Figure 1 Publishing


Frequently Asked Questions

The Figure 1 Way

What publishing services does Figure 1 offer?

We help our authors with every aspect of conceiving, writing, producing, and selling their books. We start with your vision and objectives, then work with you to develop or refine your concept for maximum impact. We’ll assign one of our seasoned in-house editors as your guide and project manager, and we’ll build a production schedule that takes into account your timelines and those of the retail market. Then we get down to business, working together every step of the way to produce a great book (and maybe also an ebook and audiobook). Our suite of services includes:

  • Concept development
  • Substantive/structural editing
  • Copy editing
  • Art direction
  • Cover and interior design
  • Indexing
  • Mapmaking
  • Proofreading
  • Print, digital, and audio production
  • Sales and distribution into the retail and wholesale markets
  • Marketing and publicity

We can recommend talented writers, illustrators, and photographers should you require them. And we can also develop and execute a sales strategy to pitch bulk-quantity sales of your book to organizations.

Do I have to pay?

Yes. We are what is known as a hybrid publisher, meaning authors hire us to produce their books and bring them to the retail market. Our publishing model is all about creating value for your investment, providing you with the high-quality expertise you would get from a traditional publisher (in production as well as distribution and sales) and the creative control you would expect if you self-published. We are experienced book publishers, all of whom have worked in traditional publishing, who work closely with you, providing guidance and support along the way, to produce a book that serves your objectives and will be available to book retailers of all types in the English-speaking world.

We also provide insight and ideas about how you might finance your investment, including discussing arts-grant funding, pre-sales strategies, corporate sponsorships, private donations, and other funding options.

Will I have any say in the process?

Yes, a lot. Our publishing model is built as a mutually beneficial partnership. One of the biggest reasons our authors choose Figure 1 is because we involve them throughout the process. Whether it is discussions about how best to organize the content, title the book, design the front cover, select the paper, or build a robust marketing and publicity plan, we are partners every step of the way.

How do you select the books you publish?

With great care. Our editorial team assesses your project to determine if it is a book we believe in, offers something of significant value to readers, and has good sales potential. More than anything, we are looking to partner with authors or organizations who:

  • Are leading experts and thinkers in the areas of art and design; business and leadership; food and drink; and Indigenous art and culture
  • Demand the highest standards in editing, design, and printing
  • Want to invest in a highly collaborative process that is guided by seasoned book publishing professionals

Costs + Benefits

How much will it cost?

Each book we publish has unique specifications, including the editorial and design demands, production choices and printing costs, the number of copies each author wants for their purposes, and the market potential, but here is a general guide to the approximate total costs by category:

  • Black-and-white text-only book, hardcover: $30,000
  • Full-colour, large-format illustrated book: $50,000
  • Full-colour, hardcover cookbook with photography: $75,000
  • Full-colour, large-format hardcover, corporate history: $100,000

Will Figure 1 invest in my book?

Yes. Beyond the expertise and guidance we bring to the production of your book, Figure 1 does something that few (if any) other hybrid publishers do: we invest in your book. Where most hybrid publishers have their authors cover the print costs of books going into retail, Figure 1 pays for the printing and distribution of these copies. This means we share with you the risk of producing your book, which allows us to reduce your total cost. After all, you don’t want to be responsible for any returned or unsold retail stock.

We will also work with you to identify organizations who might wish to purchase a bulk quantity of your book, either as a special sale or a customized corporate edition. At our expense, we will produce marketing collateral that we can both use to pitch to such organizations. As with all sales, we pay a competitive royalty on every book sold.

Do you pay royalties?

Yes. We pay you competitive royalties on every copy of your book, including ebook and/or audiobook, that we sell via the retail and wholesale markets. We will also pay you royalties on any special or corporate bulk sales that we arrange, and will pay you for any subsidiary rights we might license on your behalf, including foreign language translation rights and anthology rights. We will send you royalty reports, and pay royalties owing twice a year, just like a traditional publisher.

How can I make money on this investment?

Your investment will pay for all editorial and design, as well print production and delivery of your copies (whether you need 50 or 5,000). The books you receive are yours to do with as you like—as promotion, a calling card, gifts, or sale—and for any that you sell, you keep 100 percent of the proceeds.

There are two ways a Figure 1 book can help you earn revenue:

  1. Revenue directly related to the book, including:
  • Sales you arrange to clients, followers and audiences
  • Royalties on retail, corporate and special sales
  • Subsidiary revenue on licenses we arrange, such as translation rights
  1. Revenue indirectly related to the book, such as:
  • Increased business activity due to your heightened profile
  • Paid speaking engagements

Sharing your book with readers everywhere

Will you get my books into stores?

Absolutely, we sell to more than just Amazon. We work closely with our sales and distribution teams, based in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Berkeley, and London, to market our titles to retailers around the world, including:

  • Independent booksellers
  • National bookstore chains
  • Online retailers
  • College and university bookshops
  • Gallery and museum gifts shops
  • Library wholesalers

We also sell our ebooks and audiobooks across all digital retail channels.

And finally, we will sell your book in our spiffy online book shop.

Do you do marketing and publicity?

Yes. And, as with everything we do, we keep you and your book at the centre of the process. We will:

  • Provide you with tips and guidance on the things you can do immediately to increase your profile in advance of publication
  • Develop, with your input and ideas, a robust marketing and publicity plan for your book
  • Seek endorsements from well-known and well-respected individuals to be used on the cover, the website, and in sales and marketing materials
  • Suggest experienced book publicists should you wish to pursue a more in-depth or broader publicity campaign
  • Provide guidance on book launches and arrange events for your book
  • Pitch your book to print, broadcast, and social media, and report results to you regularly

Will my book appear in other languages?

Our foreign-language rights agency, based in San Francisco, has placed our books with excellent publishers around the world, including those in China, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. We pay you competitive revenues on every foreign-language licence we arrange.