MY HISTORY WITH THE COMPANY: I published my first book with Ambassador International in January 2012, and over the next four years, I released ten more with them. In 2016, I reclaimed my rights to my original four fiction books, leaving seven nonfiction with them. This decision was not a reflection of anything within the company or my experience with them. I merely wanted to become a hybrid author and use my first fiction series as the launching point. In 2017, I returned to Ambassador with my first children’s book.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ambassador International a self-publisher?
No. It is a small press publisher. They have staff that controls the process, similar to the Big 5, just on a much smaller scale. And while they allow their authors a lot of input into the process, they have final say on cover design, page layout, paper weight on print books, etc.
Will I have to purchase books to publish with Ambassador?
Maybe. You won’t know your contract terms until you submit your proposal. But keep in mind that if they do offer you a contract and if it includes a requirement to purchase books, the terms are always a negotiation process until both parties sign on the line. In other words, you can ask for different terms.
Additionally, whether your contract requires it or not, you will want some books yourself. First, it helps new authors start to get their mind wrapped around marketing, which is a HUGE adjustment for most of us. (Even big name authors with the biggest publishers do most of their own marketing these days.) You also want to have some on hand for book signings and speaking engagements, promotional giveaways, church/craft bazaars, gifts, and handouts to someone who just needs encouragement. (Plus, you can sell your own copies for whatever price you want— it’s easy to offer a special deal to close friends or host a holiday discount.)
Does Ambassador set reasonable prices for books?
Yes. Reputable publishers consider many costs when pricing books, including the costs to create, print, store, and ship the books, as well as the discounts that book retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble expect. Ultimately, publishers are businesses that must make money if they want to continue; they must charge a high enough price to cover their expenses (including author royalties) but not so high that books won’t sell. It’s a complex system of historical data and fickle readers, and everyone must make educated guesses. The prices I’ve seen from Ambassador are on par with what I’ve seen from other traditional and quality small press publishers.
Has your overall experience been positive?
Yes, absolutely, which is why I returned to them and submitted a proposal for my first children’s book. That doesn’t mean everything has always been great or easy. Yet no matter what, I’ve always been able to see that they strive to work together as a team—which includes me. When we didn’t see eye-to-eye, they were quick to set up a phone call between all applicable parties so we could talk together and find a solution we could all live with. When I’ve had questions, they are normally quick to respond (occasionally an email will get buried, but a second one normally solves that), and when I’ve come up with a strategy that I want to try, they are quick to jump on board if at all possible. The COO, who walks the book from acceptance to publication, has been willing to offer support—even to them designing magazine ads and bookmarks—when I’ve had a promotion or opportunity. And when I’ve found a new strategy through my reading or podcast listening, they are willing to learn more and consider it.