Here is a basic outline of what a publisher does followed by some crazy questions I’ve been asked.
A traditional publisher...
- Receives query letters from writers.
- Reads through the submissions.
- Selects the best and most marketable stories and offers the writer a contract.
- Goes through several rounds of edits with the writer.
- Sets release date and assigns ISBN.
- Creates cover art and other graphics.
- Creates a marketing plan and marketing items and starts promoting.
- Formats the book for print/eBook.
- Sends files to printer for print book.
- Sends files to eBook distributors. Print books go to print distributors.
- Sends review copies to reviewers.
- Goes through more edits with writer.
- Finalizes book and sends to printer/distributors.
- Continues marketing with press releases, info to bookstores and libraries, events, ads, etc.
- Pays royalties to the author.
There are a ton of other details (Library of Congress Control Number, bar code, etc.) but that’s the basics.
Now, here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:
You sell books? You’re a bookstore?
No, we’re a publisher of books. We do sell direct, but we rely on distributors to sell to stores, libraries, and other retail outlets.
You print books? You have a printing press at your place?
No, we have a couple book printing business we use. We send the files to them and they print the books.
Can you publish my book for me?
You have to check our submission guidelines and if we are a good fit, then send us a proper query letter.
How much do you charge?
Nothing. We are a traditional publisher, not a subsidy press.
Can you take a look at my story?
Send a proper query letter first.
I have a bunch of recipes I’ve collected from the Internet over the years. Do you publish that?
We don’t publish cookbooks. And oh by the way, that’s called plagiarism and it’s illegal.
And my most favorite question when people see our display at events:
You wrote all of these books?
Yes, I did. Almost fifty titles in nine years. I’m good.
There you have it! Any other questions?
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