Saturday, April 3, 2010

Entering The Territory Of Publishing...A Few Of My First Steps

Since the last time I wrote here, my father had his first book signing, and I've begun the process of securing what I hope will be the second title in Founders House Publishing. With such strides, there is a mixture of happiness and anticipation swirling together inside my mind. After all, it is an ambitious prospect, isn't it? I've taken another step. I hope that there will be others to follow. 

One of the great things about this publishing company is the sheer opportunities I'll have to work with fellow writers and artists. Honestly, this is one of the main drives of my efforts. Such collaborations are tempered the practicalities of running a new business. We need to produce quality books and sell those books in order to grow and expand - which would give us more chances to work other new projects. The operation is very small, really just my wife and I, with some occasional support from others. There have been a number of ideas that have started to take shape to help us get more books out there, but I also know that the process isn't something to be rushed.

Study, Study

One of the important lessons that I've taken to heart is that to really grasp what publishing is all about and having a viable publishing company is very much about having the requisite knowledge and experience. I've been reading and studying publishing on and off for a good while now. I'll admit that I do not know everything about what it take to be a publisher let alone navigate a small business. Thankfully, I do have a partner in this - my wife Amanda. She's definitely the business side of FHP and her talents and skills are going to be essential as we move forward this year. My own part in this is about the books, the design, and the promotion of our titles.

I've had to investigate several areas of specialized knowledge to help cement my comprehension of all matters related to the business of publishing books. (I now have three books out from the library on publishing and book design.) The big question is whether or not I can leverage my growing knowledge base into a viable and expansive marketing and development strategy that will help my company grow. I'm also keenly aware of what the expectations and common ideas of who is qualified to be publisher are since they have been publicized frequently. The consensus is that the more you already know about the publishing business and the more hands-on, industry experience you have, the better qualified you really are to be doing any of this.

The flip side of that is there are some people out there who believe that if you haven't worked as an editor or other staffer in publishing before, you don't have what it takes to make it in publishing successfully let alone treat the writers with the professionalism and respect that they deserve. There 's a problem with this kind of thinking. It's not always true.

Seeing It Again

I maintain that a combination of passion for book and a willingness to network and learn from the specialists can produce the same desire results. I'll admit I'm not a professional editor or graphic designer. But these facts do not bar me from the possibility of succeeding in both areas when it comes to my books. I'm a bit stubborn that way, I suppose. I'm starting with some raw materials but I hope to make up for some specialized knowledge by diligently studying the field and learning what I can from fellow writers, editors, book designers, and others.

Will I make mistakes? Yes, of course I will. But, will I let these things hinder my progress as a new publisher. I can't really, if I truly desire this thing. I've been wanting to do this for too long now to back away from it and retreat into the well-worn paths of freelance writing. Sure, I'm still very much involved in these kinds of projects but they are there to springboard my efforts in this business. (I love writing as much as I do reading good books.)

Seizing The Opportunities

This post is about more than tooting my own horn, folks. I'm here to get others involved if they would like to do so. Like I said, my business is small, very small. We're what you would call a "micro publisher" right now. As such, we don't really have much in the way of overhead or expenses yet. We have a single title that we're working to sell and another project that may see publication by later this year. I want to hear from other creators and artistic types. I want to see the words of writers who truly have something to say.

Founders House is your vehicle as much as it is my vehicle. I would welcome ideas from anyone. Please query me at if you have proposals, ideas, or even manuscripts for me to read. Thank you for checking out this blog. Keep reading folks. I'll be sharing more of my journey as a writer and a publisher with all of you. Take care.

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