Growing a Publishing Company
It Start with an Imprint
Every Company Needs One
If you are going to have a publishing company, you need an imprint or logo. Mine was designed by my niece. There are people who will design logos for you. Shop around.
Mine is derived from a nickname of mine. While I can no longer have a house surrounded by lilacs, I still love them. They don't grow well in the south, however that is an entirely different pots. It is used on every book or ebook my company puts out and it defines me to some extent.
You want your logo to reflect and help brand you. It is part of branding. You will build your brand as you write. Find a logo/imprint you love and don't want to change.
Find a Great Design Team
Every Publisher Needs Good Designs
I have partnered with Blue Harvest Creative as my design team. I cannot tell you how wonderful a partnership it has been. They do my interior artwork, my covers, and have helped with my branding. Yes, I pay them. I have a flat fee for what they do. They send me my books ready for publication and in ebook format. Things I have no experience in. And they always are the most professional looking books.
Covers help with branding. Advertising gets you out there. Blue Harvest Creative has gone above and beyond to get me into contests, advertising, and branding.
You have to have good designers or your books will not look professional. I can't tell you how much difference having branding has made in sales. Shop around or ask me for a referral.
Adding New Authors
I Stepped Out on a Limb
I contracted with a new author. I have to tell you I was scared to death. What if I failed her? What if I was wrong and her book didn't sell? What if it turned out to be a nightmare?
I was lucky, none of the above happened. Doris Plantus became the first author on my team Her novella Sihastrul has been published in both English and Romanian. It took off like a rocket. I was shocked. I was happy for her. I was ecstatic for Lilac Publishing and me. I could do right by someone. I'm hoping she has more to write.
I have stepped on the proverbial limb a second time. I am about to send Death Wind to my design team at Blue Harvest Creative. (justaddblue.com). The author of this book is 92 years old and legally blind. She has been a delight to work with. I have some other stories of hers to look over and find the ones we will publish.
In the wings are two up and coming authors. I can hardly wait for them to have their books ready for publication. Do I still have butterflies when I consider taking on a new author? I sure do. Do I go over the contract with them thoroughly? Oh, yes. I want no one feeling cheated. I prepare a year end statement giving them a look at the sales, my share of the royalties, and what they actually earn. I'd like to do it so I can give them a monthly print out. Getting things to that point will take a different managing system.
Will I Take on More Authors?
What a huge question. I want to take on as many as I can. I look for quality work. Just because you submit to me does not guarrantee you get published.
Here is my biggest problem. If I take on too many and have to do hours of editing, I have no time for me to write. I don't have the means right now to take on an editor. I'm not making enough money yet to pay my bills without running into my own accounts.
I want to continue writing. I have just tapped into the children's book genre and I am getting huge reviews and a big following who is clammering for more. I'm working on the fourth book in a series and I know there will be a fifth. Between the fourth and fifth, I want to write some other things; spin-offs from some of the series, children's books an some other novels.
So, yes, at some point I will take on more than four authors. I hope they will all be successful. As I move into more expansion, I will eventually need staff. I understand all this. But first and fore most, I need to be able to do my own writing.