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It's a Beginning
The first thing I had to do was decide if I was going to just publish for myself or if I was going to become a true publishing company and publish other authors, too. I made the decision to take on other authors. I wanted to support those who have no where else to turn. There are too many vanity presses out there taking advantage of unsuspecting writers.
The next step was creating a set of submissions guidelines. It was hard putting into words what I was looking for. Finally after agonizing over it I came up with guidelines. I even made those guidelines public. Now I just had to wait and see if anyone was going to nibble.
Lo and Behold
I received a submission. I had allowed a six to eight week turn around so did nothing for the first two days. Cowardly, I admit. I didn't want to read work someone had put their heart in and tell them it was awful. I knew it was a possibility. It meant I had to judge someone else's work. Was I really ready to do such a thing?
I'd done reviews and critiques, but to tell someone their work was awful. I couldn't bring myself to even look. Fear made me powerless.
Finally, it dawned on me if I wanted to be a publisher I was going to have to put on my big girl panties, and read the chapters sent to me. I downloaded the work and began reading. I had asked for the beginning, a middle chapter, and one near the end....not the the last one. I also aske for background on the author.
I was expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised. The story has good bones. I think we have some things getting in the way of the story but I think its' got the potential to be a great book.
Another Huge Step
I offered this writer a contract. As a small press I cannot pay an up front stipend. I do however, give my authors the lion's share of royalties. Often this is a better deal all the way around. I put up the front money for set-up, art work, and printing. I am the one taking the risk. If this book fails, I have failed.
Then I had to wait for my author to decide if this was a good offer for her. She agreed it was and signed on the not so dotted line. We are now in a partnership to make this the best possible book.
Along with the step of offering a contract, I went in search of an editor. Where I live, they are few and far between. On an up note, I know a young lady in need of work, and I can train her to be an editor. Once she becomes good at it she will be able to command top fees. For now, she and are are working out a payment plan.
Wait, I have an author not myself and an employee of sorts. I am a business woman. Whoa, now I have two people depending on me. This has to be a success.
Where Are We Now?
We are in the editing stage. In a few weeks when we have the inside of the book hammered out and a super synopsis written, I will turn it over to the art/layout department. At that point it is out of my hands. We are shooting for a March 1, 2014 release date, possibly sometime in February. My author will be signing and promoting her book at a book festival in her state.
We will be on a time line as we want enough books ready for her to have at the book festival. By the time she starts selling and signing books in mid-March, we will be editing her second book in her series.
Am I excited? Oh, yes. I am also busy hammering out the third book in my series. I am talking with someone about a non-fiction work. 2014 may see me taking on another author. I do not want to over extend myself. I am a writer first and a publisher second. I want my authors to get the best so I will do all I can to promote them and move them forward. I am also releasing some of my older books at ebooks. A couple will even get new cover designs. I have a short story at the art/layout shop getting ready to become an ebook. I'm busy, but I'm loving it.
Final words, if you decide to take on something like this. Make sure you are in a position to do so. Don't take it lightly. This is my second career. I want it to create a steady income for me at some point.