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Author as Publisher

by Frank
(Bakersfield,CA)

I'm at the tail end of writing my final draft and was looking for a publisher and came across many obstacles. things that first time authors often endure, but one thing that peeked my attention is that a lot of publishers are worried about the money and not the craft. so it crossed my mind to wonder why not ask an author to be a publisher? they obviously care about the craft so why not go to them instead of putting hard work and faith in a publisher that doesn't have the same passion for writing as an author?


ANSWER

Congratulations on finishing a later draft of your ms. Writing even one draft is a long and arduous process, so you must feel good to have gotten this far.

I know that it sometimes seems like getting published is one obstacle after another, but it's important to understand the process. To avoid the first obstacle in the publishing world, which is credibility as a writer, I hope you will allow me to point to a problem I see here.

It's crucial to spend as much time editing every piece of correspondence you send as much as you have edited your manuscript, as your correspondence is the publisher's first look at how you write. In this note to me, for example, the punctuation and capitalization is non-standard, and the word "peeked" is used incorrectly in place of "piqued."

Presumably, you would have caught these errors yourself, with one more edit of what you had written, so enough editing is a necessary step, and crucial to your success. EVERY piece of writing you send out is a showcase for your writing and editing talent.

Now to your question: The only author as publisher you're likely to find is yourself, if you self-publish.

Publishing is expensive. The publisher has to pay someone to read the manuscript, and pay for an editor to work with the author to edit the book--if it needs too much editing when they receive it, they will automatically reject it. They have to pay a designer, pay for cover art, pay for a marketing plan, pay for small expenses, such as to register an ISBN, and on and on--all before the book ever gets to stores, after which they have to pay for advertising and publicity and promotional events.

These are only some of the expenses. It costs thousands of dollars to properly bring a book to the public, so it makes sense that publishers have to think about whether or not the book will sell, and if it does, whether or not it will recoup the publishing costs and eventually make a profit.

Publishing is a business, and publishers must select their "product" as carefully as any other business selects what they have on offer.

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