Publishing with Copernicus Healthcare
(click here for a downloadable .pdf version of this document)

Copernicus Healthcare gives authors a new opportunity to publish progressive work relevant to health policy, health care reform and the medical humanities. Our goal is to publish timely and important books that advance a paradigm shift to a fair and accountable health care system that puts patients and families before business and profits—whatever will lead to universal access for all Americans to affordable necessary care. While most large publishers are corporate-owned and carefully avoid dealing with these kinds of books that threaten the market-based system which is their bread and butter, we encourage the submission of book proposals that help educate the public and contribute to the necessary debate over policy alternatives. We also invite narrative book proposals that focus on the experiences of patients and families as they confront the problems of the current market-based system.

Our overall efforts should be focused on resolving the nation’s problems of access, cost, quality and equity of health care in America. This debate necessarily crosses disciplines, whether clinical, economic, social, political, ethical or moral.

The book publishing industry is in great turmoil at this time. A revolution has already occurred with the advent of eBooks and electronic publishing-on-demand (POD). Readership habits are changing rapidly, away from printed books toward eBooks. Amazon is the leader in ebooks with its Kindle™, and now sells more eBooks than print books. Traditional methods of printing and distribution to bookstores are threatened by these trends. POD is a method of publishing that provides rapid initial printing and distribution of books as well as easy re-ordering of additional books as sales require. Many of the traditional problems of warehousing and returns of printed books are avoided. Moreover, POD offers publishers and authors an automated system for tracking sales, costs and revenues.

Copernicus Healthcare offers the lowest price for every book published. Direct Distribution (author) prices are roughly 1/4 - 1/3 of the cover price. As an example, my latest book, Health Care Wars: How market Ideology and Corporate Power are Killing Americans ( 234 pages) costs me about $6.00 per book for printing, shipping and handling. Authors get additional discounts based on the number ordered.

The Copernicus Production Team

Copernicus Healthcare (CHC) has an experienced production team that has worked together for more than ten years. W. Bruce Conway, an award-winning designer and publisher in his own right, has handled the book design (cover and interior), illustration, preparation of graphics, and typesetting for my six books that were published by Common Courage Press (CCP) as well as my last two books published by Copernicus Healthcare.

He has worked as an ePublisher for over fifteen years, and has expertise in web design and eBook production. Copernicus also has an in-house proof-reader and editor available. Another team member is Carolyn Acheson, a professional book indexer in Edmonds, WA.

Copernicus Advisory Team

For consultation and peer review, Copernicus Healthcare works with these advisors around the country, all leaders in health policy, health care reform and the Medical Humanities:

  • Howard Brody, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston and author of Stories of Sickness.
  • Joshua Freeman, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Family Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, MO.
  • David Himmelstein, M.D. and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., co-founders of PNHP in 1989 and prodigious activists, researchers, writers, and consultants in health policy since that time.
  • Don McCanne, M.D., former president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and author of the well-established Quote-of-the-Day (pnhp.org/news/quote_of_the_day.php)
  • Robert Stone, M.D., emergency physician in Bloomington, Indiana and Director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan.

Submitting a Book Proposal

There are several importants steps to complete when submitting a book proposal to Copernicus Healthcare. These steps are outlined below.

1. Submit an Author's Brief. This information is confidential. It gives us an overview of the particulars of your book. Included are: contact information, proposed book title, format of book desired (print and/or eBook), your credentials, and most importantly a synopsis of the book's contents.

2. Send your Author's Brief, with a copy of your Curriculum Vitae to jgeyman@uw.edu, or FAX it to 360-378-6156.

3. Your proposal will undergo peer review. We will get back to you as soon as possible concerning its acceptance.

4. If accepted, a contract will be sent to you that outlines the responsibilities and expectations of both you as the author and Copernicus Healthcare.

Click Here to download a .pdf copy of the Author's Brief.

Submitting Your Completed Book Manuscript

These guidelines will help you to transmit your completed, fully edited book manuscript to Copernicus Healthcare in a form that will be most readily converted into a printer-ready book. Careful attention to each step will increase the efficiency and reduce costs of this entire process.

  1. Submit a copy of your edited and proofread manuscript to John Geyman, M.D. at jgeyman@uw.edu.
  2. The manuscript may be in PC or Mac digital format (MS Word 2004 is preferred, but may be in MS 2008, WordPerfect, Apple Pages or another standard word processing program)
  3. Document should be saved in Rich Text Format (RTF), a “save” option for all word processor programs.
  4. Your digital manuscript can be submitted on CD, DVD, USB flash drive, or can be emailed as an attachment to admin@copernicus-healthcare.org., or you can send it snail mail on CD, DVD or USB Flash Drive to: Copernicus Healthcare, 34 Oak Hill Drive, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
  5. The finished manuscript should be separated into front matter and individual chapters.
  6. Supporting references may be included at the end of chapters or as end notes by chapter at the end of the book.
  7. Standard manuscript fonts should be used, such as Times Roman, Times New Roman, Garamond or others; avoid using fonts with city names, such as Geneva or Monaco.  
  8. Note in the text where supporting tables and figures should be inserted.
  9. Tables and figures should be submitted in digital format (jpeg, jpg, tif, tiff, or eps file formats).
  10. These examples illustrate the reference styles we prefer:

    • For journal articles: 1. Margolius, D, Bodenheimer, T. Transforming primary care: from past practice to the practice of the future. Health Affairs 29 (5): 779-84. 2010.

    • For books: 1. Reich, RB. Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010, p 20.

    • For reports: 1. Co-Chairs’ Summary of the Conference. Who will provide primary care and how will they be trained? New York. Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 2010.

    Other suggestions to streamline the process:

    1.     Regardless of how perfect a manuscript may appear to the author on screen, excessive formatting, use of tabs and extra spaces can cause major problems when the manuscript is moved to a page layout program.

    2.     Do not attempt to lay out the book yourself with complex formatting, tables and multiple typefaces (that is the book designer’s job, and could lead to costly revisions).

    3.     Stick to basic word processing formatting for italics, paragraph returns, indents, left and center alignment.

    4.     Avoid using multiple spaces to indent paragraphs; instead, use the tab/indent control bar to set your automatic paragraph indent.

    5.     Avoid other formatting that will have to be removed later, such as inserting page breaks, headers, footers and automatic page numbering.

    6.     Suggested ideas for the cover can be sent on either paper or in digital format on CD, USB flash drive or DVD; if digital, it should be in Photoshop .psd, Illustrator .ai or Freehand .fh formats.

    7.     When the final pre-publication manuscript is sent to Copernicus, authors are encouraged to prepare their own mockup advance copies for distribution to selected commentators ("blurbers") for their endorsements, whose comments will accompany the final book, either on the cover or in front matter.

    8.     Authors are also expected to obtain all necessary permissions to use copyrighted materials and send them to Copernicus Healthcare as soon as all are signed. A suggested permission request form can be downloaded from the Copernicus Healthcare website.

    Publicity and Promotion

    As you well know, writing your book is hard. But promoting your book to a wide readership is even harder! In the traditional print book industry of the past, new authors hoped that their publisher would facilitate this process, but it has always been challenging. Today’s book industry, with a growing dominance of publish-on-demand, self-publishing and ebooks, opens up new opportunities and challenges to get new books out to potential readers.

    Here at Copernicus, promotion and publicity is a team effort with authors. We have an expanding database of professional organizations, potential journals to review books, and opinion leaders across many areas of health care and the medical humanities. As an author, you know your field and anticipated readership better than Copernicus, so we depend on your suggested additions to our database. The staff at Copernicus will help you to target your promotional efforts to that readership.

    The contact fields should be in this format: First Name, Last Name, street address, city, state, zip code, country, and email address (see example below)

    Joe Copernicus
    333 Park Avenue.
    New York, NY 12547

    All contacts submitted to Copernicus are confidential, and will only be used to promote the books of Copernicus authors. Your email addresses will not be outsourced.

    In addition to contributing to the Copernicus database, authors are encouraged to become involved with all aspects of promotion. Copernicus has created a promotion and publicity guide to help our authors. Copernicus Healthcare Author Book Promotion Guide, which is part of our Author's Orientation

    Here are some useful approaches to consider in launching your book:

    1. In most instances today, we recommend that you publish your book in both print and ebook formats. This can get your book to market sooner than waiting for bookstores to launch your book on their schedules. If your book is in both formats, it can be put into distribution through Amazon and Ingram without delay.

    2. Copernicus staff can help you design a flier for your book, including a color picture of its cover, the table of contents, reviewer comments, ISBN number, Copyright, Library of Congress number, price and availability.

    3. With your input, Copernicus will design a press release for your book, whether for print and/or ebook.

    4. You should prepare a list of organizations, journals and opinion leaders in your subject area to receive a complimentary copy of your book. You may want to send some advance copies to individuals with a request to write a “blurb” for the final copy.

    5. Consider future meetings over the coming year in your field that may be appropriate venues to promote your book, perhaps by giving a talk, a reading, and/or including your book at an exhibit booth for new books.

    6. You may also find a radio interview helpful in broadening public awareness of your new book.

    7. Copernicus works with both Amazon (for both print and ebooks) and Ingram (for distribution to book stores). Lightning Source provides copies as needed to both Amazon and Ingram as your book progresses in the market. Readers’ comments submitted to Amazon can be helpful in promoting your book.

    8. In addition to the above, you may want to consider investing in a promotional effort by a national publicity group. One example is the Jenkins Group, which advertises its capacity to send your press release to as many as 34,000 librarians, 3,200 bookstores, and 1,000 book reviewers in the U.S. and Canada. (www.ssg@bookpublishing.com).

    9. Other ideas for promoting your book to bookstores and other venues in your local and regional area are included in Copernicus's Self-Publishing and Publicity Guide (available upon request).