It's official. I've got a new publisher! I'm pretty sure they'll be easy to work with, and will treat my book as if it was their very own--that's because it's me. I've set up my own publishing company. Now you know what I've been up to the last couple weeks. I suddenly realized a few months ago it made no sense to pay somebody to do work I can do better myself. Don't get me wrong, many of these "author services" companies do a good job, but they are a middleman. If you're going to put out one book to a niche market, they're perfect. It's a cheap and easy way to get that book out, and get it listed with the major sellers, however, don't plan on it being very profitable, because they'll take a cut, and nickle and dime you to death on shipping, etc. But if you're like me, and plan on putting out a title or two a year indefinitely, this is a way better option.
As an independent publisher I'll have access to the same printing services, distribution, and marketing resources as major publishers--and better access to library markets, and mortar and brick stores too. And as the publisher, I'll also be able to tap into that growing electronic book market. And I don't pay a middleman, or an agent . . . seemed like a no-brainer really. It's my plan to eventually republish all my previous books under the Moon & Son imprint.
Another interesting idea presented to me last week, was the possibility that Moon & Son Publishing could offer these same services to other authors--especially Masonic writers who often go through vanity presses, pay thousands of dollars for a poorly produced book, and wind up sitting on a few hundred (or thousand) copies they have no way of selling because the vanity press doesn't do much with marketing. Vanity presses are different from author services companies. They charge large fees up front, while an author services company might charge you a small fee for an ISBN number, and the services after that are free (other than the cut they'll take off the top).
It's unbelievable to me that first-time authors still fall for this vanity press ploy. Please, don't pay to have your book published. Publishers pay you, you don't pay publishers. It's a rip-off. If they were truly a real publisher, and had any intention of marketing your book, they'd be satisfied with a share of the proceeds. In order to recoup your investment, you'll have to sell your book for a price nobody is going to be willing to pay. Last weekend, they had a local author signing books at the bookstore--it was a 300 page, 6 x9 paperback selling for the price of a new hardcover. He published using a vanity press, without doubt.
I'm good at interior layouts, and I know several top-notch cover designers, website guy, etc.--so maybe offering a few services outside my own projects is a direction I will go eventually. I've already had some interest in that.
One Last Shot will be the first title published by Moon & Son Publishing, and is scheduled for release tentatively in February 2011. There may also be a second volume of A Freemason Said That released in 2011 as well.