This excerpt is from 2009 INDIE Finalist, Success, Your Path to a Successful Book, by Maralyn D. Hill & Brenda C. Hill.

Writers Digest suggests you go online to check each website for the most current information. You can also see which publishers are under which conglomerate umbrella.

Small and mid-size publishers are good alternatives as they are the largest segment of the market. You can again check 2007 Writer’s Market from Writers Digest Books or the 2008 edition. We also suggest the Independent Book Publishers Association (PMA) membership directory at and Literary Market Place.

You’ll find the largest segment of publishers in the Midwest, apparently because of the proximity of trees. However, very few publishers handle their own production.

If you wonder why it is difficult to get publishers to look at a book, consider the following example of the cost of publishing a book, as presented at the AZ Publishers Conference by Howard W. Fisher, Managing Director of The Fisher Company, and Sam Henrie, President, of Wheatmark, Inc.,

Basic Economics of Book Publishing—Gross Margins

List Price (average list price of an adult trade paperback from bowker.htm)


Less Distributor Discount of 60% (estimated)


Net Sales


Less Manufacturing Cost (estimated 8x markup)


Less Author Royalty of 11% of Net (average royalty paid on net)


Gross Margin


“It takes a year to produce a book, 6 months for advance sales lead time, 120 days to collect accounts receivable and 18 months before payback. It costs $15,000-$25,000 per book for editorial, production, printing, and marketing.”

There are small publishers who are easier to work with and who will take new authors. Some of these firms only publish a few books a year. But, they are worth checking out.

Maralyn D. Hill, President

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Global Log

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards,
“$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book,”