FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the most frequent questions which we are asked. Don’t hesitate to ask a question not covered here or inquire about an answer that is not clear. We have two publishing options with differences between each. Some of the following responses apply only to our hybrid imprint.

At Torchflame Books we are committed to transparency and the notion that there should only be good surprises. Not only is that an ethical business practice but it makes our job easier and relationships better.

Our company was founded in 1998 by a family of authors who believed that there had to be a better model than vanity or self-publishing for emerging authors.

We are located in California, Colorado, and Texas. Our primary market is the United States but we also sell books in a number of other nations. We prefer to print locally whenever possible, working with printers around the world to decrease delivery time and cost. We offer POD, short-run, and high volume printed editions in numerous sizes as well as electronic books in all the standard formats. Audiobooks are an available option.

Each author has a personal consultant who provides close guidance through the process. The author is involved in all aspects of designing and marketing every book whether written for a broad or select market. We look beyond the immediate profits of the latest “hot topic” to offer a platform for as many subjects as possible.

While we obviously aim to sell as many of each title as possible, we do not believe that the value of a book lies solely in the quantity of books sold. Many books that will only sell a few hundred copies are worth publishing for what they contain and the value of that information for those who need it. We also find that many titles having limited initial sales will continue to sell year after year because of their specialized content.

You have something worthwhile to say and we want to give voice to your ideas. We are currently accepting submissions. We can’t publish everything but we can and will be happy to review your work with the respect it deserves.

No. Not every book is suitable for Torchflame Books but we are able to publish many books that have a smaller and more highly focused market segment because part of our production costs are contributed by the author.

We publish works of fiction and non-fiction in most genres. We do not publish books containing erotica or paranormal themes, horror, those which advocate hatred, sexual or other exploitation, libelous material, plagiarized text, or AI generated manuscripts of any kind.

Submissions are evaluated by our editors based on literary quality, subject, and sales potential. We value freedom of expression and encourage creativity of ideas. We express no social or political bias in our selection process.

No, Torchflame Books is neither self-publishing nor vanity publishing. This is a hybrid publishing model wherein we work closely with our authors sharing production costs and sales profits.

It is a matter of expertise. Highly motivated entrepreneurial authors can benefit greatly from collaborating with experts in the publishing business through the hybrid publishing model. Sharing expenses and responsibilities for creating a professionally published book means we all have skin in the game as we strive for success together.

Self-published books that are not professionally edited and provided with stunning covers often fail in the marketplace and disappoint the author and their readers.

You maintain full rights to your book and you own the copyright. Our publishing agreement states that you grant us sale and distribution rights for three years, after which your contract is renewable each year.

Yes, if we accept your book for publication we will give you a detailed contract. Read a sample contract

We follow a timeline that allows for ample time to receive trade and reader reviews and to implement an advance marketing strategy for every book we publish. The typical timeline is 10-12 months, however we will work with you to establish the publishing date according to your needs and when we think the best time to release your book will be. We can provide digital and print Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) as requested.

Hybrid publishing is a popular option for emerging authors because it ensures a professionally published book and provides experience, exposure, and marketing for selected manuscripts. The authors who benefit most from using a hybrid publishing model are those who are committed to participating in the process and are willing to share the responsibility, both creatively and financially, for producing a book they will be proud of. Authors maintain a certain amount of creative control in the design and editing of their book and in return for their contribution receive a much higher than average royalty rate. See Publish With Us, and more about Hybrid Publishing.

Yes, we format and typeset all manuscripts using CMOS and IBPA standards.

Yes. When your book is selected for publication, we will work with you to create a stunning genre-specific cover for your book that reflects the message of the book in a way that will be appealing to potential readers. We stay on top of current trends in the market so your book will look as good as any book on the shelf, and avoid the appearance of obvious self-published books.

Yes. When your book is selected for publication, we will create an ebook edition of your print book and make it available through all commercial channels.

Yes. Assigning an ISBN is part of the publishing process and in following the industry standards, the barcode will appear on the back of every printed book we publish. We also assign ISBNs to ebooks so they are available to all markets including Amazon Kindle.

The cost of publishing a book with Torchflame Books using our hybrid publishing model is currently $7,895. Royalties are 60% to 75%.

Yes, absolutely! You will be provided one or more digital proofs before printing and a printed proof before the publication date so you can see your book in print.

Yes. You will be entitled to substantial author discounts which vary according to quantity and are calculated as our printing cost plus 20%.

Yes, we are proud to offer our authors marketing support. We promote all titles on our website books page, the website author page, press releases, tip sheets, ARCs, and ebook campaigns as described in detail on the marketing page of our website. New releases are featured on the home page for that season, and then are added to our downloadable Catalog, which we use to promote our titles to retailers, librarians, and schools. Through the year as promotions from our distributor come up, we will submit your book for these promotions on your behalf. These promotions often increase visibility and sales for your book, no matter how long it’s been since release date. We also offer several optional marketing packages that are customizable for your book and genre.

You will receive 60% of the profit we earn as royalties on print books we sell for you and 100% of the profit from books you sell yourself. You will receive 60% of the profit we earn as royalties on ebooks we sell for you.

Profit means the amount we are paid for each book minus the printing cost of the book. It varies by retailer and distributor but we are typically paid 40% to 60% of a book’s retail price. From that, for print books, we must pay the printing cost.

Example – based on a 200 page 5.5”x8.5” or 6”x9” softcover book printed using black ink on white or crème paper with a full-color cover. The printing cost depends on the number of pages.

Sales through Amazon or other bookstore
Retail price of $17.99
Wholesale discount of 55% is $9.89
Net we are paid is $8.10
Printing cost is $4.81
Net on the book is 17.99 – 9.89 – 4.81 = $3.29
Author’s royalty = 3.29 x 60% = $1.97
Our profit = 3.29 x 40% = $1.32

The ebook of this same title
Retail price of $7.99
Wholesale discount of 60% is $4.80
Net we are paid is $3.20
Author’s royalty = 3.20 x 60% = $1.92
Our profit = 3.20 x 40% = $1.28

Author direct sale of book at event
Retail price of 17.99 / ‘Event special’ price of $15.00
Author cost is 4.81 + 20% = $5.77
Net on the book is 15.00 – 5.77 = $9.23
Author profit = $9.23

We distribute royalties to authors after we have been paid for the sales of their books by our wholesalers and retailers. Those payments vary but tend to be 90 days later. This means, for example, that we are paid for January sales at the beginning of April.

The first author royalty is paid at the end of the quarter that falls approximately six months following the release date. Subsequent royalties are paid quarterly in January, April, July, and October for author account balances of $25 or more. If less than $25 then the balance carries forward.

We hold 20% of author royalties for 8 months to cover books which may be returned to us from bookstores. On average, 20% of books are returned during the 8 months following their purchase by bookstores. (The industry average is 30%. We are fortunate to be closer to 20%.) Any amount held back which exceeds returns is paid to the author. If returns exceed the amount held back then the author reimburses for those, usually from future sales.

We follow the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) guide to publishing standards and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) guide to style, usage, and grammar.

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is the largest publishing trade association in the U.S.A. IBPA is a not-for-profit membership organization serving and leading the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success.

As a key volunteer for the Independent Book Publishers Association, our CEO Teri Rider, is an active member of the IBPA  Advocacy Committee, which defined the Industry Standards for a Professionally Published Book. Many of the examples used to illustrate these standards are from books published by our company.

Teri and founding member Elizabeth Turnbull also helped create the IBPA Criteria for a Hybrid Publisher, which we adhere to as our hybrid publishing model.

IBPA proudmember

Booksellers/Wholesale Customers:

Torchflame Books is proud to work with Ingram and IPG for the distribution of our titles.
To place an order, contact one of our distributors for the standard wholesale discount rates.
If you are located outside the USA you can also order directly by contacting us.


Individuals:

All our titles are available through major booksellers online or in stores.
We encourage you to support your local bookseller and order directly through them. Find a list of independent booksellers near you.
If you are located outside the USA you can order physical books directly by contacting us.

Torchflame print titles have unsurpassed distribution through the Independent Publishers Group (IPG) and Ingram, the world’s largest wholesale book distributor. Your book will be available through all major internet retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Books-a-Million, and Book Depository. It will also be available to more than 39,000 bookstores worldwide.

Torchflame books are included in the Ingram Title Library System (ipage), which provides key information including, metadata, cover, description, author information, genre, targeted audiences, reviews, format and price to distribution channels so retailers can create their listings for the titles in their own ways. This is one of the most thorough and globally distributed cataloging systems available to all and is used by most retailers.

Torchflame books are included in printed and digital catalogs published and distributed by Ingram.

Ebooks are distributed through IPG, which provides not only distribution but also promotion and special marketing opportunities. Your ebook will be available to over 30,000 libraries plus Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and all reputable ebook retailers.

Audiobooks are distributed through IPG to Audible, Apple/iTunes, Nook, Chirp, Spotify, and to libraries including Libby, Hoopla, Overdrive, Kobo and others.