Working With Lotus Arts Publishing
The upside: A very small press can give you lots of individual attention and guidance, and you aren’t competing with a thousand other manuscripts to get published. You’ll have a lot more input in the design process and control over the finished product than you would with a large publisher as well.
The downside: I can’t promise you zillions of dollars in sales, and we won’t have a huge marketing budget. You’ll be doing a lot of the work marketing your own book, with guidance and help from me.
Also, although I can promise that your finished product will be professional and attractive, I can only offer paperback printing. We’ll be selling through Amazon’s “print on demand” service, which doesn’t offer hardcover or coffee table book options.
Is this a vanity press?
No. A vanity press will print any book, regardless of whether it’s any good, and the author has to pay for the hours of editing, layout and design that go into their book, plus a nice profit margin for the press. A vanity press also often requires you to pay up front for a print run.
What I do is partner with you to publish your book through Amazon, as a paperback and/or e-book. I’ll also use my websites, social media, and marketing knowledge to help promote your book. I’m selective about who I work with; if I choose to publish your book, it means I think your idea has potential and you have the writing skill and knowledge to pull it off.
You and I will both put in sweat equity, doing all our work up front with no payment, and we will split the proceeds. You bring the written words, I bring the knowledge of how to make your words into a marketable product, and we market it together. You pay for nothing up front (except photography for a cookbook; I recommend a Kickstarter campaign to pay for that, and I’ll help you put one together!)
How does it work?
If we decide to work together, I will be publishing your book through Amazon as a print-on-demand paperback and/or a Kindle ebook.
You write the book. I do the editing, layout, cover designs, prepare the files for printing or conversion to Kindle format, write the promo copy, and get the book listed. We’ll work together on the marketing campaign. We’ll split the earnings, after hard costs, 50/50. There’s no cash outlay up front, my payment comes from your royalties. Your royalty will still be a higher percent of book sales than a traditional publisher pays, but that seems reasonable since you’ll be doing a lot of the marketing, too.
How much will my book earn?
You and I will make decisions together about the page count, use of color photography, pricing, and other variables that impact the cost and profitability of your book. We’ll split the profits from Amazon sales 50/50. In other words, your royalty will be half proceeds after expenses. This works out to be a much higher percent than royalties from a large publisher, but that’s only fair since you’re doing a lot of the marketing work. You’ll also be able to order low-cost copies to sell yourself, and your earnings on those will be even higher.
It’s impossible to give a total sales figure for any given book. If I agree to put many hours of my own work into designing, formatting and marketing your book, it means I believe it has the capacity to repay our work over time.
But I think it’s important to have reasonable expectations; you aren’t going to write one book and retire. I think it’s best to write your first book as a labor of love, and think of it as a fun creative project that will boost your authority in your industry and bring you some mad money. If your first book does well, then by all means write more, and soon you will have a nice supplemental income. The beauty of royalties is that the income is entirely passive. You’ll still be receiving this nice little stream of income two or three years from now, or perhaps longer.
What’s the first step?