What does Thought Catalog Books stand for?

Thought Catalog Books merges the best aspects of self-publishing (speed, creative control) with the best aspects of traditional publishing houses (resources, scale). We’re dedicated to bringing the best of both worlds to our writers. For us, book publishing is more than a business—it’s a calling. We do it to empower writers we love and help them further their vision.

Will Thought Catalog Books publish anyone?

Although Thought Catalog prides itself on being a post-editorial and completely open platform, due to the laborious process of book publishing, we can only accept a limited number of manuscripts. However, if you are already an active Thought Catalog contributor and civil, we will do our best to figure out a way to publish your book.


What do your contracts look like?

The contracts are simple. For digital books, we take 60% of the proceeds and give you 40%. Except in extreme cases, we don’t negotiate or make any changes to our agreement. This is designed to help streamline our workflow and yours. The contracts are already as liberal as we can make them, and ready-made so we can get to work on your book.

What does the reference in your contract to the FTC’s endorsement guides (16 CFR Part 255) mean?

Suppose you meet someone who raves about a great new product. Would that endorsement factor into your decision to buy the product? Probably. Now suppose you find out that person has been paid to tout the product. Would you want to know that? You bet. That’s the basic premise behind the FTC’s endorsement guides. If there is a connection between the endorser and the marketer of a product that would affect how people would evaluate the endorsement, it should be disclosed. You can learn more at the FTC website.

Sales + Marketing

What are the advantages of publishing through Thought Catalog Books?

We handle the typical fees and work associated with publishing like production work, design, distribution, and so on. Additionally, our staff is experienced in both traditional book publishing and new media, allowing us to provide optimal support for your title. Perhaps most importantly: Thought Catalog and our parent company, The Thought & Expression Co., reach over 40 million people every month so we have unprecedented access to market your book to book buyers

How many copies will my book sell?

It might sell 6 copies. It might sell 100,000 copies. Or maybe it will become the next Harry Potter or Catcher In The Rye. It all depends on the subject matter, reading trends, and to a certain extent, luck. This isn’t unique to Thought Catalog Books, for the most part, it’s just book publishing: A lot of books don’t sell, some find moderate success, and a lucky few are blockbusters.

What specifically will you do to help market my book?

We have laser-focused marketing strategies. We cut out the noise and just focus on the stuff that generates real results. Some of the more advantageous stuff we do for most of our titles are below.

  • We work to get you great placement with the retailers.  We nominate your book for promotional placement on Amazon and iBooks, and occasionally other indie retailers
  • We put advertisements for your book on relevant Thought Catalog posts. Thought Catalog receives over 40 million unique visitors every month and when publish articles, even if they are not written by you, that are relevant to your work we will throw up an ad there for promoting your book.  For the bulk of our titles, this strategy drives great results because it targets a very specific audience with interest and possibly purchase intent
  • We optimize your metadata. We spend a lot of time improving your book description (this should include key search terms and be as descriptive as possible), BISAC categories, price analysis, and book keywords. This data matters because it’s the portal to your book when people are searching the web.
  • We will help you publish articles on Thought Catalog.  There is no better way to sell your book then to start contributing to Thought Catalog regularly. You expose yourself to our audience and when you win over a reader, they’re more apt than anyone else to purchase your book. You can do this with other sites too, just be sure to ask your editor if you can plug the book somewhere. If you don’t have time to contribute original articles, we often excerpt parts of your book.


How long does my manuscript need to be? Is there a maximum word count?

We’ve found that books with word counts between 7,000-30,000 work well for our publishing model. However, we also publish full-length books so the 30,000 word count is not the maximum.

How long will it take to publish my book?

We work quickly, so if you send us a fully completed manuscript, we can publish it in less than a month usually. However, it varies case by case depending on editorial feedback (if requested), and other variables such as cover design, etc.

Do you publish print books?

Yes. We have an extensive network of print partners and can work with you on the best approach for your project.

When do I receive royalties?

Thought Catalog Books sends out royalty checks four times a year. Checks are mailed on the following dates and should arrive within 12 business days after they have been mailed.

  • February 15 (royalties collected in October, November and December)
  • May 15  (royalties collected in January, February and March)
  • August 15 (royalties collected in April, May and June)
  • November 15 (royalties collected in July, August and September)

Any payments due to you which are less than $150.00 will be retained by us until the payment due to you is at least $150.00.

I have moved and have a new address. Who should I contact about my updated postal address?

Email operations@thoughtcatalog.com and they will update your address.

Do you accept manuscripts from agents?

Every year we publish a few marquee titles from agented authors. This is a special program and agents should reach out directly to Alex Zulauf for additional information.