Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Finding new ways to stay in the publishing game

Of the two, publishing is much more involved than writing. With writing, you get to plop down a manuscript with typos, grammatical inconsistencies and worse, so-so craftsmanship and if the editor is solid, still end up with a finished product that reviewers will wax eloquent about. The publisher on the other hand assumes the entire risk and the cost of producing your book and in the small press world, there is rarely a significant return on your investment of time and energy.

It always amazes me how little writers actually understand what goes into publishing their book. Maybe this is why so many writers have unrealistic sales expectations and so little appreciation for the effort that goes into bringing their title to market. Worse, they rarely know who their audience might be and how many actual copies of the book will be sold.

When I published When Towns Had Teams in 2005, I also knew very little about the publishing side of things. No matter how much research you do (and I was diligent in finding out as much information up front as I could), you still know only a fraction compared to what you learn as you proceed with the various step-by-step activities of printing and then, distributing a book.

The distribution piece may be the most misunderstood part of publishing, particularly if you are a small press publisher. Because your sales volume is smaller and if your book has a regional audience, in most cases won’t be able to use national distributors like Baker & Taylor, or Ingram. As a result, in order to get your book in front of readers, a small press distributor must parcel together a distribution network the old-fashioned way—one bookstore and gift shop at a time. If you are lucky, you’ll find a regional distributor to handle some of your stores. I was fortunate to find Magazines Inc., in Bangor. They handle the Mr. Paperback chain, as well as a few other smaller stores in rural Maine.

Recently, I’ve begun to take the knowledge that I’ve acquired, much of it learned the hard way, by making mistakes and have begun offering consultation to other writers who are crazy enough to want to go the independent route, like I did. I’m even starting to believe that this is a valuable service and that there might be a small market for this service. The current writer that I’m working with is going to save himself a lot of headaches and sleepless nights, because I’ve already been there and figured out what works and what doesn’t.

If you are a writer who is interested in independently publishing your own book, you should contact us at RiverVision Press. We offer a free initial consultation with you about your book idea. In addition, we also offer the following services.

  • Manuscript critiques
  • copyediting services
  • Creative services and cover designs
  • Manuscript layout and preparation for printingRiverVision can take your idea and bring it to fruition and save you pain, agony and money you don’t have to spend.

With an award-winning book under our belts and a solid track record as a small press publisher, RiverVision Press can help you realize that dream of seeing your book in print.

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