As-salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you), Dear Readers...

NEW for September 18, 2016:

This blog has MOVED to the Muslim Writers Club, a new website dedicated to all of your writing needs.

Here are some of the pages you will find on the new site:

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Hope to see you at the new site, Insha'Allah!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Q&A: Lack of Funds for Publishing

Question (submitted via e-mail):

I am writing a book about Islam and mental health. I do not have enough money to get it published. Insha'Allah you can help me in this regard.


As-salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you), and thank you for your letter.

It is a pretty common misconception that you need money in order to get a book published. In fact, assuming that you will attempt to have your book "traditionally" published, that's not the way it works at all. A traditional publisher will pay you for the privilege of publishing your work...not the other way around! A traditional publisher will also typically bear the expenses of editing, formatting, illustrating, printing and marketing your book.

If, on the other hand, you are planning to "self-publish," you will be the one responsible for all of the above. There is also "subsidy" or "vanity" publishing, which is generally very expensive and undesirable for many reasons.

Mental health is a hot topic among Muslim readers, so, provided that you have written an interesting, well-researched book, you will probably be able to find a traditional publisher to publish your work, especially if you have specialized credentials in the field you are writing about.

To get started, please see this list of traditional Muslim publishers and submission guidelines.

Also read: Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing

And: Finding a Publisher for my Novel

Although the last resource listed above deals specifically with novels, much of the advice about scams and money also applies to works of non-fiction. The most important thing is to understand how the whole process works before signing a contract or getting involved with any specific publisher (traditional or otherwise).

Amel S. Abdullah

Do you have a question you’d like to see answered on this blog? Post it here, or send it to me via e-mail. All questions sent via e-mail will be posted anonymously (unless you request otherwise). Click here for an index of all questions answered on this blog.

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This blog is maintained by Amel Abdullah, a freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator.