22 Nov How does a small publisher choose its next manuscript?
First on my list is whether or not the manuscript deserves to be published. Is it finished? Maybe the author is still trying to find a voice or a theme to tie it all together. Will it make a contribution to new knowledge, or satisfy a reader’s longing for a well-crafted narrative? Does it fall within my company mandate? Can I spend a few hundred hours working on it and still like the result?
Next, can I identify with the subject? Is this something I am interested in learning more about? Does the author have a full command over the narrative and a solid grasp on the current or historical factors that affect the story? Will it be fiction or non-fiction? One might think the lines are very closely drawn, however, if the manuscript falls in the biography or auto-biography category, such as Remembering Marika (2014) then arguments can be made for either genre.
What does the author need in terms of support? Will a lot of editing and proofing be necessary? Is the author confident and able to handle criticism, and will I be able to provide back-up? Can the author stand up in front of a crowd and read a passage convincingly? In short, can I work with this person over a period of time and keep my sanity?
Who is the intended audience? If you gathered together a selection of possible readers, who would they represent? A book with a broader appeal, such as Quin Kola (2000) may sell more copies due to its historical and geological significance, but those that focus on a specific topic, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (When The Ship Has No Stabilizers, and Moth to the Flame; 2014, 2016) might make bigger impacts.
How will printing be handled? It’s tempting to stick with Print-On-Demand (POD) as the financial outlay is much less then with a minimum print run of 500 copies with a professional printer. The quality is often similar for both methods. The drawback is that booksellers would ideally like a supply of books available for their customers. Can we do both? The answer is yes. POD can be attached to Amazon and Kindle, making the book accessible worldwide. We will strike it rich? Probably not, but we may go into a second printing of 500 is the book gains popularity.
So, what will Crossfield Publishing consider for their next manuscript? I’m not sure yet, but it will be on my mind at the launch of The Granby Liar (2017) this weekend in West Brome, QC.
I welcome your comments on this blog.