Written by Emily Harstone

Woodhall Press: Now Accepting Manuscript Queries

Woodhall Press is a small press. They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They are distributed by IPG. They have a detailed staff page, and some of their staff members do have an excellent track record, albeit in different markets. They seem to actively promote their own books, through events and social media. Their covers are good, and their website is well organized.  I could not see when they were first founded, and the books they published were not listed in order. The oldest book I found was published in 2020.

There are a few sources of concern from my perspective. One is how they describe themselves on Facebook: “Offering a full range of editorial services, Woodhall was created by writers for writers. We raise emerging writers into the global marketplace and partner with seasoned authors to promote their past and current projects.” Leading with editorial services that way generally implies that they require payment, although nowhere on their site is that stated.

Another source of concern for me is Wild Pine,  which is editorial services that they started to offer recently. A number of small presses have similar services,  and that in and of itself is acceptable. It’s just that some publishers who do so they re-direct submissions from their traditional publishing imprint to their self publishing arm, which is not acceptable. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that this is not something Woodhall has done so far.

You can get a good feel for what they publish here. They were very much focused on selling books versus recruiting authors, which is always a good sign.

Since this review went out, it has been made clear to me that they have asked to see a lot of full manuscripts (which is unusual), and that they also expect authors whose work they’ve requested a full from, to answer a tip sheet, with marketing information, etc, and part of how they decide to move forward or not, is based on the answers to the tip sheet, and not just the manuscript itself.

I’ve also had the opportunity to review a contract. Although I have seen a lot of contracts in my time, I’m in no way a lawyer and have no legal training whats-over, so please take my takeaways from the contract with a heaping spoonful of salt.

1. The percentages are all off net which is not ideal, and the starting percentage for print book royalties is very low for being off net, but sales are incentivised by the fact that it increases per copies sold.  Percentage of royalties off eBooks are significantly higher, but still not ideal.
2. They ask for every imaginable right, including film and TV which is not ideal. However the percentage of money the author earns if these rights get sold are much higher.

To learn more, please go here, and please follow their submission guidelines here.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2021 Guide to Manuscript Publishers.

She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.

 

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