Question 4: What do I expect my publisher to do for my book and me?
Your publisher should not only create a professional, attractive interior and cover, they should also make sure your book is available to major sales channels and on major platforms that promote books.
Building a better book.
Your publisher has designed a lot more book covers, edited a lot more manuscripts and laid out a lot more book interiors than you have. Your publisher (we hope) employs professional designers, editors and layout artists who have spent hundreds, maybe thousands of hours honing their skills.
Your publisher, if they’re in the business of selling books, knows what a professional, attractive, marketable finished product looks like.
As an author, you should be proud of the work you’ve done writing your manuscript and you may think it’s perfect “as-is.” You may have already chosen the title for your book and have an idea of what the cover should look like. That’s great! But it’s just a start.
It’s your publisher’s job to make your manuscript better by polishing the rough edges and pointing out where your story may have gone off track or left out an important transition. It’s your publisher’s job to mold a title and create a cover that will pique the interest of your readers and casual browser alike.
It’s your publisher’s job to make your book better than you can make it alone. If you’ve already selected a publisher who thinks your manuscript, your title, and your book cover are already perfect “as-is,” maybe you’d better keep looking. We employ professionals who are very good at making your best work better, and remember, we make 77% of our revenue from selling books; you can bet your bottom dollar we’re going to make the most “sellable” book we can!
Offering your book to the world
Your publisher is responsible for creating and maintaining a distribution and fulfillment system that supports book sales wherever and however your potential reader purchases. If your potential reader searches the Internet for your book (almost all searches for a book start here), your name or the subject your book addresses, he will be able to find and purchase your book.
Alternately, if your potential reader chooses to purchase from a neighborhood bookstore and your book is not in stock (bookstores stock less than 1% of books available) the bookstore should be able to easily find it in their database and order it from their trade distributor.
Your publisher is responsible for keeping your book in print and in stock. And your publisher is responsible for having a fulfillment facility that can ship your book to purchasers the same day it’s ordered, whether it’s one book to a customer in Duluth or a carton of books to you for an upcoming event or speaking engagement.
At True Potential, we go a step further. In addition to our inventory at our distribution and fulfillment center, all of our books are stocked at Amazon distribution centers. We also ship internationally directly from our fulfillment center. Readers around the world can purchase your book as easily as readers in the US. We also feature your book in our corporate online bookstore as well as online bookstores on our affinity websites and our affiliate websites.
Your publisher should make it easy and profitable for you to purchase books for your own sales at events and speaking engagements and online. True Potential offers authors a 60% discount on their own books in carton quantities.
Using our affiliate platform you don’t even have to purchase and ship your own books; simply point readers to our store from your website or to your mailing list and we’ll take the order, receive payment, ship the book and pay you a 15% referral commission (on top of your author’s royalty)!
Here are some questions you should answer to get the most from your author/publisher relationship.
(click here to download a printable checklist)
1. What shouldn’t you expect from your publisher?
2. What should you expect from your publisher?
3. Has the publisher you’re considering invested n professional book editors, artists and designers?
4. Has the publisher you’re considering invested in its own distribution and fulfillment system?
5. Will the publisher you’re considering keep its own inventory of your book for its sales to the trade and to customers through its own sales and marketing efforts?
6. Does the publisher you’re considering make most of its revenue selling books or selling services to authors?
7. Does the publisher you’re considering give its authors a 60% discount on books and maintain an affiliate program for authors to make more money from their sales?
Click here to find out what you shouldn’t expect your publisher to be.
Click here to read the next post: we’ll answer the question: “What am I doing now to build my audience?”
This post is based on the fourth chapter of our e-book: The Seven Questions You Have to Answer to Turn Your Manuscript into a Successful Book.
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