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How to Become a Published Author

Anamcara press publishes emergent writers, and offers mentoring, editing, design, and book creation assistance to independent authors. As a small, boutique press, we can only select a few authors to publish each year, more often we assist budding authors in the process of self-publishing.

The publishing industry has changed, even if writing is the same old process: write, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit. In this new publishing world, the big publishers no longer pay out heaps of cash to aspiring writers; and micro-presses, like Anamcara Press, that will publish a newbie’s book can’t afford to pay authors upfront. Does this mean you should give up writing? No! If you are a weaver of words, you know that words weave the world. Even if a book doesn’t become famous, it may change a life.

Independent publishing today is as hot as the printing presses once were. Independent publishing is not new nor is it anything to be ashamed about. The great writer, Mark Twain, published independently; he started a publishing company to have more control over his words and to better profit from them.

There are many Indie authors who have achieved success (if that is defined as earning a living wage) through writing, and there are many rewards to writing beyond earning money. Amanda Hocking surprised herself more than anyone when her Kindle book started selling. Millions of dollars later, she is still writing. Mark Dawson, author of the John Milton series, also found success as an independent author. The list goes on, but it is not long. It is more common for an Indie author to earn little or nothing. The average earnings of a self-published author in 2018 was $10,000, and half of self-published authors made $500 a year or less from their writing, according to survey results described in The Guardian online.

Why do so many self-published books fail? Editing, editing, editing, editing, and editing. Many authors ask friends or family to edit or proof their manuscript— nothing wrong in that, as long as a professional editor reviews the book, too. A good editor can’t save a terrible book, but can rescue an OK book and help make it wonderful. Good design is also a must—people DO judge a book by its cover.

ART & DESIGN

Whether the ultimate goal is an electronic book on Kindle or a table-top photography book, Anamcara press works with skilled designers and experienced artists, each with their own flair, to create the most appealing and revealing presentation of the author’s words and works. Working in a cooperative process with Anamcara Press, authors/artists are encouraged to explore possibilities.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT SMALL PRESSES

A small press can offer more flexible contract terms than the *“Big 5.” Traditional publishers typically offer less than 25 percent of net royalty on books. Anamcara Press offers a 35-50% net royalty, and offers an author-friendly contract.

A small press will take care of the production and distribution processes for you. One big benefit of working with a publisher is that we coordinate editing, layout & design, distribution, and marketing necessary to produce a high-quality book and get it into the hands of your readers.

A small press may offer almost 100% editorial control. The “Big 5” publishers do not afford authors this luxury. This is important to many authors and something to consider. Another question the author should consider is what will be accomplished by publishing with the small press that you can’t do alone? For instance, how will you get your books into bookstores/libraries effectively without a publisher’s imprint? Most bookstores reject self-published books.

A small press can kickstart your marketing because they aren’t afraid to think outside the box. If you’re not already a well-known author, “Big 5” publishers will slot your title into whatever standard marketing package they offer, should you be accepted. Often this might mean just a few hours of an intern’s time and a few small ad placements. Self-published authors have to shoulder the marketing costs and duties completely on their own, but a small press will help authors understand marketing and assist with crucial marketing tasks, potentially getting your book in front of a wider audience. A small press also allows a longer timeline—up to three years—to market a book, whereas the “Big 5” give up on slow-sellers in just a few months.

A small press is more likely to have a small staff, and owners will almost always be directly involved in their books and authors. This means you will be important to them in a way you probably would not be at a larger publisher. 

You do not work for the publisher, nor do they work for you. This is a partnership by which you both hope your book is discovered by the widest possible audience. The ultimate goal is to get your book into the hands of readers!

* “BIG FIVE” PUBLISHERS

  • Penguin/Random House.
  • Hachette Book Group.
  • Harper Collins.
  • Simon and Schuster.
  • Macmillan.

ABOUT ANAMCARA PRESS LLC

If your book is accepted for publication, Anamcara Press will guide you through the publishing process. Anamcara Press will ensure your book is professionally edited, and both the interior of the book and the cover of the book are designed for reader-appeal. Anamcara Press works closely with authors throughout the publication process to make certain the final copy meets the author’s, and reader’s expectations.

Anamcara Press will provide distributable ISBNs in all three formats—hard, soft, eBook—and your book will be considered by bookstores & libraries. This does not guarantee that bookstores or libraries will carry your book, however. Anamcara Press will communicate with local and regional booksellers, as well as some national / international booksellers on behalf of your book. Anamcara Press will also display your book, along with other publications, at trade shows and other events. Your book will be listed on our website and in our print and online catalog. And Anamcara Press will provide additional assistance in creating and applying appropriate metadata and marketing and actively promote your book. 

In addition to wide distribution of your book worldwide (and local distribution at our library and bookstore), Anamcara Press provides the following for each title:

  1. project management
  2. formatting/typesetting and interior design
  3. compilation of front and back matter
  4. cover layout and design
  5. all filing/registration fees
  6. ISBN allocation
  7. set up pre-order and look inside on Amazon
  8. PDF creation, POD set up, proofs, advanced copies 
  9. ebook formatting for different retailers
  10. distribution management (ebook and print versions) 
  11. List with all major online retailers
  12. legal deposit Library of Congress *
  13. bookseller information sheet, also called media kit or press release
  14. quality control checks
  15. print ordering
  16. Advertising & Marketing assistance

*In the United States, any copyrighted and published work must be submitted in two copies to the United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. This mandatory deposit is not required to possess copyright of unpublished works, but a copyright registration can give an author enhanced remedies in case of a copyright violation. The Library of Congress does not retain all works. 

MARKETING – AN ESSENTIAL STEP

Since the goal is to distribute/sell your book, marketing is just as important as your book’s creation. Effective marketing requires the efforts of both the publisher and the author working in coordination. Here are some important marketing steps that both publisher and author take together to market the book beginning up to 6 months before release:

  1. “brand” the book and the author
  2. select reviews for cover/interior/website (requested from beta readers, friends, editorial reviewers) 
  3. plan announcement and launch (press releases, book signing, notice of book release)
  4. plan email advertising campaign (using combined contacts of publisher/author)
  5. plan social media campaign (facebook book/author page; linkedin announcements; twitter, instagram, goodreads, pinterest, youtube) 
  6. create author website (cost of wordpress/wix website creation is author’s responsibility)
  7. create amazon author page & ensure amazon presence (author’s responsibility)
  8. send book for formal reviews (e.g. booklist)
  9. create ads for print (cost of printing is author’s responsibility)
  10. create ads for email and social media (facebook, pinterest, etc. distribution)
  11. create and distribute media kit containing information about book to media
  12. take book to publisher events, including american library association conference
  13. arrange speaking events and book signings
  14. send book for awards (e.g. newbery medal)
  15. more!

QUESTIONS FOR AUTHOR

  1. Will this be your only book?
  2. Are you a member of an authors group (KAC)?
  3. Do you have a website?
  4. Do you blog?
  5. What forms of social media do you use?
  6. Do you have one or more email contact lists you can access/share?
  7. Are you interested in public speaking/book signings?
  8. What memberships/organizations are you personally involved with? Will they distribute your book/author announcements?
  9. Are you using Goodreads or Bookbub?
  10. Can you describe your book in 100 words or less?
  11. Can you describe your book in an “elevator pitch”?
  12. Do you have an author bio?
  13. What are your goals for this book? Hopes and wishes?

FIRST STEPS FOR NEW AUTHOR

  • Provide manuscript as a word or text doc
  • Provide jpeg/tff images in 300 resolution or higher (preferably 600 resolution) typically 3 X 3 or larger
  • Number and caption photos and provide any other metadata: photographer, artist, date, etc.
  • Provide blurbs/bio/photo of author

28 STEPS FROM MANUSCRIPT TO MARKET

ServiceDescription of Services
1* Edit book
up to 10,000 words for 2 rounds of editing (optional – you may select your own editor)
*
ANAMCARA PRESS DOES NOT CHARGE ITS AUTHORS TO PUBLISH
2Assign ISBNFor each format: soft cover, hard cover, e-book, you’ll need a publisher-assigned IBSN for your book to be discoverable. (Contact AC press for audio book details)
3aLayout/design interior – Option a Text only without notes/biblioPrepare the manuscript for print. No interior images up to 280 pages
3bLayout/design interior – Option b up to 10 photosup to 10 author supplied photos at correct size/resolution up to 280 pages
3cLayout/design interior – Option c over 10 photos, with notes/bibliography/children’sover 10 author supplied photos at correct size/resolution; (ask about cost for specialized elements such as footnotes, endnotes, charts, graphs, etc.)
4aCover layout/design (author supplies art)Cover creation with one author supplied photo at correct size/resolution
4bCustom cover layout/design(including art)Custom cover layout/design(including art); three designs to choose from & ability to tweek
5aUpload PDF files to Distributor Upload interior and cover PDF files to Distributors. 
§
ANAMCARA PRESS PROVIDES MARKETING ASSISTANCE TO OUR AUTHORS AT THREE LEVELS: Branding, Advertising, and Promoting
7LEVEL ONE:  BRANDING 
Publisher & author work together to create branding for book and author
8Branding AWrite Ad Copy: Select BISAC Category, Keywords. description, and other language that display on your book’s Amazon.com page, and everywhere else, and entices readers to buy. 
9Branding BCreate and apply “metadata” from ad copy (bits and pieces of information go in various online places to help make your book discoverable. 
10Branding CCreate media kit (Press Kit) from Ad copy and metadata. 
11Branding DCreate Print Book Release Ad from media kit
12Branding ECreate online Release Ad from Print ad
13Branding FAuthor Webpage on publisher website dedicated to author/book
14Branding GAssist with Amazon Author Central page set up and Goodreads author page setup
15Branding HWordPress Basic Website creation (optional but necessary in order to have bookstore or library events.)
16LEVEL TWO:  ADVERTISINGPublisher & author work together to create a detailed marketing plan for title including advertising 
17Advertising APublisher orders & author distributes (with publisher email/letterhead) advance print copies for editorial reviews (NetGalley subscription reduces this cost substantially; see “Promotion” below.)
18Advertising BPublisher orders & distributes advance print copies to local bookstores, libraries, and media
19Advertising CPublisher & author distribute pre-release print ads
20Advertising DPublisher & author distribute pre-release social media ads
21Advertising EPublisher & author distribute post-release social media ads
22Advertising FYouTube video for book (30 seconds -1 minute)
23Advertising GAuthor interview and reading (recorded video/audio)
24Advertising HList book in Holiday and sales ads
25Advertising IList book in Publisher’s catalog
24LEVEL THREE:  PROMOTION  (third party promotion)Publisher & author work together to promote book and author through third-party marketing organizations. The purpose is to help the title get discovered. 
24Promotion APress Release (it is recommended to do a national press release 2-3 weeks before Street Date.
25Promotion BNetGalley Review Subscription 
26Promotion CGoodreads eBook promotion 
27Promotion DBookBub promotion 
28Promotion EPublisher will present book at trade shows book exhibit (e.g.ALA)

ANAMCARA PRESS —OUR PLEDGE

Integrity: primary aim is to enable authors to effectively publish and sell books. We follow through on all promised services and fully honor all publication agreement terms. 

Value: We add value to each publication commensurate with the fee charged, relieving authors of key publishing tasks, enhancing readability, design or discoverability.

Clarity: We make it clear what we can and cannot do for the writer and how our service compares to others.

Pricing: Our price quotations are accurate, transparent and complete. Pricing is in line with market norms.

Partnership: We involve authors in planning and decision-making for key aspects of the publication process, from titles and cover design to sales and marketing strategies.

Service: We are accountable for our work. We keep authors informed each step of the way and provide good customer service and follow-up.

Communication: We provide helpful and timely information to authors at all stages of publication, and beyond, and facilitate authors to get any ancillary information which we cannot provide.

Community: We have a long-term commitment to author-publishing and support the empowerment of self-publishing authors.

We distribute your book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Google Play, and internationally through Ingram’s global network, as well as other retailers through Draft2Digital and Dreamscape.