Stephanie Hoover authored eight traditionally published books. She was proud of her work, but she kept asking herself the same nagging questions: Why do I make so small a percentage on books I spend months creating? Why don't traditional publishers send royalty statements I can actually understand? Why do they stop aggressively marketing my book after the first few weeks? She didn't want to self-publish, and she certainly didn't want to stop writing - but what was the alternative?
Stephanie shared these concerns with fellow writers and family members. Her son came back with a question of his own: Why can't we start our own traditional publishing company, but one with a corporate conscience? One that actually treats writers fairly AND works to market their books year-round? One that knows each of its authors as a person, and knows every title by every writer?
Before long, the entire family wanted to participate. Plus a friend of the family. Plus a writer friend. Together, they created HCNF Books, a brand of Hoover Communications.
HCNF Books is different in a few ways:
• We publish non-fiction and only non-fiction.
• We respond to every proposal we receive. It might not be the response you want, but we'll never leave you hanging.
• Our author's commission is 12% on hard copies. For anyone savvy enough to understand the cost breakdowns of a published book, that means that - after printing costs, shipping costs, bookstore discount, and author's commission - the writer of the book and the publisher of the book make roughly the same amount of money. As we believe it should be.
• No "first right of refusal" demand on your next book. Does that mean we may miss out on your next blockbuster hit? Maybe. But we hope you'll want us to publish your next title.
• We contract a maximum of three "out-of-house" (meaning unsolicited submissions rather than assigned books) per year. This means we can actually get to know you and your book. We create a marketing plan customized to your audience. We really understand the "earned media" suitable to your subject matter. In short, we'll truly try to sell your book - because when you make money, we make money.
• We want (in fact, demand) your input throughout the process. Have a cover idea? Let us know. Have a mailing list? We want it. There is no better audience for your new book than the folks who bought your last one and we'll contact every one of those fans. Know of an organization, publication or event that meshes with your book's content? Tell us. We'll send them a news release and other PR materials.
• We help you plan and schedule a book launch. We'll work with you to try to find a bookstore or other venue to hold the event. And, we'll provide promotional materials to help you and that venue promote the launch.
• We won't stop promoting your book as soon as our next title releases. Good books are like fine wine and old sweatshirts. They age well. So should your book's marketing campaign.
So, now you're asking: what about advances? No. We don't pay them. At least for now. We're already going above and beyond what most publishers would even consider, and there's only so much we can afford. (That's another thing you'll always get from us: honesty.)
Here's another way we're different. If you think you have a great, readable, entertaining idea for a non-fiction book, tell us about it in 100 words or less. That's it. We don't want to see outlines or chapters - we just want to hear your best pitch. If we like it, we'll ask for more. If we don't, we'll tell you why. And yes, we respond to everyone.
HCNF Books. A traditional publisher with an eye on success and a heart for writers. Go figure.