Publish Your Story
If you have a memoir or other non-fiction manuscript you want to publish, look to The Cheerful Word imprint as your partner publisher.
Whether you want to print just a few copies for family and friends or sell them to inspire the masses, we’ve got you covered.
We work on a split-royalties basis. Authors receive 10% right from the start. No complicated contracts. In addition to being your creative publishing partner, we teach you how to market your book!
Three Ways to Get Published
1: “I don’t have any book content written yet.”
Click here to attend one of our workshops or retreats and learn how to write your memoir yourself.
Click here to hire us as your ghostwriter.
Click here to work one-on-one with a book coach.
2: “I have some content, but don’t know how to finish.”
Click here to register for one of our retreats, or sign up for book coaching to have one of our expert writers guide you through the book writing process.
3: I have a completed manuscript and I’m ready to publish.
Click the button below to send us your manuscript.
The advantage of working with a Partner Publisher
While most traditional publishers will not risk new authors, we feel that finding new authors and helping them launch their books is our specialty. There are many writers who have something significant to say, but for various reasons do not receive a contract from other full-service publishers, and understand that self-publishing restricts your access to selling in bookstores. Most authors understand that if they want a successful book, it requires a professionally edited manuscript, a good title, and a great cover design. We know that new authors dream of having a chance to succeed beyond their own sphere of influence. This is the type of author we can assist (unless you are printing a book for a private family library). That does not mean we accept all manuscripts. We know that only quality books have a chance to sell. Since we need to make a profit from the sales of your book through our retail distribution efforts, we limit our acceptance to quality manuscripts that we think have a strong chance to succeed.
In this partnership, we enjoy working with new authors who have a constituency to distribute books to directly, like you have, or with authors who are willing to work hard at developing a fan base. By partnering with the author, we can provide the professional services he or she needs while sharing the risk. There are a number of ways that partner publishers share risks.
The most common (not our paradigm) is to require the author to pre-purchase a set amount of books for her own distribution at a discount (lower than retail) price, typically one thousand. Often, this is the only cost to the author. Most books sell to authors at 60-70% off the retail rate. Considering the length and size of your book, I expect yours to cost about $3.50 each to you instead of the $14.95 retail I suspect you may choose to charge. Purchasing a thousand books at that rate would cost you $3,500.
The other method partner publishers use is to charge a percentage of sales in lieu of the book pre-purchase. This is riskier for publishers as we rely on the author’s power, influence, and consistency to sell their book. The online sales of your book helps us cover our costs, including editing, proofreading, cover design, pre-press typesetting, proof print, promotion, and overhead. We pay for the above services as an expense we’re willing to make because we believe your book will succeed. We make an investment of an average of $3,000 in your book that you do not have to take that risk.
If an author brings to us a finished manuscript, we complete a detailed manuscript review and send a report of our findings to the author before we accept them into our imprint. If it holds promise, needing only professional editing (Chicago Manual of Style) or minor rewrites, and they meet our publishing sales requirements (they have an audience to sell to), they are accepted as a Cheerful Word author. If the author comes to us with an idea or unfinished manuscript, as you did, and we feel the story holds promise in the marketplace, we offer to coach them to finish it, or send them off with instructions on the possible approaches to completing the manuscript unaided by a professional writer. They then can submit the manuscript and go through the above process to be accepted, free of charge until the book sells.
Our paradigm offers you, as the author, three things:
- a flat rate to you for the life of your book, with no upcharge, for the purchase of your books for your own distribution;
- the distribution of your book to all available (currently nine) channels of sale across Amazon worldwide;
- we enroll you in Amazon’s Expanded Distribution making your book available to distributors so booksellers and libraries can find your book and order it.
Optionally, we may also invest in an Amazon ad to promote your book through either a sponsored campaign or lock-screen ad on Kindle and other e-readers.
The advantage of our method is that you end up with a high-quality, professionally edited manuscript with a uniquely designed cover distributed to bookstores nationwide. We pay you a royalty on any copies we sell through the Amazon and their associated retail bookstore outlets. And, unlike self-published or vanity published books, we do not surprise authors with add-ons or hidden charges.
Based on the risk we take to insure the greatest success of your book, we feel that paying 10% royalties is generous. Traditional, hybrid, and other partner publishers pay on a graduated scale. In other words, as you sell more books, you receive more royalties. Most pay between 4% and 6% per book sale to the author for the sale of the first several thousand books, maxing out at about 7% after the sale of 100,000+ depending on your contractual agreement.
Ultimately, the success of your book, no matter which publisher picks you up, depends on the most enthusiastic promotor of your book—you. We are here to help make your authorship and sales a great success. After publishing over 30 books to date, we feel we have a pretty good idea about what works best to help everyday people publish the stories they want to share with the world and have the best opportunity for ongoing income from your endeavor.
Why should you trust us?
You are feeling a heady romance with your just-finished manuscript and you’re shopping around for publishers. This can be exciting and overwhelming. When looking for a partner to publish your hard work into the world, be sure you pick a small publisher who not only believes in you and your book, but has your back in the contract from what they will do for you in marketing and royalty payments and beyond. No matter who you interview, following are some good questions, and my answers, to get to know them before you make your choice (and follow your intuition! If you don’t feel confident and comfortable right from the start, move on).
Whoever you choose, above all, enjoy the ride! Take a look at some of our success stories here!
Who runs the business?
Sam Uhl is the owner of The Cheerful Word and manages the expert team that edits, designs, and proofs your book. She personally oversees each book as it goes through the stages of production to ensure that excellence is applied at every step.
What do we publish?
We publish personal memoir, but accept other non-fiction as it fits into our schedule.
When do we publish, and how often?
We publish throughout the year, approximately every couple of months depending upon the number of books in the pipeline. We have just expanded the team to meet the demands of our new royalty-based system, which will allow us to publish up to more books in 2019.
Where are we located and where do we distribute?
We are located in Hendersonville, North Carolina. We distribute worldwide via Amazon.com and its international channels. We can order in bulk and distribute locally in bookstores and at a discount for the author.
How do we get paid?
We get paid after printing and distribution costs minus your fixed, 10% royalties. As a partner publisher, we maintain a flexible approach to our author contracts. Some authors have chosen to pay us a lump sum at the beginning of the project in lieu of us taking any royalties. This has proven very beneficial to some who have done extensive personal sales and marketing.
Why do we do what we do?
We stumbled into boutique publishing because Sam discovered that some of her memoir writing clients wanted to share their stories beyond family and friends. To do this meant years of frustrating knocks on the doors of big publishing houses, most of whom don’t publish memoir to begin with, and certainly don’t publish a first-time author “without a brand or platform.” With local bookstores refusing to carry poorly designed (and often terribly written), self-published books, The Cheerful Word found a calling.
After four years of stumbling upward to success, we decided to hang our publishing shingle so that everyday people finally have a place they can go and people they can trust with their very life stories, to not only write them, but publish them as well. In nine years, we have gone from ghostwriting memoirs, to teaching and coaching and now publishing high-quality memoirs accessible to everyone. We’ve become the soup-to-nuts home for memoir writers! Take a look at some of our success stories here!