Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions that are not answered here and you would like more information, please use the button below to ask for more information. We are glad to help

General Questions

What’s right for me?
Just as each book is unique, so are each author’s expectations and goals. If you’re publishing a cookbook to distribute to your family as a keepsake, you should definitely consider self-publishing! If you have a story that needs to be told, that you want to share with the world, then Hybrid-publishing is an excellent option to get extensive market exposure and an excellent ROI (return on investment). Think you’ve got what it takes to be the next Nora Roberts, James Patterson, George R. Martin, or Stephen King? We can help you show you how to put your best foot forward to query agents and traditional publishing companies, too.
What’s the difference between self-publishing and hybrid publishing?
Self-publishing is just that. You are responsible for executing every aspect of the publishing,
printing, cataloging, distribution, sales, inventory, and marketing of the book. And all at your
own expense. You retain ALL rights to your book, you process all sales, pay all taxes, keep all
records, negotiate discounts and returns. This is no simple task whether it’s your first book or
50th. It’s also not impossible and if you like a challenge, learning, are tech savvy, have a good
head for business, and are very patient, this may be the right option for you.

Hybrid-publishing is like a partnership where the author makes a financial contribution in the
development of their book in exchange for representation under the imprint of the publisher.
Credibility, support, distribution channels, mass markets, professional web and social media
exposure, and royalties are just a few of the perks more like traditional publishing than you’ll
find when self-publishing. You generally see a much a more significant return on your investment when working with a reputable Hybrid-publisher.

Publish rights are always negotiable, and Happy Dolphin Press acquires first publishing rights only for new
authors. (Click here to explore what publishing rights are and how they affect your manuscript)
Hybrid-publishing has become increasingly popular with author’s who don’t have the time or inkling
to learn the entire publishing industry, especially if they intend to publish multiple titles or a series. It is generally much less expensive to publish through a Hybrid-publisher than to self-publish if you want to sell your books on the mass market.
(Click here to schedule an appointment to discuss your goals and options).

Can I just get my book edited and publish it myself?
Firstly, YES!! Secondly, if you do plan to self-publish, you should contract not only an experienced copy editor but utilize the services of as many professionals as possible to polish your book into the most professional product you can present. We offer ala carte services for authors from copy editing, content editing, formatting, illustration, digital graphics editing, cataloging, registry filings, and much more! And it’s all at competitive budget-friendly pricing. Ask about our discount custom packages and step-by-step tutorials, too!
What marketing is included if I publish with Happy Dolphin Press?
Marketing campaigns for our authors are tailored to their specific target markets. We assist our authors in creating and developing their brand. We incorporate that branding into a custom author webpage and Facebook page with a personal domain name. All Happy Dolphin Press authors are listed in our quarterly distribution catalog, on our online bookstore, extended distribution through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Amazon, Kindle, B&N Nook, and many more. In addition, we create a comprehensive market specific plan with a step by step workbook and a marketing online video library. Happy Dolphin Press is also the only small press publisher in partnership with Lexile Framework for reading that obtains Lexile Reading Measurements, X1 supplemental vocabulary analysis for educators and a listing in Book Finder providing librarians, educators, and parents to match books specifically to their child’s reading level. PLUS, events, signings, and much more.
Do you offer help or training to self-publish?
Yes, we do! Our goal has always been to provide exceptional services to authors so they can create exceptional books. All of our professional services are available ala carte to aid you in the self-publishing process. Need mentoring and full self-publishing guidance? We’ve got you covered with the SelfPubUniversity. A comprehensive training course that takes you from written to sold! Each of our on-demand videos include step by step instruction for all the fundamentals to create a professional book and get it on the market. From basic to advanced you’ll find everything you need to know to publish like a pro! Check out our full course catalog under the Training link located in the footer on HappyDolphinPress.com
What is an ISBN and do I need one?
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier. If you plan on selling your book, it’s a good bet you need an ISBN. Also, every title, version, and format requires its own unique ISBN. The exceptions to the rule is 1) Kindle Books and other eBooks at the time of this publishing do not need ISBNs, 2) Many Independent Bookstores do not require one as they generate their own identifiers (barcodes), 3) If you plan to sell your books as premiums, giftware through individuals, or at live events only. A single ISBN costs $125 through Bowker, who is the ONLY legitimate reseller for ISBNs. If you publish with a publisher, they should provide you with an ISBN under their imprint. If you self-publish, there are several options to obtain an ISBN for a reduced fee or FREE! This is a decision you need to make prior to printing so be sure to schedule your publishing analysis now! (click here to schedule an appointment).
What if I want a traditional publisher?
Traditional publishers are still publishing books! But the reason so many authors now self-publish is not that they cannot get published by a traditional publishing house, but because there is no distinctive advantage to traditional publishing for a truly excellent book/author. Traditional houses primarily ONLY accept manuscripts and queries from agents currently, so you will need an agent. Agents are continuously inundated with manuscripts and queries and on the average reject 85% of submissions based on their poorly composed, edited, or formatted submissions. Through traditional houses typically, an author can expect to receive the following royalties: Hardback edition: 10% of the retail price on the first 5,000 copies; 12.5% for the next 5,000 copies sold, then 15% for all further copies sold. Paperback: 8% of retail price on the first 150,000 copies sold, then 10% thereafter. As an independent self-published or small press publisher, that amount is at least doubled. Still, want to publish traditionally? Have your manuscript edited, formatted, and analyzed by a professional through a small press to make it really stand out before you submit it! . *Traditional publishers most often do NOT accept unsolicited manuscripts, and in 2016 an average of 65,000 new books were published from an estimated ten million submissions and proposals, with an average two-year release date from acceptance (McGregor guest blog from RandomHouse April 2016).
How do I get my book on Amazon?
There are many ways to sell your book on Amazon whether you decide to self-publish or use a small press publisher, including through Amazon CreateSpace for FREE! And yes, we do that too! Getting on Amazon is easy, selling on Amazon is a whole different challenge. Get professional advice on how to leverage all the FREE and low-cost services available, and what they REALLY COST authors by scheduling a publishing consultation appointment. (click here to schedule now)
I already have a published book, how can you help me?
Happy Dolphin Press and its subsidiary PubSmith Press offers services to catapult exiting published books to new heights! Whatever your goals are we can help you achieve them. If you need a new format, better marketing campaigns, expanded distribution channels, or even just a new cover, we have a solution to meet any need and budget.
My book’s not a children’s book. Can you still help me?
Absolutely! Happy Dolphin Press is a full-service publisher providing editorial, creative, illustrative, marketing, and distribution assistance to authors from all genres. You can mix and match services to fulfill your needs and budget! And beginning Fall 2018 we will be reviewing submissions of general fiction, fantasy, romance, and sci-fi through PubSmith Press imprint.
How much does it cost to publish a children’s book?
The cost to produce a children’s book depends on its content. If you are publishing a children’s picture book illustrations will be your most significant expense, then there is editing (both grammar/punctuation and formatting), there is typesetting (fonts matter!), cover art and creation, and multiple requirements for distribution, sales, and marketing dependent on your goals. Children’s books are one of the largest and hardest markets to enter. This is what we do best! Whether you are considering writing a children’s book or already have and ready to publish we can guide you to success. (click here to schedule a consultation now)
I just need an illustrator or a cover design, can you help?
Let us take the guesswork out of finding an illustrator to match your vision and books style by browsing our approved illustrators and design experts. We only work with professional artist who we know complete projects to the author’s satisfaction, on time, and on budget! Browse portfolios and styles of over 20 professionals to find a solution to match any project.
Can you help me finance my book?
YES, WE CAN! Unlike other publishers, we offer a unique Author’s Only Crowdfunding Platform to help them find funding for their books and provide a custom financing option to meet their needs. Meet with our Editor in Chief today to discuss this one of a kind opportunity to get your book published NOW!  (click here to schedule now)

About Our Services

We offer a full array of services from self-publishing solutions to a full agency publishing experience. Scroll through the information below to find publishing services that fit your needs the best, then schedule an appointment to create a plan that meets your goals and budget.
It takes engaging, polished writing, beautifully designed layouts, quality printing, multiple formats, plus dynamic marketing to make your book stand out from the thousands of books printed every month. That’s why we offer a complete library of tutorials and workshops for you to choose from. Learn at your own pace and take your skills to another level with every course you complete! Freemium and Premium Courses designed to supercharge your writing skills.
Whether you want to self-publish, be a professional Indie Author (Independent Author), shop your book for an agent or traditional publisher, or you’re looking for a full-service small press publisher, we’ve got you covered! We offer individual copy editing, content editing, formatting, cover design, graphics editing and formatting of illustrations, file conversion, eBook creation, proofreading, beta reading, paperback and hardcover printing, and much more! We can help you reach your goals for any budget. Choose from one of our value bundled packages or create your own! Looking for a full-service publisher? Yes, we do that, too! Get complete pricing now!
We have printing solutions for every type of book format. Whether it’s a non-traditionally sized paperback, a trade paperback, hardcover, dust jackets, embossed, board books, or just about anything else you can think of, we can do it! Oh, and we also have affordable solutions for audiobooks, braille, and coloring/activity books! Request a printing quote for your project now!
We have many funding campaigns going on at any one time. Please browse all of these wonderful projects, and maybe become a backer for someone else. Want to start your own campaign? Create an account and start your fundraising campaign for your new project!

Start your publishing journey as your campaign funds come in. Set and reach your goals as your book is being published.

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