This is one of the best discussions I have followed in a long time. My biggest hurdle has been learning the publishing game through the school of "Hard Knocks". It has definitely been On-The-Job-Training. One of the best lessons learned has been, not to put your eggs or shall I say trust in one person or entity. Publishing is a business and you have to treat it as such. Which means wearing many hats. In my efforts, I try and gain as much knowledge on my own when conferring with the so-called experts in the field.
It has been proven oftentimes you are given selective information versus the whole picture. The publishing houses ultimate goal is to sell as many products and services as possible. As a marketer, I understand the concept marketing is one of the single most important task for any artist. With or without a publishing house backing you, no one is going to promote your work like you would or as their own unless you are raking in the big dollars. Every encounter is an opportunity to infuse my work into the conversations without beating the potentials over the head with it. Its just a matter or picking and choosing your battles or should I say chance encounters.
My "First Time Out" (title of upcoming guide), I self-published with Authorhouse. The experience was good in respect to self-publishers offer complete packages. In which I used as a gage to create my own "How To Do List". Now that I am somewhat familiar with the process and a whole lot wiser (I stilll have a long way to go before I consider myself an expert) I have elected to launch my own publishing company. Plans include re-editing my first novel (by the way, was the single worst mistake I made in my early career, relying on a company person) to be re-released to coincide with the release of the sequel under my own publishing company. In a way, the process in no more challenging than going with a self-publisher. The main hurdles are to research and contract the individual services, i.e. editors, distributors. graphic artists, printers, etc. I have learned that some of the services you can negotiate better rates individually rather than with a group package. It also affords you an opportunity to maintain more control over your work. Secondly, you retain ownership over your copyrights and you're not force to stay with a vendor, such as a printer because they retain the rights. You can bargain for more short-term agreements. Allowing you to opt out of situations which are no longer in your best interest. Not to mention, your cost to purchase your books can be greatly reduced. The list goes on and on. Just never loose sight, that you are the publisher now and the only person looking out for your best interest is you. Similarily, in order to avoid alot of pitfalls, you have to stay abreast of the publishing game and the many changes and challenges which could occur at the spare of a moment. You can accomplish this by joining as many industry mailing list (of interest) as possible. But be selective so you are not bombarded with alot of junk mail.
I will be releasing "First Time Out" a How To book in Spring 2008 (on my new label of course) on how to easily navagate this process.
Don't forget to log on to the Author Book Bag Club (ABBC) to help enhance the overall marketing strategies for your work. We firmly believe in our tag which reads...Every where you want to be and more. Just another way to stretch your promotional legs. Log on the wwwmgroupmanagement.ning.com for more details.
I look forward to the continual dialouge.