by Kathy Cretsinger, Mantle Rock Publishing LLC
Every publishing company has differences. Some of the larger companies have small things that distinguish them from others. Small companies do the same. Let’s look at the difference between small and large companies and traditional and Print On Demand.
We are a small company. We have five people that work for us, Pam Harris, chief editor; Kathy McKinsey, editor; Diane Turpin, cover designer; my self as marketing; and my husband, Jerry, as financial. Larger companies have whole departments of each position listed. They also have hundreds of authors. We have around thirty that sell regularly.
A traditional company gives an advance to the authors. They are also more selective of their authors. They want a book that has been edited before they get it. They want authors who have a great marketing plan and willing to work on their own marketing. They look at dollar marks. They have the money to do more with their authors and their books.
A Print On Demand is a company who prints their books to be ordered through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million, or some other bookstore online. They rarely give advances.
We are a small POD company. We do not give advances, and our books are not normally put in bookstores. We have had success with our business, because we try to help each author by encouraging them to market, we do edits that make their book more readable, and we help them when they are not familiar with a process. We have also been doing some online classes with our authors.
You’re going to ask why do we do this. It’s simple. Our goal is to help authors learn about selling their books. Some of our authors come back with other books they want us to publish. Some don’t. It’s up to each author to find a publisher they are comfortable with. The main reason we do not go into stores is because of the big risk we would take. We have selected to take no returns. If the bookstore orders ten books and only sells two, they would be stuck with the eight remaining. If we selected to take returns, the books would come back to us or be destroyed. We would pay the printer/distributor for the books that did not sell. This has caused several publishers to go out of business. We cannot afford to do that.
Let’ look at it this way. If a large bookstore company orders 1,000 books for their stores at $8.00 each. That is $8,000 they would pay the printer/distributor. Suppose of all the books ordered, only 200 sold because this was an unknown writer. They would return or send back to the publisher 800 books. The printer/distributor would charge the publisher $6,400 for the books they printed and the stores returned. We would have to pay the $6,400 plus the shipping charges. We would be in a big hole.
Most of our authors are new to the business and don’t have a large marketing plan. Their name is not known well. They do not have a large following. No matter if you think everyone in the world will buy your book, they won’t. Until we grow more, we will continue to have books on Amazon and other online places.