So I got this crazy idea in my head this afternoon.
Dragon Kaseraak Books is a hobby of mine. It exists as a trade name to publish my books. I was thinking today that it doesn’t just have to be for me. I could publish other people’s books as well.
I am thinking that there are all sorts of people out there who have a lot of trouble navigating the self-publishing process. They don’t know how to format a book. They don’t know how to design a cover. They don’t know what printer to choose. I’ve been through that process. I know how to do it. I can help others do it too.
As I said earlier, this is a hobby of mine. Publishing other people’s books would expand the hobby. Eventually it might become a successful business. But that’s far in the future. What I would rather do, at the moment, is establish a brand, both in the sense of being a fair outlet for people looking to self-publish but not knowing how, and for having a set of books that readers will like.
Here’s how I’d do it, and why I’d do it this way.
First, you as a prospective author would send me something about your book in a traditional query process. If I liked the work, I’d accept it for publication. At that point, I’d offer one critique of the work. I’d work with you to design a suitable cover. I’d accept a final draft. I’d put that final draft into InDesign. Finally, I’d send the formatted book and cover to the printer I use (I currently use Blurb) for printing.
At that point you would have a printed book available for purchase and sale. I would list the book on this website and offer it for sale. If you wanted copies of the book for your own use, you could purchase them directly from the printer—it is not my intent to make money selling you copies of your own book.
There are lots of details I haven’t worked out, and probably won’t work out unless this somehow becomes a viable plan, but for the moment I would like to establish some principles behind this idea.
First, it is not my intention to make money directly from the author of the book. There are many vanity presses out there. I don’t want to be one. Rather, what I want to do is to build a brand around books I like.
Second, the criteria for books I would publish is simply that I like them. I am not a marketer, I know very little about marketing books, and while I wish I did, what this allows me to do is not to consider whether a book is marketable before accepting it. I just have to like it enough so that the process of designing a cover and formatting the book is enjoyable rather than arduous.
Let’s talk a little bit about money and why I’m doing this, because I’m not wholly charitable here and wouldn’t expect you to think I was. Where do I make money in this plan?
I expect to make money when I sell a book from my website.
I expect to make money when I sell a book at a convention or trade show or the like.
I expect to make money when people who like your book decide to buy other books I have published, including my own.
That’s about it. I do not expect to make a lot of money, but if it happens, I’ll be thrilled. Rather, this is a hobby for me. Specifically:
I do not expect to make money designing your cover or formatting your book for publication.
I do not expect to make money editing or critiquing your book.
I do not expect to make money when you order copies of your own book.
I do not expect to make money by selling the copyright to your book.
There are lots of people out there who will do all of those things for you and happily take your money for doing so. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, but I’m not one of them.
Obviously this is an idea that will need to be developed further. If this sounds interesting to you, please contact me.