Guidelines for Authors
- About Deseret Book Company
- Publishing at Deseret Book
- Submitting Your Manuscript
- Copyright Protection
- The Publishing Contract
- Any Questions
- Music Submissions
About Deseret Book Company
Deseret Book is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, the holding company for business firms owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret Book is a profit-making Utah corporation. The company had its beginnings in 1886 when Elder George Q. Cannon, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, founded George Q. Cannon and Sons Company, which engaged in publishing and retail book sales. The business was located at No. 6 South Main Street in Salt Lake City. It remained at this location until 1901, when, on the death of Elder Cannon, it was purchased by the Deseret News and became the Deseret News Bookstore.
On October 1, 1919, the Deseret News Bookstore merged with the Deseret Sunday School Union bookstore and become Deseret Book Company, the name by which the organization is known today. In April of 1999, Deseret Management Corporation acquired Bookcraft, Inc., an independently owned publisher of LDS books and materials, and the publishing divisions of the two companies were combined. In late 2004, Excel Entertainment Group also joined the Deseret Book family, vastly expanding our ability to produce quality LDS music and media choices.
Deseret Book Company also is working to expanded our list of books that appeal to a values-based, general market through our Shadow Mountain imprint.
Deseret Book also has a full-service music and entertainment division and publishes some software, electronic products, and foreign translations of key titles. Deseret Book is both a publisher and retailer, and as such maintains a book club, retail stores, an online retail and informational Web site, and the Mormon Handicraft gift shops.
Publishing at Deseret Book
As outlined above, Deseret Book publishes many kinds of books and other products, but all of them reflect the values espoused by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A book we are interested in will be:
Of value to our readers. They should feel that they are better people for having read the book and that they are getting good value for their money. The book should help them in their lives. It should lift and inspire.
Well written and well researched. Poor writing and careless research greatly increase editing and production costs and often indicate that the quality of the book is not what it should be.
Unique. The book should stand out from the crowd by providing a new approach to the subject. It should provide new insights, not merely recapitulate material and insights already available in other works.
In general, we are not interested in poetry, family histories, or personal journals. Nonetheless, if your book is in one of these categories and there is a compelling reason why we should consider it, we would be glad to review it. We are always interested in good books that will be successful for both author and publisher. We will consider manuscripts that are being submitted simultaneously to other publishers. We do ask, however, that you let us know you are also submitting it elsewhere, so misunderstandings can be avoided.
Submitting Your Manuscript
You may submit material to us in several different ways. The simplest method is to submit a query letter explaining your book and an outline or table of contents. We will also review a partial manuscript (two to three chapters), though, if you prefer, you may send us the complete manuscript. Submit your manuscript or query to Publishing Department, Deseret Book Company, P. O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130. Please follow these guidelines:
Your manuscript should be in clear, dark, double-spaced type on standard 8½-by-11-inch paper with one inch margins on all sides.
Please note that these are guidelines, not absolute requirements. If you have already prepared your manuscript with a slightly different format, we will still be happy to review it.
Submitting a Children's Book
Please read the guidelines listed above before submitting your children's manuscript. Since the text for a children's book is often short, it is acceptable to submit all the text in a single spaced format with double spaces between paragraphs. Remember to include a SASE if you wish to have the materials returned to you after the review.
If your manuscript is for a children's book, please note that it is not necessary to have completed illustrations prior to submission. Sample sketches or even word descriptions ("a mother and child by the beach," for example) are sufficient for our initial review. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, we have contacts with many professional artists who could be hired to illustrate your book. You need not worry that we will steal your idea or any part of your manuscript. No reputable publisher will do that. Nor do you need to register your manuscript for copyright before submitting it. Under the current U.S. copyright law, your book is already protected the moment you set it down on paper, even though it may not be formally registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. If you wish, put a notice on the title page in the following manner: "© 2005 (or the current year), John Doe (your formal name). All rights reserved." Upon publication of your book, the publisher will submit the necessary forms to formally register the copyright. If you still have specific copyright questions, please review the FAQ of the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/).
After the Review
After the editorial and marketing staffs have reviewed your manuscript they may
If you are asked to revise your manuscript, please do not be offended. This is actually a positive response, indicating that your manuscript has excellent potential for publication. If your manuscript is rejected, we will return it to you provided you have included a SASE. We regret that we cannot return manuscripts that are unaccompanied by a SASE with sufficient postage. We also do not provide a detailed critique or evaluation of your manuscript. Many factors must be taken into account in deciding which manuscripts are accepted for publication, and rejection does not necessarily mean that the manuscript is not publishable-only that it is not right for Deseret Book at this time. Our resources-financing, time, and staff-are limited, and we can accept only a limited number of manuscripts from the many submitted to us.
The Publishing Contract
If your manuscript is accepted for publication, we will send you a contract soon after acceptance. In the contract, you will agree to convey to Deseret Book the right to publish your book. In return, Deseret Book will pay all editing, production, printing, warehousing, advertising, marketing, and other costs. Royalties, based on a percentage of the retail price, are paid twice a year. The contract will indicate the number of complimentary copies you will receive of your book. You may buy additional copies at the wholesale price, to be billed to you or charged against your royalties.
Production of Your BookAfter your manuscript has been accepted, we will assign it a publication date and prepare a production schedule. Books usually take anywhere from six to twelve months to be published.
As an initial step, we ask that you supply us with an electronic file (a computer disk) containing the text of the manuscript. Your manuscript will be assigned to an editor who will be your contact during production. The editor will edit your manuscript carefully for spelling, punctuation, grammar, logic, clarity (while retaining your individual style), and doctrinal accuracy (if applicable), and may suggest revisions if needed. The editor's job is to help you convey your message in the most meaningful and concise way possible. The editor will arrange for copyright registration and Library of Congress cataloging, as well as write blurbs for the jacket. The title of your book will greatly affect its sales. For that reason, if we feel that your original title is not suitable, we may ask your help in choosing a new one.
While your manuscript is being edited, our designers will select the typeface and design for the inside pages as well as the jacket and cover and any illustrations. If you plan to prepare your own illustrations, please submit samples (a photocopy will do) before you go to the time and expense of preparing final art. Because of their importance to the marketability of your book, Deseret Book reserves the right to make final decisions on cover and interior art and design.
After your manuscript has been edited, it will be typeset, and you will be sent galley proofs for your review. It is important that you read, correct, and return the galleys promptly so as not to delay publication. At this point, you may resolve with the editor any questions you may have concerning the final text. We strongly suggest that galley stage alterations be kept to a minimum beyond the correction of actual typesetting mistakes. Such corrections are costly and time-consuming; if you insist on excessive changes to galley proofs, you may be charged associated costs.
After corrections on the galleys are made, Deseret Book will proofread the page proofs and camera-ready text before sending the book to the printer. We will also prepare a table of contents, a copyright page, and an index, if one is required. Finished books are typically delivered to our warehouse approximately ten weeks after printing and binding begin. The number of books to be printed is determined by Deseret Book, as is the retail price.
Deseret Book's marketing department is second to none in reaching the LDS book buyer. Promotion of your book will begin three to four months before it is to be released, when promotional materials and order forms will be sent to more than a thousand book dealers who stock our products.
We produce more than two million direct-mail catalogs and brochures each year to promote our products. Because direct-mail advertising is the most effective means of reaching the widespread LDS population, your book will be included in our catalogs and other brochures and will be offered through the Deseret Book Club.
Additional promotional elements, including publicity, in-store promotion, electronic and print media, and wholesale promotions may be developed as part of your book's individualized marketing strategy. Although the marketing department makes all decisions regarding promotion of our publications, we look to our authors as key partners in the marketing process. You will receive more detailed information about your participation when your book is accepted for publication.
Some authors are asked to appear at autograph parties or other engagements; your cooperation in this can greatly help the sales of your book.
If you have specific questions about marketing your book, please share them with us. We want to do everything possible to make your book successful.
Thank you for considering publishing with Deseret Book. We depend upon the hundreds of manuscripts that are submitted to us each year to continue to publish the finest books and products in our expanding market. We enjoy our relationship with our authors and hope that you may become one of them. If you have further questions about our publishing program or our consideration of your manuscript, please contact us.
The Fine Print:
Deseret Book and Shadow Mountain are registered trademarks of Deseret Book Company.
Printed in the United States of America.
The information on this page is for informational purposes only and is in no way legally binding.