Manuscript Guidelines

 

A brief overview of the
Publishing Process

 

Subsidy publication is a viable and preferable alternative to self-publishing because  authors can still have creative input over their book and can reap higher percentage returns on book sales. And here at Zeus Publications, we have authors on our lists who have actually turned away from potential deals with mainstream publishers in favour of the bona fide and quality services we can provide.

This is not a self-publishing or vanity publishing arrangement, because Zeus Publications offers to publish only those manuscripts which it believes have merit.

We also actively promote our books, targeting specific markets with reviews and advertisements in appropriate media publications and on the internet. Continue reading to find out more about how we develop new books.

We are particularly interested in non-fiction works aimed at specific markets: books on, for example, theology/philosophy, travel, spiritualism/alternative therapies, local interest, women's interest (health and beauty etc). Works with a target market can be easier to sell than, for example, fiction by an unknown novelist. And in spite of authors' initial outlay, our own share in profits from book sales and our desire to further our reputation mean we are as interested as you in gaining sales. So if you have a specialised work which has a definite market, and you want people to have access to your work, subsidy publishing is a good option.

Fiction, Science Fiction, Horror .....the fact that the market is saturated with established names means this can be a very difficult nut to crack.  However, if your writing is skilful enough and you tell a good story (particularly with a topical theme) and have an optimistic yet realistic view of your chances, then we would like to hear from you with a view to producing a quality book that will put you on the ladder as a published author.

Next is the writer who wants to leave a legacy to grandchildren or simply for posterity. (After all, a book and its selling potential are extremely durable.) The book's appeal could be extremely limited because of its personal nature, in which case we can offer to produce a limited edition for the author's own distribution, although we have found that wartime biographies, for example, can have a far wider appeal than anticipated. Frequently, such books are not very well written or structured.
But if you still want to publish and we agree to offer the use of our marketing services, we will ensure that your book is professionally edited (not simply checked for spelling and punctuation) so that it reads well and is a high-quality product that stands as fair a chance as possible in the market. Click here to download marketing advice.

How to start

For a new author, gaining access to the elitist world of publishing can be a very difficult affair and a constant stream of rejection letters often disillusioning. Mainstream publishers reject the bulk of manuscripts sent to them principally because they predict that they will not be able to sell the books in sufficient quantities to cover production and distribution costs. But there are various other reasons for rejection.

While it is very difficult to get publishers to even read unsolicited manuscripts, it is misleading to say that they routinely reject books from first-time authors out of hand, however good. Many are very badly written and are unmarketable because they are unreadable. A lot are simply very specialised and would only appeal to a small readership. And some are good but lack that certain elusive something which publishers are always seeking. On the other hand, publishers do reject books from talented new writers because it is not enough to be good; an unknown writer has to be really outstanding to catch the eye, or be exactly in tune with certain trends(' la Bridget Jones' Diary). In short it seems that a work must either 'fit onto the shelves' of mainstream publishers or be penned by an author whose name will guarantee sales.

Whichever your objective as a potential subsidy financing author, we will give an honest assessment of literary merit and an informed opinion of your book's potential marketability, whatever its genre. If your book is badly written and you are not aware of this (though it is to some extent a matter of opinion), we will tell you. In deciding to become a published author we also ask you to consider the risks involved because, although we have proven that it is undoubtedly possible, a realistic outlook is that it is unlikely that a first-time author will regain their outlay in full. Some authors may recoup their investment in the first year, however we believe it will most likely be over a three year period.  However, we are aware that recognition and becoming a published author are equally important factors for many writers, and certainly this can encourage and lead to future success.

SO HOW DO YOU BEGIN?

If you decide to use Zeus Publications' services, simply submit your material so that we may undertake an initial reading to ascertain the work needed on your book and issue a quote for publication costs. Should both parties decide to enter into an agreement after the initial evaluation, then Zeus Publications will undertake  editing, production of proofs, placement of illustrations/diagrams, cover design, back-cover 'blurb' writing: printing and binding. At every stage you will be sent text and designs for your approval before progressing to the next stage towards realising your published book.

Costs

The costs you will be asked to provide will depend upon several factors: the size of your manuscript, amount of editing required, whether or not you present it on disk, type of cover design, number/type of illustrations and/or photographs you want to include, size of first print run if requirements exceed our typical quantities, binding, as well as the extent of the promotion.

Author royalties from sales are 20%. This is significantly more than trade publishers' standard 5 -10%, though naturally less than if you were to go it alone, in which case you would take 100% of sales.
Of course you would then also have to meet the cost of printing, editing, distribution, storage and administration.
With Zeus Publications, the amount you pay is the full and final amount.  The only costs in the future are if the author wishes to buy copies of their books at the special  author discount. We as publishers are then obliged to finance reprints, continue promotion and distribution and bear all the costs entailed therein for the balance of the contract term.

As you will appreciate, it is impossible to give precise quotes due to the disparate nature of the material we receive, and until we have actually viewed a work to ascertain the type and level of service(s) we would need to provide it can be misleading to quote 'ball-park' figures. Prices will differ according to the length of a manuscript, the nature and extent of editing necessary, inclusion of illustrations and/or photographs, use of materials other than standard and any additional services we provide to the standard package.  
A reminder here that we can only include monochrome illustrations and photos in our books.

However, we do appreciate that some form of guideline is helpful as shown below. We are also happy to quote for any one or combination of the services on offer, including limited editions for the author's own distribution purposes. We cannot, unfortunately, offer marketing and distribution services for books which have not been published by Zeus Publications.

PRICING

    Prices start from as low as AUD$2,200 for the complete publishing service as follows:

A typical first print run is enough for review and to satisfy early demand, allowing us the option to alter the back cover on future print runs to include any favourable review comments the book might gain. Such endorsements on the back of a book can help increase sales. Further print runs are at full cost to the publisher who also benefits from the sale of the book and therefore guarantees to keep the book in print for the contract period.

We believe our costs are very competitive for the level of service we offer and our means of apportioning proceeds are fair and realistic to both the author and to us: you make a once-only payment to publish your book, and we have a financial incentive to continue selling it. We fail to see the merit of some other arrangements whereby the author is offered unrealistically high percentage returns on sales which then provide the company with little or no incentive to promote and sell the book or, indeed, where sales are achieved and the author then has to pay again to have the book reprinted!

Author satisfaction is of the greatest concern to us and we are sure you will be proud that you made the decision to publish your book with Zeus Publications.  Click here to see some testimonials from a few of our authors.

      


To assist you in your submission, please consider the following:

Describe Your Book

What is special about your book? Why will people wish to buy your book?

Has anyone reviewed your work? Children or adults? Friends, relatives? Experts in the field?. A suggestion: Have a friend give a copy to someone who doesn't know you.

Describe Yourself

What is your background? Why did you write the book? Any previous publications? How are you able to promote your book?  What else?

 

What Should You Send Us?

Please send us a letter of inquiry including the above information. Include three sample chapters, a word count and a synopsis of the book. Preferably, this should be on disk or via attachment in MS Word format.  If you want your material returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope big enough to hold it all.

What Happens Next?

If we feel the manuscript meets our needs, we will send you an evaluation and either offer you a contract or suggest the changes that need to be made before we can consider it further. 

Need more clarification?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions.

To have your book reviewed send your manuscript sample to: Zeus Publications, P.O. Box 2554, Burleigh MDC Qld 4220  Australia. You may also submit your material via email to: info@zeus-publications.com . Please clearly mark the email as a submission in the subject field. In most cases, you can expect a reply within four weeks. 

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