The continuing story …

Partner publishers are a mixed bag. There are those who take large sums of money up front, and do nothing but prepare and print the book, but still expect a large slice of the sale proceeds. Those that take the same large sum of money, do a little of the marketing (mostly internet and overseas) and expect a large cut of the sales proceeds. And then there are those that take a small amount of money up front and give a more generous percentage of sales. The former takes anything that comes, and the latter is more selective with what they publish, as they too have a vested interest in the sales outcome – or so I thought. I decided on the latter and sent off a story. I progressed past the initial read, to a request for the full manuscript. My submission was accepted and excitedly, I read through the contract. No distribution!! Now why would someone take on the publishing task for little money and have no organised way to sell the product. It didn’t make sense to me. I declined the offer. Then I read a book that was self published, and produced by one of the former publishers mentioned, and I was appalled at the lack of editing. The story was entertaining, showed lots of imagination and heaps of potential, but it obviously didn’t receive the final polish needed. This scared me off this form of publishing for a while. The last thing I wanted to do was see a book of mine in print that doesn’t meet the standard required – even by me. Like most writers, I can see the problems in other people’s work and miss them in my own. Too many aspiring authors I meet tell me they wouldn’t allow their work to be edited, as it will then not be their writing. I disagree. It was their imagination that produced the story line and their skill and dedication that wove it like an intricate tapestry into the final enchanting work; a little professional polish will not take that away. I was happy to have my writing polished by an editor who works for publishers. I wanted it to be as perfect as possible before it went to print. More on self-publishing from another author’s point of view next week.

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