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Hybrid Publishing: A Publishing Alternative, Not a Scam

Earlier this year, the Society of Authors and the Writers Guild of Great Britain issued a joint report regarding the hybrid publishing model called “Is it a Steal?” In this report, hybrid publishing came under fire as being “the worst option a writer can take” and accusing hybrid publishers of predatory practices. For those who aren’t familiar with hybrid publishing, it’s a publishing model whereby the author subsidizes most or all of the costs of publishing the book while their publishing partner leverages their knowledge and expertise to create a quality book and send it out into the proper distribution channels to reach the author’s ideal readers. As in any industry, there are bad actors out there. You must do your due diligence before signing any contract. Some companies use aggressive marketing tactics trying to sell you on services and add-ons that you don’t really need, while others aren’t transparent about their contracts and will … Continue Reading

Legal Information for Authors

One of the speakers for our annual Publish with Purpose virtual summit in 2022 was Jonathan Kirsch, a publishing, privacy and intellectual property attorney and general counsel for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). As a publisher, we often field questions from our authors about what certain legal terms mean and how it affects them, as well as what they can and cannot include in their published works. So, we decided that it was time to consult a professional to demystify this information for authors. We compiled a list of all of the questions we typically hear, and our founder, Tara R. Alemany, took the opportunity to ask Jonathan what they meant and how they applied to the publishing industry. Rather than keeping this interview tucked away in our vaults, where only summit attendees could access it, we decided to make this particular interview public since it’s valuable legal advice for authors to know. Legal … Continue Reading

4 Common Business Problems Solved by Books

Every couple of years, Emerald Lake Books conducts a poll of entrepreneurs and business owners to ask about the most common business problems they face. We routinely ask them to rate ten potential issues to determine which are the most relevant to our respondents. In all the years we’ve conducted this survey, there are four issues that always rise to the top: Amazingly enough, even though better brand visibility is often a distant 4th in the list of complaints, it often solves two of the other business problems that frequently tie with each other for second place (more leads and improved cash flow). Regardless, all the common issues we see businesses deal with can be addressed by creating a well-structured, well-designed and well-positioned book. Let’s take a closer look at each of the Top 4 business problems to see how a book can resolve those issues. Problem #1: There aren’t enough hours in the day … Continue Reading

Don’t Feel Bad About Your Publishing Decision

When I self-published my first five books, I kept running up against what my mentor calls “unconscious incompetence.” Essentially, you don’t know what you don’t know. After helping a number of friends through the maze of self-publishing with their books, I ultimately started my own publishing company, Emerald Lake Books. The way I see it, not everyone enjoys or has the skills to clean their own homes, balance their own checkbook, grow their own food, or repair their own cars. And so that’s why house cleaners, bookkeepers, accountants, farmers, garages and mechanics became viable professions. That’s why I started my own hybrid publishing company. I was willing to dig into how to publish books successfully. It was a topic that interested me, but I realized it wasn’t something that everyone would want to dive into to the same extent I was willing to do. With publishing, there’s a middle ground between having a traditional publisher … Continue Reading

Understanding Publishing Models

I belong to quite a few different social media groups that relate to writing and publishing. And every once in a while, a savvy new author will share information about a publishing deal they have been offered and ask the group’s feedback. Oftentimes, these offers come from hybrid publishers. Upon hearing that, many people will start chiming in with things like, “If you have to pay your publisher, it’s a scam!” and “Publishers pay authors, not the other way around!” I cringe every time I read those responses… But it’s clear by their vehemence that there’s little I can say that will change their minds. To me, the question is no different than whether an entrepreneur should do their own bookkeeping and taxes rather than spend time working in their own area of genius. If you’re not doing what you’re best at, you’re not going far fast. And just as there are bookkeepers and accountants … Continue Reading

How Is a List Price Set For a Book?

I was recently asked the question, “How do you set a list price for a book?” Sometimes our authors want their books to sell at a certain price, mostly because they want to make the book affordable for readers. And that’s definitely an important goal to keep in mind. But a list price isn’t something you can just pull out of thin air. There’s actually a formula you need to keep in mind to make sure you can financially justify the price that’s set. That’s why it’s typically the publisher setting the list price rather than the author. The publisher has key information about production costs that need to be factored into the final price. Understand the Market At Emerald Lake Books, we start by looking at the prices of other books in the genre. From a reader standpoint, if two books on the same topic or of similar interest are both of good quality … Continue Reading