How Do I Choose a Book Publisher? Choose Someone from the Heart
I started writing professionally 20 years ago. Since then, almost everything I knew about the publishing industry has changed. I’m glad to say some of it. To my astonishment, everything.
In the late 1990s, when there was no such thing as an online edition, I was the editor of a print edition trade magazine.
Printing the monthly issues, which were frequently 156 pages long, required a laborious, dated, and time-consuming procedure. We started creating the content for each issue at least 60 days before it was released.
More than 12 times a year, we had never contemplated the prospect of providing meaningful content.
Despite this, I now use a button to upload content for our clients numerous times each day, frequently from offices and airports.
There you have it, then! Reader interest numbers in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. It’s a fresh and fascinating world.
How about the field of publishing books?
Getting a book published was a dangerous business just ten years ago if you weren’t an established author.
Authors have control and customer choice, too, in the end. If you have a draft, some cash, and the resolve to finish it, you can and will publish your book.
Factors to take into account
Whether you’re writing a book or have already written one or more, you’re aware that there are many things to take into account before beginning.
- Do I need an agent’s assistance?
- Is a completed manuscript required in order to find a publisher, or should I first draft a book proposal?
- Which kind of publication would be ideal for me? hybrid publishing versus traditional publishing? Is self-publishing a possibility for my book?
- What format suits my book the best? hardback first, then paperback, then? Why not just switch to paperback when no one now purchases hardcovers? What about iBooks and the Kindle?
- What should I know about print-on-demand (POD) books versus those published by established houses who make a big deal out of printing lots?
- Is there anything I can do to have more control over the amount of book royalties I receive?
- Do I comprehend that once a publisher “picks up” my book, all of my intellectual property rights are forfeited?
- Should I go with the editor my publisher suggests, or should I employ my own?
- and on it goes…
Without a doubt, you have given each of these questions some thought. The subject of how to select a publishing partner who actually cares about you, though, is one that frequently gets missed.
It’s simple to ignore the importance of people
I made the decision to add a full-service book publishing branch to the list of services provided by my marketing company for only two reasons, and those two reasons alone: 1. I adore authors. 2)
I thought that anyone who had put a lot of effort into writing a book deserved an easy and considerate publishing process.
One thing has become abundantly clear as I’ve worked with more authors and observed many authors go through the book publishing process: authors who select publishers who care about them—about their hopes and dreams for their book, as well as about how the book connects to quantifiable business goals—end up more successful and satisfied.
Think about the publishing journey and all the times you need to be assured that you are not lost, helpless, or alone.
When your book is converted from a Microsoft Word document to a typeset book with beautiful covers and a veritable alphabet soup of codes and numbers (ISBN, LCCN, bar code), will it matter if you’re working with someone who genuinely cares about your business and personal interests and who is focused on whether your book lives up to your goals and dreams? YES.
Just now, a new author confided in me about his longtime desire to create a book. In his early 50s, he is now a published author.
Yet, the author informed me that his publisher “forgot that he was dealing not just with ink on paper, but with my emotions” since he saw the book as a “project” rather as the author’s boyhood ambition. Indeed.
What if you wanted to know how many copies of the book had been sold as of today when it was first published?
When you’re over the moon and want a publishing partner who’s as enthusiastic as you are? Will it make a difference if you select a caring publisher? YES.
Once your book is out, your book publisher will quickly part ways if they don’t feel a personal connection to you.
With that kind of publisher, good luck getting a call back. And that’s just plain awful. Do you still recall how books are written from the soul? So when we unveiled our most recent book at Silver Tree Publishing, we were almost as thrilled as its author.
Every key milestone was celebrated by phone calls and emails, including the first book sold, the landmark of selling 100 copies, the acquisition of more than five 5-star Amazon reviews, and the delivery of the first substantial box of books to the author’s office.
Choose a publisher who will support you on social media and work to expand your fan base and sales team.
When an odd occurrence occurs in the middle of the night
On the publication path, things can go horribly wrong, and you need your publisher to come to your rescue – to hold your hand, have your back, and set things right. It’s unpleasant to think about, and I pray it never happens to you.
Consider the scenario where you are sued for alleged harm or violation resulting from your book.
Alternatively, you may need to print a new version of the book right away after finding a humiliating error in the previous one. When times are rough, will it matter whether you select a publisher who actually cares about you?