What’s the new trend in publishing?

The chance to carve your own imprint in the publishing world.
The chance to carve your own imprint in the publishing world.

I MET A YOUNG LADY for breakfast. She had a lot of questions about publishing, and I knew she wouldn’t like my answers.

I went anyway.

Ham and eggs will do that to a man.

The young lady had written a book.

She wanted to find an agent.

She wanted to find a publisher.

She had no idea how to find either and hoped an old warhorse like me might be able to help her.

We poured our coffee, and I began my litany of bad news.

I’m up front with every new writer I meet.

I don’t want to destroy their dreams.

Then again, I don’t want to give them false hope.

In our books, we may deal in fiction, but in life, I prefer a cold, hard, dash of reality.

Here is what I told her.

Having a book published by the big boys in New York has always been difficult.

Now it’s virtually impossible.

It can happen.

There are a few great new books being discovered every year.

And I hope it happens to you.

But be prepared for the worst.

Be prepared for a suitcase filled with rejection letters.

Your query letter may never get past a gatekeeper who has been hired to tell you no.

She sat back, raised her chin, looked at me with cold, dark eyes, and said, “I have a friend who just published a book.”

I nodded.

“She found a publisher in six weeks,” the young lady said.

“I’m glad she did.”

“It’s not that hard,” she said. “If my friend can do it, I can do it.”

“Good luck,” I said.

And I sincerely meant it.

She gave me the name of the publisher.

I had never heard of the company before.

But that didn’t matter.

I stuck the name in my pocket and went home.

A few days later, out of idle curiosity, I tracked down the publisher on Google.

Beautiful Website.

Beautiful photographs.

One book.

It was the book written by the young lady’s friend.

I smiled.

I wasn’t surprised.

This author had done what I have suggested many writers to do.

Don’t want people to think you’re self-published?

Do want people to believe your book is in the hands of a genuine publisher?

It’s not difficult.

Start your own publishing company.

It’s not that difficult.

Select a name for the publishing venture and register it with GoDaddy.com.

Build a Website.

Create an attractive imprint or logo for the spine.

Showcase your book.

Allow other writers to feature their books.

Those other writers may even want to become part of your publishing company. Together, you can build a real marketing co-op with everyone helping each other promote and sell books.

Amazon is waiting.

So are Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and a lot of other eBook retail outlets.

CreateSpace and SmashWords can’t wait to start producing paperback copies of your books.

People see them.

People read them.

People see the name of the publishing company on the spine and title page, and they don’t know or care if the book was published in uptownNew York City or downtown Dothan, Alabama.

Go ahead.

You may have spent a lifetime trying to deal with publishers.

No luck?

Become a publisher yourself.

It’s the new trend in an old industry.


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  • I think I’ll do that – What do you think of this name Simon & Schuster Two

    • Caleb Pirtle

      It does have a ring. No. Wait. That’s a lawyer calling.

      • Don’t answer. I know what he wants. Or better yet, tell him to talk to Stephen – that’ll be the end of that.

  • Roger Summers


  • Phew! There for a moment, when you said, ‘“She found a publisher in six weeks,” the young lady said.’ that her friend had found a VANITY publisher, and that the name you googled would turn out to be another incarnation of Author Solutions preying on the new.

    It is amazing how profitable the business of taking new authors is – and how hard AS fights to keep the money flowing.

    Doing it yourself, pshaw! I’m the publisher of Trilka Press. If anyone cares. We publish only great books. We have high standards and have vowed a war on typos. Our authors get ALL the revenue their books generate. We are very careful of what we publish, and will always be. And our editor has twenty years experience in writing and editing.

    • Awesome

      • Caleb Pirtle

        Hats off to Trilka Press.

  • jack43

    Good story telling Caleb. You set us up and knocked us down. And you don’t even need a straight man. You know what a straight man is, don’t you? He asks questions to help set up the punchline. For example: It’s cold. How cold is it? Punchline. I learned that listening to George Burns, greatest straight man who ever lived.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      As you know, the straight is the most important person on stage. If he doesn’t set the joke up right, it falls flat. That’s why George Burns was the best of them all.

  • Darlene Jones

    Great post. The straight man does the hard word and doesn’t get enough credit – remember Mindy? You don’t? Not surprising. She’s the one who never cracked a smile when Mork was around.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      I remember Mindy. Mork was never that cute.

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