Our mission is to be both agent and publisher, respecting your manuscript and the hard work you invested to give it breath, and to discover quality writing talent that might otherwise be overlooked in today’s harried publishing industry.
I’m an author who navigated the traditional publishing route. The first draft of my premier novel was completed early in 2007 and graced by a literary agent later that year. My query letter to her was the 257th of the 303 I sent. She placed my book with a publisher the next year. Rewriting, editing, and refining got the manuscript into print in December, 2009. Then I was told they were finished.
The Sales Reality:
Neither agents nor publishers promote, market, or sell books; it’s all up to you, the author. “But, but, but…,” you may say, “in the movies there’s a big champagne party before the book is even published.” The joyous celebration depicted in A Murder of Crows, 1998, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., is as fictitious as the characters.
While Facebook and Twitter were gaining momentum in 2009, my facility with them was rudimentary. Most of my “friends” were really friends-of-friends whom I didn’t know, so the likelihood of them spending money on my book, reading it, and then referring others to buy it was small, even though several independent readers—people who had no reason to be kind to me—said my work was “Good.” Just not James Patterson good. Not many copies sold.
The Financial Reality:
Typically, authors receive 10% of the publisher’s proceeds on the first 10,000 copies of their books sold, and agents gets 15% of that 10%. “Proceeds” are fluid, subject to the whims of Amazon and other distributors who may unilaterally drop the retail price, but not their take, reducing the publisher and author cut. On a $15.95 soft-cover trade publication—forget hard-cover completely—an author’s royalties are more easily expressed in pennies than dollars. And still, agents and publishers do no direct promotion of your work.
What Comfy Chair Publishers is Looking for:
We understand that the person who has spent the late nights and creative angst to write a book should get more than a tithe. Our authors receive fifty percent of the proceeds beginning with the first book sold. Our Representation-Agreement is available for your perusal. In exchange, we’re looking for well-written presentations that show a high level of author involvement in the preparation and perfection of the manuscript. To this end, we’re going to take time to review your submission, and evaluate how your writing may be received in the marketplace, and that just can’t be done in the proverbial eight seconds.
Three times I read the first twenty pages of the internationally best-selling Millennium Trilogy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but couldn’t get into it. Finally, I forced myself to read farther on the insistence of a friend. Then the story clicked, and I couldn’t put it down. Unless a manuscript is unreadable—see self-editing—we understand that it may take several thousand words or a few dozen pages for your story to build momentum. We’ll respect you by investing the time to properly evaluate your work.
We look forward to hearing from you.