buy back deal

by rebecca dallas
6th October 2021

I have been offered a 'buy back deal' by a publisher for a non fiction cookery book- I have to buy 2000 books at a 50% discount and they will pay for all origination and production costs, photographer, designer, copy editor, printing. I get an advance on royalties in 4 instalments of 10K. I believe that for the price point suggested for the book I will pay up front 26K which with the full advance would mean I had paid 16K to get the book published. Is this a bad idea? Am I better going down the route of assisted self publishing and how can I be sure to get a reputable organisation? Thanks


I can only agree with Clare and repeat what others have said to me: If a publisher asks you up front for thousands of pounds before they'll publish your book, there's no real incentive for them to invest THEIR money in promoting it! They'll already have made their profit (from you) and it'll be up to you to promote it - which should be one of the jobs of any reputable publisher.

Are you going to be able to sell 2,000 copies of your book to friends and family (or via your own website or market stall)? If not, don't count on these publishers to sell any for you.

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Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

Hi Rebecca,
Although I don't know the publisher who is offering this, we do believe that you absolutely shouldn't have to pay up front to get your book published, especially when it is such a life-changing amount of money, like 26K.

If you are looking for reputable self-publishers, I'd really recommend looking at/joining the Alliance of Independent Authors:

They are a professional member organisation who offer expert advice and are a great community for independent authors. who navigate such tricky - and potentially harmful - situations.

I hope this helps!

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