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How to run a book publishing company How to run a book publishing company
by Joseph Gatt
2019-12-30 10:32:47
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The Ten Commandments on how to run a book publishing company. Or ten conditions to publish a book.

1- Clarity. Any book about to be published should be perfectly clear, and its contents should not leave the reader's head scratching.

bpub01_4002- Accuracy. Any book about to be published should contain accurate information to the author's best knowledge. If there are divisive views on the issue, the author should introduce both sides of the issue. If the author believes one side of the issue is correct, the author should provide his or her reasons and evidence.

3- Accessibility. I would only publish books that are written in plain speech. I wouldn't publish anything written in prose, or with too many dictionary words, or in a style that comes off as excessively polite, intellectual or literary.

4- The readers are gods. I would not publish anything that contains information that would be insulting to any reader. Some people like to write books saying “we are all idiots” or “everyone's an idiot except me.” Doesn't work like that.

5- Sincerity. The author should come off as sincere. The author should make it sound like he made his or her best effort to provide all the information they could in concise form.

6- The author should be charismatic when it comes to promoting the book. The author should be able to handle talks and interviews, and the public should be able to identify with the author and relate to the author.

7- An author is an investment. If the author writes a good book, people will automatically want to read his other books. But the other books should follow up when it comes to quality.

8- Now the next three commandments are for the business side of the equation. If I had a book publishing company, I would focus on the following: one or two excellent biographers, one or two excellent fiction authors, one or two excellent non-fiction authors (one science author and one social science author for example.) Those six authors would be my main investment, and that's where I would put a lot of the promotional efforts.

9- Chasing the scoop. Along with promoting my authors, as a book publishing company, I would chase the scoop. If there's media frenzy about something or someone, I would try to get my book on that. If I can afford, I'll try to sign an exclusive deal with the main person involved. If I can't sign a deal with the protagonist, I'll at least try to sign a deal with an insider or a maven of the media frenzy event.

10- Book visibility. I'd be very careful about the books I publish being well-placed in book stores and having favorable reviews in book columns and being recommended by other readers. So when reviewing books for publication, I'll always keep the critics and bookstores in mind.

11- Bonus. Many authors and wannabe authors say that book publishers are predators and that they have rejected excellent books in the past. Harry Potter was rejected dozens of times and so on. Of course they do. Simply because most book publishers try to publish as few books as possible. So rather than be a struggling author locking yourself up in a cave and writing while downing a bottle of whisky and a few Prozac pills, you want to be proactive as an author. Develop a personality, develop your brand name, make sure you mingle well with other people. If you're a social butterfly and make friends around the book publishers, if you follow the tend commandments, your book should sell well.

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