The Book Guild is an independent publisher with an eclectic list in both fiction and non-fiction. We accept manuscripts direct from authors or via agents in all genres. Details on how to submit to us are given below – we prefer electronic submission, but accept submissions by post. Information on The Book Guild and how we work is given opposite.
Your manuscript text should be saved in MS Word with all chapters in one document; or we accept submissions in PDF format. As well as your book’s manuscript, please send a synopsis and a biography about you. Please email your submission, synopsis and biography to us at [email protected] (with the subject line marked as ‘submission’, followed by the title of your book) or send a USB device by post. Please bear in mind that our email servers cannot handle very large attachments, so if you have photographs or illustrations to accompany your work please send them via a file transfer site like wetransfer.com or on a USB device by post.
Printed manuscripts should preferably be typewritten. Please do not send the only copy of your manuscript or photos as we cannot be held responsible for loss or damage of any material. If you would like us to return your manuscript, please enclose an SAE with the correct postage. Please send your manuscript to:
The Book Guild Ltd
9 Priory Business Park
Leics LE8 0RX
We shall acknowledge receipt of your manuscript within 72 hours and will reply within two to three weeks of submission with feedback.
The company is well respected by retailers and other publishers alike, and our books are sold UK-wide through bookshops as well as online retailers. The Book Guild Ltd is part Troubador Publishing Ltd, an independent publishing house with a solid reputation for quality, so all Book Guild authors benefit from the market penetration and publishing expertise of an established trade publisher.
For information on how we market and promote our book to retailers and the media, take a look at our information booklet below.
The Book Guild has acquired a solid reputation for publishing books across all genres since its establishment over 35 years ago. As a trade publisher, we take on new titles that we feel have commercial potential only. The company operates both traditional publishing and partnership publishing models, but always with an emphasis on quality of production and achieving sales. Authors are invited to submit manuscripts in all genres for consideration. Submissions from agents are accepted but an agent is not essential, we accept author submissions direct. All submissions will first be considered for a traditional publishing model; if we do not feel that a manuscript is suitable for our traditional publishing programme, we will then consider it for some form of partnership publishing. Details on how to submit are given opposite. Note that we have worked closely with the Society of Authors (SoA) to ensure that our author contract is a fair one for authors.
Under our traditional publishing model, we bear all the expense of publishing a book, and we may pay an ‘advance’ on royalties to the author. Due to the high level of risk in conventional publishing, books generally have to be considered to have great market potential. Each year, The Book Guild brings out conventionally published titles that we think will sell well in the mass market, and we have an excellent record of sales. Traditional publishing enables us to maintain a position in the marketplace that benefits all the books that we publish.
If we can’t offer a traditional publishing arrangement for a new manuscript, we may offer a partnership publishing arrangement, but only if we believe the manuscript has commercial potential and is of a suitable standard. Our partnership arrangement usually includes a financial contribution from both The Book Guild and the author towards the cost of publishing, with the author financing anything from 25% through to 75%, depending on the level of risk we can take on a manuscript. If we are prepared to take on a book as a partnership project, we shall make a proposal that includes the financial contributions from The Book Guild and the author. The Book Guild will always fund some of the costs of publishing under our Partnership Publishing arrangement, we do not offer a wholly author-financed option (i.e. self-publishing). Note that our Partnership proposal costings are based on the costs of self-publishing through our sister imprint, Matador; authors thus have the assurance that any author contribution reflects accurately the costs involved. This is a unique publishing arrangement that gives authors (especially unknown authors) a combination of a book published, distributed and marketed by a professional publishing house coupled with part author financing. Our partnership publishing model combines the best from commercial publishing and self-publishing, where we bring an experienced publishing and publicity team, a commercial infrastructure and market penetration, and you invest a proportion of the overall costs in your manuscript. Note, though, that we still only make an offer to publish under our Partnership model for about 10% of submissions made to us. Because we also have a vested financial interest in any partnership project, we need to ensure as far as possible that titles are commercial, giving us and the author the best chance of recouping the investment made.
The following outlines the range of activities that we may undertake (depending on the project) to publish, distribute and market a book, whether it be under a traditional or partnership arrangement.
The application of an ISBN to your book, and management of the associated bibliographic data. Curation of metadata to make the book as visible as possible to buyers.
Manuscript editing on screen carried out in MS Word using ‘track changes’, checking grammar, spelling and punctuation, consistency and repetition and, if necessary, the editor will suggest changes to structure, characterisation and narrative (fiction only).
All functions necessary to produce a high quality bookshop-ready title. This includes text design and layout, typesetting, commissioning illustrations (if appropriate) and cover design. This is everything required to turn your manuscript into commercial-standard files that are ready to print your book.
If we feel that an ebook edition of your manuscript is also a commercial reality, we convert your book files into both ePub and Mobi ebook formats. The ebook is then distributed to retailers worldwide through our extensive distribution network, which includes not only Amazon, but Apple, Kobo, Srib’d, Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, Gardners and Google Play, among others.
We set very high standards for our printing, and usually our books include some sort of special cover effect to make them stand out to retailers and readers alike (eg. spot UV, foil, embossing). We warehouse books to ensure retail distribution, with copies initially sent to you for your immediate use.
We carry out marketing activities well in advance of publication to UK retailers using industry-standard communication channels to ensure retailers are able to pre-order your book. In the weeks leading up to publication, our team of regional sales representatives will actively hand-sell your book to retailers, both locally and nationally.
All our titles are placed with our book distributor, Orca Book Services, who supply wholesalers like Gardners and Bertrams daily, along with independent bookshops, online retailers and bookshop chains like Waterstones. We also have distribution of titles through retailers in other parts of the world.
Establish social media accounts if you don’t already have them
Supply a range of marketing materials for your own use
Include each title in our bi-annual New Titles catalogue
Represent all our authors at the London Book Fair
Authors receive anything from 10% up to 75% of the net receipts from book and ebook sales, depending on whether they have made any initial financial contribution to the publishing project. We pay author royalties every six months in January and July, assuming that there is more than £50 owing to the author from sales.
If you are interested in submitting your work for consideration by us, then please follow the submission guidelines opposite. We are always happy to discuss possible projects with authors.
Jeremy has worked in publishing for over 30 years, in editorial, production and administrative roles. He founded Troubador Publishing Ltd in 1996, and has grown it into one of the UK’s most respected publishing houses. He is a regular speaker on publishing at author events, and joins The Book Guild as co-owner and Managing Director. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2019 in recognition of his contribution to independent publishing.
Jane left university in 1999 and worked in radio. She started working in publishing in 2001, before joining Troubador Publishing Ltd, where she has worked in a variety of roles until becoming Operations Director in 2013. She joins The Book Guild as co-owner and Operations Director. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, travel, growing her own veg and cooking with the end product!
Before joining The Book Guild in 2017, Jonathan worked for many years, and in many different roles, within the publishing industry. He has previously run several different major bookshops in London, and in the publishing world he has worked for Oxford University Press, Chrysalis Books, Anova Books and Phaidon, with an emphasis on sales and marketing.
Lauren joined Troubador Publishing in 2011 after graduating with a degree in journalism. Among other roles, Lauren heads the editorial submissions team at The Book Guild, responsible for making decisions on taking on new projects and helping to coordinate the forthcoming publishing list. (Lauren is on maternity leave until summer 2021.)
In 2018, Rosie became Deputy Head of Production at Troubador, responsible for coordinating the production of all Book Guild Ltd titles. She graduated from with a degree in Media Communications and Film Studies. After working in legal administration, she joined Troubador Publishing Ltd in 2016 as Production Assistant, was promoted to Production Controller and is now Assistant Production Manager.
Philippa graduated from De Montfort University Leicester with a first-class degree in Arts Management. She worked in arts marketing at De Montfort University before joining The Book Guild in February 2017 to take charge of the busy Marketing and PR Department. In her spare time she enjoys performing in musicals and sings in her family band.
Megan leads the busy Digital Services Department at The Book Guild. She coordinates the publishing and promotion of ebooks and audiobooks, is a first point of contact for ebook and audiobook authors, and she advises authors at events such as the London Book Fair.
Jack is The Book Guild’s Senior Designer, responsible for coordinating the creation of stunning book covers across a range of genres. Jack graduated from De Montfort University with a first-class degree in Creative Writing and English Literature. In his spare time he enjoys writing, playing football and travelling.