Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, January 28, 2011

Should You Submit to WiDo?

Just a reminder about the Submissions Contest-- it ends March 1, so get your query and sample chapters in by the end of Feruary just to be safe. Allie is reviewing them as she goes in order to announce the winners as soon after March 1 as possible. Actually, the winners at this phase will be those who are asked to submit a full ms. The winners of the next phase will be those who are offered a contract for publication. Of course at any time, you can say "no thanks, I just wanted the experience and an editorial critique" and that is perfectly cool too.

I thought I would tell a little bit about WiDo Publishing, in case anyone is wondering about the details of publishing should you be offered a contract.

WiDo accepts non-agented submissions, pays generous royalties (10% of retail price of print book, 50% of net of ebook) and has a fairly simple contract of under two pages. They give each author a number of free copies of their book upon release, and allow the author to purchase additional copies at 40% off retail price if desired and pay royalties on these purchases as well.

WiDo distributes through Ingram, the largest distributor to bookstores, and through Follett, the largest distributor to libraries. Online, WiDo's books are available through Amazon, Barnes &, and other online sites, with a select few available through and The Book Depository. WiDo's titles are sold in numerous independent bookstores from East to West in the United States, although bookstores are cutting back on its purchases for obvious reasons. For this reason, WiDo wants their authors to have a strong online presence to maximize online and ebook sales.

There are five editors, two interns and two copy editors who go over each manuscript numerous times to make sure it is polished and professional before it heads to the typesetter. Once typeset, it is again reviewed by an editor and at least one copy editor. No book is released until it is thoroughly and completely edited, even if that means release dates are pushed back.

Cover designs vary from original artwork, photography, and computer-generated designs, depending on the genre and the tone of the work. For this reason, WiDo's books do not look anything alike. It would be very difficult to pick out three titles from a group and say "these all look alike and must be published by the same company."

Genres accepted for publication range from memoir, women's fiction, YA, fantasy, mystery and action adventure. With WiDo, the story is key. If they like the story, the writing style, the characters and feel like the ms. has something special, they don't care about genre. What they do not publish is illustrated children's books, how-to books, middle-grade (unless it has wide appeal), and erotica. They like a book to be around 50K- 80K words, but will publish less than 50K and up to 100K if the work merits it.

So there's some information that might be useful. Any questions or comments? Feel free to ask in the comments or email me privately and I will address them in a comment or in another post if needed. But I am going out of town and away from my computer, so it may not be until Tuesday that I can reply to a comment.

Should you submit to WiDo? Of course!!! By all means!! Go for it!!! And you should also follow my blog because I am almost to 600, woo hoo!


  1. Almost 600 - that's great! I slipped over 500 this week. No idea how or why, but I'll take it.

  2. Thanks so much for the in-depth description of WiDo!

  3. Thanks for all the information on WiDo Publishing!

    Only 4 Followers away now! Awesome! :D

  4. I should have put a link of my blog earlier, but I'll do it now. Hopefully that will bring some more traffic! It's a great contest and more people need to hear about it.

  5. It sounds like a really good company. Big enough, but not too big. It's wonderful to get these opportunities, Karen.

    Have a nice weekend. Oh yeah, look at that - 596!

  6. Thanks for the information, Karen. Actually, I'd heard of them before but didn't know anything about the co. Have a great weekend!

  7. I hadn't heard of WiDo before - thanks for giving us the scoop on them.

  8. Ooh, so close to 600! I bet you'll get there over the weekend!

    Thanks for the info on the contest, will pop over and have a look :)



  9. I'm sold!

    I've been hedging about submitting to WiDo for a while. I think I wanted to read FARM GIRL first, but I need to make a decision on an e-reader FIRST.

    I'm not good at decision making.

    What I don't like about inde press is the lack of editing services. I know I write a good "story", but that doesn't mean I know anything about line edits. I hate when a book isn't formatted correctly, or looks as if only the author ever looked at the MS before publication.

    So, I'm off to check out the contest and see if my novel meets standards.

    Thanks Karen. This has been a lot of help to me as a novelist.


  10. Ah; now I remember why I didn't submit. My book has sex. Not erotica, or abusive, but doesn't stint on the terms either.

    I still want to read Farm Girl when I get an e-reader.

    Thanks for all the info on WiDo.


  11. Lots of good info - sounds like a terrific company! :)

  12. Have to say I love the texture of the paper on the Karen's book. (It's still in my nightstand Karen, in my TBR pile.)

  13. Karen, this really helps, thanks.

  14. Hi Karen .. this is really interesting information .. so well summarised. And I love Sharon's comment on your book .. a great endorsement .. keeping alive history is so essential. Enjoy the week .. Hilary

  15. Great info Karen. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Thanks for the info. Do they accept submissions from overseas authors?

  17. Karen,

    Thanks for that. I'm officially thinking about it. Like Lynda I wonder about overseas submissions? Probably not an issue in this modern connected world ...

  18. It's too bad WiDo doesn't publish middle grade (I'm shopping for a small publisher for my middle grade science fiction novel right now!). They sound like just the kind of publisher I'm looking for! :) Thanks for sharing all this great info!

  19. Susan, They will take some MG if it has a broader demographic and strikes a chord with the editors.

    Simon & Lynda, Overseas submissions are looked at with the same standards as US, with the caveat that overseas authors would need to be especially active online. So true Simon: "not an issue in this modern connected world..." WiDo distributes through The Book Depository which makes it all so easy.

  20. So how much could an author earn on a novel if they get published with WiDo? I've never actually found out how much authors earn. I mostly just think about getting published for my stories.

  21. Suz, WiDo pays 10% royalties on the retail price, so if a book sells retail for $15, the author gets $1.50. If it sells for let's say $3.99 on ebook, the author gets 50% of the net, which turns out to be about the same, $1.50.

    So how much can an author earn? Depends on sales. Like all author earnings, higher sales means higher royalty checks.

  22. Wow!!! I have done my research on WiDo but I have to say that this was even more information and I love it. Each time I stop by for a visit, talk with someone who is part of another publishing house, or just chat about books in general I can't help but feel that WiDo is the perfect place for me and my writing.

    That being said I am not participating in this event for certain reasons. The main being that I have already submitted my work to WiDo and have been before this started but I will see that what I've dealt with WiDo thus far has been amazing and people would be crazy to not take a minute and realize the true benefits of a small publishing house. Because one day WiDo won't be so small :)

    Congratulations on 600 Karen! What an amazing feet!

  23. Thanks again for the info, Karen :)

  24. Oooh, WiDo--great information. I need to be looking into it.

    Thanks, T