Penny, the GM and Acquisition Manager and Kim, the Book Review Coordinator at XOXO Publishing have come together to help authors, readers and the general public to understand what goes on behind the scenes at a publishing company. Many of us take advantage of the fact books are readily available and can be picked off the shelf. However, what's not known is the intricacies of the author/publisher relationship. In this blog, we're hoping to educate everyone on some of these aspects. Keep in mind, this interchange does not reflect any particular person and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental!
Q.Why were you two chosen to do this blog!
Cracked answer—We are the two very special people picked to represent our publisher! So all rise and say Hail to XOXO Publishing TM. A Division of Ninni Group! Or remain seated while we attempt to take you though some of the everyday questions we deal with as well as give you a little insight into the world of e-book publishers.
We were chosen because between Kim and myself ( Penny) have a collective IQ of 31 and both have multiple personalities which enables us to do dozens of things at one time.
Q My first book just got accepted for publication but they want a marketing plan. Why do I have to do a stupid marketing plan, ( and what the hell is one anyhow) they have a promo company a director of promotions so why do I have to do anything?
The cracked answer is—You don’t! Heck why bother? I went to all the trouble writing the book and I'm letting you sell it!
A-It is important for an author to come up with a marketing plan because even though your publishing company will help you market your book, it is ultimately your responsibility as the author to get your name out to the public. The more you market yourself, the more people will talk about your books and want to read your books, thus increasing sales. There's a fantastic book available by Gina Cianfarani, Publisher at XOXO Publishing, on marketing yourself. It's entitled, [ The Art of Self Promotion]. Some important things to remember: You don't have to use a lot of money to market yourself. You can use social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo Groups to get your name and book to the public these are all free services. An absolute must for every author is to have a website so readers can see what you're doing. Also, you can participate in blogs, which will get your name out to the public. Remember, your publisher has promotional sources and resources, but they also have numerous books to market at one time. It is ultimately the author's responsibility to market themselves to ensure their own success! There are also paid for services such as XOXO’s own Art Director Amanda Struz’s company 9 Clouds Promotions. So if you know nothing about how to market, buy Gina’s book, take the online course and shop around ask other authors what they do to get their name out there. Visit various blog sites, besides the one XOXO has you can check out our own Tina’ Brunelle’s site. Redz World at Redzworld.blogspot.com
Q Ok you got my book, you edited it, you put a pretty picture on the cover and I have been promoting like crazy. How come I am not seeing any results? I want monthly statements, I want to know how many of my books have sold . When is this going to happen?
The cracked answer- Wow we did all that? And you still want more? Wow are you ever demanding! And while we are at it I want a raise!
A- Unfortunately, we do not offer any authors monthly statements, as we do everything manually. Because of this, it is very time consuming and as the number of authors grow, the time it takes to complete this task is extended. So we are in the process of setting up an automatic system and look forward to announcing when all of this is in place. We appreciate your patience as our company continues to grow and improve our services.
Q- 500 of my friends said they bought a copy of my book, so when are you putting my book into print?
The cracked answer- Wow with that personality how in the hell did you manage to get 500 friends?
A There are many factors that go into determining whether a book will be printed. First, the publisher needs to determine the number of copies sold as an ebook. Once the accounting is done and the publisher sees the book is in high demand, we will strongly consider putting it into print. Take note, P.O D (Print On Demand) is very expensive, so we need to be sure this is the right move for you, your book and us, as the publisher. Keep in mind, another determining factor is the size of the book. A novel-length book will more likely be put into print than a short novella or novellete.
Q. How do you choose what books go forward for publishing.
Cracked answer- I put all the book titles on a dart board and if I hit the board and better still a piece of paper , that is a sign from a higher power that this book is meant to move forward.
A. I read the synopsis. If that is well written and intriguing I then open the manuscript! If your name and contact information is on the first page of your story I will then start reading. You have exactly 2 chapters to capture my interest. I expect a polished manuscript written according to our submission guidelines. I hate having to reject a story, and to reject one due to missing the contact info or spelling errors makes me think that you don’t care enough about your work to do it right.
Q All of you work together so how come it takes so long for my book to go from being accepted to being edited etc. Can you just walk over to the other person’s desk and say, here this is the story I was telling you about??
The cracked answer-All of us??? There is only me but I do have multiple personality disorder, so we make up a team of 14 ½ ( that’s is because at least one of the personalities is not quite all there)
- While we do all work together it is not in one big office. It isn’t even in one small office. Our staff is all over the world, literally ! One is in Japan (please say some prayers for them) two of the staff are in the United States, the head office and several staff including our illustrious leader and C.E.O Gina, are in Ontario, Canada. Of course, we cannot forget one real crackpot –opps I mean our beloved General Manager and Acquisitions Editor is in Saskatchewan. We would love to spend our days in an office together and be able to easily maneuver your story through the process. However, we have scoured the globe to find the brightest and most talented people together to make this company work well. ( and when that didn’t work they got us)
Thank you for your interest in understanding what it takes for an author (and a publishing company) to get along. Remember, if we all work as a team, we can be successful, but it takes more than one person to make that team work! Some of our staff are new some have been here since the beginning of time or a little over a year whichever comes first. We are not perfect and still honing our skills as we find ways to improve our services, streamline the work and turn out a better product. We have some super talent with our authors and I look forward to the day we can announce we have a New York Best Seller Published with us.