Frequently Asked Questions
For prospective authors.
Who owns the copyright to my book?
You do! Authors merely allow Lost Alphabet to print, publish and distribute the book.
What are my royalties?
Up to 50%, which is several magnitudes larger than industry standard.
How long do I have to complete my work?
This varies on the open call, but our standard contract allows for six months (180 days), with a print proof due at four months (120 days).
How will Lost Alphabet help me finish my book?
In short, you give us a finished manuscript and we give you a book! Our team will format everything, register the copyright, design the cover and make print and ebook version of your masterpiece (along with many other things before and after publication). We also have editing services available for those who request it.
My friend told me that I should not work with publishers who ask me to pay instead of giving an advance. Why does Lost Alphabet charge?
Authors should be weary of publishers promising a large cash advance - especially if they are not previously published with a successful track record of sales. Compare another publisher's contract to Lost Alphabet's and ask yourself:
Do they give authors 50% royalty?
Do they let authors keep the copyright?
Do they charge interest on advances, turning the author into a debted profit center?
Cash advances are used by publishers to "hook" authors into unfair contracts. Lost Alphabet's contract is radical in how author friendly it is, making a cash advance unnecessary for our business model.
Lost Alphabet requires that authors pay registration and proofing fees legally required to create their book.* The prices are listed by Lost Alphabet and can be easily verified by the author or a 3rd party. This is the same expense if you are self publishing, and we offer grants and payment plans to those that demonstrate financial hardship (we work with authors from around the world and understand the privilege necessary to produce these funds). As for the retainer, the first five authors signed by Lost Alphabet either missed their deadlines or failed to complete their manuscript - blame them for this policy. Last, if the thought of earning back a small amount of money through the sale of your book is causing you significant anxiety, then your manuscript is simply unfit for publication.
*We occasionally hold contests that waive these fees.
What happens if I am late turning in my manuscript?
Projects are staggered, and when an author is late, it means someone at Lost Alphabet has to work overtime that week. They do not get paid extra for this, and you are making them miss time with their families and bed. Not cool!
It takes a team to successfully publish a book, including people outside of Lost Alphabet (like the printer, bookstores and advertisers) and missing a deadline without proper notice destabilizes everyone down the chain and makes us look unprofessional to our partners. Damaged relationships with our partners means less opportunities we can offer future authors. It is a lose, lose, lose for everyone involved. If an emergency comes up, your contract will tell you how to notify your project coordinator. Being late without proper notice may result in a fee or a pro-rated forfeit of the retainer.
What is the market for my book?/ How many books will I sell?
Lost Alphabet specializes in many niche markets with little overlap. Just because one of our books sold a lot does not mean that another book will get similar results (and visa versa). As a company, we focus on producing the highest quality products, and we don’t sacrifice integrity for popularity. Art is not about reaching the largest possible audience, but is about reaching the target audience on the deepest possible level.