Writing Books/Biography


I have written a Biography on my Father-in-law whom passed 6-5-08. We have not published the book yet but are currently looking for a publisher. The manuscript will be ready the first week in April and we would like it publshed as soon as possible.
My father-in-law was a cowboy, basketball player, and an amazing coach. He has touched many lives.
We have set up a scholarship fund in his name.
We would like to donate a portion of what we make to that scholarship fund.
Which publisher would be best for the scholarship fund?

Hi, Crystal!

I saw your question in the question pool, and thought I'd try to help out. Based on what you're trying to do, versus publishing reality, it sounds like you're looking for a subsidy publisher (one you'll have to pay to publish the book---unlike the normal publishing model of the publisher paying YOU.) I say that because the normal timeline of publishing would be one to two YEARS after you submit the book with a regular publisher.

However, your project is one of the better uses for subsidy publishing, because it puts the author in better control of the timing of the book. It also allows for individual books to be printed as they're sold (also called a "print on demand" or POD publisher), which is good for a small, niche market like you have.

Unfortunately, the very nature of that ease of use makes the contracts more stringent. I can't really think of any subsidy publishers out there who will be willing to adjust their accounting method to retain a portion of the royalty to pay out to a different source than the writer who signs the contract. It would require additional tax paperwork on their side. Most likely, they'd require the check be payable to you (or whoever signs the contract) and have YOU make that donation to the scholarship fund.

If you're interested in a subsidy publisher, here are some of the more common ones. Check out this chart for a guide to what they do and how much they cost. One of my favorites is Lulu.com, which puts out a good product, for very little money.


What you also might try is to look in the phone book for local print shops. Many printers now own POD digital machines, which would save you money in the long run. You might also want to look for small local presses by doing a Google for your state + "indepdendent book publishers." Most every state has an organization of publishers who help each other market and distribute. It wouldn't be published soon after April, but it could give you that option of the scholarship donation you want.

You definitely want to talk with your tax preparer about this, and it might be that you want to sit down with an attorney to draw up the scholarship paperwork so it qualifies for a charitable contribution. That would allow any money you donate to be given without any tax effect on YOU.

Hope that helps, and good luck with the project.


Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.