Q1. Who is Torchflame Books?

A. 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 Durham, North Carolina. 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 wiith printers around the world to decrease delivery time and cost. We offer short-run or high volume printed editions in numerous sizes as well as electronic books in all the standard formats.

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 sale of large quantities. 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.

Seeking the best platform for each author and title we offer hybrid publishing and author publishing models.

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.

Q2. Do you publish all books submitted to you?

A. 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 We do not publish books containing erotica or paranormal themes, horror, those which advocate hatred, sexual or other exploitation, libelous material, or plagiarized text.

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

We prefer not to publish works containing profanity but don’t make that a hard rule because of our position on content and expression. However, gratuitous use of profanity is unacceptable, uninteresting, and uncreative language which reflects more on authors than on their characters.

Q3. Is this self-publishing?

A. 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.

Q4. How is hybrid publishing better than self-publishing where the author keeps all the money?

A. It is a matter of expertise. Self-published books that are not professionally edited and provided with stunning covers usually fail in the marketplace and disappoint the author. Highly motivated entrepreneurial authors can often succeed by self-publishing and marketing a professionally designed book such as those produced through the Torchflame Author Publishing program.

Q5. Do you own the rights to my book if you publish it?

A. No, you maintain full rights to your book. You must grant us sale and distribution rights for three years to hybrid publications.

Q6. Will I be given a contract?

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

Q7. How long does it take to publish a book?

A. A well written and clearly formatted manuscript can usually go to press in three months and be available in four months.

Q8. How do I submit my manuscript?

A. Upload it online when you fill the submission form at: torchflamebooks.com/submit

Q9. How do I decide which publishing model is best?

A. Send us your manuscript with the submission form. We will review it and provide you with an opinion based on our experience with similar books. We can provide feedback about your goals and answers to your questions by email and/or over a personal telephone conversation. Whether our opinion confirms your expectations or helps you think in another direction, know that we will be candid and honest. Because we both want your book to sell, our approach helps the author and also benefits us.

Q10. Do you format manuscripts?

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

Q11. Do you create cover designs?

A. Yes, we will work with you to create a stunning cover for your book that reflects the message of the book in a way that will be appealing to potential readers.

Q12. Do you publish ebooks?

A. Yes, if the author wishes, then we do publish an ebook in both epub and mobi formats and make it available through all commercial channels.

Q13. Do you provide an ISBN and barcode?

A. Yes, we will provide you with an ISBN and barcode for your book and also for your ebook if you wish to publish electronically.

Q14. What does it cost?

A. The cost of publishing a book depends on the length and format of the book. The author's share of the cost depends on the publishing model.

  • Hybrid Publishing: The author's share of the cost is $6,895. Royalties are 60% to 75%.
  • Author Publishing under the Author's Imprint: The cost is $2,995. Royalties are 100%.

Q15. Do I get a proof of my book before it is printed?

A. Yes. You will be provided one or more proofs before printing.

Q16. Do I get an author discount on books?

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

Q17. Does Torchflame Books help with marketing?

A. We promote all hybrid titles on our website marketing page, the website author page, press releases, tip sheets, ARCs, and ebook campaigns as described in detail in the marketing section of our website.

Q18. What will my royalties be?

A. 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 sale 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 $16.99
Wholesale discount of 55% is $9.35
Net we are paid is $7.64
Printing cost is $4.00
Net on the book is 16.99 - 9.35 – 4.00 = $3.64
Author’s royalty = 3.64 x 60% = $2.18
Our profit = 3.64 x 40% = $1.46

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 16.99 / ‘Event special’ price of $15.00
Author cost is 4.00 + 20% = $4.80
Net on the book is 15.00 - 4.80 = $10.20
Author profit = $10.20

Q19. When are royalties paid?

A. 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 late. 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.