How is 'local' author defined?
The library is looking to primarily support writers in the Ann Arbor area and within Washtenaw County. We are also looking to record Ann Arbor history and stories. If a writer lives elsewhere in Michigan or another state, but is writing about Ann Arbor or a regional topic that would be of interest to the local community, we would be interested in those manuscripts. If you think the Ann Arbor community would be interested in your work submit your manuscript and see what happens!
What types of works are you planning to publish? Are poetry, memoir, graphic novels or other special works welcome?
Basically, if it's good — we want it! There are no limits to what we will publish if we like it and think the community will too! This includes:
- Fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, prose, poetry etc. for children, teens and adults are all welcome
- Genres: romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, mystery, humor, comics etc.
- Non-fiction: biographies, memoirs, history, self-help, how-to, travel, sports etc.
- Picture books, comics, graphic novels and other visually oriented work
- Plays - for stage and screen
- Works written for any age group or audience
What doesn't Fifth Avenue Press do?
We're not a printer: Fifth Avenue Press is not a printer and does not do printing for our authors or other community members looking for similar services. During the process of working with our authors we guide them towards local print publishers in the Ann Arbor area. Our authors have used McNaughton-Gunn and amazon. There are numerous other online services too - such as Blurb, IngramSpark/Lightning Source and Lulu. Locally none of the printers offer distribution so IngramSpark/Lightning is an excellent source for distribution.
We don't make a profit: Fifth Avenue Press does not hold the copyright for the books we publish and does not make a profit from any book sales. Our authors pay for the printing of the copies they sell and keep 100% of the profits. This includes ebook sales as well.
We can't help sell books: As a non-profit Press we do not pay for marketing or promotion of sales for the books published. Since our authors keep all the profits and retain their rights this responsibility lies with them. The Press does extensive promotion of the Book Release Event we host for each new class of authors - including social media, print ads and a postcard. These events happen in May and November each year. The press does offer resources and general guidance for the marketing of their books to their authors. Uniquely, our authors in development can get excellent advice from our back catalog of authors of the books we have published since our debut in 2017.
We can't offer advice on partial works: Fifth Avenue Press does not offer feedback/suggestions for works in progress or partial manuscripts. If your manuscript is accepted for publication we will offer a full content edit and suggestions for your work. However, the library does offer monthly writing workshops and meet-ups that are perfect for writers who need advice on next steps, structural feedback etc. The Emerging Writers Workshops and Meet-Ups happen monthly on Mondays at the Westgate Branch. Information about these events and all of our writing/publishing events can be found here.
Who is the "AADL Productions Team?"
We're a team of librarians, technicians, managers, and other professional staff who produce content (web, print and visual) and events at the library. We're all avid readers, writers, and/or content specialists/selectors. Some of the team also write, edits and produce the library's local arts blog Pulp. Pulp debuted in November 2015 covering local music, visual art, film & video, theater, dance and the written word. Most of the team also work hard on the library's incredibly popular Summer Game.
How long will it take to get a response after I submit my manuscript?
Once you submit your manuscript, you will get immediate confirmation of its receipt. You will receive a yes or no decision within two to eight weeks. The press slows down in the summer months so it may take a bit longer to hear back from us while the Summer Game is happening (mid June thru August 31).
How does this differ from a big New York publisher or a small press? Is this vanity publishing?
Traditional publishing's business model is that a publisher acquires your manuscript and then licenses the right to sell your book. Fifth Avenue Press is different because we provide all the "front end" work of getting your manuscript ready to publish, and then turn it over to you to publish yourself. You keep all the profits from the book. We simply want to be known as the publisher of record and want the ebook in our library collection permanently. This is not "vanity publishing." "Vanity" or "author-supported publishing" requires a fee to be paid by the author before books go into production. In addition, the vanity publisher will take a cut of the author's profits once the books are selling. However, at Fifth Avenue Press, we pay the costs of getting your manuscript ready for publication. We then turn the finished manuscript over to you so you can print & publish it yourself, keeping both control of your book and the profits. Fifth Avenue Press also does not publish every book that is submitted and like a traditional publisher exert editorial guidance on all aspects of the creation of the completed book.
Is this like getting a grant to self-publish?
Not exactly. Although it's true that Fifth Avenue Press pays the upfront costs of getting the manuscript ready to publish, they deal directly with the editors, illustrators, cover designers and formatters on the author's behalf. No money goes directly to the author. However, we assume the author will be handle the costs for printing and physical publishing once the book is complete.