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Stephen Hawley Martin

Submissions to Oaklea Press

Oaklea Press Submissions Information

If you’re an expert in your field and have written, or are in the process of writing a book, you have come to the right place. Most likely you are a consultant, or you own your own company, and you realize the fastest way to leap ahead of your competition––to have prospective customers seeking you out rather than the other way around––is to become recognized as a thought leader in your area of expertise. How can you? By advancing your ideas in a book you have written. Stephen Covey, Tom Peters and many others have followed this path, so why shouldn’t you?

The fact is you can. The Oaklea Press has already helped a number of people just like you do this successfully, and we’d like to help you, too.

About the Oaklea Press

The Oaklea Press was founded in February 1995 by prizewinning author, Stephen Hawley Martin. Steve is the only three-time winner of the Writer's Digest Book Award, and he has won first place book awards from Independent Publisher and USA Book News. He is also cofounder of the ad firm that brought you the GEICO gecko and caveman––The Martin Agency––which in January 2010 was named National Ad Agency of the Year by ADWEEK magazine.

Oaklea now has more than 40 titles in print in several different categories including fiction, inspirational, metaphysics, self-help, political science, and business management. You can see what we offer at our international distributor’s Web site, Midpoint Trade Books.

Oaklea is not a vanity press. We publish only those works we believe will generate sufficient sales to return a profit on what must be invested to bring them to market. Typically, we accept for publication less than 10% of the manuscripts submitted to us. But we do expect first time authors to partner with us and share in the financial risk of bringing their books to market.

This sharing of the risk can be done in several ways. Perhaps you will need copies to give to clients and prospects or to sell at seminars and talks that you give. If this is the case, it may make sense for your financial participation to take the form of purchasing a quantity of your books up front. We typically offer them to authors at one-third of the cover price of the book. Oaklea will then store your books and ship them where you want when you want. Or it may make more sense for you to cover some of the actual costs of the production and printing of your book. When this is the case, your investment will be refunded when a predetermined number of your books are sold. This will be the case no matter how little time or long it may take for this minimum sales goal to be reached. In the meantime and afterward, you will receive the full industry standard royalty of 15% of publisher sales receipts on every copy sold.

Once we see your manuscript and have the opportunity to evaluate it, as well as to determine your needs and goals, we will be able to tell you what makes sense in your particular case.

Some are certain to ask at this point, why not simply self-publish my book. There are a number of good reasons. First, it is many times more prestigious to have your book published by a legitimate trade book publisher. But perhaps more important from a practical point of view, the books we publish are presented to chain store buyers by our distributor sales force and are made available to libraries and bookstores by Ingram (the world's largest book distributor) and by Baker & Taylor. All our books appear on, Barnes & Noble online, Wal-Mart online, and virtually every other online book retailer.

Our books also appear in two catalogs a year (spring and fall) that go to almost every book store and library, and we promote our books by arranging book signings, talk show appearances for authors, book reviews, magazine article placements, and with paid marketing communications efforts.

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Submit a Manuscript

Before you submit, it is important for you to understand we expect first time authors to share in the financial risk of the publication of their works. If you have not done so, already, please read about this in the paragraphs above.

If your manuscript is available as a Word document or a PDF, you can submit it electronically by attaching it to an e-mail to the address below––provided it is not more than 8 MB in size. Do not send fiction. We are not looking for new fiction at this time. Also, please do not sent us picture books. We don’t publish them. Please include a few additional pages that tell us about you, give us an overview of your book and why people will want to buy it. Also please explain how you intend to promote your book.

In the subject line of the e-mail please put MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION.

If your manuscript file is larger than 8 MB, you can send it to us on a CD via snail mail. Or, if you don’t have it in Word or as a PDF, send us a hard copy at the address below:

The Oaklea Press
41 Old Mill Road
Richmond, VA 23226-3111

ALWAYS KEEP A COPY OF WHAT YOU SEND TO US. Unless a self addressed, stamped envelope is included, it will not be returned.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if my book has already been self-published?
As long as you own the rights, we can still do business.

What if my book has been published by another publisher and is now out of print?
As long as you own the rights, we can do business.

How long will it take before I know if my book has been accepted?
You should receive an answer in a week or so. We review submissions in the order in which they are received, and we try not to keep our potential authors waiting.

What sort of royalty do you pay and when do you pay it?
We typically pay authors a royalty of 15% of the sales dollars we collect on a title, less shipping costs and deductions for books returned by stores or distributors. Royalties are paid every six months on the sales receipts for the preceding six-month period.

If my book is selected, will I have input into the cover design?
Yes. We show all our authors proposed cover designs and seek their input.

If accepted, will my book be published in hardcover or soft cover?
We publish in both hardcover and soft cover. We do not publish mass market paperbacks. The majority of our books are published as quality or "trade" paperbacks.

Will you help me get my novel made into a movie?
If we think it will make a good movie, the answer is yes. We have set up a subsidiary company as a literary rights agency for this purpose.

How long will it take from the time my manuscript is accepted for publication until I see my book in print?
Typically, this takes six to seven months.

Will Oaklea Press promote and market my book?
Absolutely. We will send out review copies and sample reviews to all the appropriate media. We work with a representative based in New York who personally presents our books to reviewers at Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. Our distributor sales force will present your book to buyers at all the major bookseller chains. We will contact your hometown newspaper and send a press release. For nonfiction titles, we will seek magazine article excerpt placements and radio and television talk show interviews. Your title will appear in our distributor’s spring and fall catalogs, which are sent to virtually every book buyer at independent stores, libraries and the chains, and it will appear on Amazon and other online book stores as well as The Oaklea Press web site. We are always looking for ways to market our books and spend perhaps the bulk of our time engaged in this activity. As the author, you will be expected to participate in this effort.

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Fiction Submission Policy

We are not considering fiction submissions at this time and are concentrating our efforts on the publication of nonfiction.

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Nonfiction and Business Management Submission Guidelines

Whether you upload your manuscript or use snail mail, please include a cover letter that gives a brief description of your book, the size and scope of the market for your book, any existing competition for your book, and why the audience should want your book instead of or in addition to the competition. Also please tell us your credentials for writing it.

Please do not send us a book about how to find inner peace. We get two or three a day. What we're looking for are books by people with the credentials to write them that tell people how to solve whatever problems may be plaguing them. Or, if they don't have problems, how to improve their lives in some tangible way. Or perhaps your book will tell them how they can acquire a new or improve an existing skill.

What do we mean by credentials?
If your book has to do with psychology, health, education, or in some way is related to science, you'd best have a Ph.D. or an M.D. We realize you may know your stuff even without the initials after your name, but the buyers at the chains will pass over your book if they aren't there. It's a sad fact of life.

If your book is in a field where higher degrees are not the norm, then you should at least have some legitimate claim as an expert. Perhaps you run a very successful business. Maybe you've won awards for whatever it is. In any case, you'll have a proven track record in the field. For example, if your book tells readers how to hit home runs in baseball, you'd best have played in the major leagues and hit a respectable number yourself, or alternatively, been a coach for several players who did. What else will help your book make it through our screening process?

Let's face it. Having a built in market won't hurt. For example, perhaps you travel all over the country giving lectures about your specialty. This will provide a built in outlet for your book. Maybe you write a newspaper column or occupy an ongoing spot on a talk show where your book will receive regular plugs. Don't be modest. Tell us about whatever marketing opportunity you bring to the table.

ALWAYS KEEP A COPY OF WHAT YOU SEND TO US. Unless a self addressed, stamped envelope is included, it will not be returned.

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