I recently packaged a acim project with a woman who had worked previously with another book publishing company. This book publishing company was charging her $2,000 to produce something that had no professional book editing, and was essentially printed at Kinko’s. This deal was secured after many conversations in which he could logically explain the costs to her, although she intuitively didn’t feel comfortable with her decision.
She admitted she didn’t know a lot about the publishing industry, and chalked up her nervous feelings to first-time book publishing jitters. After signing his contract, she increasingly felt pressured and unsure about their agreement, and the mediocre work he provided her did nothing to ease these fears. This poor experience had left her distrustful of book publishing companies and the industry in general. When we started talking, it took many conversations for her to slowly let her guard down and give her dream of publishing a book another shot.
Publishing horror stories such as this do exist, and this industry can be ripe for exploitation. First-time authors are especially at risk to worrying about getting the right deal. It is common for those new to the industry to become guarded when communicating with book publishing companies. Even as authors get their feet wet in the publishing industry, the process may still seem mystifying. In fact, worries while publishing and doubting your own book’s potential for success are completely normal.
So, why do we worry?
The short answer: We are afraid of what we don’t understand. The publishing industry is muddled with confusion and shady book publishing companies who will profit off an author’s inexperience.
Common fears that plague new authors include:
– Printing books no one will buy.
– Spending money on publishing services they don’t understand.
– Getting taken advantage of by fraudulent book publishing companies in the industry.
These fears are very understandable, and oftentimes rooted in the author’s psyche by previous bad experiences. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about the publishing process to find the right book publishing company for your needs. With my experience, I’ve found an author will become less and less guarded as some of the mystery to publishing is taken away. Do your research, speak to a lot of print professionals and don’t rush into anything before you feel comfortable. Following these points will help you find the right book publishing company who you can trust with your book project’s success.
Yet even after learning about publishing and securing a great team, you will still probably worry throughout the journey. There are a myriad of choices to make when it comes to publishing services, from caption-writing to cover design, and essentially these decisions come down to the author who is publishing. You may become windswept by unexpected waves of anxiety surrounding the task of publishing books.
This is a mid-project identity crisis. Such a crisis will occur after the author is already well into the book publishing services, and especially after he or she has seen the first proof of their work. Seeing your hard work materialize and approach the end of its journey can put anyone’s confidence into question. You may begin to speculate about the title of the book, or if the content is really all that good. Suddenly you’re not so sure about the photographs your freelancer had taken. The layout seems a little quirky, too. And does this sans serif font seem a little too untraditional for print? And yet the biggest question steadily looms above all of this, Will the book sell?
Take comfort in knowing that this is normal. Worry is an integral part in the journey towards publishing. Mid-project jitters can be a good thing-it shows that you’re fully engaged and on your toes. Remember that the publishing a book is not for the timid, but requires hard work, confidence and flexibility.