Questions & Answers

General Questions About Casperian Books | Questions About Purchasing Books | Questions About Submissions | Questions About Book Production | Questions About Royalties and Rights | Questions About Distribution | Questions About Business Issues | Questions About Marketing/Promotion |

General Questions About Casperian Books

What formats are you publishing?

Casperian Books publishes trade paperbacks only.

How on earth did you come up with the name "Casperian Books"?

Well, when we first dreamed up Casperian Books, my partner in crime's nickname had been Casper forever and a day (and if you are familiar with German children's' books, you might be amused to hear that the resident puppy at the time was called Soup). Because we are thoroughly godless and can take a relaxed view of such things, many years ago, during a dispute about something or other, he suddenly exclaimed, "It's in the Bible!" to support his point. "Oh yeah?" I replied nonplussed, "Which book?" "The Book of Casperian, of course!" he crowed, and that was the beginning of a running joke, though possibly not a very good one.

What qualifications do you have for publishing books?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and spent many years working as a freelance artist and designer, during which time I had a variety of contracts that resulted in books or other printed publications. I also spent nine years working in procurement. Everybody else is pretty good at following written instructions of Things to Do While I Am Away.

That logo looks somewhat familiar...

Possibly. I was using it for my various freelance businesses from about 1994 to 2001. I've always liked it though, so I've decided to resurrect it for Casperian Books.

General Questions About Purchasing Books

Are there any drawbacks to buying directly from Casperian Books' website?

It might take a little longer to get your book. We ship via US media mail/airmail, which generally isn't as fast as a shipping service.

What is Casperian Books' returns policy?

Casperian Books will exchange a defectively printed title purchased through its website free of charge within thirty days of purchase. Please e-mail with a short description of the problem, the title of the book, and your name and address to receive return authorization. (For defective books purchased elsewhere, you will need to contact the vendor you purchased the book from for return instructions/authorization.)

Questions About Submissions

Who will read my submission?

I will initially read all submissions. Submissions I tentatively select for publication may then also be read by any of our other regular volunteers before a final decision is made.

What are Casperian Books' submission guidelines?

Casperian Books' submission guidelines are explained fully on the Submissions page. Please take a moment to review them and follow them exactly.

"Novel-length fiction" is a tad vague, don't you think?

Yes, it is, deliberately so. Since we are all of the "I know it when I see it" school and surprise ourselves day after day by suddenly discovering new likes and dislikes, we don't want to narrow the field by specifying genres. In principle, we are open to at least considering most genres of fiction submitted. However, we strongly recommend that prospective authors review our current catalog to evaluate whether their manuscripts would be a good match. (Hint: while we enjoy reading young adult fiction, we do not publish it. As far as Christian/inspirational fiction is concerned, well, have a look at our current list and decide for yourself whether Casperian Books represents the kind of "values" the genre implies.)

I have this nonfiction manuscript that I think would be just perfect for Casperian Books...

We do not publish nonfiction.

What do you consider a polished manuscript?

A well-written and extensively edited novel that has been formatted according (or close) to our standard manuscript guidelines and thoroughly proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. We will proofread/copyedit, and even suggest rewrites if we think a manuscript has potential but isn't quite there yet, but we simply do not have the resources for nursing a manuscript from so-so to stellar.

Can you recommend an editor to polish my manuscript?

No. Recommending an editor would represent a potential conflict of interest for Casperian Books. The best way to find an editor is to consult one of the professional resources available online, many of which have job boards, or to network with other writers locally and get a recommendation.

Why do you require a printout of the entire manuscripts if my initial query is successful?

There are a few reasons: firstly, reading large amounts onscreen is hard on the eyes; secondly, reading onscreen is hard to do while snuggled up on the couch; thirdly, I'm in the habit of reading manuscript submissions on transatlantic flights; fourthly, we find it easier to spot errors on a hard copy and we usually start redlining manuscripts while we are reading them for the first time; fifthly, if Casperian Books selects the manuscript for publication and things go kaplooey during import into Quark Xpress (and there's always something that goes kaplooey), I can refer back to the hard copy to fix the problem.

Can I submit my novel under a pseudonym?

You may publish under a pseudonym, however, your contract and tax forms on file with us must be in your real name, for obvious reasons. All personal information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Questions About Book Production

Do you use design templates?

If by "design template" you mean that I usually start a new project in Quark Xpress by importing the style sheets from a previous project with a similar layout and then modify them to suit the new project, then yes. I suspect 99% of all designers do this. Covers may also share some design elements. Part of this is due to practical considerations, such as brand recognition and cost efficiency, and part of it is due to most designers having a certain style and certain preferences.

Can I be involved in the cover design?

Probably. We usually solicit author input and you will of course have to review and approve the galleys. However, selection of a final design and copy is at our discretion.

Can I supply my own cover art?

Maybe. You'll need to discuss it with us beforehand to make sure that we agree with the concept, and then you or your artist of choice will have to closely follow our design specifications for the cover and sign a release form. Please be advised that we reserve the right to veto any third-party design.

Questions About Rights and Royalties

What author royalties do you pay?

We pay two thirds of net receipts as author royalties. The exact amount varies depending on printing cost, mode of distribution, and cover price. Royalty payments can be estimated using the following formulas:

Usual Printing Cost: Page count x $0.015 + $0.90
Royalties generated by third-party sales: (Cover price x 0.65 - printing cost) x 0.66
Royalties generated through this site: (Sales price - (printing cost + direct sale costs)) x 0.66

Direct sale costs include packaging and PayPal fees. A few example calculations can be found in this blog post.

When do I get my royalty check?

Royalty checks and sales statements for actual receipts will be issued within thirty days of the close of each quarter. Please note that some vendors may take 90-plus days to pay Casperian Books and royalties to authors will only be paid after Casperian Books receives the funds from its vendors.

How do Casperian Books' royalties differ from royalties paid by other publishers?

They are probably higher. Standard royalty rates from most publishers (POD houses excluded) are in the range of 5-15% of either the retail price, the wholesale price, or the net receipts of a book. So, for example, a trade paperback that carries a retail price of $15, sold to the trade at a 55% discount, would generate author royalties of about $0.80 per copy sold at a royalty rate of 12% of wholesale price.

Do you offer an author discount?

Sure do. Authors may order up to 25 copies at printing cost plus sales tax (if applicable) plus shipping/packaging plus a small order processing fee of either 10% of the order value or $10, whichever is less. Unlimited additional author copies may be purchased at wholesale price plus sales tax (if applicable) plus shipping/packaging plus a small order processing fee of either 10% of the order value or $10, whichever is less.

Does Casperian Books offer non-exclusive contracts?

Casperian Books asks for exclusive rights to publish the trade paperback version of your book in the United States, its possessions and territories, and Canada. The term of the contract is negotiable and can range from three to five years.

Can I see a copy of the contract you use?

You may look at a general template for Casperian Books' contract. Please bear in mind that various sections of this contract are amended as needed in order to meet the requirements of each author and book.

Who owns the copyright to my book?

You do. The contract you sign with Casperian Books assigns Casperian Books publishing rights only. The copyright to your book belongs to you. However, Casperian Books does own the production files of your book unless specified otherwise in your contract.

Do you register my copyright?

Casperian Books won't register your copyright for you, as registration is not mandatory in order to secure copyright. Casperian Books leaves it to each individual author to decide whether to complete the registration process. The US Copyright Office has a whole website on the subject. If you are planning to register your copyright, please let us know in the pre-press production phase as the registration form, the registration fee, and the deposit copies MUST be sent in the same envelope in order to meet mandatory deposit requirements.

Will Casperian Books deposit copies of my book with the Library of Congress/Copyright Office?

Yes. Under the United States Copyright Act, Casperian Books is required to deposit two copies of your book with the US Copyright Office within three months of publication, even if you do not register your copyright. Casperian Books will do so at no charge to the author; however, the author will receive no royalty payments on these deposits.

Questions About Distribution

How will my book be distributed?

Your book will be listed in Books in Print and the catalogs of various major book wholesalers and will be available for order to the trade through wholesalers or directly from the printer.

Where will people be able to buy my book?

All titles will be available for purchase through the major online book retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) within six weeks of publication, Casperian Books' website, as well as any retailers who choose to order it.

Will my book be sold in bookstores?

Once published, your book is available for order by bookstores through several wholesalers. Whether or not bookstores actually choose to order your book to keep in stock is something Casperian Books has very little influence over, as such decisions are usually based on name recognition and demand. However, all bookstores should be able to order the book for customers when requested.

Questions About Business Issues

What happens if Casperian Books isn't profitable? Will you cease publication?

Casperian Books is currently profitable and has been around since 2006. However, to alleviate author concerns, Casperian Books' author contract specifically includes clauses very favorable to the author should Casperian Books cease publication at a later date. As Casperian Books doesn't charge its authors any up-front costs or fees, the worst-case scenario would leave the author with a fully designed book he/she could publish through another publisher or POD printer.

What happens if Casperian Books goes out of business?

Any existing book contracts will be terminated immediately and Casperian Books will furnish its authors with press-ready source and PDF files of the book, minus the ISBN number and bar code, which may not be reassigned or sold.

Questions About Marketing/Promotion

What marketing/promotional assistance do you provide?

The following limited marketing/promotional assistance is extended to each author published through Casperian Books:

  • A catalog page for the book is added to Casperian Books' website. You are welcome to register domain names and forward them to this page. (Please be advised that domain name registration should not cost you more than about $10/year at the most and that some domain registrars do not provide free domain forwarding. If you require assistance, please ask.)
  • Casperian Books will upload cover art, book descriptions, excerpts (if applicable), author information, etc. to the major online retailers and feature the same information on its own website.
  • Casperian Books will create a press kit for the book and provide a print-ready high-resolution PDF file to the author. Individual arrangements will also be made to send out a limited number of review copies and press kits on the author's behalf.
  • At our own discretion, we will enter novels in book awards at no cost to the author.
  • Upon request, Casperian Books can provide a poster-size print file of the book's cover to the author.
  • Casperian Books operates a restricted-access website for its authors, which includes marketing information and resources, book award info, links of interest, and the like. All Casperian Books authors are provided with a login name for this website.
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