FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Atmosphere Press is devoted to integrity and transparency,
so here's where we dive into all the details.
Who is Atmosphere Press?
Atmosphere Press is an author-friendly publisher and author services provider accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and partnered with the Independent Book Publisher’s Association, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Writing Magazine, and Winning Writers, among others. Our authors’ award-winning and acclaimed books have sold tens of thousands of copies since we were founded in 2015, and our Press ethos is to put the power not in the hands of the publisher, but in the hands of the writer, where it belongs. Our Founder and Executive Editor, Nick Courtright, who has a PhD in Literature, an MFA in Creative Writing, and who is the author of multiple books himself, spent years working around and through 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, losing not just their royalties but also the rights to their material and to their control over their art. That’s why he has built a dedicated team of editors, designers, distributors, and publicists to help authors see their books treated well and with respect so that they can reach the heights they’ve always deserved.
How is Atmosphere Press different?
There are a lot of answers to this question, but beyond our straightforward dedication to strong ethics and integrity, we bring to the table years of experience in top-notch editorial, design, and book publicity. It is easy to “publish” a book on Amazon—it takes about fifteen minutes—but for a book to be good, it requires the guiding vision of an exceptional team. In addition to our selective Flagship Publication offering, we provide a wide range of additional services, from editorial coaching and manuscript reviews for authors with in-progress projects, to query writing, cover design, and marketing/promotional assistance not just to the authors we publish, but to self-published and traditionally published writers. We also offer authors help with websites, audiobooks, merchandise, and children’s book illustration. We really, truly, and absolutely work hand-in-hand with authors through every step of the process, and it’s our goal to provide the best experience possible for our authors. Testimonials from authors who’ve worked with us speak to our exceptional care and the quality of our process. Above everything else, Atmosphere stands out for how our people care for our books and our authors.
What are my publishing options?
We get a lot of questions from authors who want help understanding the confusing terrain of the publishing world. And it is indeed confusing! There are a lot of ways to make a book happen—from self-publishing 100% alone, to taking the years it often requires to land an agent—and all of them have their pros and cons. There is also the balancing act between holding out for “a big score” versus your book dying a slow death on the computer. What we’ve tried to do is build a press that combines the best of all positive worlds, so as to serve authors professionally and honestly, with as many benefits and as few drawbacks as possible. The chart below displays all of the key important areas of concern for an author when publishing a book—from artistic autonomy to property rights to publishing speed to the team you’d be working with—and shows how different publishing models approach that area. We think we stack up pretty nicely!
How quickly can my book come out?
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 five months, we will help make that happen. If that means you want ten months to plan a publicity blast, we’ll time that right up for you. We have a well-practiced Publication Timeline, so we’re very efficient in our processes, and we’ll work at a pace that suits you, while not compromising quality. 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. With Atmosphere, the most common publication project duration is 4-8 months, with a print copy in hand prior to that. And here you go, check out the whole journey—it’s a fun one!
How does Atmosphere Press work?
Atmosphere Press is a hybrid publisher and author services company, which means that the author makes an upfront investment in utilizing our team’s skills, yet the author maintains rights to their material and any future proceeds deriving from their work, while also holding final autonomy over their content. This partnership model allows us to build and keep a staff of experts, and gives you transparency in terms of what you’re receiving. Whereas some traditional publishers front the initial costs of publication and design, they often end up taking advantage of 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. They also may take the rights to authors’ work, and can seriously limit authors’ control of the destiny of their own words. Instead of this publisher-friendly model, we use an author-centric approach in which you as the author keep your hand on the steering wheel.
How much will this cost me?
Our goal is to provide a good and honest service at a manageable rate, while giving you access to true experts in the field. We are 100% independent (no investors eyeing profits!) and this allows us to maintain low overhead (no office space!). That keeps our costs down, and we pass that savings onto you. The prices vary depending on the services provided, and you can find very clear and straightforward pricing for almost everything we do on our Services page. The only thing we do that doesn’t have a listed price is the full Publication service, because that’s highly dependent on the individual project; a 50-page book of poems is a different undertaking than a 500-page nonfiction book with charts and graphs to navigate. That’s why we always encourage authors to schedule a call with our Acquisitions Editor to talk through your project directly, and so we can pinpoint an exact quote. What we promise is that we’ll stick to any quote we give you, and there will be no sneaky surprises later on in the process.
What’s wrong with traditional publishing?
Nothing, in theory. It can give you great reach, and can take advantage of well-worn pathways to notoriety. Some of our best friends are traditional publishers! Unfortunately, though, traditional publishing is fraught with shortcomings, and it can be very unfriendly to authors, much like how music labels can take advantage of musicians. Here are some of the problems that often plague traditional publishing: long time from acceptance to publication; expensive author copies; limited editorial assistance; little say in cover design; little say in interior layout; little say in book dimensions; onerous royalties contracts; outrageous contest and reading fees; rejection rejection rejection. And here are some of Atmosphere’s solutions to these problems: less than 6 months to publication; affordable author copies; dedicated editorial assistance; tons of say in cover design; tons of say in interior layout; tons of say in book dimensions; you keep 90+% royalties; no contest / reading fees; no endless rejection—if your book is good, let’s make this thing happen. With these advantages in mind, we’re happy to be a better route to getting your book into the world.
Is Atmosphere a vanity press?
No! Atmosphere Press is not a vanity press, as vanity presses publish whatever walks in the door and rarely offer anything more than one’s name in print. We also aren’t best described as a self-publishing firm, because we actually publish books ourselves and it says Atmosphere on the spine of every book we publish. Atmosphere Press is a selective literary press and all of our books go through a rigorous editorial process; we have no interest in publishing unexceptional books. The way we see it, we owe it to our current roster of excellent writers—affiliated with such places as Stanford, Cornell, Oxford, MIT, Berkeley, etc.—to not sully the press’ name by publishing subpar work. While we offer our other services, such as manuscript reviews and a la carte cover design, to a wider variety of authors, we maintain a high standard for what we publish with the Atmosphere name on it. This is how we can stay true to our mission of helping all authors, while remaining selective: we provide assistance to anyone who has a project he/she wants to see the light of publication, but, at the end of the day, we ourselves only publish the best.
How do you publicize your authors?
We promote our authors heavily through social media and email newsletter campaigns, as in the current climate these are the truest ways to reach and expand audience. We also use an international distributor to make your book available globally. Given that an author is typically one of the primary driving forces behind the success of a book, we also set up our authors with a big one-on-one call with a book promotions expert on 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. We even have a database of independent bookstores, as well as a 35-page marketing tutorial, that we share with authors, because we know that the transition from “writer” to “author” can be a tricky one. And if you do want some more hands-on assistance with shepherding your book into the world, beyond our standard contract we offer an awesome comprehensive Book Boost Publicity and Promotion add-on to acquire reviews, land interviews, do targeted advertising buys, and a bevy of other strategic publicist and sales rep maneuvers you may not want to undertake on your own. You can schedule a call with our Book Publicity Director to learn more, and if you want to see the Boost Timeline to see more about how that package works, check it out:
Where are you located and how do I reach you?
Atmosphere Press is based in beautiful (and hot!) Austin, Texas, but our editors, designers, and publicity staff can be found all around America and the world. Such is the benefit of a remote 21st-century world! From New York City to Costa Rica to Rio de Janeiro to Des Moines, we’re used to navigating time zones, and this diverse and forward-thinking range of experiences helps us to serve a wider variety of authors. Still, though, you can rest assured that you’re working with a real and dedicated team, and we don’t outsource any of our authors to unpaid interns or low-cost labor farms—on your writing project, you’ll always be working with someone whose face you see on our masthead. In terms of reaching us, you can submit your manuscript here, or ask a question here, and you can always reach us via email at email@example.com. You can also schedule a call with our Acquisitions Editor, or give us a call at +1 (512) 522-2648. And lastly, our official address is 7107 Foxtree Cove, Austin, TX 78750.
Will Atmosphere Press get rich if my book succeeds?
Nope. We take only 10% 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 are, though, still highly invested in the success of your book—our “skin in the game”—because we as a literary press are only as strong as our submissions, and we’ve found that our best submissions come from writers who have found our books out in the world, or through author referrals from authors of ours who were happy with the process. What can be a better advertisement for Atmosphere than our books piling up positive reviews, winning awards, and selling like hotcakes? After all, every one of those books is an advertisement for our brand, and for the high-quality expertise we aim to bring to every book; we don’t need to take a ton of royalties to care about this. And that, truly, is how everybody wins if your book is a hit, and why we revel in the success of our authors.
When my book is out, can you connect me with other Atmosphere authors?
Yes! This is actually one of our favorite things to do. We have an “Author Connect” program in which we match our authors with each other to coordinate readings, reviews, promotions, and other partnership initiatives. The results have been amazing, and this is one thing we pride ourselves on: building a community of writers, rather than just having a bunch of disparate and isolated authors disconnected from each other. Writing itself is often a solitary process, but being an author doesn’t have to be. Compared to self-publishing or even traditional publishing, this is one thing that really makes our “friendly” approach stand out.
Will I have a say in cover design?
Absolutely! We love it when authors have a solid vision for what they want on their cover; 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 about what types of approaches will be most appealing to readers and will most suit current trends. And if you want to use our excellent design team to create a cover for you, without publishing with us, we can do that, too. Either way, we have a really great process to diagnose what you want, and then deliver something you and your readers will love. Believe us, we get incredible amounts of compliments for our covers.
Paperback? E-book? Hardcover? Audiobook?
That’s a lot of formats, and to them all, we say yes! We’re well versed in the interior formatting and production nuances of all 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, typography, and audio production. Our standard publication contract includes paperback and e-book automatically, with hardcover and audiobook as optional add-ons. In all cases, we’ll walk you through the options, but the best part is that you do have options!
What does your audiobook process look like?
From sourcing narrators, to audiobook production, upload, and distribution, we cover the bases! You can schedule a call with our Digital Director to learn more, and if you want to see the Audiobook Production Timeline, or to see more about how that package works, check out the details below:
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 custom website you can be proud to put on your card. While this isn’t included in our standard publication package, we will give you a consultation on how to tackle a successful author website, whether with our assistance or running solo. If you want to work with us, we have a Custom Author Website Build package to get you set up with a nice, professional-grade website with the types of features, security, and active monitoring necessary for today’s internet. You can schedule a call with our Digital Director to learn more, and if you want to see how the Website Timeline breaks down, here it is:
I love it! What next?
If you’d like to be considered for our selective Flagship Publication plan, please submit your manuscript via our submissions page, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a call with our Acquisitions Editor. Then we can directly assess your project and whether we can work with it, and if so, we can discuss your desires and expectations, and determine a budget. From there, we’d embark on the fun process of guiding that book into shape!
And, if you’d like any of our other Services, from editorial coaching to audiobooks to cover design to merchandise, feel free to purchase the relevant item on our website directly, and we can be in touch and get right to work. It’s going to be great.
And from our team to you, all the best!