Author FAQs

Do I need to have an agent?

No.

Are you accepting submissions now?

No. We will announce a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS when we are. Please check back.

Are you a vanity press?

No. We will never ask you for money.

Does it cost anything to submit?

No. We only publish manuscripts that we love and that we are willing to put our time and energy into making it sell. If any agent or publisher asks you for money, we’d tell you it is a red flag.

Do you pay an advance?

No. We cannot offer a competitive cash advance compared to big houses.

How often do you take on new authors?

2 new authors per year. We are a small team.

Are your books print or e-book?

Both.

What type of publishing company are you?

Leopard Print is a small digital first indie press. Many publishers retain the right to distribute an author’s manuscript indefinitely. They also pay a small royalty percentage. We believe that practice to be wrong. Rights to distribute expire when our contract expires.

What value do you provide?

We manage your developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, cover design and sales until your contract with us expires. We have in-house graphic design services, and retain the authority to have the final say on design, both of the cover and the interior formatting. Our experience in the industry has helped us understand genre and audience expectations. We handle publishing to major online platforms and work to distribute to bookstores.

Do you own the rights to my work?

We define an agreed terms limit on our contracts with the option to renew. Authors that decide not to renew retain the rights to their completed manuscript. We never require an author to pay us or give up their copyright.

Do you have gatekeeping standards in place?

Gatekeeping is the first and biggest part of what we do. We will not invest a penny into manuscripts lacking potential.

Do you do the marketing, publicity and promotion?

No. Although we regularly run ads and pay for ad space for our books, occasionally make announcements and share on social media deals or new releases, the author is in charge of marketing and promotion. We are in charge of production and publication. The process of promotion and marketing requires sales, business, technology and social media skills. We ask that you consider if this is for you prior to submitting your work to us. There are only 3 factors affecting a book’s success: the book, the market and the author. There is nothing else anyone can do for you. You cannot control the first and the second (because the book is written already for a market that’s intended), but as you are the author, the third is within your remit. Book sales come from the author’s hard work of building fandom, relationships and connections. If you do not care about your book, neither will the audience. Promo is a two-way process.

Will my print copies be in real physical bookshops or bookstores (RPB)?

This is the most common question and comes down to supply and demand. There are only three good reasons for this book to be in a RPB: visibility, prestige and supporting local business. You might even get a nice pic for your Instagram. As this book has to fight for shelf space with big names and top authors, the chances of being stocked in RPB are slim UNLESS you are a local author and you approach an indie bookshop whom you’d like to support and who would like to support you back. It’s two-way.

Will my print copies be in Waterstones?

The chances of being in a top West End bookshop like Waterstones Piccadilly are zero UNLESS you have won a major international award or at least been long- or shortlisted. Supply outstrips demand. Although our books are all listed on Gardners and Nielsens (see below) and technically one can submit to Waterstones, they still could choose to accept or reject your application. Even if you are accepted, a RPB can only take 1-5 copies maximum due to the risk of selling nothing. Returns are chargeable or pulped. The print, distribution, delivery, paper, and manufacturing costs have rocketed since the blight of 2020. Many bookshops have already gone into administration. The overheads far surpass the profits. Those RPB which have survived only stock big names or surplus stock. After the bookstore, publisher and distributor take their cuts, there are hardly author royalties left on 1 to 5 books. 

How do I sell print copies of my books?

The best way of selling print copies is to buy in bulk your author’s copies at heavily discounted rate from us, hold an event with free drinks in a free venue such as the aforementioned RPB. As a guide, 50 guests means 25 book sales, due to each guest bringing a plus one who may not buy a copy. 10 guests means 5 book sales and you should probably aim for your first 5 if you are a first-timer because that means you have an audience no matter how small. We all started with zero sales. Our authors have successfully participated and sold books at readings, launch parties, talks and Q&A events.

Where will my print copies be distributed?

Print copies will be available online worldwide from Amazon, Waterstones, Blackwells, Barnes and Noble, and additionally, in Australia and Europe, those online retailers who order from Ingram, eg Book Depository, Dymocks etc. We use Ingram to print and distribute. Nielsen are data management. Gardners are a wholesaler. Your books will be listed with Nielsen and available through Gardners.

Where will my ebooks be distributed?

Since 2022 we have decided to only distribute fiction ebooks on Amazon worldwide because the sales from other channels have been negligible. For non-fiction, ebooks will be distributed on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple, Google and a few more obscure ones like Mondadori and Scribe.