Do you want to sell more books? If you find your sales in a slump and want advice from a professional publicist, Produce, Publish, Publicize is for you.
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Produce, Publish, Publicize takes the lessons a publicist has learned over the years and equips you with the tools needed to have a sucessful publishing experience.
It covers topics like:
What is a traditional publisher?
What should you look for in an editor?
What is the difference between Publish On Demand and Print On Demand? How to market your book and insider publicist tips and tricks.
Types of Publishers
“Traditional” Large Publishing House: I put the word traditional in parenthesis because that word is bandied about widely on the Internet. There are publishing houses that claim to be traditional because they do not charge upfront fees but do not qualify in the real world for the term. For the purposes of this book and clarification for the average aspiring author, a traditional publishing house is one that has high editorial standards; pays a respectable advance for the right to publish your work; pays royalties; does not charge any fees for editing, cover design or other miscellaneous parts of publishing; prints a large run of books; puts a competitive cover price on the book and makes considerable efforts towards publicizing your work.
High editorial standards are the hallmark of large traditional publishing houses. They choose only the best ideas to publish, employ talented editors to help clean up manuscripts until they are
perfect and try to make every book as widely accepted as possible for higher sales figures.
A respectable advance may not be five digits on a check but will be high enough to compliment an author. If a “traditional” publishing house offers an advance of $1.00, run the other way.
They are either insulting your work or aren’t truly traditional in the sense described above.
Royalties are the reason most authors write. Traditional publishers send royalties on a regular basis, usually twice a year. I know there’s math involved in the process and hopefully you have a good agent that is reading through the royalties statements to make sure there aren’t any clerical errors. I hear there are a lot of accounting “mistakes” that happen to the unwary but
hopefully these are only horror stories of the industry.
The traditional publisher wants a book to sell millions of copies to recoup printing and other costs. Without a compelling cover, the book will not sell well on the shelves because the adage
of judging books by their cover still holds true today. Publishers employ or contract with cover designers to provide provocative covers that will catch the consumer’s eye. This is not a cost
traditionally published authors must bear. The content is as important as the cover so traditional publishers employ their own editors and proofreaders to ensure the content’s high standards.
This is also a cost traditional publishers assume.
When you buy almost anything in bulk, you typically can expect a better deal. This holds true for publishing. Large publishing houses receive a large discount on big runs of books on a per
book basis. This enables those publishing houses to put competitive cover prices on their books. Without a competitive cover price, the books simply aren’t going to sell especially when dealing with an unknown author. Traditional publishers are competing for the consumer’s dollars so they will mark the book’s cover price low to entice the buyer to pick their book.
Publicity is a very important part of any author’s success. Publicity is gained through book signings, television, radio, internet and print media. Best-selling authors show up on network shows and have great book signing successes all across the nation. The publisher usually pays for the travel expenses of the publicity tours and any advertising necessary to promote events. Smaller authors have smaller scale publicity tours but still receive attention generated by their publishing company. It is not uncommon for authors to hire outside publicists to assist the
campaign since there is much to be done but the responsibility to arrange publicity their book does not fall solely on the author’s shoulders.
The place to begin if you are a new or aspiring author
Other than being rich, writing and publishing a book may be the most widely held fantasy/goal that people have. Sumsion claims that 83% of the American adult population has this goal and while my experience is only anecdotal, it does reinforce this claim. Writing a book of sufficient quality is a very hard task, but one that everyone has a basic understanding of. What few people understand is the process of getting the pride that is expressed as a manuscript into the final print form of a book.
Sumsion is a publicist that works to get books into the collective mind of the public. She offers her insights and tactics that can be used to generate the necessary interest for publishers to want to publish a manuscript. Other publication avenues such as e-books and the vanity press are also covered. The advice is sound and also realistic as Sumsion repeatedly mentions that expectations must be kept within reason. It is a natural thing for someone that has spent the enormous time and effort to create a manuscript to believe that it is a legitimate candidate for bestseller. As she so rightly points out, even the best publicist cannot turn a poor quality book into a money-minting phenomenon. Ultimately, the sales of a book will be determined by the quality of the prose.
When asked about writing a book my common reaction based on my experience is to say, "You do not write a book, you survive its' creation." Creating a book is a very difficult and exhausting process and once you are done, you are the best marketing tool you have. Selling the book to a publisher and then to the potential readership is the next step and it is fraught with many pitfalls. Starting with the creation of the manuscript Sumsion explains some of the best ways to do these things, making the reading of this book an important step in the process of a relatively unknown author getting a book into print.
For Writers: Avoiding Potholes, Finding Open Doors!
Sabrina Sumison is one smart lady! She has lived through the mazes about which she speaks and offers her expertise on publishing and publicity on a radio show that is gaining an ever wider audience as more people wish to enter the publishing field. The reason her finely written book is so helpful is the author's uncluttered manner of communication. She does not set herself up to be the Wizardess of Oz, but instead uses simple language to guide the reader (and potential writer) through the madhouse of false starts and poor advice so often accompanying letters from publishers in response to mass mailing from wannabe writers.
Sumison starts at the beginning (aptly!) by offering advice on how to start writing a book that will be publishable. She then takes the reader through every conceivable route toward getting that work published - including the at times quagmire of 'self-publishing'. And once the piece written has found its way into the haven of written publication, she leads the reader on the journey of just how to go about publicizing a work - finding an audience, courting them, and selling! Her connections to the publicity world seem endless as a list of suggestions - some dream-like like tying in to a celebrity - and some homespun, like how to arrange for in bookstore readings.
This book is a handbook that should be comfortably and prominently placed by the computer (or legal tablet or wherever you write). As in Sumison's previous gifts to the world of writing, this book is indispensable. Grady Harp, May 10
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Reader Reviews for "Produce, Publish, Publicize"
|Reviewed by Paul Judges
|Looks like a really valuable book !|