Posts tagged #Publishers

The Publisher Route

So how does the publisher route work? 

Please note, this is from research and speaking with people in the industry. I haven't published a book through a publisher. 

Basically once the story is accepted:

 - The publisher assigns an editor.

 - The publisher assigns an illustrator.

 - The publisher works with the illustrator from storyboarding through to final illustrations. Some well established writers may have input into the visuals style and illustration style but that's more unusual. 

 - The publisher assigns a book designer and works with the book designer on the titles, text layout and fonts. 

 - The publisher prints the book, manages the stock inventory and delivers it to the bookstores. 

 - Traditionally, the publisher also promotes and markets the book. However today, with the internet, authors and illustrators are doing more of this. They're building strong online personas, generating community interest in their titles and offering to do in-store readings and signings directly with local bookstores.  

There are advantages of going through a publisher.

 - knowhow of the industry and process. If you just want to write, then this can leave you to focus on what you love to do. 

 - access to experienced editors, illustrators and book designers (at no cost).

 - market knowledge such as what's already on the market, if there's similar picture books already out and if you're interested in commercial viability - what sells. Although sometimes publishers can get it wrong too.  

This post explains it well also: http://www.underdown.org/picture-books-illustrations.htm

Posted on July 7, 2015 and filed under DIY Publishing.

A publisher or DIY publish. That is the question.

Publishers versus DIY Publishing

Which route you choose depends entirely on you and your purpose.

For me, there were two things

1.  Completion Time. 

I wanted my book published, regardless of market and commercial interest. It's a fun experiment where it's more important to be completed, than to make money. 

2. Quality

I wanted to tell a story with solid characters and a fun plot. I wanted to create a book that kids and adults genuinely wanted to read and reread, and I wanted it to look as professional as possible. 

Actually, I wanted the best of both worlds.

So why did I go the DIY publishing route without even trying the publisher route?

A few reasons:

1. Book publishing is incredibly competitive. I've never published a book before and it's unlikely my book would be accepted by a publisher. It could literally be years before (or if) it's accepted. By which stage my nieces will be reading William Gibson, not Who Ate The Cake?

2. Assuming my story is accepted by a publisher, it takes another 18 months - 2 years the book to get to the shelves. Coming from a digital background where things move fast,  I was shocked. What in the process could possibly take that long?

2 years later and errm...my own book has just been published so perhaps 2 years is how long it takes. However this project was a side project between other, full time projects and I've been through the learning curve so the next book shouldn't take as long. 

3.  Once I've written the story, formatted the manuscript according to industry standards, sent it to a publisher, and the publisher has accepted it.  As a writer, it's thank you very much and goodbye. My job is done. I'll get 5% of the royalties (10% if I was an illustrator and writer) if and when the book sells.  

At this point, my producer instincts kick in. What? What about the storyboards? The visual style? The characters? The illustrations? The cover? The book design, dimensions, paper weight? All those creative decisions. 

That's all part of the fun.

Posted on July 1, 2015 and filed under DIY Publishing.