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WordWright Covets Royalty
By IN House Staff
June, 2006, 13:30

A golden publishing opportunity for writers that you might not want to miss out on.
n 1988, Joan R. Neubauer founded Word Wright International as a copywriting firm to serve the needs of the Houston business community. Within a year, she had 50 clients for whom she composed newsletters, designed letterhead and logos, wrote press releases, and produced product catalogues.

Over the years, Word Wright underwent various incarnations to serve different needs until in 2000, Word Wright became a publisher with its first book, Down But Not Out. Joan wrote the book with Houston undercover cop Tom Docherty, and sold it to three different publishers, but two publishers went bankrupt, and a third began development of another one of her books without a contract. So, she and Tom decided to publish the book under Joan's new publishing house.

In 2002, Joan's husband Steve joined the company, and a new entity,, Inc. emerged. By 2006, WordWright had published nearly 200 subsidy books and seven royalty titles. The publisher had garnered a reputation for quality books and had even published two titles, The Noble Generation and The Noble Generation, Volume II, for Barnes & Noble and the Texas Department on Aging.

Now is switching gears yet again to publish royalty books exclusively. "Some of our current royalty titles are doing very well, and we thought it was time to bring the company to the next level," says Steve Neubauer. "As an author incubator, we wanted to give more new authors the chance at that ever-elusive royalty contract, while recognizing the talents of experienced authors, such as L.C. Hayden, and Tom Townsend," Joan added.

WordWright has two imprints, One Night Books and WordWright LX. One Night Books are between 20,000 and 25,000 in length, have broad appeal in the marketplace, and are written mostly by new authors. They include most genres, except for children's picture books and cookbooks. WordWright LX books are authored primarily by veteran authors with a track record of sales with other royalty houses, and also encompass a wide variety of genres. "In the past, WordWright placed its emphasis on the author, not the genre, and we're going to continue that practice with our royalty books and authors." Joan said.

In addition, WordWright plans to take an active role in partnering with their authors to promote their books, such as helping them schedule signings, presentations, and readings at bookstores, clubs, organizations, schools, conferences, and other appropriate venues. But not every author is ready for a royalty contract. For example, someone might have a great manuscript but may lack public speaking experience or the know-how to promote a book. Or they may be very polished speakers but have a manuscript that needs a lot of work, or lack knowledge of how the industry works.

For those authors who need special guidance and education, the Neubauers have formed a new company, Special Delivery Books. These will continue the subsidy tradition of excellence that WordWright has already established, but will expand its role to help these authors rise to the level of a royalty author.

Many variables figure into the decision-making process when a publisher considers a manuscript and an author for a royalty contract. They ask themselves a series of questions about the manuscript, the author, their level of knowledge about the industry, and their experience. By and large, no publisher shares those questions with authors. In contrast, WordWright has developed a self-evaluation form that includes those questions, to help authors determine if they're ready to approach a royalty publisher.

"We've structured our guidelines to tell us about the author and help us decide where they are in their career and how we can help them grow. As an author incubator, that's what we're all about. And I think this self-evaluation form we've developed will give the author a more accurate idea of where they stand in this industry. It's very exciting and I think it will be very well received," Steve said.

For complete submission guidelines for WordWright books, go to their website at Ask for the self-evaluation form to determine if you're ready for prime time. If you think you are, follow the submission guidelines and submit your manuscript.

Joan and Steve invite you to email them at (Steve) and (Joan).

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