From the blog post of Francesca M.B an Author Representative for Empire Publishing Company.
The topic of book publishing is something that about 30,000 people a year endeavor themselves to obtain the proper information, and may try to self-educate by going to Google or many websites and blogs, or even attend seminars or classes to understand how to publish a book, and the options that are available to them.
I decided today, that I would write about the main topics in the circles of Authors and Editors and Publishers, in hopes that I may be of some help to anyone seeking advice or knowledge in book publishing.
I am an Author Representative, for Empire Publishing, that means in my own paraphrase, that I am “The Gatekeeper” to the Publisher. I am the liaison, the person who communicates in cooperation and helps to facilitate a close working relationship between the Author and the Publisher.
If anyone has ever tried to get a hold of the actual Publisher of any decent or reputable Publishing Company then they know that it is nearly an impossible thing to do. Publishers are busy, they do not have time to listen to people try to verbally pitch their story to them over the phone, nor do they have time to sit and explain how the publishing process works. So, that makes me (and other’s like me – Publishers Gatekeepers) the one who must maintain the abundance of patience that is required to repeat myself over and over again all day long every single day. I will be honest when I say, that 89% of the phone calls I get are from people who really have no clue how to get their book published, and do not understand even the basics of becoming an Author. However, they all have a passion or a desire to learn and to find a way to get their story published.
I feel sorry for some people who finally call me, after they have been calling all over God’s green earth for 6 months to a year, and they almost sound shocked when they get a real person on the other end of the phone line. In fact, some are so use to getting a recording they did not prepare their self to have a dialog about their manuscript. Then there are those, who made their first call to me, and have no idea how fortunate they were. Many think that they can find something better, or cheaper and so they hang up the phone rudely. Only for them to call me back a year later with their tails between their legs and feeling rather beat up from trying to find exactly what they are looking for, and for a price they are willing to pay.
Many of you reading this may have already figured this out and are shopping around for a micro-publisher. Be careful as well, as you search the Internet for options, you will run across organizations trying to sell you the so-called secrets of publishing and false promises of making you into a bestselling author. Most of them are scams designed for their own profit, not yours, and prey on those without any knowledge of the publishing industry. Then you will come across micro-publishers advertising that they take on all genres, they do not turn down any submissions, and the author will have no out of pocket expenses. Their sales pitch sounds very appealing to first-time authors, but please remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking to self-publish using a self-publishing company, or if you are looking for a traditional publisher to publish your manuscript. Either way, it is important to be polite, and have respect for the person who may be the one helping you to turn your dream into a reality. Being nice will get you further than being pushy. And whatever you do, do not treat your agent or representative as though you do not trust them. If you do not trust them, then go find someone you do. I like what Emily Harstone wrote in the February issue of Authors Publish blog. In her post called “The Seven Most Common Manuscript Submission Mistakes” where she address the issue of politeness. She states “Politeness and Formality Is a Must” she also noted that announcing that you have a copyright on your work is suggesting that you do not trust the Publisher. She is right. Look, if you are a serious writer then you need to find a Publisher or an agent, and if you have already put a copyright on your work, you are only hurting yourself. The way Emily explains it sums it up pretty well… “Never say you have copyrighted your book with the Library of Congress. Your book is copyrighted the moment you put the words on paper. To have it done officially, dates your material–forever. Let the publisher do that. A book with a copyright date of 2013, and submitted in 2016, speaks volumes to an editor or agent. It means it’s been shopped around, a lot! If you are really worried someone will steal your material, register it with the Writers’ Guild, East or West. For a small fee they will record the work, proving when you wrote it. And then, unless you are submitting to an entertainment agent or producer, keep your mouth shut. Copyright marks and WGA numbers suggest you don’t trust us.”
Enough said on that, let’s move on to the next part of this discussion.
Once you find the person or company you want to work with, do not waste their time, make sure you have your manuscript polished up in a Word Doc and ready to send. You should already have a book cover idea ready. You do not need to design your own cover unless you want to – but you need to at least have a description of something you would like to see developed into a cover the same day you send your manuscript.
Also, make sure you have written a synopsis of your book, because it will also need to go through the editing process along with your manuscript. Ideally, by the time you have made the decision to move forward with publishing your book, you should have all your ducks in a row. If you want to include an Author picture, please already have those done and ready to send over with your manuscript and your synopsis. You should have already have written your Author Bio and submit that at the same time. This helps everything to go smoothly. It makes you look more organized and you will not be frustrating to every department in the company. Lean on your agent or your representative to help you get through the steps, but do not expect them to babysit you or hold your hand.
How to write a Synopsis:
In order for you to write a good synopsis you must understand what it is and what its function is. From the standard dictionary, a synopsis is:
Next let’s talk about cover design.
Everyone wants the amazing cover that will grab peoples attention. Face it, the facts are you have 3 seconds to capture or intrigue a person enough to take a closer look at your book. People have gone to college to learn how to do that. It is called visual marketing.
I know I have heard the graphic design team scream in horror when they see what an Author sends over to use for a cover. First of all, DO NOT TAKE ANY PHOTOS OFF OF GOOGLE. We see this all the time. It is a major no-no. If you cannot present a decent cover design, then allow the professionals who do it for a living to come up with something for you. Even a basic cover design can look good when they add in the special fonts and design tweaks. Also you can purchase designs for very cheap at Colorbox.com and then you will have an image that is yours.
Let’s talk about the color of your cover. I come across some first time Authors who have an idea in their head, and they do not think it all the way though. If you have ever looked through any simple cover design program, and they give you a color scheme to choose from, you will notice that white is never a book cover option. There is a reason for that. Because most books are being marketed and sold online, and white on white does not stand out. Even if you have brightly colored words and a bold font, it just will not be good for marketing purposes. Not only is white a poor option for a book cover, due to marketing reasons, but it is a poor color due to dirty fingerprints and dust, and smudges.
The absolute best seller book covers are almost always, red, green or blue, or a combination of these colors with black or white font. These colors are eye appealing and they work well for marketing too.
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And also check out all the information that is available for you atwww.Empirebookpublishing.com
By Francesca M.B.