Q: My book requires fancy fonts and lots of color and highlighting. Is that acceptable?

A. No.

Q: Are you hiring?

A: Not at this time.

Q: I submitted my manuscript 12 hours (or 12 days) ago. Have you made a decision yet?

A: Probably not. I try to answer in a timely fashion, but the busier we get, the longer it takes to get to each manuscript. If you haven't heard from me after 90 days, send me an e-mail checking its status.

Q: Do you have an illustrator to work on my children's book?

A: Not at this time. Any pitch for children's books must include the illustrations as part of the package.

Q: Can you recommend some illustrators?

A: Sure. Valerie Bouthyette illustrated our first children's book, Jake and the Buggy Melee. Hanna Sandvig is also very talented. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators can provide you with more information.

Q: Can you recommend an editor?

A. Check The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network and the Christian Editor Network.

Q: Do you charge me to publish my book?

A: No. We are a traditional royalty-paying publisher.

Q: Do you accept books from authors using pen names?

A: Yes.

Q: After looking at your submissions page I noticed that in the fiction category you did not list romance, but you do have suspense. Do you accept novels in the romantic suspense genre?

A: We'll publish suspense that has some romance in it, but since other publishers handle romance lines so well (Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, Heartsong), we're not going to tackle those at this time. In the future, perhaps, but not now.

Q: Do you publish only e-books?

A: No. We publish both print and digital formats for almost all of our books. (Some novellas are digital only, but full-length manuscripts are published both ways.)

Q: Will you consider longer manuscripts?

A: We prefer to stay within our guidelines. But, we may make exceptions in rare cases. It really depends on the genre, length, and story. I need to see the proposal first.

Q: Do you want a query first, or just the proposal?

A: Proposal as outlined on the site - no queries.

Do you expect authors to edit their manuscript and treat the book like they are self publishing book or do you edit?

We expect authors to treat the manuscript just like they would if they were submitting to a traditional publisher, because in essence, that's what we are. We are not a self-publisher. By the time the manuscript gets to the contract stage, it should have been edited or critiqued thoroughly. Some authors belong to critique groups and some pay professional editors before attempting publication.

Even after the edits, there will be in-house edits that must be done, and then the final proofreading, of course. We will handle the formatting in-house. The only formatting we want on the manuscript when it comes to us is industry-standard that I outline on the blog. These in-house edits, proofreading, and formatting are done at no charge to the author.

Q: I read your Guidelines and would like to ask you about marketing. I always thought that the publisher did the marketing because that is always the big problem for writers. You ask the question: "How do you plan to market your book?" I have no idea.

I am also thinking, if I knew how to market my writing, why would I need a publisher? I can get books written, edited and printed myself. It is the marketing that has been the problem for me since I started writing decades ago.

Traditional publishers handle SOME marketing for writers, but not anywhere near what they did in the past. Most of their marketing budgets are spent on the big-name authors who already sell millions of copies of books, because those books pay the costs of the other books they publish.

Writers don't like to do marketing, but writing is a business as well as an art. As the author, you know your book better than anyone else, which makes you the expert. We work with you to brainstorm ideas to promote your book.

The traditional publisher pays lower royalty rates to help pay for the marketing they do, too. A traditional publisher usually pays a maximum of 10-20% royalty on books after the advance is earned back - usually 5000 books. Pix-N-Pens pays no advance, but we pay a much higher royalty and our earn-back number is in the hundreds, rather than the thousands.

Because of that, we don't have a marketing budget, but we can and will promote our books. The way we do it may be a bit unusual, but we work with the authors to determine the best and most creative ways to spread the word.

You are welcome to publish yourself. We're here for the author who wants the foundation of a traditional publisher, but still wants to maintain some control of his or her book; for the author who has written a book that traditional publishers may not want to publish because of content (not quality - because our quality is of the highest standards); for authors who have written a book and wish to earn higher royalties on it, because they're willing to put on a marketing hat for awhile. We're here for authors who have no idea about publishing - the formatting, the printing, the cover design, the distribution - and who want a partner to help them accomplish their dreams.

When we ask how you plan to market your book, we want ideas that you are willing to implement. Are you able to attend writer's conferences? Does your book have a social issue that can be tapped into for marketing purposes? Are you willing to do media interviews if they can be arranged? Are you a member of any organization that gives you an outlet for speaking/teaching/selling? Think of all the various people who might buy your book, then think of ways you could get your book into their hands and tell me about it.