The Operating System is 100% committed to transparency in our practices — our infrastructure has been built for community use and is modeled as a collaborative publishing economy. We will never charge fees for contests or reading submissions. We have an open door policy for editorial / imprint initiatives and proposals, and are committed to Open Source skill and information sharing with authors, colleagues, and other organizations.
If these resources are useful to you, please disseminate and share them! We believe completely that when any part of the system becomes more intelligent, it benefits the entire ecology of our community. Why keep resources behind paywalls? That capital mindset threatens to be our undoing.
(However: we do still function in a world in which money is necessary, and we run a super agile organization with no institutional or private funding, so if you think these free resources are valuable please consider making a small donation for their use!)
Here you will find:

  • a basic onboarding / terms document which covers most information about publishing agreements with the OS, as well as a break down of how the finances of distribution, etc., work.
    (a.k.a. book/self promotion resources & FAQ’s) – **DOWNLOAD AS PDF**
  • OS awards and prizes policy
  • OS bookfair / conference / festival / AWP policy
  • planning events or a book tour? check out this list of bookstores in the US and Canada. also: bookstores get TONS of emails from presses! if you’d like these folks to carry your book, sending an email yourself is a great way to get that to happen!
  • looking for review outlets? the Poets & Writers database is an awesome resource! we will send announcements about your book to a range of publications, but the best way to get noticed is for you to work with your publisher (whether the OS or someone else) on contacting places that are a good match for your book in a more individual way than our press releases! small presses like ours don’t have the bandwidth to send personal emails to all possible reviewers, but you can!
  • How Do I Get Published” — poet, professor, and altogether kickass human Natalie Eilbert put together this terrific doc for her students and encouraged us to share it here with you. Great tips, much needed levity.
  • We also HIGHLY suggest you read this list of “10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing,” compiled by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, in 2016. These are essential statistics about the current state of the industry that any author should be familiar with as you enter into the next phase of your publishing and writing life, especially if this is your first book.
  • Behind the scenes of books that become commercially successful (and/or even contest winners) are a huge number of factors, almost all of them having to do with someone having the resources to get books visible and into hands. Some authors, even on small presses, have the means to hire a publicist. The standard numbers I’m seeing for this circa 2017-18 are around $3000-$5000 per month for a minimum of three months. You can read more about this (and get many other helpful marketing tips from former publicist Sandra Beckwith here at BuildBookBuzz, and we’re not being paid to say that — it’s just a helpful. illuminating site with lots of good info.)


1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

    Free shipping
    for orders over 50%