I am starting my new blog in my new website essentially where I left off in 2006 and nothing has changed. The whole debate over publishing is still dominated by the moaning unpublished! OMG! That’s a controversial thing to write? Not very politically correct especially if you are one of the moaning unpublished reading this blog! But people really, you need to get a life and work out why your manuscripts are constantly rejected by publisher after publisher. I’ll let you into a little secret, it’s because you are writing shit. I am a potential customer and I’m not paying for shit and the traditional publishers know this. Their submissions editors ruthlessly weed out the shit and id they’re not hooked by the first five pages it’s in the bin. Oh yes ignoring a publishing houses’ submission guidelines ensures your solicited or unsolicited submission goes straight into the mail room’s garbage bin, but I digress.
How dare he I hear the moaning unpublished screaming at the tops of their voices at their computer screens and whilst the screaming and verbal abuse continues let’s have a quick look at what a real publisher does when it selects a manuscript and author to publish.
- Signs a paper contract between it and the author clearly defining all the steps of the process including royalty and advance payments (don’t expect these anymore and you won’t be disappointed especially if you are a newbie) if applicable.
- An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is allocated.
- Copyright for the book is properly registered, recorded and correctly explained in the book.
- The final submission draft is professionally edited.
- The final submission draft is professionally spell checked.
- The final submission draft is professionally grammar checked.
- The final submission draft be it fact or fiction is fact checked.
- The final is professionally proof read.
- The final submission draft is continuity checked.
- An expert indexing person creates the index if need.
- A proper relevant cover is designed.
- A proper and relevant title is created.
- The final book file (proofs) are all checked again.
And guess what? These same basic requirements apply to all printed and eBooks. The only real difference between the printed and downloadable products is what happens to the final book file? Does it go to the printer and turned into a physical paper book or to the IT department where it’s electronically crunched and formatted for the various electronic e-reader systems out there in the market place?
So next time you think to yourself eBooks are cheaper to produce, think again.
Publishing houses large or small, are brands with standards to uphold. Publishers are like investment bankers who only invest in authors and their work. Sometimes these publishers invest huge sums in us and expect a return on the investment. Publishers are business houses not charities. Even not-for-profit publishers have to at least break even. However, unlike investment bankers no publisher is too big to fail and will never be bailed out by the taxpayer when a bad economic time like now is taking its toll. Publishing houses employ people and those people’s jobs depend on our work creating income so we can all make a living.
Without healthy and vibrant publishing houses I cannot get quality books to sell in my shop. I cannot get quality eBooks because I have been denied access to the eBook distribution system and reselling eBooks is made impossible by draconian monolithic monopolies inventing laws and controlling the distribution chain through various online terms and conditions agreements.