e-mail and correspondence courses

Guide to Jewish Self and Subsidy Publishing
Compiled by Esther Susan Heller (Soferet 6)

Targum Press

Publishes books in which the author brings the funding, either through his/her own investment or through dedications. These books must meet the same standard as all Targum books and receive the same editorial, production, and distribution procedure.

So why author investment?
There are several reasons for an author to bring in the funding. The first is financial: if a book is successful, an author stands to make considerably more if s/he has done the investment. Several of our best-selling authors invest in their own books for this reason.

The second reason is market. As a for-profit publisher, Targum must look to the bottom line. Often, books of high quality have to be rejected for the painful reason that experience shows there aren't enough people out there who will buy the book. Author investment enables these books to be published. But again, let me emphasize that if a book won't sell because of its poor quality, we will not accept it even with author investment.

Terms depend on the length and condition of the manuscript, but authors must understand that the costs of publishing a book are not low, and the simplest ms would probably cost in excess of $5,000. Authors receive a much higher percentage of sales than normal royalties. In effect, the author "owns" the book completely, and the publisher simply charges a fee for editorial, production and distribution services.

Authors like to work with us because of our reputation in the religious world as a high-quality publisher whose books are innovative and creative. Editorially, we are particularly respectful of our authors' styles; we don't impose our own image on each of our books, which explains why our list is particularly varied. Targum Press prides itself on its ability to work closely and professionally with their authors.

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

Gefen Publishing

Israel's largest English-language publisher. Gefen publishes approximately 30 titles a year on a wide range of topics focusing on the themes of Judaism and Israel: from history, fiction and photography, to cookbooks, travel books and children's books under its new imprint 'Gefen Kids.'

When Gefen receives a manuscript from an author, there are two criteria that must be met for the book to be accepted for publication.

The first criterion focuses on the content of the manuscript - does it carry itself in terms of meaning and significance? Will it contribute to the realm of Jewish thought or culture?

The second criterion focuses on whether the book can carry itself financially in the current market. Sometimes, the content of a book may be meaningful and important, however the current market is unable to sustain it as a viable financial venture. In these instances, there is the possibility of the author and publisher undertaking to publish the book as a joint venture. This usually entails the author obtaining financial assistance in order to publish their book. Examples of the forms this assistance might take are: a grant from a university or foundation that wishes to sponsor publication of the book to enhance Jewish education, or an organization agreeing to purchase an agreed number of copies of the published book.

Of the 30 titles Gefen Publishes a year some are funded by an outside source, a foundation, an interested organization or an individual.

Gefen Publishing is always happy to receive new manuscripts and hear from new authors. For more information, or to submit a manuscript, please contact
Ilan Greenfield at
Gefen Publishing
Phone(02) 538-0247
email: ilan@gefenpublishing.com.

Urim Publications

Q. What specific genres or topics would you especially like to see?

We want something new, fresh - even courageous: preferably something of wide interest, and useful. Deeply grounded in Jewish tradition and thought, but pitched to a large reading public.

Q. Who owns the rights?

Rights are with the author. Rights for publication and world distribution, and translation rights belong to us. Royalty agreement is made with the author.

Q. Is the author responsible for marketing?

Marketing is the responsibility of all who feel they want a book to succeed. Books have a very tough time competing for attention today, as there are so many new ones hitting the market each week.

(A major Jewish bookstore in Brooklyn recently told me that they receive around 5 new books each week! How are they to highlight them all, and where are they to display them?)

Without the author joining as much as possible in the marketing strategy and planning of a new book, the book will have that much less chance of getting noticed. If the author does not believe in a book, then who will?

Urim pushes our books in some specific manners. We send out a good number of books to relevant and interested book reviewers and media outlets. We feature new books on our website, and often send out a periodic subscribed email for our new books, which goes to many of our clients, and booklovers and industry people around the world. We place much effort into the preparation of the content as well as the appearance of our books, to make them attractive, and at the same time, keep the retail price reasonable. We provide generous discounts to stores, which further encourages visibility of titles. The more willing and able an author is to make appearances for the book, whether in the form of a lecture, workshop, reading and signing, radio appearance, print interview, or web presence (including a website), the higher probability for the success of a book. We work with the authors, to varying degrees, to facilitate all of this, and when done in partnership, both sides benefit as the book benefits.

Urim Publications
Lambda Publishers, Inc.
3709 13th Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11218 U.S.A.
Tel. 718-972-5449 / fax. 718-972-6307
e-mail: mh@ejudaica.com
or P.O.Box 52287,
Jerusalem 91521 Israel.
Tel: 02-679-7633, 051-671-553
Fax: 02-679-7634


Copyright © 2009 by Jewish Writing Institute. All rights reserved.
Copyright to individual articles held by authors.