Book Publishing FAQ

It has always been the tradition in book publishing for literary agents to work for a percentage of monies earned by authors but not charge a fee. Such percentages typically range from 10% to 25%, based on the level of expertise or focus of the particular agent. This percentage means that, for example, a 15% agent’s fee will translate into a dedication of 15% from the author’s share of revenue from advance payments, royalties, foreign rights, subsidiary rights, movie rights etc. Such an arrangement typically lasts for the life of the book. Thus the agent becomes a lifelong partner.

Emersongroup however does charge a one-time flat fee for the purpose of developing, editing, reviewing its client author’s all-important book proposal, which every publisher requires. We also add the agent’s percentage to compensate us for the next stages of the process such as “shopping” a proposal to interested publishers, fielding offers on behalf of our client-author and negotiating the best possible publisher contract terms. A sliding scale ranges from a flat fee plus 15% up to a flat fee plus zero%.

Our objective is to see that your objective (of publishing a book) is achieved with our project management help, and in particular a book you can proudly hold in your hands and know you have joined a very exclusive club.

Why would I pay a fee to emersongroup when a traditional literary agent will work on my behalf at no charge?

When you hire us, we commit to finding you a publisher… period. Like any other fee-for-service, our program sets its sights on the reason you hired us, so we will do whatever it takes in order to achieve that objective, i.e., finding you a publisher who is enthusiastic about publishing your book.

Traditional agents however only make money when they sell your book to a high bidder. That sounds great for you in theory—“Hey, if they don’t find me a publisher, I don’t have to pay!”—but of course it has some unfortunate consequences if things don’t go as your agent hoped or planned. Think: “You get what you pay for.”

For example, should the publishers your traditional agent has targeted respond less enthusiastically about your book than your agent had expected (and trust us, this happens a LOT), then none of them will make a “contract offer” for your book. That means no money is forthcoming from any publisher, a development that seriously dampens your agent’s enthusiasm … for which you can’t blame them! After all, the way their income stream is set up, they have to literally “follow the money.”

So your project may then go on your agent’s back burner while he/she prioritizes other projects that ARE yielding enthusiastic responses (and presumably contract offers) from publishers. You however will still be under contract to your agent for the rest of your signed legal agreement (generally one year in length) even though not much (or nothing) is happening. Obviously if publishers are not forthcoming with an offer, your agent cannot afford to expend great amounts of time and energy and resources on your behalf.

If I hire you to find me a publisher, can you guarantee that you will find me one?

We CANNOT guarantee you that we will ultimately find you a publisher, though we do guarantee you (in writing) that we will do everything possible to do so. Landing a publisher depends on many factors beyond our control, the most important one being, in the final analysis, publishers themselves, not us, will be making the decisions to which no agent is privy. But since you have paid us a fee, your book will never go on the back burner. It is essential for the continued good health of our own business that we achieve results for you, for the reasons stated in the answer to the next question.

If I pay you a set fee, what motivation would you have for finding me a publisher?

Our business depends on excellent, positive word-of-mouth. Chances are good that you are reading this because someone told you about us, quite possibly a successful book author whom we helped get publish. Obviously we want to achieve this for you not only to make you happy but to cause you to refer your own friends and colleagues to us in the future. If we do not produce results for you, all you would be able to tell your friends about us is: “Well, they’re nice people, but I did pay them to find me a publisher but they never did.”

If however our results are good, you instead will say, enthusiastically, “Well, they’re nice people to work with AND they found me the perfect publisher!”

So what in fact is your success rate?

It’s actually pretty darn good! We can confidently boast that it’s higher than most, if not all, traditional literary agents. Over the years, we have serviced approximately 150 business book clients and located a publisher for every one of them. That’s a success rate of 100%. Should we not land a contract for you with McGraw-Hill or Wiley or Harvard Press (as examples), we will keep on looking for a publisher that may be lesser known but most likely just as good or possibly even better 2nd tier publisher.

And for those who have chosen to self-publish, we can also claim 100%. Our mission is to see that our book clients attain the proud moment of being able to hold their new book in their hands. We are relentless in our commitment to make that dream come true.

So what about self-publishing? I’ve heard that you feel that’s a worthwhile option.

People often think that finding a publisher is the only worthwhile way to get a book published. Frequently this is based on popular misconceptions of what they think a publisher will do for them. But the fact is that the ONLY good reason to land a publisher is if you’re seeking a certain level of credibility that comes with having a publisher put its name on your book’s binding. Otherwise, self-publishing offers a host of advantages including 99% of those that a “real” publisher offers, or claims to offer.

Click the link at the end of this paragraph to view a lively 4-minute video with our founder Ken Lizotte that reveals the six most popular MISCONCEPTIONS about book publishers. You may be surprised at what you THOUGHT publishers do but what they in fact do not do. Knowing this will help you better understand the disadvantages of having a publisher vs. self-publishing. Click here to access the video.

What about promoting my book? I will need to get the word out once my book is published.

We do also offer book promotion programs that we could build into your book publishing program or which you could customize from a menu of our various book promo services, such as speaking engagements, publicity, article-excerpts, eblast campaign, Amazon best-seller campaign, social media.

Though these programs require an additional fee, a short suite of initial book promotion tactics (eblast, press release, other) is included in our publishing programs to get your promotion efforts launched.

This is making sense to me. So how do I get started with your services?

You first need to decide if you wish to have us look for a publisher for you or help you self-publish. If you’re not sure, email us and request a copy of  Ken’s Chapter 7 in his book “The Expert’s Edge: Become the Go-To Authority People Turn To Every Time,” published by McGraw-Hill, which comprehensively lays out all the pros and cons. You can receive this chapter and/or a free consultation by contacting us at

Oh, almost forgot: what are your fees?

How much your particular project would cost depends on what kind of help you will specifically need from us, i.e., ghostwriting vs. editing, searching for a publisher, heavy editing vs. light editing, research assistance, help with focusing your book focus, help with self-publishing, etc. Fee range is 12-20K.

What’s the bottom line on my investment?

Our overall mission is to ensure that your book gets published and you can hold it proudly in your hands! Our success rate of 100% (see above) for achieving such a goal says it all.

So let’s get you published! For a complimentary, no-obligation, no-pressure chat, email us at

Dr. Karissa Thacker No avatar Management Psychologist
" I have found working with Ken and ​his ​team to be a true partnership. Emerson worked to help me reach my goal as if it were one of their own business goals.​ ​ They have been ​invaluable to me in navigating the ​book ​publishing process ​such that ​we were ​ultimately ​successful ​at​ landing a deal with Jossey Bass. "

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John Guaspari No avatar Employee Engagement Expert
" The Emerson team has been first-rate on all counts. As a result of the excellent work done by Ken and Elena, I had a choice of three publishers for my latest book. This gave me the luxury of choosing the one that was best-aligned with my goals and gave me the strongest sense that I would be a true partner to them as opposed to “yet another author. "

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Jim Edholm No avatar President - BBI Benefits, Inc.
" Visibility solves TONS of problems for us. The more we’re seen, the more believable we are. The more we’re seen, the greater credibility we have. The more we’re seen, the LESS we need to pursue them and the MORE they pursue us… it eliminates or reduces sales resistance... "

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Shelley Hall No avatar Principal & Managing Director - Catalytic Management
" Ken, without your support and expert advice, Catalytic Management would not have achieved such terrific growth. Every article solidified our reputation, garnered national speaking opportunities or generated leads. Credibility is everything to a consulting firm and your work to establish me as a thought leader has been invaluable. Not only is your support indispensible to our marketing efforts but you make it fun and painless. "

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Jay W. Vogt No avatar Founder - Peoplesworth
" Ken Lizotte and emerson consulting group have helped to keep my consulting practice healthy for the last several years...I’ve since recommended Ken and his team with enthusiasm to many colleagues who have asked me – How did you do this? "

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Karen Friedman No avatar President - Karen Friedman Enterprises, Inc.
" Thank you so much for your wisdom, insight and support during this process of seeking a publisher. Without your guidance, I would never have sealed the deal! Not only did you negotiate well on my behalf, but you understood the value of finding the right partner who would be the best fit for my long term goals. I couldn’t have done it without you. "

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Lewis Green No avatar Founder/CEO - L&G Business Solutions
" I hired Ken Lizotte to represent me and find a publisher for my fifth book “How to Grow a Business by Putting People First” (originally published as “Lead with Your Heart”). Ken came highly recommended by others who had hired him to help with their publishing and thought leader efforts. Although this was my fifth book and I had once earned a living as a free-lance writer, Ken’s sage advice made both my book and magazine articles better before he found a publishing outlet for them. If you strive to be a thought leader, I highly recommend you to hire Ken and his team. "

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Michael Shenkman, PhD No avatar Founder, President - Arch of Leadership, Professional Mentoring
" I have worked with Ken for nearly a decade. He is, without a doubt, my strategist in chief for my marketing communications strategy. I can’t count the number of ways he has opened my thinking to new approaches, new technologies and media for publishing, promotion and customer service. He does it all with modesty, which I really appreciate. I know when we meet or talk that something good, interesting, thoughtful and productive will ensue. Even though I am located in New Mexico, 2,500 miles away, his service is not in the least diminished. He is worth every penny I have spent with him and his team. Thanks, Ken. "

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Jim Mooradian No avatar Jim Mooradian and Associates, Inc.
" Publishing articles and getting quoted in the media are excellent for credibility. They are an important part of the process for landing new business. Ken’s team has helped us make this happen. "

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Steve Gareau No avatar Author - Building your Bridge to Sales $ucess
" I would never hesitate in recommending emerson consulting group inc. The staff is so attentive and responsive...Ken once said to me, "You’re a lot like me." I take that as an honor, to be in his company. I highly recommend Ken and his company and its excellent services. "

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Our Team
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Ken Lizotte CMC
Chief Imaginative Officer (CIO)
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Kate Victory Hannisian
Chief Editor
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Henry Stimpson APR
PR Czar
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Keith Long
Ghostwriter Supreme
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Elena Petricone
Deputy Imaginative Officer
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