to us from a range of different places on the road to publication, with needs as varied as ghostwriting, editing, formatting and promoting their books. Authors—and prospective authors—write in many different genres, and have different book goals, from personal to professional.

Writing a book is the adventure of a lifetime, and Red Penguin Books takes pride in giving our authors a publishing experience that is stress-free and celebratory all the way. We LOVE books, and we love to partner with our authors to bring their books to the wider world.

At Red Penguin Books, we offer options and opportunities that are unique in the world of publishing, and all of them are designed to keep you—the author we so deeply respect—in the driver’s seat. Unlike other publishing houses, at Red Penguin Books our authors:

  • Retain ALL copyrights and ownership of their manuscripts. As policy, when we lay out and format your book and cover, you will receive copies of all of your files.
  • Receive a downloadable press kit as well as an author’s webpage on our Red Penguin Books website to post upcoming events, book links, photos, videos and more—anytime!
  • Are included in all of our Red Penguin Books promotional activities, including television appearances, regular email and social media postings of their books and book-related events, book reviews and worldwide book distribution.
  • Benefit from generous book royalties – 80% of net book royalties for all books sold through our distribution channels—and special pricing of print books delivered to them anywhere, which they can sell at whatever price they wish.
  • Retain all creative rights—and give us their final approval on cover design, book layout, pricing—everything that affects their book.
  • Can be published and printed in record time—generally just one month from the time of final manuscript approval!
  • Media appearances on shows hosted by Stephanie Larkin as available to promote your book.

If you are accepted into our hybrid publishing program, you will receive…

  • Copyediting for up to 60,000 words
  • Interior book layout for print and digital
  • Custom cover design for a full wrap cover
  • ISBN #s and Library of Congress designation
  • Creation of a custom webpage to feature and sell your book
  • Business cards and bookmarks to distribute to prospective readers
  • Amazon algorithm optimization for prominent placement on Amazon and the web
  • 10 book reviews to get your book noticed on Amazon and Goodreads
  • Development of a full color digital/print-ready media kit, including digital download links for the author’s use
  • “New Release” announcements and Media Appearance to launch your book

All of this for just $3,000 (and 80% of royalties)- your book from start … to print!