THE PRE-PRODUCTION STAGES OF PUBLISHING

With 8 boxes of my memoir, The Baby Box, hot off the press, it is time to concentrate on marketing and selling.

However, before that I want to run readers through the process of publishing with Matador, now established as the leading publisher for those who want DIY publication.

The first step for me was to hear about 2 different selfpublishing companies at a Chiswick Book Fair. Matador with its extra services of marketing and selling their books was the team I chose. The next event, in February 2018, was to attend their Self Publishing Experience Day at their centre in Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicester.  There we learnt about each process which was offered, met several of the staff and enjoyed a sandwich lunch. I came away totally satisfied with my choice, endorsed by the presence of a man who was about to publish his second book with Matador. Note I had already send a complete draft manuscript of my book to Matador for a full quote. This initial quotation they supplied straightway. Having that, with possible costs for Production Costs, Printing, Editing if required, the Ebook edition, and knowing that I’d be asked to pay a deposit on signing the contract – and having read the contract – settled my mind and my decision. At that stage I was uncertain about extra marketing services.  The confrontation of real invoices made me cautious!

I’m going to say this for the 3rd time – get a contract and all the figures before you sign anything and run the contract past The Society of Authors. Their comments are invaluable and reassurring.

I singed the contract with Troubador, the parent company, on 6 August 2018, 7 months after that day in Leicester.

The stages of Pre-publishing and Printing are obligatory. In theory all invoices are paid in full before any work is done but I found that much of the pre-production work (typeface, style & three proof reads) was secured by my deposit.

I could start to take my own decisions about my book. I chose to use an out-of-house book cover designer as I knew her and her work. That decision increased my costs but Matador make an deduction for not producing the cover design. My first big bill from them only arrived with me on 20 December 2018. That gives you some idea of how much work was done between me and the production team before more money left my bank account!

At that point I decided to pay for Trade Marketing and Sales Representation by Matador’s agent. This is an optional extra but authors who don’t use it tend to sell few books. After all, you need more readers than your friends. Postage costs involved in the basic marketing stage is covered by a lump sum of £30.

By the autumn of 2018, a couple of friends had told me that several of their book-group readers used Ebooks so I opted for Ebook formatting and conversion and distribution. The costs were rising, but I was enjoying learning about process of publishing a book.

To take the extra service of Enhanced Media Marketing involved a notable increase in costs but I am discussing ways and means of getting the book ‘out there’ with my marketing controller and already we are coming up with ideas for approaching radio programmes. So, yes, a bit of cloud cuckoo land, but hey! perhaps not.

Right now I have sold 6 copies directly at the full cover price and am about to sell more. Can’t be bad.

 

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