Some days, you wonder if you're truly insane. And what is crazy is that there are enough people following you around to convince you either that you're right, or there are enough lunatics in the world and you're certifiable.
I don't know which it is, but I'm here to have a good time in any case.
And if that hasn't put you off by now, keep reading.
On February 14, 2011, I decided it was time to announce I would start my own publishing company. After months of self-publishing success with my own e-books, I figured, "what the heck? Time to expand..."
And so, I announced the company. I expected people to look askance and wonder what I've been putting in my tea. Instead, I received enthusiastic and positive responses. Now, before you groan and say, "not another publishing company...", here are my thoughts and approaches.
I feel pretty confident about this company at this time because 1. I've worked for the big houses in New York as a freelance editor and an author, and 2. I'm getting ridiculous numbers of sales for an indy/self published author just with my own experiments. You can say it's because my books rock, (and I wouldn't disagree), but I'm thinking that maybe I've stumbled onto something that will work.
The thing is that Sky Warrior Book Publishing isn't your normal book publisher. For one thing, I believe that the only way for me to make money is for you to make money as the author. That your work is worth something and you should be treated fairly and with respect.
My value added as Sky Warrior Books is as follows:
1. Professional edits. Yep, really. Got that sewn up with a number of professional editors in the field.
2. Professional formatting and covers. Yes, I have some top artists signed on, including some award-winning artists.
3. Limited contracts. I only take rights I think or know I can sell or use. Rights are optioned for 18 months and revert back to the author if I can't use them. Books published for 5 years with the option to renew. Hey, if I don't do a decent job, you need to reconsider.
4. 50% royalties on net profits on everything. You wrote it, you deserve to make money on it.
5. Distribution through all the major E-book channels. Worldwide distribution of trade paperbacks through our imprint, Sky Dragon Publishing.
6. Potential sales to an RPG house. Yes, I'm working with gamers to get more ways for authors to make money.
7. Targeted social media promotions. I've got a PR guy who is working for me. Yes, the author is going to have to promote, but we need to make it even easier for authors to do it.
8. Contacts: I have contacts in this industry due to being an author of more than 30 books and hundreds of short pieces. I can bring more than 15 years of experience as a professional writer and editor to this gig.
9. Quarterly payments. I plan on paying my authors quarterly because I don't want to hang onto the money any more than I have to, but at the same time, I really don't have the ability to cut checks to you monthly.
Basically, I'm working as a one-stop shop for the author. My desire is to not just publish, but to build a platform for the author to succeed. And yes, while the author can do any of that by himself and pay folks to edit his book, spend hours formatting the book, look for deals to leverage the book to make money, promote the hell out of his book, he's got to think about what it costs in terms of time and monetary investment. If he'd rather sit and write his books and have a publisher act in his best interest (because, by god, if he makes money, I make money), then he should probably look at my publishing company. If he thinks he can do a better job, well, god bless him -- I'm not going to convince him otherwise. I'm hand picking pro authors as we speak (some having been published by major houses) and a number of them are very happy to come on board with me. Basically every author will have my phone number, my email and my attention. They are my authors and I will do whatever I need to do to make it right with them. (Oh, and I am NOT excluding woman authors here; I am simply avoiding having to use the he/she, or worse, they construct).
What I am looking for: well written science fiction, fantasy and horror, and authors who have enough books to do a three book deal. I am not reading slush -- can't stand it; don't have time for it. I'm honest to a point of fault (just ask anyone who knows me) and I'm a straight shooter. I'll screw up occasionally, but I'll admit it and I'll try to make it right.
So, there you go -- my basis for a publishing company. No doubt you've heard the song and dance before. This company will be different.