Good morning and welcome to Friday Feelings. Today, we’re talking about the care and feeding of your publisher.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have received a contract offer from a publisher, there are a few things you need to know and do. First, understand a traditional publisher won’t charge you for anything that’s necessary for your book to be published. That’s right, the cover art, editing, proofreading, formatting, everything is done for you. Granted the publisher takes a percentage of your earnings from sales, giving you the rest (the average is anywhere from 15% to 40%). A traditional publisher won’t publish your ebook first and then say you’ll have to pay X amount of dollars for another round of editing, a new cover so it can be used on your print book, or anything else. Those types of publishers, the ones who charge money for anything, are vanity publishers.
Now that you understand this, please bear in mind most small traditional publishers have a very limited staff. There might be a CEO, COO, Editor in Chief, and perhaps a cover artist they employ. Or perhaps they’re lucky enough to have one of their staff talented enough to make the cover art. If they have a large number of authors, their days are often limited to dealing with the authors waiting for their book to be published, but will make time for their other authors.
These overworked individuals are often authors themselves, so their off time is just that. They are not at work—kind of like your day job boss can’t call, text, or PM you two hours after you got home and tell you that you need to give him an answer on something immediately.
One thing authors need to remember is your publishing company’s staff is humans, just like you are. Always approach them as you’d like to be approached yourself. Remember that they have a heavy work load and you should email them the way you’d like to be spoken to in a professional letter. Even if you are upset, there is no reason to start your letter with… “Listen, you idiot. I told you this is what I wanted. Fix this. Now!”
Bet that sounded pretty good when written while you were steaming mad. Now, think of sending an electronic letter to your day job boss with that tone. What would your chances of being employed with that company be once the boss read it? Yeah, you’re right. You’d be out looking for another job.
The same thing goes for any type of communication with the staff. They are human. Picking fights, acting as if you are in charge is only going to get you relegated to the last email answered that day. After all, why should they have to spend a lot of time calming down before they speak with the other authors?
About K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond. game when plotting a new story.
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