How does Catholic "self-publishing" work?
First, choose a package to begin your book project.
We will review your manuscript for Catholic integrity and provide Premium Editing. The next steps will be to select the cover design and any options.
We work with you to get your book just right and send you an electronic proof. Once the book is set up to your satisfaction, we get it printed and bound – and you will hold your own book in your hands.
Your marketing materials and promotion options are then utilized to get your book in the marketplace.
As you can see, this isn�t really "self" publishing since you are utilizing the expertise of a professional publisher instead of going it alone – it�s a combination of author services and traditional publishing.
Why should I get my book reviewed for Catholic integrity?
ego sum via et veritas et vita � �I am the way, the truth, and the life� (St. John 14:6). The Lord Jesus teaches us that He Himself is the truth. If something is worth writing, it must not go against this truth. Unfortunately today, many, many writings either overtly or covertly deny the truths of our Faith or go against natural morality.
Catholics should want to get their works reviewed for orthodoxy. You certainly would not want to write something that dissents from Church teaching and be responsible for spreading error. This simply adds to the confusion reigning today.
Books need to be reviewed for integrity of Faith and morals, but the peer review process is what really makes your book professional. This review and editing analysis, included in all our packages, gives you the opportunity to also have your book professionally edited as an optional service. You can then utilize our final proofreading service to catch any grammatical or syntax errors.
There was a time when the Church took the printed word so seriously she published an index of forbidden books. This index was still active until 1966. Only a century ago the pope instructed bishops to �prevent [erroneous] writings � from being read when they have been published, and to hinder their publication when they have not� (Pascendi, no. 50). St. Pope Pius X must have had our own times in mind when he wrote further that
The same decision is to be taken concerning the writings of some Catholics, who, though not badly disposed themselves but ill-instructed in theological studies and imbued with modern philosophy, strive to make this harmonize with the faith, and, as they say, to turn it to the account of the faith (Pascendi, no. 50).
Following in the long-standing spirit of the Church, which is ever zealous to guard our souls, we include a review for Catholic integrity in all our packages. It is not optional. This labor of love helps you, the Catholic author, by giving your readers the reassurance that your work aligns with the teachings of our holy Faith. Perhaps God is calling you to write from your Catholic heart because He wants to use you as His instrument to further His kingdom on earth. As our patron, Pope Leo XIII, wrote, �...it is important that Catholics should oppose the evil press by a press that is good, for the defence of truth, out of love for religion, and to uphold the rights of the Church� (Dall�alto Dell�apostolico Seggio, no. 9).
Will you publish anything?
No. We aren�t like the other guys, who simply print and bind whatever book is put in front of them without reading it. There must be some check, some balance, or a publisher is simply a printer. Leonine Publishers is a hybrid publisher. We review your manuscript, much as a traditional publisher; but we then work with you to create your book, as a self-publishing company. Once your manuscript passes the review for Catholic integrity, or is revised to pass the integrity review, you are then in control of the process.
Traditional Catholic publishers simply cannot afford to publish most of the manuscripts presented to them. Reprinting an older work whose copyright has expired is less expensive, safer, and less complicated. This means that Catholic authors today have many doors closed to them. Leonine Publishers fills this void and welcomes you. We will publish your book once it passes the Catholic review.
Do you just check the text of the book, or do you check the cover for Catholic integrity too?
We check the cover as well. The images as well as the title and subtitle must not go against Faith or morals.
Regardless of whether the text passes a Catholic integrity review, the cover must not be salacious or inappropriate. Yes, we judge a book by its cover. Here are two examples:
This Catholic book would not pass our book-cover integrity test because the title and subtitle are salacious.
This "Catholic" book would not pass our book-cover integrity test, for obvious reasons.
Why do you say you check for Catholic integrity, rather than Catholic orthodoxy?
A dictionary definition of �integrity� is �adherence to moral and ethical principles; the state of being whole; a perfect condition.� We�ll use a working definition of integrity as �adherence to Catholic Faith and morals.� Orthodoxy is a similar concept, meaning �correct doctrine,� but could also mean to be �conventional� and to follow what is commonly accepted.
Therefore, Catholic integrity is a more precise expression of adherence to Faith and morals, and at the same time gives authors the freedom to be unconventional in their approach to things that don�t deny established Catholic tradition. (For example, we will publish books on NFP and books against NFP; books that attempt to Catholicize phenomenology and books that condemn it outright; books advocating distributism and books advocating forms of capitalism � as long as the work in question does not go against papal teaching, established Tradition, Sacred Scripture, any of the articles of Faith, the natural law, or moral theology.)
Catholic integrity is binding and liberating at the same time. As the saying goes, in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas � �in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.�
Do I need to send a query letter?
No. Submit your manuscript to email@example.com and we'll ask for a 50% deposit of the package you selected. No query or cover letter is needed.
We will begin reviewing your manuscript. There is a $95 non-refundable fee to review the manuscript, which is included in the cost of the package.
What if I want to cancel my book project after I�ve submitted the manuscript?
We will refund your deposit, minus a $95 non-refundable fee that was incurred from reviewing your manuscript. We may also need to take the cost of editing from the deposit if the editing began in earnest. It should take two to three business days for the reversal to appear on your credit-card statement.
Do I have to sign an exclusive contract? What if I hit it big and want to go with another publisher?
Who holds the copyright on my work?
No problem! Since you, the author, own the copyright to your work, you can take it elsewhere if your needs change. Our publishing contract is non-exclusive: this means you are free to cancel your agreement anytime and you can publish with someone else.
You can also publish another version or another format of the work at the same time.
What is a peer review?
A peer review is a process in which fellow authors review the work in question. The purpose of the peer review is to enhance the quality of the work. Peer reviewers make sure the scope of the work is focused; they especially check the content of the work for accuracy and realism.
The review for Catholic integrity, done by the staff at Leonine Publishers, approaches the traditional peer review. The main difference is that we focus on your book�s suitability for the intended Catholic audience.
What�s the difference between a Catholic integrity review and an editing analysis?
The Catholic integrity reviewer does not check for sentence structure, word usage, and syntax errors. He verifies that your manuscript is free from doctrinal and moral error, and that the work is not ambiguous in these areas.
An editing analysis, on the other hand, is a review of the work to determine which level of editing is the best option for the author to pursue.
What are your editing options?
We offer full, Premium editing with all our packages. This is no longer an option and your book will reap the wonderful benefits of our professional editing services.
What are your qualifications to determine the Catholic orthodoxy of a manuscript and its balanced approach to a topic?
Our founders and staff are experts on Catholic theology, especially Catholic marriage and family life. Some of us write regular columns for national Catholic magazines, some are published authors and speakers, and we have professional editing experience. The reviewers at Leonine Publishers have years of experience writing and teaching catechism. Our reviewers also have a rich background with formal catechetical training or have studied advanced (both undergraduate and graduate level) theology, Thomistic philosophy, Church history, scripture and exegesis, Patristics, and Catholic action and social teaching (particularly as embodied in the 19th and 20th century Papal encyclicals).
Are you a vanity publisher?
Absolutely not. To see vanity publishing exposed for the swindle it really is, consider the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America�s article on vanity publishing, available on their site:
Vanity �publishers� are interested in your money. Typically they do not tell you up front that you are the one financing their printing. They print books and sell them to you, the author. What then? What are you going to do with several hundred books sitting around in your basement? If you tried to sell these books on your own, you would need a tax license from your state. You may also need a business license from the municipality in which you live.
A far better way is to self-publish by working with a hybrid publishing company that utilizes both the analysis and marketing of traditional publishing and the leading innovations of digital short-run printing.
Leonine Publishers is a hybrid publisher. We examine your work for Catholic integrity. We put all our pricing right up front on our site. We are a real publisher, but you pay the publication costs. This puts you in control of the process. It also allows you a real opportunity to get published. As long as your work does not contradict Catholic Faith or morals, and it does not propose a severely unbalanced approach to the topic at hand, we will publish your book.
We also encourage you as an author to invest wisely in your work. Consider having your work edited and then retaining the services of an additional proofreader. These two steps will greatly increase the professionalism of your work and makes reviewers take your book seriously.
We also encourage authors to acquire Dan Poynter�s excellent guide to self publishing, available here. His web site at www.parapublishing.com has a lot of information as well.
How fast can you publish my book?
This depends upon the size of the book, the number of optional services offered, and most importantly, timely feedback from you throughout the process. As a general guide, a 100 page black-and-white book takes around three to four months to publish.
It would be very difficult to publish any book sooner than three months. The manuscript must be reviewed, feedback and revisions must be made by you, the author; the project must be manually typeset by one of our staff members; the cover design must be laid out; the electronic proof must be approved. The project takes a little time but in the end, you will hold in your hands your dream book � with your name on the cover. Our book projects take anywhere from three to around nine months.
Traditional publishers typically take 18 months to publish a book from the date the author�s contract is signed.
How soon do you need my manuscript and my deposit to get my book published by Christmas?
April. Any later, and we cannot affirm that your book will be ready for the Advent/Christmas shopping season.
Marketing your book
Will book reviewers, who write for leading Catholic publications, review my work?
It depends upon the professionalism of your work. If you want your book reviewed by professional writers, we strongly recommend the following process:
Once your manuscript is at this level of professionalism, book reviewers will take it seriously. However, there is more to it than that. Once published, you will also receive our eBook on Catholic publishing – available in late June!
- Write your manuscript.
- Have a friend or your spouse proofread it.
- Revise it.
- Send it to a trusted leader you know: a priest, a solid Catholic layman, another writer. Ask them to review the work and give you his or her honest opinion. This is the first �peer review.�
- Send it to us to begin the publishing process. We�ll check it for Catholic integrity.
- Have us professionally edit your work.
- Revise it.
- Have us do a final proofreading.
- Do the final polishing.
Once I�m listed on Amazon, B&N, and other distribution channels, will I sell thousands of books?
Other self-publishing companies may lead you to believe this. One company claims that your book will be available to more than 60,000 bookstores! But consider the word �available.� Just because a self-published book is available does not mean it will be ordered. Most self-published authors, no matter which company they choose, sell several dozen books. A few authors sell a hundred to two hundred books if they promote it well. Very few sell more than two hundred, and a tiny fraction sell thousands of copies.
How do I sell a lot of books?
Our CEO is writing an eBook that explains this in detail. The eBook explains the world of Catholic literature today and how to market yourself. It will be a free download for authors who complete the publishing process with us. The book will be available by late June.
Nuts and Bolts � creating your book
What about the copyright page?
You don�t have to worry about the copyright page. Leonine Publishers creates this page for you and it is included in every package. We will ask you during the publication process how you want to copyright the work.
What is �front matter�?
Front matter is the material that comes before the text of your book. This typically includes the title page, what used to be called the �frontispiece� but today is usually another page with the title on it, copyright page, table of contents, dedication, and preface. The �about the author� section usually goes in the back of the book.
How much of the front matter do I need to do?
As much or as little as you want. We�ll take care of the rest during the typesetting phase. We�ll contact you if we have questions, especially regarding the table of contents or dedication.
Can you create an index and put the index in the back of the book?
Yes! Our rates range from $.008 to $.010 per word.
Can I submit my own typesetting?
Yes, if it�s an Adobe InDesign file. But this must be done before the Catholic integrity review takes place.
Can you accept a special font?
Yes. Go ahead and upload it along with your manuscript. We can accept both TrueType and Postscript fonts. You�ll want to include a screen shot or picture of what you want it to look like.
What file formats do you accept?
For the inside text: Pretty much anything. We accept .doc, .rtf, .txt, .wps, .pdf, .indd, and other word processing formats.
For book covers, we accept .psd, .doc, .ppt, .tiff, and other common image formats.
For a book cover you wish to be used as-is, we only accept .psd (Photoshop®) and .pdf (please set it to Press Quality, CMYK, 300 dpi).
What kind of paper will the inside of my book have?
We have two paper options for most packages:
White, 60# acid-free paper
Off-white, 60# acid-free paper
We use high-quality paper that retains its resiliency and will not curl easily.
What kind of cover will my book have?
For hardcover printed case, we use a 100# glossy finish over boards.
For softcover (paperback) books, we use the same 100# glossy paper.
What are my cover design options?
Since you are in control, you have three options for your book cover:
- Use one of our templates;
- Use your own designer and upload your own cover file;
- Have us professionally design your cover the way you want it.
Do you use cheap foreign materials to manufacture my book?
No! All our books are printed and bound in the USA or Canada. We use high-quality acid-free paper and quality-control procedures that eliminate problems with book binding and printing alignment. With normal use, the pages will not fall out.
What size will my book be?
Either 6 inches by 9 inches, or 5.5 by 8.5. We can also do 5 by 8 for an additional charge.
We can also do non-standard sizes for an additional charge. Ask us for details.
Do I set the retail price of my book?
Yes, and we will let you know the minimum price at which we can sell the book. There are production costs involved, and we are more than happy to suggest a range of prices you can consider.
We are proud of our short-run publishing model because it allows the author to set a reasonable retail price on his or her book. With the print-on-demand model, the price must be set artificially high to account for the unit cost. If your customers are Catholic parents, your books must be affordable.
Can I make up my own publishing company name on my book?
No. Our services include a peer review by a Catholic scholar and we are very proud of our work. The review, typesetting, binding, and manufacture of your book is all completed under Leonine Publishers, and therefore we are the listed publisher. However, you as the paying author are in control of this process.
If a different publishing company was listed, it would invalidate the ISBN, the bar code, and the LCCN numbers.
How much are royalties? When will I get royalty checks?
We pay author�s royalties every six months. Royalties are 10 percent of the sales price of the book, whether retail or wholesale. Royalties are paid on the books we sell through our distribution channels. You do not earn royalties on books you purchase yourself; however, you receive a generous wholesale discount on books you order:
|1-9 books:||25 percent discount|
|10-24 books:||35 percent discount|
|25 or more books:||40 percent discount|
There are two authors on one book. Or there is an author and an illustrator. Will you split the royalties?
Yes. There is a nominal fee for this optional service to cover the extra cost to do this for you. The fee is $35 per extra author / illustrator. Each additional royalty payee will need to sign the publishing contract in addition to you, the main author.
Are royalties taxable? Will you report my earnings?
Royalties earned on books by the copyright holder are taxable, according to the IRS. Please see the �Royalties� section of the IRS Publication 525, available at the IRS web site here:
The tax code section discussing royalties is here:
Once you earn more than $10 in royalties, we will report it to the IRS as required, and mail you a form 1099MISC.
Do you charge a holding fee / stocking fee / inventory fee?
No, never! We will list your book and offer it to our distributors for you, and there is never a charge for this. Other self-publishing companies charge $25 a year simply to list your book on their web site, even though they don�t keep any inventory.
Do you charge a printing fee or a reprint fee?
For softcover books: No, never! There is no printing fee. You pay the package price and any options you select, and then we prepare a small first run of books. We use the money from the package price to pay for this. We use sales from the first run of books to order subsequent print runs. There are no print fees or reprint fees to you!
The only exception is hardcover books: Due to the cost of this high-quality book manufacturing, we ask for a $250 reprint fee each time we reprint another hundred copies.