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Before You Consider a Publisher...

With current technology and the changes taking place in the publishing industry, it has become more confusing to authors as to how to go about, or whether to even attempt, becoming published. In major publishing houses, the average length of time between the signing of a contract and the release date is usually 18 months. At the end of that year and a half, the publisher can opt not to publish your book for any reason. If you are fortunate to have a manuscript accepted by a major publisher you might also be given an advance on your royalties. Advances are at an all time low and very little is spent on publicity. Some publishing contracts require authors to pay for publicity out of their advance. By the time the publisher is ready to print if they feel you have not created enough interest in your book they can decide not to publish the title but maintain full rights to your property prohibiting you to negotiate another contract. If your book is published, there is usually a 3 to 6 month window of opportunity. If sales on your book are not deemed sufficient, interest drops and your book virtually “dies on the vine.” Nothing is done to revive it—but the rights are tied up thereby crippling your ability to profit in other areas from your book, such as foreign rights sales.

Agents and publishers will mostly entertain established writers—this places most authors in a “Catch-22” of not being able to find a publisher without an agent or an agent without a publisher. It is unfortunate, in our field, to need to mention that there have been some agents who have accepted up-front fees and not followed through in presenting manuscripts.

Self-Publishing Versus Co-publishing

Any new author has the opportunity to self-publish, but this concept by necessity transforms a writer into a business manager and instant publishing technician. This carries the risks of simple mistakes costing thousands of dollars. We have found that most writers prefer to be left alone to write and leave all the production details to professionals.

Financial risk is the main reason most publishers will not produce new titles. Publishing, like other businesses is based on profit. Therefore, the author can reduce or eliminate this risk by compensating the co-publisher for the costs inherent in producing a book.

Co-publishing is the best option for the author who is willing to do some further work and financing on his or her title. GM Books is an established, respected producer of over 300 titles including Witness to War: Images of the Persian Gulf War which won a Pulitzer Prize for our client the Los Angeles Times. We at GM Books are expert hand-holders for first-time authors and an alternative for experienced writers who have become disillusioned with the traditional publishing system. In contrast to major publishing houses that can take 18 months to publish your book, we can transform your manuscript into a book in approximately 3 months. Your association with GM Books becomes a harmonious relationship as opposed to an impersonal business transaction.

Publisher’s Responsibilities

You can rely on our reputation for performance of the highest caliber. Our services include copy editing, book and cover design, book packaging, color separations and pre-press, small or large press runs, custom book binding, internet marketing, mailing and fulfillment. We can provide a degree of marketing expertise. We also have long-standing relationships with local and regional printers. Through the services of our Hong Kong office we can print your book offshore saving up to 20% over U.S. production. We also work with reputable publicists that can help promote your book at a reasonable fee without consuming your retirement account.

Author’s Responsibilities

There will be an initial fee for reading your manuscript, whether or not we mutually decide to publish. The author provides us with a clean double-spaced manuscript on computer disk and invests in the book’s production and printing. The author needs to assist in defining his or her market. A list of names of experts in your field or subject who can be helpful in promoting your book is an asset. The author should determine interest groups or organizations where guest appearances can be made. The author can research names and addresses of those who should receive promotional literature or press releases. A book in print opens doors that could not be opened any other way. A book can get you on talk radio and TV, plus speaking tours. Researching these contacts is vital for the success of your book. As a result of a book in print, there are many situations where you can be called upon as an expert in your field. An English language version of your book puts you in a position to sell foreign translation rights. We have found that each book succeeds to the degree of effort the author puts forth on his or her own behalf. Co-publishing means working in tandem, not just subsidizing production.

 

Author’s Royalties

The author is compensated with up to 60% of the net proceeds from the sale of the book or subsidiary rights sold. We do all we can to help the author realize a return on his or her investment.

In our co-publishing environment the author receives records of every transaction through a transparent bookkeeping system and retains the right to take possession of any and all copies of his or her book at any time. We provide the author with a monthly record of sales and distribute profits on a quarterly basis.

GM Books believes in small quantities on the initial press run, allowing for future reprints as sales increase. We will do our best to assist the author with publicity but we cannot guarantee that your book will be a success or that you will become world-renowned. However, we make every attempt to promote the book through our specialized contacts and sales sources.

If you decide we are the appropriate alternative for you, please contact:
Anita or William Dorich at GM Books.
(310) 923-2157

 

 
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