Wednesday, June 1, 2011
It's the "Little" Things
Publishing as a hybrid, which 3L is a hybrid publisher that crosses traditional with self-publishing to provide a totally unique service, is no easy proposition. As a hybrid, we form a true partnership with each author. The author pays for the services they consume. In exchange, we provide the much-needed credibility as a true publisher and we do not publish just any author who asks. We vet the process to determine if the book is essentially a good choice not only for the author to make money but to be another show piece for our expanding catalog. This means we carefully evaluate and correct writing skills and manuscripts to bring the quality up to levels that can, in fact, compete with major publishers. I've even had an editor from a major publisher tell me our book editing services rival big publishers. Also, the partnership and the payment for services means a bigger payday for authors. Unfortunately, it also means more responsibility for the overall production costs fall on authors too. We don't have a core corporate revenue generated from royalties. Without much core revenue at all, we rely on our client work as our primary revenue generation. Sometimes this becomes sticky when it comes to expectations. Without seeing the hard costs sometimes assumptions get made. Perceptions can fall into the belief that we've got cash flowing in like a huge corporate -- and why can't we pay for the little things too? Fact is we would love to pay for the little things. We have a generous spirit and we truly want to. But bottom line in this particular partnership means that those higher royalties also have to cover those little things. If we were a traditional publisher, we would cover the little things too, as the author would only be getting 10-12 percent in royalty checks -- that from my understanding get cut once a season. We cut monthly checks. Publishing is a tough world. It's a lot of work. More work than I think most authors realize before they get into it. It's also rewarding work too. When you go into any publishing agreement, just remember it's almost like starting a small business, and you need to ready to deal with the demands of a small business.