Jrpoulter’s Weblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Trends – New bends in the path to publication. By J.R.Poulter

Some time last year, Erica Wagner, Publisher at Allen and Unwin, was reported as having said, in relation to graphic novels, that there was a lot to be gained by submitting a  text already illustrated or mostly illustrated [Allen & Unwin publish purely commission only picture books]. Perhaps this may signal a change in direction that may even extend to those other illustrated tomes – picture books and picture book/graphic novel crossovers.

Some writers/illustrators I know have recently signed contracts for ‘print ready’ books.  This is not self-publishing, nor submission to a print-on-demand house but submission to a traditional, royalty paying publisher of a book that is ‘ready to go’ in publishing terms.

What constitutes a ‘print ready’ book?  It is a book that has been -

  • professionally edited,
  • proofread,
  • designed to industry standards,
  • professionally designed cover and,
  • if illustrated, has all images appropriately set.

This is a great way to go for authors who are able to pay illustrators and book designers up front. Most authors are not able to do this.  This then means all creators involved in a book project agreeing to royalty share and working between paid projects to collaborate on their book.

What have I gleaned about such ‘print ready’ deals? One company, smaller and reasonably new, offered a small advance and a good contract, by industry standards, with higher than regular royalty share for creators. An offer of help with promotion was also part of the deal. Another company, medium sized and established, offered no advance but better than average royalty shares for creators and help with promotion and marketing of the book.

How does this stack up against what is generally on offer now?

  • Small and middle range publishers, in general, do not offer advances.
  • Larger publishers offer advances depending on the book, depending on the author, and depending on the agent involved.
  • Smaller and middle range publishers often [there are exceptions] expect the author to do it all in relation to promotion, even requiring the submission of a marketing plan.
  • Larger publishers vary greatly as to how much promotion they will give a book.
  • Generally, publishers will submit copies of their publishing output for major awards, such as the CBCA, and to a selection of leading review outlets.

What’s the down side for author, illustrator, book designer, [often the illustrator], to go down the  ‘print ready’ publishing path?

  • It IS a lot of extra work for all creators involved to ensure the book is ‘professional’ standard even before it is submitted.
  • There is no money upfront.

Are the rewards worth the effort?

  • If you love collaborative work, it is a big plus.
  • Creators have much more project control to create the book they have collaboratively envisaged.
  • A quality product, ‘print ready’,  is a major bargaining point for creators/agents. ‘Print ready’ saves the publisher heaps!

The first company mentioned does small print runs, sells out their print runs, reprints and even sells out reprints and so it seems to be gradually snowballing.

It is too early to know in the second instance.  [I’ll keep you posted!]

My feeling is that, if Erica Wagner was sensing a ‘trend’ and if these companies make a success of it, we will see more such deals.  It’s something to think about!

My own news -

TOOFS!-Promo-3To be launched end of June – “Toofs!” a collaboration between J.R. and Estelle A.Poulter and illustrators Monica Rondino and Andrea Pucci.

About these ads

4 responses to “Trends – New bends in the path to publication. By J.R.Poulter

  1. teoatglipho March 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Hi there!

    I recently came across your blog and have been enjoying reading through it. You post some really interesting thoughts and ideas on all aspects of literature.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your blog on Glipho? Glipho is a new social blogging network that aims to promote the writing of its users and help build their audiences. We are trying to establish a creative community at Glipho, and your blog is just what we are looking for.

    As your blog is powered by WordPress, you can simply import all your old posts to Glipho without affecting your existing blog at all. You can use your Glipho account to connect to any other major social network accounts you may own, so you can spread your blog as far as possible. We also use our own social media accounts to promote your content.

    If you’re interested check out our website at http://glipho.com and have a look around. Please feel free to ask me any questions, and if you would like to receive an invite to set up an account!

    Have a great day,

    Teo

    Glipho Limited
    14 Suite 3 D
    Docklands Business Centre
    10-16 Tiller Road
    London E14 8PX

    (e): teo@glipho.com
    (w): http://www.glipho.com

  2. Daniele March 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I blog also and I’m creating a thing related to this specific posting, “Trends – New bends in the path to publication.
    By J.R.Poulter | Jrpoulter’s Weblog”. Do you mind if perhaps I use a number of of your ideas? Thanks for your time -Daniele

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 828 other followers

%d bloggers like this: