Children's Writer's Guild Forum » Writing and Literature

Children's Book Publishers No Upfront Fees

(4 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by nuwriter2012
  • Latest reply from aangelo
  1. nuwriter2012

    I'm a new writer of children's book manuscripts. I need a legitimate publisher who does not charge upfront fees, as I do not have money for that. Have contacted Dorrance Publishing but they want $3990 upfront. I have been in touch with Tate and Publish America but both have two thumbs down to use for publishers. Can anyone help me?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. Sheila

    Dear nuwriter2012,

    You seem to be conflating mainstream publishing, independent publishing, and vanity presses into one entity. Firstly, a mainstream publisher (distinct from a printing company) does not charge the author anything, but rather pays a royalty for books sold or sometimes gives an author an upfront check towards future royalties. Oftentimes a mainstream publisher does not even make back in book sales the money paid out initially to the writer. In this scenario it is the publisher who assumes the financial risk and thus is extremely careful about accepting manuscripts for publication.

    Secondly, only vanity publishers require a fee from the writer, and I would strongly encourage you to think twice about entering this kind of relationship since the cost of the books usually cuts deep into potential profits.

    Lastly, many authors have produced their own books by publishing themselves independently (some have been very successful), but you really need to know what you are doing with this option, so it is not for the uninitiated in my opinion. What I would strongly encourage you to do (especially before you sink your money into this) would be to join SCBWI (Society for Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators). You need to seek out information on the industry and immerse yourself in coming to know better how things work in general. Reading our NJCWG website is a start.

    Good luck and best wishes!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. Sheila

    P.S. While I have no experience with his company, a very reliable source has recommended Ron Pramschufer and his Publishing Basics Newsletter. You might also benefit from reading his Publishing Basics handbook (a free download from his site). Just google him and it should pop up.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. Hello. I am new to the group and have the same question. Wondering, a year later, what you ended up doing. Any lessons learned that might be helpful?

    Posted 1 year ago #


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