Self-publishing transforms a writer into an instant publishing technician. This carries the risks of simple mistakes costing thousands of dollars. Financial risk is the main reason most publishers will not produce new titles. Publishing, like other businesses is based on profit. Some authors are willing to take the risks of financing the production of their books and do the marketing and distribution themselves. This is usually referred to as “Vanity Press.” I have designed, produced and published over 120 titles in both vanity and co-publishing arrangements and have self-published 5 books of my own on Balkan history.
Most of the risk can be eliminated by considering co-publishing as the best option for authors who are willing to make a financial commitment and do the extra leg work on their title and to join forces with publishing professionals who will hand-hold them through the entire publishing process. Co-publishing is a more harmonious relationship in which the author participates in all of the decision-making.
The Co-publisher’s Responsibilities. The co-publisher has the experience and publishing background they are willing to share in exchange for a portion of the profits generated by your title. These professionals typically oversee supervision of copy editing, book and cover design, book packaging, printing, internet marketing, publicity, mailing and distribution–all of the important aspects that make a book a success.
Author’s Responsibilities. In addition to providing a clean double-spaced manuscript and a financial investment in the book the author needs to assist in defining their market. A list of names of experts in your field or subject who can be helpful in promoting your book is an asset. The author should determine interest groups or organizations where guest appearances can be made. A book in print opens doors that could not be opened any other way. A book can get you on talk radio and television. Researching these contacts is vital for the success of your book. As a result of a book in print, there are many situations where you can be called upon as an expert in your field. An English language version of your book leads to foreign translation rights.