• Mark Meier

Thoughts on the Publishing Industry

By Deb Hockenberry

My experiences with the publishing industry, to date, has me convinced that it has improved greatly. Since the stigma of Independent Publishing has all but been erased, we have more chances to get our names out there as authors. Some people still prefer the traditional and traditional small presses. I’ve had experiences with them both and I prefer Indie Presses. You have total control over your book whereas with the traditional publications, you can offer illustration suggestions, what style of art you’d like, but you don’t have final approval. I could be wrong here. Maybe there are traditional houses that let you have final say in the illustrations. This is why I like Indie Publishing, though. In fact, ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ was originally accepted by a traditional house. Since this is my debut book, I had no idea of how long the wait would be. I waited and waited. After three years had passed I wrote the publisher a letter asking about its status. She wrote me a very polite letter back saying that it was with the artist. That was encouraging! Maybe Giraffe and the gang would be able to meet the world soon. So, I waited and waited. And waited some more. I was getting very discouraged. It was around this time I started thinking about pulling my manuscript from the company and go Indie. I did and I don’t regret it one bit. Speaking as a reviewer of children’s books I can tell you that there is a downside to Indie Publishing. Some people think that they can just write something, get it published, and get rich. Not so. You should study your craft, especially the genre you want to write for. Join a critique group! I was in a now defunct critique group. Let me tell you, the other members advice was so valuable. If it wasn’t for them and a professional editor, ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ would never have seen the light of day. Did I say professional editor? Yes. In spite of all the mistakes your critique group will find for you along with all their helpful suggestions, your baby should move on to a professional editor. This doesn’t have to be one of those expensive editors. You can find freelance editors who are just as thorough and much cheaper. Heck, I got mine edited for $25! If traditonal publishing is your style, editing comes to you free from the publisher. So does the artist. You won’t have to go looking for these people. Still, you should have your manuscript practically mistake-free when you submit it. This shows the publisher that you care enough about your work not to send in junk. This is why I think the publishing industry is improving. We have choices now!

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