I've decided to continue in the self-publishing arena, but I'm searching for a publishing house that will help me. I simply don't have the desire or the time to do this completely on my own. So I inquired and searched many possibilities on-line. I verified my interest to a few and to my delight and surprise I've received a few phone calls from these businesses.
Both callers were friendly and professional. I think I surprised both of them by asking questions regarding marketing and book cover design. I realize making cold calls is difficult, but I was intrigued that both representatives had good answers and seemed quite knowledgeable about their particular publishing process.
It always comes down to money. How much do I want to spend and on what. I learned from my last self-pubbed book that good design and real marketing avenues are essential in creating a profit for me, the author. Last spring I entered my book, 'Promises My Love,' into a writing contest. The judge emailed back her thoughts. She spent most of her time telling me what was wrong with the cover, the book layout, etc. rather than on the contents of the book - which she liked. She told me the story should start on the right side of the page, which I knew and assumed the publishing house I contracted with did as well. When I read the proofs, I couldn't tell it would be starting on the left side of the page. Only after I received my first book, did I notice. I wasn't happy, but there was nothing I could do about it then. The money had been exchanged and the books printed. And now I must live with this or pay more to re-edit. I don't see much profit in doing that.
The other comment this judge made was about my cover. She said it was too modern a picture for a historical. Okay. But again, in picking out a cover, I was limited in choices. So, this time around, I want to either hire a graphic designer on my own or pay more for a better design vs. one from over-stock records.
I learned so much self-pubbing my last book. This time around, I am better prepared to discuss what I consider important. I will not simply assume things are done in a standard format. Each publishing house has their own unique way of doing business. They may sound very similar at first glance, but upon further investigating, I'm seeing trace differences that will affect me in the future.
My advice if you are pursuing self-publishing: leave a message on a publishers website and see what happens. Talk and ask pertinent questions that will assist you in making a decision as to whether that publishing company is for you.
Now I'm off to a grant writing class! I'll tell you about that next week!
Til then ~