Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
I just came across your post and would be happy to shed some light on this discussion. I have been with Universal Publishers since 1999. We publish nonfiction, how-to, and academic books, with over 1000 titles in print. We profit from book sales, not author fees. Some authors do pay for manuscript prepress, such as layout and graphic art. Any funds that remain are used to subsidize the setup costs for those who do not pay.

This model allows us to support authors who might not otherwise have an opportunity to bring their work to market. For example, sometimes we receive a well-written manuscript that we would be happy to publish but are not confident that the book will sell enough copies to cover the cost to get the book to market. Rather than reject it, we may offer to publish if the author is willing to cover some of the setup costs. This often occurs when a book appears to be difficult to market, either because there are already many books on the same topic, the audience is expensive to reach, or the author is new to the field and has limited opportunities to promote their book. In the publishing world, these are usually good indicators of a difficult publication, however, many of these titles are among our most successful. If a fee is necessary, it usually takes about 200-300 book sales to recover in royalties.
I am glad this model works for you, but it's still not something I'd recommend. If a publisher doesn't think it can sell a book effectively, it is not the best publisher for that book.