My Books are published by Goylake Publishing, an independent publisher, and I am grateful for that. I am grateful because Goylake offer me free rein to write about the subjects that interest me, to a length that suits the story and because they do not interfere in the creative process. I am free to write, to follow my muse, and that is very liberating.
Of course, as well as supporting creative talent, Goylake Publishing is also in the business of running a successful business, and this part of the publishing process has been an eye-opener for me. As a starting point you would think that author and publisher would want to sell as many books as possible through the large, well-known Internet and store outlets. WRONG! I say that because these outlets take around 55 – 60% of the cover price, leaving the author and independent publisher with pennies. Every time someone buys one of my books from a large international website, for which I’m grateful, that international company makes a profit, Goylake doesn’t, and neither do I. Independent outlets, websites like this one and a loyal fan base are the routes to our success.
When I approached a well-known and well-established publisher with an early manuscript I was delighted when they said ‘yes’ they would publish. However, there was a catch..they wanted me to pay them £5,000 (!) Naturally, I withdrew my manuscript and declined their offer. No one should pay that sort of money to any publisher, no matter what their reputation. Books do cost money to produce, but not £5,000 from the author’s purse.
As many people have pointed out, modern big business publishing is all about the ‘bestseller’ regardless of the book’s content or literary merit. If someone has a marketable name, they will be published, whether they have an interesting story to tell, or not. These books are promoted relentlessly at the expense of many other, often far more interesting, books. From a financial point of view, this is easy to understand – it is far simpler to promote one book and sell ten copies than promote ten books selling a copy apiece. The relentless marketing of ‘bestsellers’ means that people will buy them, often as fashion accessories – the latest bestseller is a ‘must have’ item, even if the book sits, unread, on a bookshelf.
So, whenever you get the opportunity, please support the independent author and publisher. Quite often, these people have far more interesting things to say than the mainstream #!¥¡@ that is pushed our way. A good book, when you find one, is priceless, like a good friend. And friendship, like anything rewarding, takes effort. So why not make that extra effort and, instead of following the crowd, follow your instincts and search out a good, independent, book. You, and the author, will be rewarded.