FAQ: Let’s Get to the Bottom of This

FAQWho is Atmosphere Press?

Atmosphere Press is an author-friendly publisher that aims to put the power not in the hands of the press, but in the hands of the writer, where it belongs. Our founder, Nick Courtright, spent years working around and through traditional publishing both as an editor and as a writer, and he came to feel that, too often, writers got the raw end of the deal.  That’s why he now works with a dedicated team of editors, designers, distributors, and publicists to help authors see their books reach the heights they’ve always deserved.

How quickly can my book come out?

Unlike traditional publishing, which can operate at a glacial pace, Atmosphere Press knows that time is of the essence, and will work to get your book out on a timeline that works for you. If that means you have a business event and need your book done in three months, we will make that happen. If that means you want nine months to plan a publicity blast, we’ll time that right up for you. Contrast this to traditional publishing, in which it’s not uncommon for there to be as much as a two-to-three year lead time before you can hold your book in your hands.

Will I be able to supply my own cover artwork?

Absolutely! We love it when authors have a fair-use image we can incorporate into the cover design; after all, the more you love your cover, the happier you’ll be, and that’s what we want. We’ll give you advice on your cover, though, and will always be honest if we think a better image is out there. Learn more about our cover design here.

Do you do e-books or print?

We do both! We’re well versed in the interior formatting nuances of both of these formats, which are surprisingly more complex than you might initially imagine. Our designers and developers are up to date on the latest software, and, more importantly, the latest styles and approaches to the wide world of fonts and typography. You can be certain that the words on the page—whether that page is paper or a screen—will be easy on the eyes.

Is Atmosphere Press self-publishing?

No! Self-publishing is when a person puts a book out for him- or herself, often with little quality control, no cover designer, and no professional editorial assistance. While Atmosphere is interested in helping writers see their books in print without having to deal with the rigmarole of trying to get accepted by a traditional publisher, we make sure to vet every book for excellence, and won’t publish a book unless it’s exceptional.

How does Atmosphere Press feel about self-publishing?

We love the idea of self-publishing, as many of the greatest authors of all-time did it, including Walt Whitman and James Joyce. Today, writers such as Lisa Genova and E.L. James have been wildly successful self-publishing. That said, these are the outliers, as more than 95% of self-published books using places such as iUniverse and CreateSpace fail, meaning that their authors wasted a lot of time and energy. In our opinion, outside of not existing at all, there’s little worse than a great book going to the grave of self-publishing. That’s why we’re here: to offer another way.

Does Atmosphere Press publish anything that comes to its door?

No! We are not a vanity press, and so we have no interest in publishing unexceptional books. The way we see it, we owe it to our current roster of excellent writers to not sully the press’ name by publishing subpar work. We’ll offer consultation and advice to anyone who has a project he/she wants to see the light of publication, but, at the end of the day, we only publish the best.

How does Atmosphere Press work?

Atmosphere Press uses a “flipped” model.  Whereas most traditional publishers front all the initial costs of publication and design, they often end up gouging authors on the back end through onerous royalties contracts and marked-up copies sold to the authors themselves; we’ve seen this happen to great writers over and over again. Instead of this publisher-friendly model, we use an author-centric approach in which you as the author make the initial investment in the publication costs, and reap all the benefits if your book is a hit.

How much will this cost me?

We strive to have incredibly low overhead, which keeps our costs down, and we pass that savings onto you. That’s why you can get everything from hours of editorial coaching and consultation, interior and cover design, ISBN assignment, distribution through a recognized major league distributor, and advice on marketing and publicity, all for under $2500, and often far less. Compare this to vanity/self-publishing presses, who often charge an absolutely brutal near-$5000 for the same services. Atmosphere Press will never nickel-and-dime its authors, and any book that sells more than 500 copies will start making its author a substantial profit.

Will Atmosphere Press get rich if my book succeeds?

Nope. We take 0% royalties, so if you become the next JK Rowling or John Grisham, feel free to send us a postcard while your yacht is docked in Aruba. All kidding aside, part of “author-friendly” means that your book is *your* book, and no one should get rich off of it but you. We revel in the success of our authors, but that reveling is driven by pride, not our pocketbooks.

How much will my author copies cost?

Many traditional presses will charge authors 60% of retail list price. That means that if your book is retailing at $15.95, you’re paying $9.57 per copy, which will make it virtually impossible to make a profit on books you yourself sell, such as at readings and to family and friends. It also makes it near impossible to make a profit if you try to sell your books at bookstores, which will often take 35-45% of the cut, leaving you with an untenable 80¢ per book profit. We at Atmosphere think that’s terrible, because it really just amounts to presses making money off of their own authors. So we sell our authors unlimited copies of their books at the printer’s wholesale cost, which is under $7 a pop. Pretty good, right?

Can you do an author website for me?

Yes!  We know that a big part of promoting a book is a strong online presence, and we have web designers and developers on call to build you a website you can be proud to put on your card. While this isn’t included in our basic package, we can get you set up with a nice, professional-grade website and five years of domain ownership for under $500, which is well below the market standard of $800+ for an author website.

How do you publicize your authors?

We work to promote our authors through a variety of online and ground campaigns, though we recognize that the author is the primary driving force behind the success of a book. We aim to advise authors in developing a suitable marketing strategy that fits the author’s needs, and will give direction wherever possible, whether it be through media advertising buys, setting up a book tour, or getting the word out through grassroots social media promotion.

Okay, so now I’ve signed on—what should I expect?

You should expect a quick but thorough assessment of your manuscript, including a phone or video consultation, in which we discuss ways to make your book the best it can be. After you make any changes you’d like to make based on the advice, we’ll do as many rounds of revision and proofing as it takes until your manuscript is publication-worthy. During this time we’ll also be talking about cover design and interior layout. Because we’ll work at the pace that suits you—lightning fast or carefully slow—we will do what it takes to communicate clearly, and before you know it you’ll have a beautiful book in your hands.

I love it! What next?

Use our Contact page to shoot us a line. We’d be in touch very quickly to discuss your project, your desires and expectations, and determine a budget. From there, we’ll embark on the fun process of guiding that book into shape!