Saturday, May 28, 2011

Publisher's Game

formatted manuscript


I'm trying to expand Viral Cat Press into a publishing house and so I decided to take on my mother-in-law's children's book, Mirabelle the Duck. It's an adorable story about a round bellied mallard named Mirabelle who lives in Parc Monseau, Paris. My mother-in-law wrote this book for my daughter. Adorable stuff. Anyway, she wants the book personalized with her own, well, personal photography. One of the biggest hurdles I've had with this project is the image quality of the pictures -- they were taken on her cell phone. I think I've done a pretty good job preserving the pictures and increasing the dpi, but purchasing stock photography is really the way to go.

A lot goes into being a publisher that I don't think the general public appreciates. Layout, formatting, cover design, back cover design -- all of these things take a lot of time and effort. Just taking on my mother-law's book, I'm saving her over $1,000. The "starting" rate for formatting a book is $299. Similarly, the "starting" rate for doing a cover design is $299. Then comes the ISBN number, ISSN number, and proofs. Creating an ebook is an entirely different beast. Wow, text can become super unstable. Any time you find yourself feeling superior to an ebook author because two words are inexplicably smooshed together, or periods are missing, or whatever else, check yourself because it's usually some bizarre ebook file conversion shizzle. Marketing, of course, is the most expensive, and a successful marketing campaign could cost $30,000+. I don't have that kind of money, so Viral Cat depends mostly on word of mouth via online social networking sites.

These include, but are not limited to:

facebook
twitter
myspace
goodreads
bookbuzzr
freado
librarything
blogs
websites
associatedcontent
quora
book clubs
figment
smashwords
kindle boards
etc.

I enjoy doing this. Still, unless I do a better job marketing, the book is left floating in cyber space. It all comes down to traffic and building a sturdy network of links. The more incoming and outgoing links a book has, the higher its google search rank. Every time a book is mentioned online, it creates a link in the chain. When I look at it that way, it becomes something of a challenge, but one that can be conquered with baby steps.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This is very interesting!