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Jewish Book Publishers: A Market Guide
by Tamar Wisemon

Targum Press
POB 43170,
Jerusalem 91430
Contact: Miriam Zakon
Tel: 02-651-3355, Fax: 02-651-0342,
e-mail: targum@netvision.net.il

Publishes a wide range of books, of interest to the Orthodox Jewish market. From "kosher" fiction to non-fiction such as Jewish philosophy, Torah works, self-help, Jewish law and all other aspects of contemporary Jewish life (excluding politics). "Some of our books have made inroads in the secular Jewish world, but these are almost entirely kiruv books."

Needs: "While we live in and love Eretz Yisrael, our primary market is America so we cannot publish works of interest only to those living here. Over 50% of sales are in the New York area, so books appealing to that market are especially welcome. At this point we are only publishing material for adults, not for younger readers, though that policy is often under review."

Receives 80-100 queries annually, and publishes 25 (30-40% new authors); accepts simultaneous submissions if noted. Mss must be delivered on diskette, in hard copy but available on computer, or preferably via email.

Takes a minimum of six months to publish, depending on quality and complexity of work.

Pay: "depending on arrangement with author."

Advice: "Don't submit unfinished work. Spell check. Don't expect an answer days after submission; you shouldn't ask for more than a confirmation of receipt until at least 6 weeks have passed, or you may be perceived as a nudge. Try to write something of interest to the most people possible; publishers have to sell books, and no matter how high the quality, if it has no market potential they will be unable to accept it."

Mesorah Publications (Artscroll)
4401 Second Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11232.
Contact: Avrohom Biderman
Tel: 718-921-9000, Fax: 718-680-1875,
e-mail: avrohom@mesorah.com

Publishes high quality books for the Orthodox Jewish market, educational value. Receives "hundreds" of queries annually, and publishes 60 (5% new authors); accepts simultaneous submissions. Takes 6 months and up to publish manuscript, pays standard royalties. Advice: "Write well."

Hachai Publishing
156 Chester Avenue,
Brooklyn NY 11218.
Contact: Dina Rosenfeld
Tel: 718-633-0100 / 0103
email: info@hachai.com

Publishes full color children's Judaica picture books that encourage a love of Judaism and have a moral message.

Receives 300 queries annually, publishes 4 - 6 (2 from new authors). Accepts. simultaneous. submissions.

Takes 1 - 2 years to publish (takes time to find appropriate artist). Pays flat fee.

Advice: Visit your local bookstore see which publisher your manuscripts would fit best with. Ask at your local Judaica store which publisher is putting out books and where your manuscript would fit best. Visit the web site of the publisher and look at their writers' guidelines.

Kar-Ben Copies, Inc.
6800 Tildenwood Lane,
Rockville, MD 20852.
Contact: Madeline Wikler
1-800-452-7236 / 301-984-8733
fax: 301 881-9195
e-mail: karben@aol.com

Publish children's books for preschool and early elementary - fiction and non-fiction for Jewish and general bookstores, schools and libraries in English-speaking countries worldwide.

Publishing philosophy is "trans-denominational. Most of our books have boys with heads covered (kippah, baseball cap), but many have girls wearing pants. Some of our books are not suitable for Orthodox market. Receives 300 mss/queries annually. Publishes 8-10 books (33% from new authors). Accepts simultaneous submissions.

Publish within 12-18 months, pays advance of $500-$1000 against royalty of 8% net sales payable once yearly.

Needs: Shabbat, Israel and lifecycle books.

Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.
68-22 Eliot Ave.
Middle Village,
NY 11379.
Contact: David Kolatch
Tel: 718-456-8611, Fax: 718-894-2818,
e-mail: editorial@jdbooks.com

Our area of specialization is popular Judaica - non-fiction only. We also publish reference, sports, and biography. "We are attracted to anything good and original that is an outgrowth of a writer's firsthand knowledge or experience. We seek manuscripts with original content and commercial potential.

Receive "hundreds" of manuscripts annually; publish 25 (50% from new authors). NO simultaneous submissions.

Publishes in approx. 18 months, pays standard publishing contract with royalty based on number of copies sold.

Advice: Send query letter with table of contents and sample chapter. Do not send manuscript unless requested. Do not submit material via e-mail unless requested.

Pitspopany Press
P.O.B. 4636,
Jerusalem, Israel 91044.
Contact: Yaacov Peterseil
Tel: 972-2-563-7155, Fax: 972- 2-563-7156
e-mail: pitspop@netvision.net.il

"I would say we publish more Jewish children's books than any other publisher. Our audience is a mix of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. We try not to be didactic and always consider the storyline and artwork primary for the success of the book. They must look good, read well, and have Jewish content. The message alone is not enough to have us publish a book."

Emphasizing children's stories and non-fiction material for kids and families. Successful titles are done in series format, such as "Kids Love..." and "Jewish Stories for Kids" (humor, mystery etc.).

While we are always looking for good writers (particularly non-fiction), our primary needs are for top notch illustrators."

Receives 50 mss/queries annually. Publishes 12-15 books, plans to publish 20 next year (50% from new authors). Accepts simultaneous submissions. Submissions must include a table of contents, outline and at least one sample chapter/story. "We rarely print a manuscript that has been submitted, but if we think the author can write for our audience, we will assign a project"

Publishes in 6 - 12 months (3-6 month assignment deadline), pays new authors either payout or royalties, no advances.

Advice: "Get an agent."

Tamar Wisemon is a journalist whose articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Report, MOMENT, Hamodia and other international Jewish publications. She is author of a young Jewish detective series, "Y.A.D.Investigators" (Jerusalem Publications/Feldheim).


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