GETTING STARTED

Fifth Avenue Press is a hybrid publisher with a very unusual model, and these are some of the most frequent questions we get. See our About Us page for more details on the goals and mission of the press. 

Is your manuscript finished? Is it long enough? 

Before you submit, you might wonder if we will look at a partial manuscript or if your book has to be 100% done before we will consider publishing it. For fiction and memoir we prefer that a manuscript be as finished as possible, but we are also able to see potential in a mostly finished book. For non-fiction, a proposal/outline of your idea is usually enough for us to decide. When in doubt, send a message and ask us: fifthavenuepress@aadl.org .

Please note the average word length for book publishing: 

Average novel length: 50,000–120,000 words

Average non-fiction length: 50,000–80,000 words

Picture book: 50-1000 words 

Middle Grade: 25,000–45,000 words

Poetry: 40–80 pages, or about 100 poems (chapbooks are 20-40 pages) 

We get many submissions that are not long enough for a printed book and would be better for longform publications. The advantage of longform publishing is that it is often easier and faster to publish, and online platforms have a much wider reach than publishing with a local press. 

Are you hoping to get some assistance with your self-published book? 

Is your book finished and you need assistance navigating online platforms, online file management, or marketing your book?

Many authors come to us with a book that’s finished (or almost) and ready to be printed and are looking for help on next steps. While we often get requests for ad hoc assistance with a completed, self-published book, as a non-profit, publicly funded press, this is not a service we can provide.

Thankfully, there are a wide variety of online sites that make it easy to self-publish a full manuscript, a genealogy memoir, or a picture book created by a parent or child. There are also local printers that might be a great fit for many shorter, self-published books. There are excellent tutorials that show you how to load your ebook on Amazon/KDP, and IngramSpark to distribute your book. There are also publishers and writing services for hire to assist with book marketing and writing coaching.

The library offers free, monthly writing workshops and meet-ups where you can get feedback and advice from the instructors who have experience with self-publishing and traditional models. 

Do you want the guidance and expertise of our editorial team?

Fifth Avenue Press is a selective publisher. Fifth Avenue Press does not publish every book that is submitted, and like a traditional publisher, it exerts editorial guidance over all aspects of the creation of the completed book. 

What if my manuscript is declined? Will you tell me why? Can I submit again? 

If your manuscript is declined by the press, we will let you know via email, but we are not able to provide feedback on why it was not accepted. We point all authors to the free, monthly writing workshops and meet-ups the library hosts, where you can get feedback and advice from the instructors who have experience with both traditional and self-publishing.  There are also publishers and writing services for hire

Re-submissions are welcomed if a declined work has been substantially revised.

What about copyright & licensing? 

Your work is under copyright protection from the moment you have written it. Formal copyright registration is voluntary on the part of the rightsholder and is not free. Unlike traditional publishing, authors who publish with Fifth Avenue Press retain the copyright to their work. Because the copyright belongs to the author and not the Press, we do not pay the registration fees for Fifth Avenue Press authors who choose to formally register their copyright. More information is available from the US Copyright Office here.

Rather than provide an advance, the press invests in the production of the finished work in exchange for permanent digital distribution of the completed work to AADL cardholders via the library's website. Our authors sign a Licensing Agreement to give AADL permission to provide this digital file to our users. The library will purchase physical copies of each book for the library's collection from the author.

Our authors retain their right to license their manuscripts to another publisher if they decide to pursue this option at a later date.