Frequently Asked Questions


Why is Legacy Isle Publishing a better value than other book publishing services?

We admit it—Legacy Isle’s services are not for everyone. Our services are aimed at the individuals, companies or groups who are seeking professional guidance from the ground up. If you have your written manuscript and you don’t know how to take the next step, we can help. Unlike other self-publishing services that will produce and print your manuscript as is, Legacy Isle accepts only authors who are interested in publishing a product of truly professional quality—a book that can stand next to any produced by a traditional publishing house.

Our editors will ensure you sound your best; our designers will help you project a polished, professional image. You don’t need to download special software or figure out how to place photos in template windows. We do the work so you don’t have to, and we pay special attention to the finer details of book publishing, such as adjusting line breaks, using proper Hawaiian diacritical marks and aligning images evenly. 

In addition, part of what you are paying for is the Legacy Isle Publishing imprint (using our brand on your book) to signal to readers and booksellers that your book has been edited and produced to a high standard.

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What factors contribute to the cost of a Legacy Isle package?

At Legacy Isle, we believe that it’s the content that makes a book, whether that book is published in print or released as an e-book. So we put a lot of time and resources into the editing and design process. Printing books on paper costs a good deal, but the costs that go into the editorial, design and production work are just as substantial; for smaller print runs, the work costs may even be higher than the printing costs. Our team pays diligent attention to the little things that make a polished book—fixing funny line breaks or misaligned photos, noticing you spelled your cousin Ann’s name “Anne” on page 12. Yes, you can self-publish for much less via other services, but you won’t find the same level of care. 

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Why doesn’t Legacy Isle publish all submitted manuscripts?

The Legacy Isle imprint stands for quality and expert guidance. When you publish with Legacy Isle, you have the assurance that your book is among excellent company. We reserve the right to reject works that we feel are defamatory, illicit or in poor taste. We may also decline a submission if the materials cannot be brought up to a professional standard; poorly scanned images or badly written content are hallmarks of inferior self-publishing services. Legacy Isle strives to eliminate criticism on those counts. We may request that a client resubmit or rework materials in order to meet our standard.  

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What kinds of books does Legacy Isle publish?

While we specialize in memoir and business titles, Legacy Isle titles may be any type of book. Some suggestions:

  • Personal memoirs or biographies
  • Family chronicles, ranging from detailed family histories to baby or wedding books to family reunion memory books or cookbooks
  • School or community projects—group histories, event memory books, cookbooks; these are ideal for fundraising purposes
  • Corporate histories
  • Business or educational books—how-to guides, advice books, teaching texts

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Will my book have a Legacy Isle Publishing logo on it?

All books published using Legacy Isle’s services include an acknowledgement on the copyright page indicating use of the Legacy Isle Publishing services and Legacy Isle’s copyright ownership of the book design.

The Legacy Isle logo is imprinted on the spine, back cover and title page of each book. This is a requirement for clients using our distribution services; such titles are registered with Legacy Isle Publishing as the official publisher of record. We cannot place a Legacy Isle logo or register the title under the Legacy Isle imprint if the book carries the client’s own ISBN.

Clients who are not using our distribution services may provide their own imprint logos and information, which we will position accordingly.

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How long does it take to publish through Legacy Isle?

If you are starting with a clean manuscript that does not require in-depth editing, a standard black-and-white Legacy Isle book will take approximately 3 to 4 months from submission of materials. That includes the time for copyediting, production, proofing (provided no major changes are required), printing and binding. Jobs requiring custom production or writing services may take an additional 4 to 6 months or more. Hardcover books or full-color books in large quantities also require additional shipping time of at least 10 weeks. Consult with your Job Coordinator for a specific timeline.

When planning a book release, be sure to keep in mind that transportation and stocking will add additional time if your book is meant to be available in bookstores or other retail outlets.

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What is an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and do I need one?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) identifies a book and certain information associated with it, including author, publisher and format. The ISBN is not associated with copyright registration; rather, it is a way of identifying a specific book. If you intend to market your book for retail sale (other than your own direct-to-customer sales) or acceptance by libraries, you will need an ISBN. (Most libraries also require a Library of Congress Control Number, or LCCN.) Some online retailers (like Amazon.com) do not require, but strongly encourage, you to have an ISBN.

If you are publishing through our Print-On-Demand Package, you are required to have an ISBN, which will be assigned to you as part of the package.

All Legacy Isle Distribution Clients automatically receive an ISBN and LCCN registered to Legacy Isle. Non-distribution clients who intend to market their book for retail sale should provide their own ISBN and/or LCCN. See our Resources Section for information on applying. Legacy Isle will generate a scannable barcode for client-provided ISBNs.

Each format of a book (e.g. softcover, hardcover, e-book) requires its own ISBN. If you intend to sell your book only through your own website or direct sales, an ISBN is not required. If you do not intend to sell your book at all, you do not need an ISBN, as the number’s primary function is to define what the book is and whom to contact to obtain it.

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Who owns the copyright on my book?

The copyright to the editorial content in your book, as well as any images you created, belongs to you. (Submit only work to which you have the rights.)

Copyright law also dictates that you must obtain the permission of any photographers or artists whose work you use, including quoting song lyrics or passages from other books. Stock art that you have purchased or artwork you have commissioned for the purposes of including in your book is permissible. Unless the creators of any works you are using have specified otherwise, the copyright to the work is retained by the creator and may require acknowledgement. We may ask you to provide proof that you have the right to reproduce copyrighted images or words in your book. Please be sure you fully understand the implications of the U.S. copyright system before including any work not created by you.

Legacy Isle makes no claim to your rights. We retain the copyright to the design of your book—if we have produced it for you with your own logo and ISBN registration, we grant you the right to reprint and distribute exact replicas, provided you acknowledge our design copyright; if the book carries our branding (logo, ISBN registered to Legacy Isle), you are not authorized to print replicas or provide the files to any third party publishers or printers.

For more information on general copyright law, please see our Resources Section.

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If I use Legacy Isle’s services, am I a self-published author?

Legacy Isle offers self-publishing services to our authors, meaning we provide the tools for you to publish your book. Because we have assembled this “tool kit” for you, with specific options, and because we require that our clients submit to our editorial and materials standards, it is not quite “true” self-publishing. Our model is often referred to as hybrid-publishing because the services are paid for, but the author does not handle most of the work directly and is subject to certain restrictions by the publisher. You can consider yourself a self-published author, although some self-publishing resources may draw a distinction between those authors who use publishing services such as Legacy Isle and those who do not.

What’s the difference? Independent self-published authors can publish exactly what and how they like, and also make their own arrangements to assemble all of the services (editing, design, printing) that we conveniently provide in a package. Legacy Isle clients recognize that contracting with us allows them to take advantage of our years of experience in the publishing industry, and are willing to accept our guidance.

Legacy Isle Distribution Clients (those who add our Distribution Services upgrade to their packages) are considered subsidy-published authors. This is because your book will be issued a Legacy Isle ISBN, identifying Legacy Isle as the book’s publisher of record, rather than identifying you as the publisher. However, we make no claim on your rights. As long as you remain a Legacy Isle Distribution Client, we will handle all the logistics of distribution, including communicating with the distributor(s) and fulfilling book orders. Legacy Isle will issue an initial press announcement regarding the release of your book; however, you are responsible for handling your own marketing and promotions. A subsidy author is much like a self-published author except that you do not need to handle operational logistics, such as applying to a distributor or managing and warehousing inventory.

A traditionally-published author has limited input on the editing and design of his or her book; these decisions are entirely the publisher’s prerogative. In a traditional publishing contract, the publisher assumes 100% of the costs to develop, publish and market the title and pays the author a royalty percentage on sales. Legacy Isle does not offer traditional publishing contracts

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Do I get to see a proof before you print my book?

How much editing will you do on my manuscript?

Clients will have the opportunity to proof their book at three stages during the process:

In the first stage, the manuscript is evaluated and edited by a professional editor. During this process, the work will be marked for basic copyediting attention (typographic errors, spelling, grammar, etc.) and also for style and clarity. The copyediting changes are non-negotiable (unless our editor has made an error in correction) and must be made. Changes made for style or clarity will be marked as “suggested” or “required.” We advise our clients to accept the suggestions of our editors; we hire them because they excel at what they do, and their job is to make your work clear, concise and polished.

What we won’t change: professional jargon (it is up to the client to ensure that professional jargon is used correctly); pidgin English or other instances where traditional spelling and grammar rules do not apply (as long as the use is intentional, appropriate and consistent). Clients who have selected our Distribution Services Upgrade may be required to make more changes than a non-distribution client; we have years of experience in producing books for the local market. Our goal is to ensure as much as possible that your book is a salable product; we want to see it succeed as much as you do, particularly if you are going the extra mile to engage our Distribution Services. Read our complete Editorial Policies section for more details. Clients will have the opportunity to review the editorial changes before the manuscript goes into layout.

The second stage of the proofing process is a layout proof. This is the client’s last chance to check the manuscript for errors and to confirm that the layout is correct. A client will receive a first layout proof and a follow-up confirmation proof (to confirm that requested changes were made correctly). Any additional proofing rounds required will incur an additional fee.

The final proof will be issued by the printer. This proof is only to catch errors in the printing process. Changes made at this stage will incur additional fees.

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Will I get a digital copy of my finished book?

Each Legacy Isle client will receive a digital download link of the finalized book file in layout as a PDF file. Each client will also receive both high-resolution and web-optimized JPEG versions of the front and back covers of their book. Clients who have used our image scanning service will receive high-resolution JPEGs of their scanned images.

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How do I get more copies of my book?

Each Legacy Isle package comes with a set number of copies included in the base price. At the time you order your package, you have the option of adding on additional copies. (You can add copies up until your book goes to press.) Once your book is printed, you can contact us to order additional copies; to offer the best balance of quantity and cost to our clients, we recommend a minimum order of 50 copies, so please plan carefully. You may request a quote for a lower quantity, but unless you are using our print-on-demand package, you will be paying a much steeper per-unit cost (often two to four times as much). We would be happy to consult with you to help you determine the appropriate number of copies for your needs.

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How do I get my book into bookstores?

Legacy Isle clients have the option of adding on our Distribution Services package. This service includes listing your titles with our local distributor (Booklines Hawaii, a division of The Islander Group), including the title in our own direct-to-consumer online store and sending out a New Release announcement to our contact list of Hawai‘i media and bookstores. We also offer the options to add listing with Amazon.com. Listing DOES NOT guarantee placement in bookstores or in-stock status at Amazon. Clients will need to generate their own marketing campaigns in order to generate customer interest, which drives bookstore sales. You will need to print enough copies of your book that we are able to meet potential demand from our distributors. We can advise you on determining the proper press run.

Participants in the Hali‘a Aloha program automatically have their books made available for online purchase through Bookshop.org, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Please read our complete Distribution Services information page for more details on using our services.

Several of our Legacy Isle authors have found success in working directly with local bookstores and other retailers, including places you might not think of for books (clothing stores, etc.). Others eschew bookstores and other traditional retailers and focus on direct sales to customers, either online, at events or through interest groups and community organizations.

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What if the bookstores run out of my book?

Or what if they don’t sell all the copies printed for retail sale?

If additional copies are requested for the retail market, the client may opt to print more books or decline. Legacy Isle will provide a candid assessment and advisory regarding reprinting. All copies printed for the retail market belong to the client until purchased by a consumer. This includes copies damaged in the normal course of business (shop wear and tear), which may be returned or disposed of, per client directive. At the end of the initial one-year distribution services contract period, Legacy Isle will return unsold copies to the client or advise the client regarding reprinting and continuing the contract for another term. At any time, the client may remove their book from retail distribution and receive all copies remaining in the Legacy Isle and/or the local distributor’s warehouse(s); copies may remain on bookstore shelves and/or at any out-of-state distributor. Please read our complete Distribution Services information page for more details.

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What about e-books?

All Legacy Isle publishing packages offer the option to add an e-book file to the package. Clients receive EPUB and MOBI files in the latest supported file version, as well as a PDF file. The files are optimized for iPad, Kindle and Nook devices; however, the EPUB files may be uploaded to any major e-book retailer or distribution service. A PDF can also be uploaded to these services, or distributed for end-users to download directly to their devices, although formatting may not render exactly as intended, depending on the device. We do not offer end-user support for uploading e-book files to distribution services.

E-book distribution is included in our Hali‘a Aloha program and our Print-on-Demand package. Clients who opt in to our Distribution Services may also add e-book distribution, however it is not the most economically advantageous option for authors.

Legacy Isle offers the following layout options for e-book files:

  • Standard Text Layout (images appear above and below text and may be color or black-and-white)
  • Image-Based Fixed-Layout (text and images are rendered as single pages; this preserves layout, but renders text unsearchable)
  • Text-Based Fixed-Layout (layout is preserved to appear exactly the same on any screen, but text and images are independent objects and text is searchable)

Both Fixed-Layout options can be viewed only on iPad or Kindle Fire.

For more information, please refer to the E-Book Services section of our website.

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I still have questions about publishing.

If your question hasn’t been covered in this list, please visit our Resources Section or our Legacy Isle Blog where you’ll find information and links to online resources covering book publishing and marketing. If you have a question specifically regarding Legacy Isle Publishing services, email us.

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