Frequently asked questions


1. How do I submit my manuscript?
All manuscripts must me submitted in full in MS Word (.doc or .docx) format. No other format will be accepted. Images, tables and charts must be converted to a .png format, and must be no more than 120 mm wide and 196 mm high.

2. How do I respond to the final version of the manuscript that I receive from Silverfish? You’ll have to read through all the changes and comments, and either accept or reject them, before returning your manuscript to us. No changes will be allowed after that.

3. How do I arrange for a Face-to-face meeting?
By emailing the professional designated to you. You are allowed only two meetings of 60 min each. We suggest you use the meetings to clarify specific points after you receive the PDF galley. All changes must be in writing. Face-to-face meetings will take place at the office of Silverfish Books at the second floor of Bangsar Village 2, Bangsar Baru.

4. What is the PDF Galley?
The PDF Galley is the final version of the document that will be sent to you, after the page layout, before printing. This will be your last opportunity to make corrections and minor changes to  your document.

5. Will I get a refund if I abandon the project?
Before your manuscript is received and accepted you will be required to pay 50% of your invoice as a deposit. After this point, you will not get a refund if you abandon the project. You will have sufficient opportunities to make reasonable changes before it goes to print.

6. What is the cost of selling books in the shops?
The typical trade discount offered to bookstores that agree to accept your book(s) is 40%. (Expect some variance.) That is, you will be paid 60% for every book sold. But most shops don’t like to accept books from individuals (due to administrative difficulties) and, if they do, the books will be taken on consignment, and they will pay you only after the books are sold. Books not sold will be returned. and you will not be paid for them. Sometimes they will come back damaged and/or soiled, and that, after an entire year! Not all books need bookshops. We will advise you on a case by case basis, but the choice is yours.

7. Should I engage a nationwide distributor?
While we will introduce you to a nationwide distributor, do be careful. The distributor might be able to offer your books to all bookshops in the country, but that does not mean they will accept them, or that the books will sell. Again, beware. The books could come back after an entire year, soiled, damaged, or both, and you will not be paid for them. The normal trade discount for distribution will be 60% of the selling price, and the minimum period for bookstore placements through distributors will be 1 year.

8. How do I sell my books then?
If you are a member of a club or a social group, a teacher, a speaker, a counsellor, a family member, etc., it would be better for you to sell your books directly at events and gatherings you organise, speak or attend. (Minimise costs; use relatives and friends to help out. You should be willing to help them out too, if the roles are reversed.) Books are sold by personalities, so become one. The other way is by social media.

Proactive is the word. Get your book reviewed on Goodreads. (Newspapers and magazine reviews good if you have the jalan.) Many people will buy your book because they know you, or have heard of you, and that’s not a bad thing. No book will sell by simply sitting a shelf in a bookstore.

Many predatory online self-publishing companies will promise you sales of thousands on Amazon. It sounds glamourous, but reality is not so romantic. You will hardly sell any, and even when you do you'll receive only receive 10% royalty. This after paying for the entire printing cost. Please do the maths.

9. How long does will it take to publish and deliver the books?
Normally 6 months, tops.

10. Which imprint will my book carry?
Books published under all options will carry the Argent Press imprint, a wholly owned imprint of Silverfish Books.

11. What types of manuscript will we consider?
We will consider all manuscripts; poetry, genre fiction, self-help, business, motivation, personal biographies, graphic novels, etc. (in the trade Hardback/paperback formats). But, we will not publish offensive, inflammatory, libelous, copyrighted and illegal material. If any of these are found, and the author refuses to remove them, publication may be refused and and the initial deposit may be forfeited.

12. What governing laws will we follow?
We will be governed by the laws of the Federation of Malaysia.

Photo: Aztec art, pre Columbian. (Image from Pixabay.)