Writing “The End” may be like a load off your shoulders. You’ve bled on the papers. You’ve finally poured your heart and soul into your book. Now, you can sit back and relax, right? Wrong! Your next step is just as important…finding a publisher and getting your book out to as many people as you can.
For many years, I have been hesitant about starting my own publishing company. I’ve always felt that my heart and soul’s purpose was to help people “birth” the content of their book, yet not necessarily handle the many details of publishing it. . But, then……funny enough…at my Transformational Author Breakthrough this past September, I had my own breakthrough. I realized that I was helping people birth their books and then sending them off to someone else’s “delivery room.” And in that moment, I got it! I was supposed to create my own “delivery room” so we could assist in the final stages of “birth” and see the “baby” come into the world… my clients’ books. It was then that Transformation Books was born!
Whether or not you use my company to publish your book when that day comes, I at least want to share with you some advice on what to look for in a publishing services company. Keep in mind, this is not about a traditional publisher who will pay you an advance (which is the vast minority of authors nowadays). Rather, the following advice is for those of you who will get some assistance in self-publishing your book.
First, personalized customer service and a dedicated publishing concierge should be a ‘given’ not a ‘wish’ when you choose a publishing house. We’ve heard so many horror stories of people paying tens of thousands of dollars only to end up with nothing – not even a book cover design. There are other stories of authors getting bounced around from one contact person to another, only to discover that the new contact has no idea what’s happening with their book. Worse yet, we know people whose books were published by the company and weren’t told their book was released. They found out by chance when searching Amazon it had been published. Please avoid this craziness by ensuring you will have a real person – a publishing concierge – who will be with you from beginning to end and treat your book as if it were their own. That’s what you and your book deserve.
Second, sadly most people still judge a book by its cover and if it conveys a shoddy hap-hazard appearance, chances are people will “assume” that the dismal outer shell houses amateurish writing in the interior. Do not skimp on how your book looks on the outside. Make sure your cover powerfully shows the heart and soul of the content you worked so hard on creating. This means, demanding a custom design for your book cover and not settling for someone to just slap your title on one of their templates. Trust me, a template cover can never do justice to the beauty and uniqueness of YOUR book.
Okay. Next is one of my biggest pet peeves. (Can you tell I’m getting on a bit of a soap box here?) This advice is about the money, and the financial arrangement between you and the publisher. In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to pay a publishing company a “fee for service” to produce your book, and then pay them AGAIN when the book is sold because they also require a royalty split. Royalty splits are for traditional publishers who take a risk on you by paying you an advance. They deserve to be paid royalties on the books you sell, seeing that they never made a penny from you until the books start flying off the shelves. Yet, many publishing service companies want a “fee for service” to produce the book AND royalties. Please review your agreement carefully and if it doesn’t say YOU get 100% of the royalties, then I suggest you reconsider working with that company.
And finally, one more important thing to look for when researching a publishing services company for your book is to ensure that you retain all right to the book. The agreement should clearly state you maintain ownership of the work, and all rights to it.
I could go on and on, but I won’t right now. Hopefully you get the point – read the agreement carefully and get what is best for you and your book or choose a different company to work with.
I have a feeling that this article could very well have led to more questions, and I’d like to help you get answers. Over here at Transformation Books – my publishing services company – we totally understand that you’re taking a HUGE leap of faith when choosing a publishing house to “birth” your book.
So, if you’re curious about working with us, or just need a question answered, please tell us about bit about your book at www.transformationbooks.com/lets-talk. Then, one of our Client Care Consultants will respond to your inquiry within 48 hours. We’re here to help, and ensure you never feel lost or alone in turning your words into a published book.
I’d love your feedback on this article. What other questions do you have? Have you experienced a horror story? How can we help you the most? Let me know.