FAQ

Questions About Purchasing:

How long does it take to process my order?
What is your return policy?
How much money do you donate back to rescue groups from each book?

Questions About Submitting Stories:

Why do you only accept stories about adopted dogs and cats for the Lost Souls: FOUND! series?
Why should I submit a story?
What should my story be about? 
How long should my story be?
Will my story be edited?
When should I submit my story?
How do I submit my story?
What format should I submit my story in?
Should I submit a picture of my dog or cat?
What if my dog or cat is a mixed breed?
What if I’ve never written a story for publishing before?
What if my dog or cat was found as a stray?
If I submit a story will it definitely be published?
When will I know whether my story is included in a book?
When will my story be published?
Will my story say my name or be anonymous?
Will I get to read my story after it is edited?
How will I be compensated for my story?

Questions About Becoming a Rescue Partner:
How do we become a rescue partner?
What does a rescue partner do?
Is there a charge to participate?
Do we collect the stories?
What if someone submits a bad story about us?
Can the stories submitted be used on my rescue group’s website?
When do we receive our donation?
How is the donation divided?
Can we sell the books through our website?

 

Purchasing

How long does it take to process my order? It depends! We are constantly checking our emails and orders. If you pre-order, there will be information available about when you should expect your book. If you order a book that is already in print, it should take no long than one to two weeks for standard shipping.

What is your return policy? Please visit our Policies page for information about our return policy. If you have a return, there is a form on that page to fill out so that we can process it for you. Basically, we offer a 15 day return policy on paperback books, T-shirts, and stationery, as long items are in their original condition. In most cases, the buyer is responsible for return freight, but we will not charge you a restocking fee. All eBook sales are final. Sales of clearance items are final.

How much money do you donate back to rescue groups from each book? Our target is to donate 25% of net profits back to animal rescue groups, but often we donate much more (closer to 50%!). We donate a lump sum bi-annually divided between each group that is designated by shoppers in the checkout form. Money for rescues receiving more than $20 is distributed immediately; money for rescues receiving less is held until the following period. If a rescue accrues less than $10 in a one-year period, that money goes back into the donation pool and is distributed to other organizations.

Story Submission

Why do you only accept stories about adopted animals for the Lost Souls: FOUND! series? The purpose of these books is to entertain animal lovers AND educate people about animal welfare. We want to enlighten people about breed characteristics and encourage adoption. We do not condemn responsible private breeders who care for their dogs. We do, however, STRONGLY OPPOSE puppy mills, backyard breeders, and pet stores that sell sick, uncared for dogs and perpetuate animal suffering.

Why should I submit a story? SO YOUR DOG OR CAT CAN BE A ROCK STAR! Also, sharing your pet’s “tail” will help reduce animal cruelty by sharing the joys of animal adoption with people who may have otherwise gone to a pet store or disreputable breeder. The number of people who don’t know about puppy mills and adoption options is shocking. They need to hear from you! For those of us who are already “in the know,” your story is inspirational and comforting. Additionally, each book sale results in a donation to animal rescue efforts. YOUR STORY IS IMPORTANT; please share it with us!

What should my story be about? Tell us your cat or dog’s sad history and happy future, something funny that he/she does, his/her favorite recipe, a story involving your kids and pets, reasons why you love your cat or dog…whatever you would like to share! The best stories are emotional and have a clear point. For a story examples, please click on the preview links below each book description on the respective book pages. We are often asked if people can send in stories about their foster dogs and cats, and the answer is YES!

Please do not include specific dates or people’s names unless they are integral to the story. We usually do not include years in the book so that the book has more of a timeless quality, and we omit people’s names unless they are essential to the story because these books are meant to focus on the dogs. We do, however, make exceptions at times when dates and names seem completely necessary to the meaning of the story.

How long should my story be? To be considered for a feature, your story should be between 500-1200 words. Please do not exceed 1200 words or your story will be sent back to you. We simply don’t have time or space to edit longer stories. We also welcome even shorter stories, including a few sentences about health/behavioral challenges and how they were solved or something cute or funny your pet did usually makes it into the book.

Will my story be edited? Most likely your story will be edited to some degree. Some stories require heavy editing, and others don’t need much at all. We do our best to maintain accuracy and tone but at times are required to remove, add, or embellish content. By submitting a story you must accept these terms.

When should I submit my story? The sooner the better!

How do I submit my story? Please fill out the form on our “Share a Tail” page. Contact us if you’re having trouble with the form.

What format should I submit my story in? Again, we prefer that you submit your story using the “Share a Tail” form. If you must email your story, any text computer document (especially .doc, .rtf, and .txt) work well. Please do not send a .pdf or fax us a copy of your story.

Should I submit a picture of my dog or cat? If your story gets published, we would like to include a picture of your dog or cat. However, there is no need to submit a picture until we contact you to confirm that your dog or cat will be included in a book. If your pet is accepted, please submit a picture that is high resolution and clear. It will be printed in the book as a black and white photo that is about 4.5″W x 3″H. The best pictures do not have a busy background. We will crop and edit your photo for you, but remember, whatever you send us is the face of your story. Keep that in mind as you select a picture that you feel will help your story to shine!

What if my dog or cat is a mixed-breed? Send a story about him/her over! In the submission form, please indicate your dog’s dominant breed first so we know which book to include him/her in. We don’t currently separate cat books by breed.

What if I’ve never written a story for publishing before? No problem! Give it a try or just provide us with an outline. As long as it is interesting and there is a clear point we’ll be happy to help you format your story.

What if my dog or cat was found as a stray? Whether your dog/cat came off the streets, from a shelter, or from a rescue group, you saved him/her! We want to hear your story.

If I submit a story, will it definitely be published? Submitting a story does not guarantee it will be published. After receiving your story, we will review it and get back to you to let you know if it will be included. Many of the stories we receive require editing and additional inquiry. If we include your story we reserve the right to edit it for clarity and flow.

When will I know whether my story is included in a book? We will contact you right before the book goes to print. This can be a few weeks or a few years away, depending on what book you are submitting for. Sit tight… We won’t forget you!

When will my story be published? We are currently working on books for many different breeds. The publishing date depends on the volume of stories we receive about that specific breed. Do not panic if you don’t hear from us right away. We receive all stories submitted through our website but only contact authors once we start working on a suitable book for their animal(s).

Will my story say my name or be anonymous? It’s up to you! When you submit your story you can select whether it will be published using your name or anonymously. The majority of authors prefer to use their name. We do not include any geographic information along with your name unless you included it in your story.

Will I get to read my story after it is edited? If you would like to read your story before it is published, we are happy to provide it to you. Once you receive an author acceptance announcement please just email us requesting your edit.

How will I be compensated for my story? Your compensation is the satisfaction of having your dog or cat made famous in a book, the good feeling you will get from helping to raise awareness about rescue and adoption, the knowledge that a portion of book sales will be donated to rescue groups, and, of course, our greatest appreciation!

By submitting a story and/or images of your dog or cat you acknowledge your consent for Happy Tails Books to publish it without providing you with monetary compensation.

Rescue Partners

How do we become a rescue partner? Please visit our Rescue Partners page for instructions. Any reputable rescue group with animals available for adoption is welcome to ask their members to submit stories for the books. To be a rescue partner, you must pass a website screening to ensure you have adoptable animals and good standing in the eyes of your community, and agree to be an active participant in our story collection drives and fundraising drives. After all, we’re trying to raise awareness and money for YOU! We do not discriminate between large and small groups – we want to help both. We reserve the right to accept or decline any rescue organization for any reason and to terminate rescue partner agreements at any time.

What does a rescue partner do? A rescue partner helps us collect stories for upcoming books by letting their members know about this opportunity. Members are generally very receptive to the idea and are excited to submit stories. We compile many books each year, and each book takes an average of three months. During those three months, we work closely with our rescue partners to provide them with information to share with group members. We support our rescue partners however we can.

Is there a charge to participate? No, there is no charge to participate. The idea is that we give money to you!

Do we collect the stories? Our rescue partners are not responsible for collecting stories from their members. Happy Tails Books prefers that you encourage your members to submit their stories directly through our “Share a “Tail” page.

What if someone submits a bad story about us? The point of this book project is to support dog rescue efforts and to present a positive (yet realistic) view of adopted animals. If we receive a large number of correspondences about your group that are negative, we reserve the right to discontinue our relationship with you. This rarely happens, however, as we try to thoroughly investigate each rescue partner before diving into a relationship. Most people who submit stories are very satisfied with their experience regarding the rescue group. Those who aren’t tend not to participate in this kind of effort. If we were to receive something negative about your group we would not publish it, and as a courtesy we would let you know about it.

Can the stories submitted be used on my rescue group’s website? YES! We encourage you to share the stories published in the book on your rescue group’s website. Please simply write us for permission to avoid any copyright issues, and print “This story was published in “Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About ….” Find more information at http://happytailsbooks.com” at the top of the story.

When do we receive our donation? Donations are distributed twice a year. They are based on stories submitted and books sold to people associated with your group. We will hold donations that are less than $20 until the next donation period. Donations of more than $20 will be distributed in the period they were earned. The reason for this is that we donate to many rescues (often more than 100 each period) and it is too cumbersome to distribute donations of less than $20 each time. If you accrue less than $10 in a year, that money will go back into the donation pool and be distributed to other organizations.

How is the donation divided? For each book sold to someone associated with your group and each story submitted by someone associated with your rescue, you will earn points. At the end of the year those points turn into a percentage of our annual donation. For example, if our donation amount was $5,000, and the total number of point we handed out was 1000, with 50 of those points being yours, you would receive $250. We reserve the right to donate more than the earned amount to any organization that is part of our program. We will never donate less than the earned amount.

Can we sell the books through our website? Yes! We hope you will! We ask that you encourage your members to buy books from us during the pre-sale period to help us cover the printing costs. The pre-sale period lasts 1-2 months. After that period, we will offer your group the ability to buy the books at less-than wholesale prices.