Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Common Questions

1. How do I submit my proposal/book idea to Deep River Books?

2. What are your royalty rates paid to authors?

3. Why does Deep River Books require the author to purchase books in the initial print run?

4. What is the cost of the books purchased by the author?

5. Do I have to pay sales tax on my books?

6. How many copies does Deep River Books print?

7. How are Deep River Books distributed?

8. Is Deep River Books considered a “Vanity” Publisher?

9. Does Deep River Books accept all manuscripts for publication?

10. How large is a normal manuscript?

11. What categories do Deep River Books publish?

12. How do I know if Deep River Books is right for me?

13. What makes a book a “best seller?”

14. Once the book is published, does the author have anything to do with creating sales for the book?

15. So, if Deep River Books cannot make me into a best-selling author, what can you do for me?

16. How can I know that my manuscript is really a good book? How can I be objective about this?

17. Where is Deep River Books located?

18. Does Deep River Books distribute for self-published authors?

19. What is your Statement of Faith?

 

Answers


1. HOW DO I SUBMIT MY PROPOSAL/BOOK IDEA TO DEEP RIVER BOOKS?

When sending your initial query/proposal, you do not need to send us your entire manuscript. Please send us a synopsis (one page or less), an outline (two pages or less), and one or two sample chapters. Send them in a common font (Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana), and double-spaced in a Microsoft Word document (a .doc file). Include the total number of words in your manuscript as well as a brief resume about the author. Then e-mail your proposal to: bill@deepriverbooks.com. We do not accept proposals by mail, only by e-mail.

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2. WHAT ARE YOUR ROYALTY RATES PAID TO AUTHORS?

Deep River Books pays author royalties on all books we sell through the retail trade. The current royalty rates are 12% for the first 5,000 copies sold; 15% for the second 5,000 copies sold; and 18% for all copies sold above 10,000. The author contract will spell this out fully.

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3. WHY DOES DEEP RIVER BOOKS REQUIRE THE AUTHOR TO PURCHASE BOOKS IN THE INITIAL PRINT RUN?

There is considerable risk in publishing, and that risk increases with new authors. Deep River Books is dedicated to helping new authors get published, but our business plan dictates that we will not do it alone. The money we receive from author purchases helps pay for the professional editing, cover design, typesetting, printing, advertising, sales team costs and other overhead. That is why we tell our authors up-front that this is a “partnership” between publisher and author.

Our goal is to make a profit and pay you a royalty when your book sells in retail stores. Also, we know that if you have books to sell, it will certainly help “prime the pump” to get early readers. If they like your writing, they will talk about your book and recommend it to others, driving additional traffic to the stores. If you sell your copies at full retail, you not only recoup your initial investment, but you also make a profit since you purchase your books at discount.

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4. WHAT IS THE COST OF THE BOOKS PURCHASED BY THE AUTHOR?

The costs to the author for personal copies depend on the quantity ordered. The minimum order is 1,000 (one thousand) copies. Click here for the latest discount schedule. We can schedule payment for your books in a two- or three-payment program. The first payment is due as a deposit when signing the author agreement, the last payment due when the books are ready to ship.

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5. DO I HAVE TO PAY SALES TAX ON MY BOOKS?

Deep River Books is located in the state of Oregon, which does not have sales tax. Because of this, we do not charge authors sales tax on books ordered from us. However, tax policies vary from state to state. If you have questions about whether you must charge sales tax on books you are selling, you should raise this question with your personal accounting advisor or tax professional.

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6. HOW MANY COPIES DOES DEEP RIVER BOOKS PRINT?

We print a minimum of 1,500 copies. Sometimes it is more, depending on the presales figures for the book from our sales team’s efforts. In addition, the number we order with the initial print run depends on several things:

First, it depends on the target audience for the book. If the book is geared to a specific (smaller) sector of the Christian population, such as pastors or youth directors, then we will print fewer copies than if your books is geared to a general audience (Christian women).

Second, our print run is influenced by the subject matter. If there are many books on the same subject already in the market, we print less than if it is a fresh idea.

Third, it depends on the author. If a well-known author with a broad speaking platform already established publishes with us, we tend to print more than if he or she does not. Also, if the author, whether well known or not, has an aggressive marketing plan and is willing to establish a website, social media profiles, develop blogs / video accounts and take other efforts to promote their book, we tend to print more.

Finally, we use “Just-in-Time” technology. This means we receive a daily report from our distribution system of how many books are ordered and how many we have in stock. When our computer system sees a book moving and our stock reaches a certain level, it triggers additional printing that arrives in our warehouse in a seamless system of providing books on time to retailers. This helps avoid waste. We are not a POD or “Print on Demand” publisher. All of our books are done on state-of-the-art offset presses.

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7. HOW ARE DEEP RIVER BOOKS DISTRIBUTED?

Bookmasters, based in Ashland, Ohio, handles our distribution. Bookmasters is one of the largest providers of integrated publisher services in the United States. For more than 40 years, Bookmasters has offered services to publishers and authors such as book manufacturing (offset, short-run digital, POD), distribution and sales, warehousing and fulfillment, eBook conversion and distribution, editorial, and design.

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8. IS DEEP RIVER BOOKS A “VANITY” PUBLISHER?

Deep River Books is not a vanity publisher. Occasionally, others accuse us of being a “vanity” publisher because, as stated above, we require the author to participate financially in the initial print run by purchasing books at discount. That makes us different from some of the other full-service publishers that may not have this requirement. We do this because we are dedicated to NEW authors, and we require that they share the risk. Read the Seven Distinct Ways Deep River Books is Different from Vanity Publishing.

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9. DOES DEEP RIVER BOOKS ACCEPT ALL MANUSCRIPTS FOR PUBLICATION?

Deep River Books does not accept any and all manuscripts; we only take quality works that we feel have a chance to succeed in the Christian retail trade. In fact, we turn down far more manuscripts than we accept. We have an editorial review team that reviews selected proposals, and they are the professionals that make the final decision on what we publish.

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10. HOW LARGE IS A NORMAL MANUSCRIPT?

A normal size trade paperback book is about 200 pages when complete, which is about 40,000-65,000 words. Obviously, some books are smaller than that, but if they are substantially smaller, they are very thin books even when using larger type (the exception is when it is a specialty book with heavy graphics, photographs or a children’s book with illustrations). We like to receive manuscripts that are at least 30,000 words in length and we prefer manuscripts of about 60,000 words. Fiction can be up to 100,000 words or 300 pages.

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11. WHAT CATEGORIES DO DEEP RIVER BOOKS PUBLISH?

Deep River Books does not target a single category as much as we target good writing from new authors. Because of this, we publish all kinds of Christian books, which include Christian Living, Bible Study, Fiction, Family & Marriage, Devotionals, Inspirational, Church Leadership, etc. We have recently started a children’s line of books, but we require the author to be working with their own illustrator and furnish samples of the illustrations when submitting their manuscript for review. We also publish books on theology and doctrine, but under a different imprint.

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12. HOW DO I KNOW IF DEEP RIVER BOOKS IS RIGHT FOR ME?

Deep River Books is not for everyone. If you do not have a way to sell your copies to a constituency, we do not want you to end up with a pallet of books gathering dust in your garage. If, however, you have a way to sell your own copies (churches, church bookstores, seminars, speaking, business colleagues, donors, students, radio, mailing list, website, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, book tables, etc.) and you let us handle the bookstore retail trade, then Deep River Books may be a good fit. The only exclusive rights you grant to Deep River Books are the retail trade rights. You are free to sell your own copies anywhere except to retail bookstores.

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13. WHAT MAKES A BOOK A “BEST SELLER?”

Contrary to most people’s thinking, advertising does not necessarily sell books. Advertising can support the sales of a good book, but many books that have had hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on various kinds of advertising did not sell well. Books sell if they can find their audience. (We suggest you read The Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell. It will give you a better idea of how best sellers ‘happen.’) Having said that, there are three key things that we think make a book a best seller:

First, you have to have a good manuscript that is fresh, crisp, lively…with a great title and cover… that becomes talked about and recommended by the reader after it is read. Word of mouth is king in book sales. Our expertise at Deep River Books can and will help you make your book as good as it can be in format, content and design.

Second, as an author, you must have a good handle on your audience and initially be able to help get the book into the hands of your audience. Notice the authors who pitch their new book on talk shows: that is not an accident. Authors are key to helping jump start their book. We also suggest you purchase the book 1001 Ways To Market Your Book, available at most bookstores.

Third, you have to have an excellent distribution system set up to handle the demand if and when the book takes off (and we have an excellent system).

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14. ONCE THE BOOK IS PUBLISHED, DOES THE AUTHOR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH CREATING SALES FOR THE BOOK?

The author has EVERYTHING to do with creating sales for their book! Good authors know where their readers are…and they certainly know how to get to them better than most publishers do. Authors find them via radio, TV, seminars, speaking invitations, the Internet, etc. A publisher is really the second wave for bigger sales volumes with a good sales team and (most of all) a good distribution system to deliver books quickly and efficiently to meet the demand. Deep River Books has an excellent system for this… as good as any Christian publisher, big or small!

Remember, this is your book, your story, your life, your idea and your audience. Deep River Books – or whichever publishing company you choose – is only a partnering facilitator. In the end, it is your book, your talent, your passion and your audience that will get the ball rolling. Truthfully, authors should consider their publisher as support, mentor, coach and partner; not as a “magician” that can make their book a bestseller. Many authors are disillusioned because they have expectations from a publisher that are not realistic. A Publisher cannot make a book a bestseller! Only a great book that finds (and inspires) its audience can make itself a bestseller.

Deep River Books enjoys working with authors who understand their vital role in marketing their book. Some writers believe their job is over when the manuscript is finished. But books that sell well do so because the author takes an active role in marketing their work. Read the article “Writing Your Book is Just the Start.”

Authors that frequently speak to groups of people (pastors, teachers, seminar leaders, workshop leaders, convention speakers, CEOs, men’s and women’s retreats/groups, evangelists, radio and television talk show hosts or guests, celebrities, business owners, etc.) have built-in opportunities to market their books. But with today’s online networking opportunities, every author has the potential to build a following through social media, personal websites and blogs. When a potential reader can hear you in person or communicate with you online, they are much more likely to purchase your book than if they just see it on a shelf somewhere.

This is why we like to work with authors who display the willingness to build a readership. Nothing creates good book sales better than word-of-mouth advertising. The books you buy personally in the initial print run will not only earn you a good profit, they will also help jump start the sales process, giving your book a better chance to succeed.

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15. SO, IF DEEP RIVER BOOKS CANNOT MAKE ME INTO A BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?

We can only promise that if we become your publisher, we will do everything we can to make your book a success. Deep River Books gives you the truth about your manuscript and we’ll push you to rewrite or edit where we think it is needed to make it better. We will tell you the truth about titles and cover design, and insist that we not finish until we all agree it is the best it can be. Our team will ensure your book has the best distribution system anywhere, and we are very proud of our sales team’s track record against any competing publisher’s.

Deep River may or may not be right for you. But know this: we will not lie to you, and we will not just “print” your book to make a quick buck. If we do publish your book, Deep River will take the time to work with you to make your book better…hopefully the best. But we cannot guarantee that your book will sell well, and any publisher that tells you otherwise is not being truthful. Our growing family of authors is the best way to judge our work. View our Endorsements page from Deep River Authors.

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16. HOW CAN I KNOW THAT MY MANUSCRIPT IS REALLY A GOOD BOOK? HOW CAN I BE OBJECTIVE ABOUT THIS?

First, ask yourself the hard questions:
“Do I believe in this book?”
“What is this experience of trying to find a publisher telling me about my book, about me?”
“Am I on a quest to get published because I have a passion for my message and my writing, or do I want to get published for other reasons?”
Then, if you still feel a passion for your manuscript and its message, submit it to more than one publisher and see what happens. Don’t allow rejection letters to discourage you. Keep trying.

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17. WHERE IS DEEP RIVER BOOKS LOCATED?

Central Oregon…just outside of Sisters, Oregon. Sisters is the home of many writers, graphic designers, and other publishing professionals.

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18. DOES DEEP RIVER BOOKS DISTRIBUTE FOR SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS?

No. We only market and distribute the books we publish.

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19. WHAT IS YOUR STATEMENT OF FAITH?

The Statement of Faith of for us is as follows:

  • I. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • II. We believe there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • III. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • IV. We believe that for the salvation of the lost and sinful, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. Salvation comes by grace through repentance and faith in Christ apart from works.
  • V. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • VI. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • VII. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

This Statement of Faith is nearly identical to that of the National Association of Evangelicals.

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