The Story Center has been serving print-on-demand customers with its Espresso Book Machine since 2013 and publishing titles through the Library's publishing imprint, the Woodneath Press, since 2014. The Woodneath Press serves the greater metropolitan area of Kansas City, Missouri, and publishes scholarly, literary, and general interest books on many subjects and in various genres.
In order to be considered for publication with the Woodneath Press, at least one of two geographic criteria must be met. Either:
- Local Author: The author must reside in one of MCPL’s reciprocal public library systems.
- Local Content: If the author resides outside of the above-mentioned region, the Woodneath Press would consider submissions regarding content within the aforementioned Kansas City metro area.
If the author/manuscript meets the geographic guidelines, then they must submit the following items as part of their publishing packet. These items must be submitted in both an editable electronic format (i.e. Word, .doc, .docx, etc.) as well as a hard copy. Manuscripts will not be reviewed until all items have been submitted:
- Query letter: explains why WN Press should publish the work.
- If nonfiction, explains author’s credentials in addition to what the book is about.
- If fiction, explains what the book is about.
- Proof of professional editing: goes beyond only copyediting, such as developmental editing. Shows the author had the work evaluated and critiqued and made appropriate changes to improve the work. This ensures that the work has value and quality.
- Clean copy of the manuscript: for The Story Center and MCPL to review.
- Reviews: of the current work being submitted or previous work by the author.
- Business/marketing plan: of the author to sell and market the book.
Note: Submitting all required criteria to the library for publication of a work does not guarantee that it will be published by the library or its imprint.
Additionally, any supportive documentation must be submitted with the publishing packet for consideration. All documentation must be submitted in writing, and may include (but is not limited to):
- Licensing for photos, images, illustrations, etc.
- Permissions for written excerpts (including but not limited to newspaper/magazine articles)
- Support from a recognized historical organization speaking to the accuracy of the work
- Anything further the Woodneath Press deems necessary to assist in the publishing decision.
Quality and Scope
Once it’s been decided that a publication meets the requirements for publishing with the Woodneath Press, there are two overarching criteria being evaluated within the manuscript: Quality and Scope. These criteria are measured in the following ways:
- What is the community impact?
- Is it marketable? Does it lend itself to programming?
- Is there an audience?
- Does it fit the mission of The Story Center and MCPL?
Ways to Submit
Woodneath Press will receive submissions in one of three ways (listed below). In the case of multiple submissions, preference will be given in the following order:
- Story Center Certification
- In conjunction with a partner organization
- Unsolicited submissions
The Woodneath Press will accept submissions on a quarterly basis. Final decisions will be made and authors notified no later than two months following:
- Q1: Submission accepted July 1 – September 30
Final decisions made and authors notified no later than December 1
- Q2: Submissions accepted October 1 – December 30
Final decisions made and authors notified no later than March 1
- Q3: Submissions accepted January 1 – March 30
Final decisions made and authors notified no later than June 1
- Q4: Submissions accepted April 1 – June 30
Final decisions made and authors notified no later than September 1
A maximum of two submissions will be accepted each quarter. If three or more submissions are deemed acceptable within a given quarter, the top two based on order of preference will be accepted within that quarter and the additional manuscripts will be placed on the next quarter’s publication cycle and so on.
Other Book Requirements
Submission rubric (these three points apply to all submissions regardless of genre):
- Priority of submissions: certification participants, MCPL service area, greater KC metro
- Grammar, punctuation, syntax
- Content, flow, ease of read, engaging/interesting
Children’s book submissions:
- Age appropriate a) content, b) vocabulary, c) illustrations
- Consistent quality of illustrations
Nonfiction book submissions:
- Sources sited, facts verified/curated, licensing secured for images, etc.
Fiction book submissions:
- Identifiable genre/audience
- Length (word count and/or pages) for audience
Once a manuscript has been accepted, the Woodneath Press will implement a six-month publication timeline with the book release scheduled at the end of the six-month period.