Saturday, January 7, 2012

Self-publishing vs commercial publishing

In one of the craziest most random events of life, I ended up with a commercial publisher for my next book. No, it is not the second volume in the Wizard and Spy series, which is truly sad because that book is 90% or so done.

Quite the opposite, the contract is for a non-fiction book. It happened like this:

A friend of mine just had his fourth book come out and was having lunch with the publisher. He happened to mention that he had a friend who was writing a book, and might they be interested in talking with her. Mr. Publisher said they might and sent me an email to the same effect. I wrote back, told him briefly what the book was about and Ms. Book Editor sends me a mountain of stuff to fill out.

Paperwork - creative commons license
I think I'm pretty well-educated.  I have college degrees - multiple. I've already self-published one book on on Amazon and Smashwords and in print on CreateSpace . I am not, however, an English major. (I don't know if that would have helped.) I didn't even know what some of this stuff was they were asking for - a book synopsis, book proposal, book description and table of contents - which are four different things.  Then there is an author biography and the first three chapters.

A stack of papers  - well, actually pdf files - goes off to Ms. B.E. and a few days later I get an email saying how they just think I'm cuter than a bug's ear, would love to work with me and would I consider changing A, B and C in my book.

If you self-publish, of course, no one tells you that. All of my friends told me, 
"It's your book! Stand your ground!"

All of my friends had no idea what they were talking about. Ms. B. Editor had great ideas and I made the changes right away. So, now I have an actual contract and a deadline to have the book done - something else you don't have when you self-publish.

I KNOW this is not how publishing works in real-life. You don't email the first company that comes to mind and they email you right back and say,
"Damn straight we'd like to publish your book. Thank you for thinking of us."

I'll write more about the process as I go along, but right now I have to go because I have a deadline. How crazy is that?

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