“Working with Fish out of Water Books is a writer’s dream. They work not only in the best interests of the writer, but—more importantly—in the best interests of the book itself. I thought I was satisfied with the manuscript I submitted. However, the finished version turned out better than I ever could have imagined. Even more miraculous was the fact that during the extremely collaborative editing process, I never felt I was surrendering, or compromising, my “vision.”  In fact, if anything, the end product ultimately reflected my vision even more deeply than the version I initially brought to the table. In summary, I was one spoiled writer! I can’t imagine a more satisfying publishing experience.”

R. J. Fox, Author, Love & Vodka

Why Work With Us?

This is our best effort at describing ourselves, our philosophy, our working practices, our strengths, our limitations, and the type of authors with whom we would like to work. Before you submit a proposal, please give this a careful read through to see if we would be a good fit.

Foremost, as avid readers, we are excited about reading your story and working with you to bring it to publication. The process of going from draft manuscript to finished book—that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

  • OUR MAIN CRITERIA: We select manuscripts for publication based on the following factors: (i) compelling subject matter and the quality of your writing—how well your writing engages the reader from the outset; and (ii) since we will be working closely together for a long period of time—whether we sense a good rapport (a collaborative, flexible working relationship). Sales potential is important, but unlike larger publishers, this is not our main criteria for acceptance.
  • COLLABORATION: We’re in this together as partners. We value your input every step of the way and want all stages of production to be two-way street (editing, cover, synopsis, author Q&A, etc.). We are looking of authors who are happy with a truly collaborative process. Same goes for promotion. We will work together with you to develop detailed promotional plans. A big plus for us are authors who are serious about promotion and who have their own author platform (blog, website, social media).
  • A HANDS-ON APPROACH: We will be meticulous when it comes to proofreading, editing, and the development of your book, making sure that the story flows and that important aspects aren’t missing from the narrative. We may request that you remove, rewrite or add sections. We may ask you to do more research in certain areas or add more anecdotes or descriptions of characters. This developmental editing part usually takes the longest but it is a crucial step that can dramatically improve your book by providing questions or suggestions that you sometimes cannot see when you’re so close to the story.
  • A SMALL PRESS: We are not a “vanity publisher” and will never ask our authors to bear any production costs or purchase a set number of books after publication. Since we are a small company, we have to be very selective, to avoid taking on too many projects at one time, becoming over-committed, and end up taking shortcuts and ultimately shortchanging everyone.
  • WE WILL WORK HARD TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK:  Although we do not have a large advertising budget, we will work with you to develop comprehensive marketing and promotional plans and find creative ways to reach readers who will be interested in your book (via social media, blogs, websites, magazines, newspapers, radio, local book readings, etc.). And our promotion plans will be ongoing: we are with you for the long haul.

How Long Does the Process Usually Take?

Our timeframe from acceptance to publication is between twelve and twenty-four months. This seems like a long time, but with so many stages in the process, this time goes by very quickly.

The stages include:

  • initial read through and comments
  • proofreading, editing and content development
  • peer readers and feedback
  • review and revisions
  • layout
  • testimonials/blurbs
  • final round of proofreading and revisions
  • cover and back cover synopsis
  • pre-publication reviews
  • publication
  • reviews and promotion
  • untold riches, fame and fortune, a fancy poodle, and a guitar-shaped swimming pool!

If you are interested in publishing with us, please take a look at our Book Submissions page and Submission Guidelines.

Drop us a line any time at fowbooks@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Jon and Laurie Wilson, Ann Arbor, MI