Write for Theme Park Press

Submission Guidelines

We're always in the market for new authors with great ideas. Or great authors with new ideas. Whichever type of author you are, you've got questions about publishing your book through Theme Park Press.

Here are (at least some of) the answers:

Will you own my book?

No. You own the copyright to your book; we just publish it. If you're looking at other publishers, make sure they do the same.

What does it cost?

Nothing. We're not a vanity press. You should run from any publisher who wants you to pay them, or who wants to be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses from your future royalties. If we decide to publish your book, it means we believe in your book, we think there's money to be made from it, and we think it's wise for us to sink our money into cover design, editorial services, production, promotion, and so on.

Will you publish my book, for sure?

No. We turn away some authors. We do so mostly for one or more of these reasons: the book simply isn't a good fit for our catalog; the author thinks the book is a masterpiece and requires no editing or other changes; the author has unrealistic expectations that involve yachts and jets and private islands. Also, since we'll be working together over a long period of time, relationship is important. We must be reasonably certain that you're the kind of author we want to work with, and we want you to be equally certain that we're the kind of publisher you want to work with.

What kind of books do you publish?

We specialize in Disney books, with "Disney" defined in the broadest possible way: Disney theme parks, Disney history, Disney memoirs, Disney pop culture, Disney fiction, and, well, Disney. But not just Disney. We're open to other, exceptionally good books about such tangential topics as comic books, entertainment, pop culture, and other content that might appeal to our core audience. It never hurts to pitch us your project.

What kind of books do you not publish?

If you have an axe to grind against Disney, or against anyone, we won't help you sharpen it. We're also not interested in books that spew hatred or exhibit poor taste. No porn, obviously. And for print books, no color photos, unless your book idea is a blockbuster and absolutely needs color photos to reach its potential. Color increases production costs substantially, and, in our experience, doesn't generate a matching increase in sales. Overly long books—as in 300+ pages—are also discouraged. Also, we're not interested in public domain content or self-promotional narratives.

What if I don't write well?

That's a problem, but not an insurmountable one. We don't expect polished, professional prose if you're a first-time or amateur author. Part of our job is to help you discover and develop your writing talent. As long as you can provide coherent, well-researched, and accurate content, organized into a narrative, we can take it the rest of the way.

Do you always publish print and digital editions?

Not always. Some books are too short for print editions. Anything less than 40,000 words, give or take, really isn't suitable for print, though we look at each book on a case-by-case basis. All books, however, are suitable for digital, and by that we mean Kindle.

Just Kindle?

Just Kindle. We used to make books available for the Nook, the Kobo, and Apple devices, but the sales didn't justify the effort. More important, Amazon has several worthwhile promotional opportunities for books available exclusively in their ecosystem. There's more value in taking advantage of what Amazon has to offer than there is in providing the book on every platform in existence. We do make exceptions: if you have a compelling reason for why your book should be sold in the Nook store or through iTunes, we can make that happen.

Will I see my book on the shelf of my local bookstore.

Probably not. Any bookstore in the world can order Theme Park Press books via their distributors, just as they'd order books from Random House or other publishers, but with shelf space limited, there's not much incentive to stock small press titles. Also, the profit is much less from a book sold over the counter than from a book sold on-line, and so I don't make any special effort to market Theme Park Press books to brick-and-mortar. If your local bookstore is interested in stocking copies, maybe as part of a book signing or other event, that's easily arranged.

How much money will I make?

Maybe enough to wash your car; maybe enough to buy a new car. Who can say? We've been paying four-figure monthly royalties to some authors on a consistent basis; to other authors, much less. Write what you know and enjoy. Write it so other people will want to read it. The money will follow.

When do I get paid?

Monthly, starting about three months after the book is released. The initial delay is due to the delay we experience in getting paid by vendors.

Will you send me copies of my book?

Yes. You'll get a few copies of your book to give away to friends or to sell yourself. You'll also be able to buy additional copies at wholesale in case you plan to attend conventions or other events and wish to make some money on the side selling books face to face.

Do you promote the book?

Yes. Publishing a book is the easy part; promotion is what makes the difference. With the growing deluge of generally poor quality, self-published books, it's vital for your book stand out as a professional product, deserving of attention. We use a network of bloggers, reviewers, podcasters, influential fans, and thought leaders to get your book noticed, and then, depending on initial sales and the potential for greater sales, invest in more formal promotional campaigns.

Can I write the promotional material?

We welcome your input, but in most cases we prepare the press kits, back cover blurbs, Amazon descriptions, and other promotional content. Ideally, you'll have a following of your own, and we'd expect you to let your fans know of your new book, in whatever way you choose. The best results come when the publisher and the author both promote the book.

Do I have ultimate authority over cover and content?

Within reason. You'll have input into the cover design, and you'll get an edited version of the manuscript to approve. But we're not interested in working with authors who battle over every pixel and comma. We won't change your "voice" when we edit your book, but unless you're a professional author, we will probably do quite a bit of editing and even rewriting to tighten the narrative, ensure consistency, and, above all, make the book as marketable as possible. If you don't think you can handle someone else processing your prose, we're not going to be a good match.

Do I get to set the cover price and approve every little thing?

No. We set the price, based on what we think will lead to the most sales. We also use a "house style" for all of our books; this style standardizes grammar and usage, such as serial commas, what to italicize and what to put in quotes, etc. We won't change our house style for your book.

How much editing will you do?

It depends. We won't publish your book exactly as you give it to us (for that, find a vanity press) if it has clear flaws. We'll fix those flaws, if a book is worth it. When we publish a book, it's because we believe in it, and because we feel it's equal in quality to the other books we have published.

Are there any general requirements for writing my book?

Write it as you want to write it, then let us (or another publisher) evaluate its potential. Writing is hard enough without having to conform your style to what someone else wants. The key is to have a good idea and then have the stick-to-it-tiveness to develop that idea into a manuscript. Don't anguish over grammar; don't spend hours tussling over word choice. That's what editors are for. Just write.

How long does it take to publish a book?

There are too many variables in the process to say anything but "as long as it takes". Variables include how many other titles are in the pipeline ahead of yours, how much editing or rewriting your book will require, and lots more. With both the paragraphs and the planets aligned in our favor, figure 3-4 months. If we decide to take on your book, we'll give you a better estimate based on its unique circumstances and how many other books we have in production at the time.

Anything else I should know?

Authors and publishers are (or should be) partners. We're looking for partners. As long as you have a story to tell, and it's a story that others will enjoy, we have the basis for a partnership, and for a dynamite book.

Can't wait to read it!

Book Proposal

Ready to take the next step? We excited to see what you've created—or what you're thinking of creating. Anything you tell us about your book is held in strict confidence. Let's get started:

Tips for a Better Book Proposal

Keep it crisp. I've received pitches the size of Buicks. An interminable proposal is the sign of an author who can't decide what he wants to say, and so he keeps writing and writing. After the first paragraph or two, I start to skim, and it goes downhill from there.

Keep it clear. All I really need to know is your idea, not why you think it's a good idea, or how you'll help me market it, or anything other than a clear, focused statement that will get me excited enough to ask you some questions, which is when you can hit me with details.

Keep it clean. A book proposal is the last place you want to make a typo. Not long ago, I got a short, one paragraph pitch—with three typos. If an author can't be bothered to proofread the paragraph that will determine whether I publish his book, I'm probably not going to publish his book.

Keep it compelling. Submitting a proposal such as "I want to write a book about my experiences in the Disney College Program" is crisp, clear, and clean, but it needs a "because" at the end: "...because I've done X, Y, and Z, which no one else has done before, or which no else has presented in the way I'm going to present it." Now it's compelling, too.

About Theme Park Press

Theme Park Press is the world's leading independent publisher of books about the Disney company, its history, its films and animation, and its theme parks. We make the happiest books on earth!

Our catalog includes guidebooks, memoirs, fiction, popular history, scholarly works, family favorites, and many other titles written by Disney Legends, Disney animators and artists, Mouseketeers, Cast Members, historians, academics, executives, prominent bloggers, and talented first-time authors.

We love chatting about what we do: drop us a line, any time.

Theme Park Press Books

The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion The Ride Delegate 501 Ways to Make the Most of Your Walt Disney World Vacation The Cotton Candy Road Trip The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney Disney Destinies Disney Melodies The Happiest Workplace on Earth Storm over the Bay A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World: Volume 1 Mouse in Transition Mouseketeers Down Under Murder in the Magic Kingdom Walt Disney and the Promise of Progress City Service with Character Son of Faster Cheaper A Tale of Two Resorts I Saw Ariel Do a Keg Stand The Adventures of Young Walt Disney Death in the Tragic Kingdom Two Girls and a Mouse Tale Ears & Bubbles The Easy Guide 2015 Who's the Leader of the Club? Disney's Hollywood Studios Funny Animals Life in the Mouse House The Book of Mouse Disney's Grand Tour The Accidental Mouseketeer The Vault of Walt: Volume 1 The Vault of Walt: Volume 2 The Vault of Walt: Volume 3 Who's Afraid of the Song of the South? Amber Earns Her Ears Ema Earns Her Ears Sara Earns Her Ears Katie Earns Her Ears Brittany Earns Her Ears Walt's People: Volume 1 Walt's People: Volume 2 Walt's People: Volume 13 Walt's People: Volume 14 Walt's People: Volume 15

We're always in the market for new authors with great ideas. Or great authors with new ideas. Whichever type of author you are, we'd be happy to discuss your book. Before you contact us, however, please make sure you can answer "yes" to these threshold questions:

Is It Right for Us?

We specialize in books that have some connection to Disney or theme parks. Disney, of course, has become a broad topic, and encompasses not just theme parks and films but comic books, animation, and a big chunk of pop culture. Your book should fit into one (or more) of those broad categories.

Is It Going to Make Money?

There's never a guarantee that any book will make money, but certain types of books are less likely to do so than others. They include: hardcovers, books with color photos, and books that go on forever ("forever" as in 400+ pages). We won't automatically turn down these types of books, but you'll have to be a really good salesman to convince us.

Are You Great to Work With?

Writing books and publishing books should be fun. The last thing you want, and the last thing we want, is a contentious relationship. We work with authors who share our philosophy of no drama and zero attitude, and the desire for a respectful, realistic, mutually beneficial partnership.