Dog Days – Finding a Publisher |

The first step is to do your research. Thoroughly. The objective is to identify the publishers in your genre who are likely to consider your book. Smaller publishers tend to specialize in certain areas, while larger publishers are divided into imprints – divisions that concentrate on certain types of books. The best way to find these publishers is to purchase a guide such as the Literary Market Place or subscribe to an online database such as Using these references, you can identify publishers that work in your genre, accept unagented submissions and work with debut authors. Compile a list of at least twenty publishers. Most will have a website describing their capabilities (I’ll come back to this).Rank the publishers and begin sending out query letters, maybe a couple each week. The query letter has to be a great piece of writing, since it represents you and your book to the publisher. In one well-written page, introduce your novel, provide a one paragraph bio, and offer to send your manuscript. The query must conform to the publishers requirements, which should be on their website.Most publishers receive hundreds of queries each week, and reject well over 95% of them, so it has to be persuasive. And if you’re expecting this to be a fast process, forget about it. Most publishers take two weeks to four months to reply. If you wait for a publisher to reply before you send out the next query, you should complete the process sometime around 2015. That’s why you send out a couple of queries a week.Then the magical day occurs — a publisher calls and says she wants to publish your book. It’s all over, all you have to do is sign the contract and let the publisher take care of everything.
Wrong.Even though you have found a publisher, don’t be too quick to sign on the dotted line. Here’s a nasty little secret: some publishers aren’t very good. Signing with such a publisher would lead to a mess. I’ll explain.A writer I know was offered a contract by a small, newly formed publisher. The publisher was enthusiastic about his novel and had a nice website, so he signed. Well, it turned out that the publisher was a novice in publishing and, even worse, underfunded as well. It was a disaster; the publisher provided little of the marketing that had been promised and then went out of business. Not a great situation for a debut author.So it’s important to check out a publisher thoroughly before you sign. First, look into the publisher’s financial stability and professional success. How many years has she been in business? Her most successful books? Are the key marketing, editing, cover design and operations performed by employees? Will she provide any financial information?Find out if the publisher has a distributor, which is an organization that sells and stocks the books. Without a distributor, it’s difficult to sell to libraries and bookstores, leaving Amazon and the other online booksellers as the only outlets. Independent Publishers Group is one of the top distributors.To sell through bookstores, the publisher must allow returns. If the book doesn’t sell in a few months, the stores will ship them back to the distributor for a refund. It’s a crazy system, but if your publisher doesn’t allow returns, you won’t see your novel in bookstores.It’s essential to learn if the books will be printed in manufacturing runs or POD (Print On Demand). POD books are printed one at a time as orders come in, which is expensive, but keeps the publisher’s investment to a minimum. A manufacturing run of five or ten thousand books is less expensive per book, and it illustrates a greater investment by the publisher in your book. From an author’s perspective, manufacturing runs are far more desirable.On-line marketing is critical in today’s marketplace. Although it’s important to obtain pre-release book reviews in the major trade publication such as Booklist and Publishers Weekly, social networking, blogging and other online activities are critical. If a reader hasn’t heard of your novel, he can’t purchase it. The importance of getting the word out, getting readers interested in your work, can’t be overstressed.Check out the publisher’s website and blogs, which help build buzz around the books. The website should have a Google Page Rank of at least 4. This means a decent number of sites have links pointing at the website, which is a good indicator of site quality and traffic. The publisher should also have several blogs — the more the merrier — each with a Page Rank of at least 3.Unless you are a marketing guru, it’s important to select a publisher that provides leadership in the complex world of internet marketing. Does the publisher encourage her authors to join MySpace and other social networking sites. Do the authors each have websites and blogs? An Amazon Profile? Do they participate in popular blogs and forums? Does the publisher provide video trailers?And, of course, check out the sales history of the publisher’s books similar to yours. Go to a website like TitleZ and review the sales history. If similar novels are not selling, maybe this isn’t the best place for your novel.Of course, advance money and contract terms are important. However, an advance to a debut author is usually pretty small, and frankly, you probably won’t have much success in negotiating contract terms. Just make sure that the terms are not completely out of line.That’s a quick overview of the steps to find a good publisher. Working with a publisher you respect is enjoyable and can be quite profitable. A bad publisher, however, is pure frustration.

Self-Publishing – Avoid the 5 Biggest Mistakes Authors Make When Self-Publishing |

Self-publishing a book is growing more and more common these days. It may in fact be the only way new authors can get published.There are lots of reasons for that. Commercial publishers are pulling back on the number of books they are publishing. They are less willing to take risks on new authors. In fact, increasingly they are looking to successful self-published authors rather than first-time authors who approach them.Technology also makes it more attractive to self-publish. No longer do authors have to order thousands of books upfront, just to be published. (Requiring a huge minimum order is a red flag that you’re dealing with the kind of company you want to avoid.) “Print on demand” technology means the book does not need to be printed until it’s actually sold. An author’s upfront costs need not be astonomical, nor do authors need to be stuck with a garage full of books they may or may not sell. (Publishers themselves are using POD technology for the same reasons.)Given these realities, self-publishing can make a lot of sense, especially for first-time authors.However, self-publishing is full of potential traps.If you’ve ever done a search on Google for ‘self-publishing companies,” it gets even more confusing. The top search results are from self-publishers themselves, who of course will attempt to woo would-be authors with glowing promises. Many make it sound as if they offer the services similar to traditional publishers, when nothing is further from the truth.Into this mix comes a welcome book by Mark Levine, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing: The Contracts & Services of 45 Self-Publishing Companies–Analyzed, Ranked and Exposed.Now about to be released in its Third Edition, the book does authors a great service in ranking some of the most popular self-publishing companies, exhaustively going into the finer points of each company’s contracts and ranking them in terms of how author-friendly their terms really are.In a recent interview with Mark, we discussed the five biggest mistakes authors make when looking into a self-publishing company.Mistake #1: Not knowing who the book is really for. As a book publishing consultant, I can’t tell you how many times people say, “My book is for everyone.” It may be, but “everyone” is simply too big a category.Think about your own book-buying habits. What persuades you to buy a book? Aside from the number 1 persuader–a recommendation from a trusted source–don’t you go by which author appears to solve the particular problem you have? If you had a self-help book you wanted to publish, would you be more likely to buy a book called “How to Successfully Publish Your Book” or “How to Successfully Publish Your Self-Help Book”? You might argue that the first title would appeal to every author who wants to self-publish a book, but in fact, a more targeted title and book will outsell the more generally targeted book.Whether you self-publish or go with a traditional publisher, knowing your audience is key. A commercial publisher won’t even consider you if you don’t have a clear, demonstrated audience for your book. However, when you self-publish, you are free to write an unmarketable book. Nobody will stop you. You’ll just be stuck with a garage full of unsalable books.Mistake #2: Unrealistic expectations as to how many books you really can sell. Yes, all authors want to be the next big blockbuster phenomenon, but unrealistic expectations could make you vulnerable to spending too much money, especially in cases when you pay less per book if you order large quantities. So what if you pay $5.60 per book for 1000 books instead of $7.80 for 500? You’re still out $5600 instead of $3900, and now you have to figure out how to store and sell 500 extra books.Mark Levine says of his own expectations, “I’m happy if I can go out to dinner at a really nice restaurant once a month on the royalties for my book.” A book can be a lot of things: a means of commanding higher speaking or consulting fees, an introduction to your knowledge that you can sell in other, more profitable ways. But in itself, a book is not the most profitable way to earn income.Which leads to …Mistake #3: Not expecting to invest in marketing (time or money). In researching for this article, I was surprised at the number of people who warned against self-publishing because “they will not market your book.” As if traditional publishers do. Yes, good ones usually do some kind of launch, but they concentrate their limited marketing dollars on authors they know will sell. Any author needs to accept full responsibility for promoting his or her book.Traditional publishers now demand it. They won’t even consider authors who are not interested in marketing their own book. Self-publishers don’t demand it, of course. Some will offer marketing packages, but be very careful and very clear about what you will actually get for your investment. But do expect to invest something–if not money, then “sweat equity” in terms of getting the word out.Mistake #4:  Not getting your book professionally edited and designed. Personally, the biggest giveaway to me that a book is self-published is the interior design. Amateurish artwork, sloppy layout (especially in terms of narrow margins), and unproofed copy will kill sales. A retailer (bookstore pro) can usually spot such a book and will reject it.  A potential reader may not be able to put a finger on exactly why a book doesn’t appeal, but an unprofessional-looking book will be passed over.You simply cannot skimp here. Get professional editors (a content editor and a copy editor–they are two separate things) to edit you. And a professional book designer to design the exterior and interior of your book. Make sure these people work with books, not other products.Mistake #5: Getting published by the wrong publisher. There are good publishing companies with fair terms–and quite the opposite. The biggest way publishers gouge authors is in the printing markup, Mark Levine says. “Anything more than 15 percent markup on printing is simply not acceptable, unless you know what it is for and don’t mind paying more than you should.’To find a good publishing company, do your homework well. Don’t be afraid to ask the publisher tough questions (this is how Mark Levine researched his book). Ask other authors their experiences, but be aware that they themselves may not have known there’s a better way than what they chose.  Self-publishing can be a wonderful way to get your message into the world–or a sinkhole of time and money with disappointing results. With eyes wide open and the right knowledge, you can make your dream of becoming a published author come true.

Self-Publish Or Get a Mainstream Publisher – Which is the Best Way to Publish? |

Publishing a book is a big decision, and most people automatically look for ways to get published by a mainstream publisher. While there are definitely advantages to being published by mainstream publishers, there are downsides as well. It really comes down to what your goals are in getting published. Then you can figure out which path is best for you.Let’s take a look at some of the advantages to each kind of publishing.Advantages of Self-PublishingIn some instances, self-publishing is the better route. Consider self-publishing if:

you want to get your book out quickly. For instance, if you’re a business person or speaker who wants a book to boost your credibility, garner you higher consulting or speaking fees, and have something to sell in the back of the room, self-publishing is the best path by far. You need to get your book out there. You don’t have time to wait sometimes years to find a literary agent, then a publisher.

you plan to sell your book yourself. Again, if your book is mainly a way to enhance what you’re already doing, you want the maximum control over when the book is printed, and how much profit you make from it. Mainstream publishers often don’t give authors a huge break on books they buy to sell themselves. Plus, you’re at the mercy of their decision as to when and even if to reprint.

you have the resources to pay the upfront costs. Especially if you know you can sell books in the back of the room, or that it’s worth it to give them away as a lead generator for your business, you will likely recoup those costs from sales. Look at it as an investment in your marketing. A book is an asset that can bring the financial rewards mentioned above: higher-paying clients and speaking fees (your book brands you as an expert), an easy way to get new clients, something to give away to promote your services, a way to introduce people to your expertise and lead them to your higher-prices products or services, etc.
The downsides of self-publishing are the upsides of mainstream publishing.Part of the reason for that is the sheer number of books being published (something like 180,000 per year). Media folks need some way of culling out the best from the second-best. Mainstream-published books generally are better written, better edited, and better packaged. The media who review books knows this.Another important thing to know:It can take a long time before your book gets published. If you want a mainstream publisher, you absolutely must have an outstanding book proposal to attract a literary agent and then a publisher.If you have the luxury of time, have a burning desire to be published by a mainstream publisher, are willing to devote yourself to “being an author” which means building and maintaining a platform, and don’t need to depend on a book as a main income generator (royalties alone seldom make any author rich), then go for mainstream publishing.What it really comes down to is: Why do you want to publish a book? The answer to that question gives you the lens to focus on the right choice for you.Advantages of Mainstream Publishing

Get paid to publish. The obvious advantage is the fact that you get paid to write your book, rather than having to pay any upfront costs yourself. Though your advance against royalty might not be large (nowadays the average is $10,000, but they are actually shrinking), still, it’s better than having to put out the money yourself. However, know that there will still be costs involved, mostly in terms of marketing your book. While some publishers will still give you some marketing at launch time, the success of your book is up to you. If you don’t actively promote it, the publisher will soon put your book out of print.

Your book gets into the bookstores. Another huge advantage: You get into the bookstores. Most print-on-demand publishers don’t get you into the bookstores, though they promise they will. Read the language carefully in self-publishing contract. Most POD publishers won’t take bookstore returns, and because of this, bookstores won’t stock their books.

Possibility of getting on bestseller lists. Another little-known fact is that bestseller lists are based on bookstore sales. If you want to get on the typical bestseller lists, your book needs to be in the bookstores.

Credibility with the media. When a mainstream publisher backs you, you have more credibility. Especially with the media. Believe me, they know who the mainstream publishers are, and, for the most part, give precedence to books published by those publishers. Part of the reason for that is the sheer number of books being published (something like 180,000 per year). Media folks need some way of culling out the best from the second-best. Mainstream-published books generally are better written, better edited, and better packaged. The media who review books knows this.
One important thing to know about seeking a mainstream publisher: It can take a long time before your book gets published. If you want a mainstream publisher, you absolutely must have an outstanding book proposal to attract a literary agent and then a publisher.If you have the luxury of time, have a burning desire to be published by a mainstream publisher, are willing to devote yourself to “being an author” which means building and maintaining a platform, and don’t need to depend on a book as a main income generator (royalties alone seldom make any author rich), then go for mainstream publishing.Changes Blurring the LinesPublishing is undergoing huge changes, fueled by changes in technology. With print-on-demand technology being used by all publishers, and with all the changes happening in the publishing industry, the lines between mainstream and self-published books are blurring.So, though many in the media will not look at a self-published book, it often has more to do with the fact that so many self-published books don’t look as professionally packaged as mainstream books. If your book looks just as good as any you’d find in a bookstore, you overcome that hurdle. If you have an interesting idea, a platform (as in, website and some kind of demonstrable media exposure), and an interesting hook–they will overlook how your book was published.I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but the bottom line is: What you really need is a great idea, an audience, and a well-packaged book. By well-packaged book I mean: arresting title, professional-looking cover, interior design (most authors overlook this crucial factor, and their books stand out as shoddy because of it).So, if you determine that your book will have these things, you can either look for a mainstream publisher or self-publish.Again, it all comes down to: Why do you want to publish a book? The answer to that question gives you the lens to focus on the right choice for you.

To Publish Or To Self Publish |

Obviously, traditional publishing does not insure excellent quality. Nor does self-publishing suggest inferior quality. Such a simplistic representation belies the gray area in between. Since anyone can become self-published, regardless of aptitude, it is logical to assume that there are more poor quality self-published books, because there is no doorkeeper to screen out inadequate talent. Taking this a step further, since anyone can self-publish; poor writers receive no independent feedback. All authors require feedback in order to discover and remedy areas in need of improvement. Thus, a self-published author may continue to crank out poor quality writing, unaware that their skills require honing.Some new authors believe that trade publishers are inaccessible. This concept lacks a logical foundation. The popularity of self-publishing says almost nothing about “the inaccessibility of trade publishers.” Rather, it is an artifact of the transitional state of the industry. I have had two books traditionally published and I did not find publishers “inaccessible.” In fact, although I was an unknown author, I received an advance on my first book. More recently, through message boards and social networking sites, I have discovered many authors who gave up after contacting a few dozen publishers. They, no doubt, could have had the impression that publishers were inaccessible. However, had they learned how to write a descriptive and succinct publishing proposal, and had the dedication to contact hundreds of publishers, they might have been successful.The publishing industry, along with its distribution, marketing and sales channels is undergoing vast transformation. Competition is fierce, profit margins are diminishing and Internet sales are changing the face of the industry. With current profit margins cut to draconian levels, publishers can take few chances on unknown writers, particularly with fiction. Instead, publishers must insure the quality and marketability of the writing. While it has always been difficult for an unknown author to obtain a contract with trade publishers, it is even more difficult today. And, because of contemporary industry flux, publishers are less interested in the quality of your writing than in its marketability. They lack the financial security to take chances on books with a marginal opportunity for profitability. Thus, many more authors today must rely upon self-publishing, not necessarily because it’s the best way to publish, but rather it’s the only way.Of course there are many high quality self-published books and some poor quality trade published books. But such a statement cannot be used to boost the reputation of self-published books. This perception runs short on logic. Trade publishers are the gatekeepers of quality, while no talent is required at all to self-publish. Still, many perceptive non-fiction writers who have the time and talent to market and sell their books are heavily influenced by self-publishing’s financial rewards. But, this author must be willing to conduct what amounts to almost a full time job in preparing their book for self-publishing sales.The self-published author must not only possess excellent writing skills to be successful, he or she must also have excellent graphic art talent for cover design. Although it should not matter, a book’s cover is an important sales criterion. The self-published author must have deep connections with distributors and retailers. Most new authors do not. The book must quickly appear on the Internet sites of Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, etc. The self-published author must also successfully engage distributors globally, since widespread distribution is a key element of sales success.Most self-publishing organizations will offer little in the way of marketing, beyond placing the cover and a description in their web site. In reality, books will not sell unless they are distributed internationally, available with all major retail Internet sites and on the shelves of bookstores.The self-published author must also have the talent and time to create and administer a successful viral marketing campaign. The author must create and maintain Internet web sites, promote their book through dozens of social networking sites and maintain the book at retailers. They must write articles about their book (or a related topic) and have them published on popular Internet sites and Blogs. They must research, collect and use appropriate key words, so that search engines will find the book and related articles. They must Blog and write on others’ Blogs, promoting the book. All of this demands a great deal of time and effort.Additionally, the self-published author must arrange for book tours, book signings, bookstore visits and create radio and television media exposure. The author must also obtain reviews from pertinent sources and promote the book through organizations, newspapers and magazines. In most cases, the traditional publisher, who already possesses the talent, connections and experience, will accomplish these critical tasks; and they will be accomplished faster than a self-published author can complete the tasks. If a self-published author lacks the time, connections and talent to accomplish all of these critical tasks, they should continue to promote their writing to traditional publishers. Unless, of course, the author only wants a nice book with his or her name on it for their coffee table. If the author desires that people read the book, or they wish to earn revenue from it, then a trade publisher is best.It is not my intent to condemn self-publishing. For experienced, recognized and talented authors who write non-fiction, and who have the time and ability to accomplish all of the tasks mentioned above, self-publishing might be the best opportunity. However, for an inexperienced writer who works elsewhere full time and who writes fiction, it can be the wrong way to publish. Instead, the author should hone and refine their skills through writing courses and by engaging professional feedback about their skills.Finally, many new authors give up on trade publishing far too soon. They disregard submission guidelines posted on the publishers’ web site. They send publishers a manuscript instead of a proposal. Or, they send a poor proposal. At a minimum, publishing proposals must include a market study, competitive analysis, biography, synopsis, marketing analysis and sales attributes.Trade publishers are the industry gatekeeper for a very good reason. It insures that the author under contract will possess marketable skills. Authors who use rejection to their advantage, by refinement and honing of their skills, will be rewarded in the future with a traditional publishing contract and reap the rewards that trade publishers offer.Charles S. WeinblattAuthor, “Jacob’s Courage”

Self-Publish? Or Use a Publishing House? |

Should I self-publish my book–or send it to a publishing house? What are the pros and cons of self-publishing, compared with submitting a manuscript to a traditional “for royalty” publishing house? Consider the following:Using a Publishing House: The Pros
The biggest plus for you as an author, if your book is published by a “traditional” publishing house, is that the publisher assumes the full expense of producing the book. That includes the editing, the cover design, page layout, printing, and binding.
Once printed, your publisher also takes care of storing the finished books as they await sale.
Another major advantage to you is that the publisher assumes the expense for advertising and marketing the book.
Finally, the publisher takes care of order fulfillment and shipping. Smaller publishers may have their own internal order and shipping departments. Most large publishers supply inventory to a large distributor, which then supplies the “big box” retail chain bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, as well as online sellers such as Amazon.Using a Publishing House: The Cons
With some smaller publishers, you may be able to submit your manuscript directly to their editorial department. But most large publishing houses do not deal directly with authors but with literary agents. So you will need to locate a good agent (not always an easy task), and then if they successfully pitch your manuscript to a publisher, the agent is paid a percentage of the proceeds from book sales (typically 15 percent but can range from 10 percent to 20 percent).
Once your manuscript is in the hands of the publishing house, you may have quite a wait to receive their decision on whether or not to publish. Be prepared for possibly waiting six months to a year or even longer.
Most publishing houses retain the right to choose the book title and cover concept. You also must accept their editing: cuts, changes, etc. You can weigh in on these decisions, but the final choice is theirs.
Your biggest “con” when using a traditional publishing house is that when your book sells, your profit is a set percentage of either the retail or wholesale price–a royalty, Some publishers base their royalties on the retail selling price–others on a discounted wholesale price (the price for which a distributor or retailer can buy books from the publisher). Royalty percentages vary from one publisher to another, but can typically range from 7 percent to 15 percent.
When will you see some money? When your book is accepted, the publisher sends you a contract. When signed and returned, you’ll be sent a royalty advance against future sales. For authors not yet well known, this will typically be a rather modest amount–perhaps in the range of $1,500 to $5,000. Authors with a proven record of sales can command much higher advances.
The final “con” to traditional publishing is that once the book begins selling, you may need to wait a year or more to receive your first royalty check, as it will be based on the publisher’s first selling cycle–typically, a year.Self-Publishing: The Pros
In many ways, the pros and cons for self-publishing are the reverse of those for using a traditional publisher. This begins with the decision to publish or not. If you’re in favor, the decision is made! No waiting long months for some committee to reach a verdict.
You’ll have no need, either, to locate, work with, and split profits with an agent.
You have control over the book’s title and cover concept. And you have “veto” power over the work of the editor you choose to edit your manuscript. He or she is performing a paid service for you, so the final say is yours.
Far and away the biggest advantage to self-publishing is that once your books are printed and sold, you keep 100 percent of the profits. If your book sells for, say, $20, you keep $20 from that sale, rather than say, the $2 per book you’d make from a 10 percent retail-based royalty. Many self-publishers not only recover their initial investment but go on to realize satisfying profits once the inventory is all sold out.Self-Publishing: The Cons
The obviously largest “con” for self-publishing is the up-front expense you must underwrite to have your manuscript made into a book. You’ll need to fund the editing, the page layout, the cover design, obtaining an ISBN number, the printing, the binding, the shipping, and storage expense. Some editorial services companies offer a “turn-key” package for self-publishers that includes most or all of these expenses.
Once you have edited, press-ready files, you’ll need to find a good printer/binder. This can be daunting for someone new to self-publishing. But many editors and editorial service companies can match you up with a reputable high-quality, reasonable-cost printer.
Once you’ve taken delivery of your finished books, you are then responsible for advertising and marketing the books–getting them sold. This too is an expense to you and can include online or print advertising, website expenses, distributor fees, and the “shoe-leather” work of arranging book signings at local bookstores, doing radio and TV publicity, and other selling avenues.For those with sufficient resources to fund the expense and with enough enthusiasm and energy to market their books, self-publishing can be not only enormously satisfying, but can generate a significant profit above its costs.A final caveat: Self-publishing should never be confused with so-called “vanity” or “subsidy” publishing, which often requires an author to pay an exorbitant price to a publisher promising both quality and aggressive marketing but which may fall significantly short in both areas.

What an Author Should Avoid in Print-on-Demand Publishing |

At present, it is unclear which business model will prevail, traditional publishing or print-on-demand (POD). Each model has one sub-category. Traditional publishing says that presses will print a certain number of books up front–20,000 for a promising book by a new author to 250,000 copies for an established writer. The POD model does not print any books until they are paid for by the customer. The book is kept in digital form and distributed online. These two business models could not be more different from each other, even though they share the same industry, compete for the same authors, and create the exact same physical books. It is the distribution that has radically changed in recent years. It should be noted that traditional publishing has a deep-seated aversion to POD, which I will explain presently.The first sub-category, for traditional publishing, is a more conservative version of the original model of printing a lot of books up front, which I call half-hearted publishing. Half-hearted publishing means a larger house will print only 5,000 copies of a book that they might have once printed 50,000 copies. The marketing budget is severely cut.This quasi-publishing model is neither traditional publishing nor POD publishing, and it is a model that is counter-intuitive to an industry that, if anything, requires boldness and much risk-taking. Half-hearted traditional publishing has formed as a result of various pressures on the traditional publishing industry in recent years, such as: the recession; the rise of the Internet and robust online advertising; the rapid growth of POD publishing; and even things like dying newspapers (that take with them their networks of book reviews and its own distribution).The sub-category for POD publishing is a much larger industry than the main category; indeed, the very notion of POD publishing is my own invention. If one accepts, then, that POD publishing exists until I can prove why, POD’s sub-category is vanity publishing and self-publishing. The two terms, vanity publishing and self-publishing, are indistinguishable; both involve the author paying money up front to have his or her book published and then obtaining a certain number of copies of that book and selling them. Traditional publishers–the large presses like Random House or Farrar, Straus Giroux (Macmillan)–have come to despise POD publishing because in their minds it is associated with self-publishing, which is and always was loathed by traditional houses.Self-publishing has been frowned upon by every part of the book industry, in fact, from academia to the customers themselves, despite the fact that many noted American authors (Stephen Crane, Edgar Allen Poe, and Walt Whitman) self-published their work-oftentimes successfully both in terms of sales and their books’ legacies. Recently, with the digitization of society, it has become far easier to self-publish for authors. Thus, a vast self-publishing industry has evolved online that incorporates POD technology. There is an additional stigma from traditional houses at the idea of selling books directly to authors, which is what self-publishers do. It is unclear why that stigma exists.World Audience is not a self-publisher; but why that is fact is open to debate. Is it because we do not charge our authors to publish their books? It is common practice for new, independent presses to charge their authors in some manner, to help offset the costs of a book’s publication. Once a new press reaches a certain maturity as a business and has acquired enough capital, it is no longer necessary for it to charge its authors. So if this is a criteria defining a press that self-publishes authors, it is a flawed one.Is it because World Audience has an editorial staff and only publishes books we want to publish, as opposed to any book, as self-publishing companies do? The point is it does not matter so long as the press can sustain and grow its business. POD technology is revolutionary and World Audience has embraced it, along with all things tech–whereas traditional publishers have rejected these things, and are suffering as a result. A little stigma can be a dangerous thing.With POD technology, a book remains in print indefinitely, housed digitally on databases throughout the Internet. This means that the author and the publisher are linked and must work together to make the author’s book successful, over time. With traditional publishing, once the initial print run was sold, author and publisher parted ways; perhaps, even immediately after the book’s publication. The marketing was over in a matter of months. POD publishing is altogether different: the marketing of a book can continue for years. The POD publisher cannot be expected to do all the marketing in this kind of arrangement. It is up to the author to market his or her book. World Audience’s authors, such as Gene Ayres (Hour of the Manatee ISBN: 978-1-935444-08-4), Dr. Jay Granat (Zone Tennis ISBN: 978-0-9820540-9-3), and Dr. Frank Romano (Storm Over Morocco, 3rd Ed. ISBN: 978-1935444251) are but three of World Audience’s authors who have always understood that they must work hard to market their book.These authors have devoted their energies to building Web sites and marketing their books online in myriad ways. However, one of World Audience’s authors, Chyna–along with her photographer Emillio O–refused to accept that an author must market her book. Perhaps her refusal arises from her lengthy publication record with books and magazines that incorporate the traditional publishing methods I have explained. Regardless, I canceled Chyna’s and Emillio O’s book, Paper Doll ISBN: 978-1-935444-22-0. It would have been easy for a celebrity of Chyna’s status to do signings, which she agreed to do but then reneged on her offer. In fact, as her publisher I was able to arrange signings for Chyna very easily. There are costs involved in keeping a book in print with POD. By canceling Paper Doll, I have set an example for other authors that in the current climate there is little room for error, and publishers cannot afford to tolerate lackadaisical authors who are uninterested in their own books. During a revolution, which is what this is, such actions are the equivalent of sabotage.And given the new paradigm of POD publishing, canceling Chyna’s book is a new precedent that I have set. It is almost unheard of that an author would not care about the success of her book; but Chyna has shown me that it is indeed possible. Additionally, given the networked nature of the Web, POD publishing is a linked business and each author must rely on the success of the other writers published by World Audience. Each book that World Audience publishes is a vital part of that network, and is a major risk and investment. By not doing her part to market her own book, Chyna has diminished the opportunities of the other authors in World Audience, and even the press itself. Clearly, it was a major mistake to publish Chyna’s book and World Audience nearly did not survive as a result. Without her help in marketing her book, Paper Doll is selling very slowly. Although I have canceled Paper Doll, the procedure takes time, and it is possible to reinstate it, should the author change her mind and decide to contribute to her book’s success, which is easily obtainable.The business model of POD publishing demands that the author and publisher work together. The profit per copy sold is much higher than with traditional publishing and there are less people involved in the operation because it is so efficient and has little overhead. Fewer copies have to be sold to make a profit. However, because there are a lot of books in print today, selling even a few thousand copies of a title can be a daunting task. But selling those few thousand copies means that that particular book has reached a wide readership, relatively-speaking. And there are very few returns with POD publishing, which is not the case with traditional publishing. The reality is, at present, there are no more mega-selling books. None. And the concept of a typical book that is published by a major press that becomes a large hit and sells hundreds of thousands of copies–in the summer of 2009–is a fantasy.In conclusion, it is vital for authors to recognize and understand the ways publishing is changing if they want their books to succeed. Why else would an author go to the trouble to create a book in the first place? World Audience is competently navigating a course through the chaos of the publishing industry, and even growing very rapidly as a result of our stewardship, determination, and resourcefulness. World Audience is able to win in this game by relying on its authors to market their books. If writers do not do their part, their books will not be successful on their own. And if a writer neglects her book, the damage caused by that action is much greater than perhaps perceived. It is as if a ship is navigating extremely rough waters and one of its seaman has fallen into the water and is being dragged by the ship, still clinging to a rope connected to the ship. The crew is unable to pull the seaman in because of the heavy waves of obstinacy, so this unproductive member of the team has become a drag, literally, on the ship and she must be cut from the team. That dead weight endangers the entire crew. And so the captain must take a big axe and cut the rope and the seaman will float out to sea, alone and gone.

The Ultimate Publishing Guide – How to Publish Your Book Without Breaking a Sweat |

Most writers claim that ‘writing’ is the painless part of being a writer- the real challenge begins when you attempt to publish your masterpiece. The book industry can be a really hard one to crack, especially if you’re a newbie. No need to panic though – if you’re reading this, all your publishing problems are nearly over!This article has been designed as a one-stop publishing guide for all types of writers. It is crammed full of useful and current information, which taps into the world of literature by exploring a variety of different channels of publication. This guide explores; Publishing thorough an Agency, Mainstream Publication, Self Publishing, Local Publishing Companies and eBook Publication. It furthers to explore life after your book has been published.So whether your interests lie in large international exposure for you book, or self publishing, simply read on for a detailed tour of the publishing industry.Option 1) Publishing through an AgencyThe ProcessThe first step to saving time whilst publishing is making sure that you avoid writing something that will never be read! My advice to anyone who aspires to publish something is to find a literary agent. This is a great time saver as, when you have an agent, you will never again waste time writing something that may be defined as ‘unmarketable’. To further explain – the literary network is very closely knit i.e. in order to have your book published; you would need to go through specific channels. A strict system has been designed to maintain a sense of order in the realm of literature. Now, an agent can help you weave your way through the system – especially if you are a first timer.An agent is an individual who is able to help you through much of the information filtering process. A recommendation from an agent almost guarantees that your manuscript will be read by a publishing house.Essentially, the role of an agent is to read and approve your manuscript or any ideas that you may have i.e. queries and proposals. The agent will then decide whether your venture could be successful. If so, the agent will further to draw up a contract with you. Contracts of this nature usually express the agent’s promise to use his/her best efforts to get your manuscript into a publishing house – the exchange is usually about 15% of the entire deal. Your new agent will then work extremely hard to sell your idea.Agent HuntingThere are usually 2 types of agents – those who work with fiction and those who work with non-fiction. The easiest way to find your match is by paging through a publishing guide/directory, which lists the functions of a variety of agents in great detail i.e. ‘Guide to Literary Agents’. It is important to take note of any previous books that have been published by the agent/s that you are interested in – usually an agent will take interest in a particular theme, and stick to working with ideas along its lines.Contacting an AgentOnce you have compiled a list of potential agents, feel free to start contacting them. The best way to do this is via a query letter. In essence, a query letter a short introduction of yourself and your idea – it should feed the agent enough information to arouse interest, but not too much to bore him/her. This is a suggested letter structure:
The Teaser
Your introduction is usually the aspect of the letter sells you – so make it an attention grabber. Ideally, you would want to describe the compelling fit between the person that you are and your idea for a book.

Develop Your Idea
Use your next few sentences to explore your idea, explaining what it is that you want to write about. Feel free to add in a snip-bit of your writing that best exemplifies your idea.

Self Description
Your third paragraph should be based on you. Try to reiterate the connection between you as a person and your idea. You should also feel free to show-off your academic or intellectual achievements.

Wrapping Up
Be sure to personalize your concluding sentence- making the agent feel unique and valuable to you in your selection process. Conclude by sharing your contact details and preferred method of communication.

Remember, this letter is merely an ‘appetizer’ so keep it short and simple.Proposal PreparationAfter sending your initial query letter to an agent, he/she would normally follow up by requesting a proposal. Essentially, your proposal is a document that accurately outlines an idea for a book. Here’s idea of what your proposal should contain:
The Overview
The first 2 pages of your proposal should contain a broad summary of the book.
Non-fiction: Explain your intentions in terms of contents and topics.
Fiction: Provide a general outline of your plot.

Target Market
Your next 3 pages should contain a description of your prospective target market. You should define this in terms of; age, socio-economic, and educational characteristics of you potential audience.

Market Threat and Competition
This section allows you to define what type of threats your book may face in terms of competitors and other books that cover a similar topic. Be careful to do all your homework here, because this section is really important to an agent as it dictates your books marketability.

Use this section to write up a brief description about yourself and your co-authors, if any. Take this opportunity to brag as much as possible, as this section will help your agent convince a publishing house to pay you for your idea.

Summary of Chapters
This should be the largest part of your proposal – it contains an outline of what you intend to cover in each chapter of your book.
Non-fiction: Provide a minimum amount of information i.e. outlines. Fiction: Provide definite samples of your writing.

This section is relatively small – it simply contains the number of words you think your finished book will contain and the approximate time you will take to write it.
ContractsHappy Day! So your proposal finally earns you a thumbs up…now what? It’s time to get into some paper work. The best part about this section is that you are not bearing the work load anymore. Your new agent will now send you a contract.These contracts are usually short documents that you can probably work though on your own, so no need for an attorney. You just need be careful about two things – firstly, that your agent is not looking to exclusively represent you for over 12 months, and secondly that you are not going to billed for the cost of office overhead if your book does not do well on the market.Once the contract has been signed, your agent will send you a copy of your original proposal with a few editorial suggestions. As soon as you finalize your proposal’s contents, your agent will start pitching your idea to the ‘big boys’ i.e. publishing companies. Once you get the go-ahead as well as the funding, feel free to start writing…Microsoft Word will be your new home!Option 2) Mainstream PublicationThe ProcessThis option is slightly similar to the first; however the two do have a few minor differences. The primary difference is that the ‘middle man’ or agent is no longer involved i.e. the first step that you need to take in the field of mainstream publication, is directly locating a publisher. Once again, you can feel free to look through a publishing directory or make use of a search engine. This way, you can choose a publisher, that best suits you.As soon as you have made contact with a publishing house and managed to spark a bit of interest, you might be requested to ‘pitch’ your book to the company in person.The Pitch & Self MarketingNow if consider yourself to be a great public speaker, this could be your moment to shine – if not, just remember that you will only be speaking to a few suits!The pitch is almost a verbal explanation of everything you would express in a proposal – if you happen to be unfamiliar with the guidelines for a proposal, simply follow the outline mentioned in option 1.If you choose to publish via mainstream publication, it is important to note that you must be able to market yourself. Even if you do get lucky and a publishing house chooses to publish your book, you will still have to do a major part of the marketing – keep that in mind when it comes to your budget as it will help to have some additional money to use for publicity.Risks/BenefitsThe obvious benefit of publishing via a mainstream company is the possible exposure that you and your book could attain. On a large scale, the scope of various mainstream publication houses extends from local to international.The greatest risk involved in using this method of publication, is the risk of rejection. You may even be rejected before publication as well as after. It is not often that a well-known publishing company would risk a dollar on an unknown author – so prepare yourself for possible rejection after your pitch. Even if your book does get accepted for publication, rejection is still a factor in terms of your book’s marketability and it is highly unlikely that your publisher will pick up the bill should your book not be successful.Option 3) Self Publishing – (POD) Print/Publish on DemandThe ProcessThis option refers to printing a book at the time of purchase. It is an innovative method of publishing books that saves money, time and supplies. The printing industry is ecstatic about this method of publication as it means that books no longer need to be warehoused until purchased.This method of publication allows you to handle the design work of your book or opt for a service/package that offers cover design, formatting and editing. Do a search for ‘self publishing’ publishing companies that will assist you in the areas that you may need help – from the time that your book has been ordered to the delivery. The POD will actually help you list your book on Barnes and Noble, and other major bookstores by hooking you up with an ISBN.Here’s how the process works:

Submit the final draft of your book to a company that offers POD. Make sure your draft is formatted in the way that you want it to look in its final publication.
You will be requested to wait until your file has been added to the data system of that company.
The printing company receives an order for your book according to its ISBN.
An operator at the printing company accesses your file in their system. Ensuring all editing and formatting is correct; the book is released to the printer and binder system. Your book is printed in less than 5 minutes.
Your book is then packaged and addressed to the customer. It is then sent directly to the customer.
This entire process takes approximately 10 working days – thus your book can hit the market as soon as possible.
BudgetWhile this type of publishing has become increasingly popular in the industry, it is important to note that it requires you fork out a bit of your own money – each book will cost you approximately $5.Risks/BenefitsThis option has various benefits. Firstly, most of the companies involved will accept any type of work, no matter who you are – so rejection is not something that you will have to worry about. Secondly, if you are involved with the design and formatting personally, your book automatically will gain a unique edge. Finally, the POD handles distribution and order fulfilment. This means that when you book has been ordered; the POD will print a copy of your book, ship it and pay you a royalty of approximately 30% of the purchase price – leaving you with less grey hair!With regards to the risks involved, it is important to note that the owner of the ISBN also owns the book’s copyright, so be careful with that and make sure that you purchase your book’s ISBN under your name, not the vanity publisher.Option 4) Local Publishing Companies The ProcessLocal commercial printing companies use the same technology as PODs. Feel free to browse through a publishing directory or just your local directory for a list of companies that offer publishing services. Your next step is to contact the publishing house that you have chosen.BudgetWhile prices may vary, expect to pay 3 cents per black and white page i.e. a 200-page book could cost you approximately $6.50.Print Style OptionsYour first choice in terms of printing style is between color printing and black & white printing. This will dictate the cost that you will need to budget for. Most companies offer digital printing, so you can choose the amount of copies that you want printed at the time of publication. In terms of cover design, you are only limited by your own creativity – once again you are free to take charge of your own design. Binding on the other hand, will be handled by the company and is included in the original price per page.Risks/BenefitsWhen you publish through a local company, you must take note that the printer will print precisely what you send – this is without any revision or editing. It is crucial that your book is proofread before submission. Also with this option, you will still have to promote your book, fill and ship all orders.Option 5) eBook PublicationWhat is an eBook? An eBook is an electronic copy of your book that may be purchased, downloaded and read immediately online. It can serve a variety of purposes i.e. advertising, the gathering of potential customer’s information and the generation of interest. Not only does this option provide the media for a sample publication of you incomplete book, but it also allows for full publication of your book once it is complete – thus you can sell the electronic version of your book, as if it were a hard copy.The ProcessThis option may be deemed the most convenient and economical way to publish a book. Here is a basic outline of the process:

The Final Draft
To prepare you book for eBook publication, you have to format it exactly the way that you want your readers to see it. This will be easy if you are using a word processor such as Microsoft Word.

The Format
Unless you know exactly what you want in terms of formatting, I suggest that you stick to a standardised type of book formatting – the outline of a manuscript format is included later on in this article.

Sorry to say, editing will be your worst nightmare – just when you think that it’s over, go back and proofread again and again. Also try and get others to read your final draft too. Don’t skimp on the quality of your writing simply because you are publishing electronically.

Copyrighting your book is your next move. Don’t stress out too much about the ISBN, as you are actually the publisher now, so you will be in charge of the distribution and price setting.

Designing the Cover
If you happen to have an arty side, this is your chance to bring it out! Feel free to extend your creativity but remember to keep your design, appropriate with regards to your book’s contents. You can also make use of external services should you need help i.e. graphic designers do freelance their services for this type of thing.

Now it really gets interesting…There are various programs available that generate self-executable eBooks. It is however important to note that most people are cautious when it comes to downloading new programs. I therefore recommend that you publish your eBook in plain old .pdf format. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a well established brand which is both safe and also free for anyone to download. Visit Adobe Online and register for their online PDF Creator to publish an eBook or feel free to do a Google search for a few more eBook publishing programs.

Your Account
Set up a business account with an ecommerce site like PayPal. You will then have to add your book’s ISBN to your ‘product list’. PayPal will then generate an html code that you can copy and paste where ever you would like to promote your eBook. You will in turn be notified via email, when someone purchases your book. Your last move is to reply to that email by attaching the .pdf of your book and sending the mail directly to your customer…and voila! Your first eBook is sold.Risks/BenefitsThere are various benefits related to this new wave of publication. Firstly, it requires you to spend little to no money out of your own pocket. Thus, there is very little financial risk involved. Secondly, your book can be published from the comfort of your own home…a few clicks here and there is all that it takes. Finally, from a marketing perspective, an eBook opens up various avenues for advertising – it allows you to add links within your book, directing the reader anywhere that you would like i.e. this gives you a chance to expand your business network. Once again, you must remember that you are in charge of your book’s marketing.Irrespective of the method of publication that you choose, you will need to master manuscript writing…Here’s a handy guide on how to correctly format your manuscript.
Try to make use of this type of formatting prior to submitting it to an agent or publisher. At first glance you may think that these standards may not be aesthetically pleasing, but don’t stress, your publisher should send your original manuscript to a ‘formatter’ that standardizes the format during publication.
Basic Formatting Rules

Use 1 inch margins around all your text – repeat this on each page.
Double spacing should be used throughout your manuscript. This type of spacing enhances your manuscripts readability and makes it easier to edit.
If you want to italicize something, don’t do it now. Only highlight this before the final version is published – anything that you want in italics should be underlined in your manuscript.
All numbers should be spelt out i.e. type out four instead of 4.
Most symbols should also be spelt out i.e. don’t use the ‘%’ sign, instead type out ‘percent’.
Life After PublicationSo now you are well on your way to publishing success you may wonder what life is like after you publish a book? Well whether you’ve completed your first or your twentieth title- the mental stamina required to squeeze out the finishing touches of your book as well as the proofreading and designing of your cover, should have earned you a well deserved break…I suggest that you now time to enjoy a little back patting and focus on YOU for a while – take a well deserved break and simply RELAX!Most hard-workers actually find the state of relaxation rather difficult to achieve after writing a book. The buzz of the outside world is always a contributing factor to the build up of anxiety, even when one is not stressed out about anything at all. If you’re having trouble relaxing after your creative outpouring, here are a few quick tips that may help you out…
This is a 2-Step method of breathing – Start by filling the bottom of your lungs first and then adding air to the top as you breathe only through your nose. Exhale gradually and feel the tension flowing out.

Decide which muscle you want to relax and then tighten that muscle. Feel the tension on the tightened muscle. Now let the muscle become loose and limp. Feel the relaxation flow into the muscle. You can do a series of these, on different muscles.

Do the 2-Step method of breathing two times. With your mind imagine that all the bones in your body have melted. Feel your mind and body become limp and relaxed.

To begin you need to focus on your breathing. When you inhale, slowly say ‘I am’ and when you exhale say, ‘calm’. When your mind feels calm you may focus only on your breathing, with no thoughts at all.
So now that you have learnt a few relaxation exercises you should be well on your way to a few days of mental and physical bliss…Even though your book is now on its way to mass production, you need not let your relaxation period be short lived – don’t become overridden with anxiety about publicity, marketing and even worse, sales!For a stress free way to boost sales and keep abreast of your new book’s performance you should consider subscribing to a promotions and sales tracking company.With modern publishing methods, like self-publishing and eBook publication in mind, it is easy to understand why sales tracking has become a common pastime for most writers. Because most publishing options force you to take charge of your book’s marketing, it may be a good idea for you to make use of an online service to help you track the sales of your book and handle do a bit of book promotion on your behalf.Taking this into consideration, let’s take look at the sales ranking and promotions company, RankTracer This company will do some online promotion and track your book at the same time – giving you on-the-hour sales rank information, graphs, reports and actual sales estimates.If you are not quiet ‘sold’ on the importance of tracking sales, let’s take a look at what its benefits are with regards to your books marketing. You may want to pay careful attention here…If used correctly, the sales rank information received from RankTracer may benefit you book in many ways. The following information is specifically related to tracking the sales of books sold on Amazon:

Competitive Analysis
The Sales Rank is released for every product on Amazon, which means you aren’t limited to tracking your own book. Track the sales of a variety of products within a niche to compare and contrast their performance.

Advertising feedback & research
What happens if you want to work out how best to spend your advertising dollars? Again, use the Amazon Sales Rank as an indicator. For example, if you take out a newspaper ad and your sales rank hasn’t changed, you know that particular channel is not effective. Alternatively, you might spend money on online advertising on one site with yet again no effect, but from another your sales go haywire. Within the hour you know which option is better and which you should use in future.With an external company tracking your sales and offering you a bit of extra help with book promotion, you are left with more time on your hands to use as you please – feel free to explore book-signings, tours, public talks and even blog about your new book!So now you know! I trust that you found my walk through the publishing industry informative. Hopefully it has answered a few of your publishing queries and has helped you find the perfect publishing fit for you. Good luck and happy publishing!

What Are Music Publishers? |

Today, there is a rather wide variety of music publishers, small and large. In reality, everyone that writes songs is a de facto music publisher if they intend their music for the public and they do not have a publishing deal. That is, if someone wants to use the music, then, at least in theory, they would come to the songwriter for permission to use the song. This would be an example of a songwriter acting as a publisher in a reactive role as the user comes to the songwriter in this case. The primary role of a music publisher today is usually more proactive. Music publishers find users for original music and sometimes manage the usage of the music on behalf of the songwriter. Of course, songwriters can also be proactive in promoting their original work. Music publishers can be the songwriter or they can be someone who represents the songwriter in either a reactive or proactive role.While there are many opportunities for songwriters to manage the business side of music, there are only so many hours in a day. Therefore, for some songwriters, it makes sense to find an advocate. This advocate is the music publisher who shares in the potential income for the original music in exchange for services.Small music publishers are varied in their approach to the business. Some small music publishers are individuals who have only their personal songs. Some small music publishers may own a catalogue of music that is intended as a form of investment. This is usually music that has been recorded and continues to collect royalties. This type of music publisher wants to collect fees for their property much like a property owner collects rent for a rental property. Other small music publishers may have limited “catalogues” of music which have been assigned temporarily to them for the purpose of finding a customer willing to pay for each song. Again using the real estate analogy, this service would be like a fee based real estate leasing company.The rights of songs are temporarily assigned to the publisher as the publisher seeks to find interested “buyers”. The primary function of the assignee or publisher is to find “customers” for the owner. For assignees or publishers, there are many secondary functions which may include managing the account for the owner and/or maximizing exposure for the owner.I think it is important at this point to distinguish between two misunderstood terms related to ownership in the music business. In particular, I want to describe the differences between an owner and an assignee. When a song is written, it is automatically copyrighted under U.S. Copyright Law and it is the property of the songwriter or songwriters. The songwriter at this point is the owner. The copyright should also be registered, which is a statement of claim to the intellectual property which is the song. This is done with an application through the U.S. Copyright Office. This copyright may be assigned to a second party at the time of registration or it may be assigned after being registered in the name of the songwriter or it may not be assigned at all. If assigned, it may be assigned to a publisher for the purpose of finding interested artists, larger publishers, commercial sponsors or labels. Therefore, the publisher becomes the assignee but the songwriter remains the owner. This arrangement is typically based on a set period of time. That is, the assignment of rights will eventually revert back to the songwriter or owner. Some publishers will pay to own a song in which the songwriter generally receives a lump sum of money in exchange for the song. In this case, the songwriter is usually entitled to no additional compensation unless otherwise stipulated in a contract.The smaller music publishers tend to take on specialized roles to provide needed services in niche markets. These roles are expanding with the changing music industry. Small publishers now take on a variety of responsibilities that may overlap with a variety of other music professionals. There is a good reason for this. The publisher has a stake in the success of an artist so they often take an active role in the artist’s development. Therefore, it is not unusual to see publishers acting as agents for the artist, for example. Agency is a service provided for the more specific purpose of maintaining a steady stream of business for a client. Good agents provide valuable services and should not necessarily be confused with a small publisher. The larger the potential income for an artist, the more specialized the roles become which is why you see big names in music with high powered agents. Agents typically maintain the amount of business and associated income of a big name artist because the big name artist doesn’t have the time to manage all elements of their career at this level of success. Big name artists also have publicists and managers, but for a new artist, many of these hats may be worn by a single interested individual.The small publisher will often take the role of agent, publicist and manager in addition to the role of publisher. In some cases, a small publisher will perform as a fee collection agent for mechanical rights as they already receive a portion of the fees that are due for usage. While some small music publishers may provide a variety of services with only a handful of clients, there are also small publishers who specialize in more limited services. They may specialize in a particular classification of music, for example. These publishers tend to have more clients as they tend to have a more limited scope of overall responsibility. Their strength lies in understanding a particular segment of the market and knowing the right people.Most small publishers are risk takers. They attempt to select unsigned artists with maximum potential, hoping for a “break out”. The reward for the small publisher is usually in the form of fees that are guaranteed by United States Copyright Law. Of course, a “break out” can also launch the career of a small publisher if there is a strong relationship with the artist founded on mutual trust. Small publishers may eventually get “squeezed out” by the more dominant players in the industry following the success of a signed artist. Contracts will eventually expire, so it is possible for a small publisher to receive their reward for the duration of work covered under the original contract, but to not receive further compensation for new material from a newly discovered artist who signs with another publisher. It is the nature of the business.Small publishers maintain contacts with larger publishing companies, record companies, retail marketing executives, and are now using their skills to help promote independents. Some small publishers know when projects are coming up with a label, for example. They also know the type of music that interests various A&R professionals. Other small publishers may be better equipped to assist an independent artist with possible promotion opportunities through a retail store. In either case, an efficient small publisher will use contact management techniques and software to help them keep up with the necessary periodic calls. A good small publisher will follow up on every hold and make sure that a client is paid for all usage of a song.Large music publishers may perform in the very same capacities as described above on a much larger scale. Catalogues owned by a large music publisher can be in the hundreds of thousands of songs. Large music publishers have the distinct advantage of size. They are well known among industry professionals and, as a result, have easy access to a lot of high powered folks. Large music publishers tend to also have a print media division that distributes printed materials such as sheet music. Large music publishers have other departments assigned to very specific responsibilities such as artist and repertoire or A&R personnel. Overall, the primary focus of the large music publisher is to maintain a positive bottom line through acquisitions and account management, thus it is much more of a corporate style of business.Finally, there are many different types of music publishers, but the role continues to expand. With the emergence of independent artists and new online distribution models, the role of music publisher must change to meet new demands. It is very likely that the new small music publisher will have sufficient computer skills along with the more traditional understanding of music publishing, marketing, promotion, contact management, accounting, copyright law, negotiation, business etiquette, contract law, music business politics, and just plain old common sense.