Today, I am sharing with you a guest post from the Creative Director of CAAB Publishing, Chrissy Brown.
This post hopefully will answer some of your questions about being in the publishing industry.
It is also a must read for any aspiring writers.
This last 12 months has been a crazy and unusual time for the entire world. As a director of a new publishing company (that started just before the pandemic, great timing!). I have been dealing with the issues of launching and promoting a new business and the added problems that this uncertain time has thrust upon everyone.
Being a small, traditional, indie publisher means we have numerous hurdles to overcome. The first being that many writers are suspicious of anyone offering to look at their work, and rightly so, as there are various predatory institutes out there, trying to make money off others desperation. There are vanity publishers that offer the world to new writers, if you are willing to pay a substantial fee, but rarely deliver on marketing or distribution. There are those that offer to publish your work and then ask for money for other services like the cover art or editing. New schemes and dodgy companies appear daily, some are very clever and seem to be legitimate until you scrutinize them.
At CAAB Publishing Ltd we do not charge for our services. We make money only if the book sells, and that is a good thing as writers want us motivated to sell and market their work, and we are. We share the risk with our authors. We pay royalties and we try very hard to be fully supportive of new writers.
One of our greatest joys is when an author returns to us to publish a second or third book. We love new writers as well, but when an author returns to us with their next manuscript, we know that they trust us, and liked what we did for them before. We feel that is a great achievement and gives us a warm glow.
Most of our staff are also writers or they sympathize with the plight of unknown authors.
It is a hard market out there.
Book shops turn their noses up at self-published novels without even reading them, and that is because there is just so many, and unfortunately, quite a few of them are not edited or, sadly, they are badly written.
We offer a legitimacy that self-publishing cannot. We offer editing, proofreading, cover art, marketing, radio coverage and lots more, all for nothing, all for the love of a story. We want to offer new writers the chance to feel important, to feel that their hard work is appreciated, and to get their effort out there to readers. I am not saying we publish everything that comes our way, we have to still be picky. We must like the story, enjoy the narrative and believe in the book. Sending out rejections is the hardest part of being in this industry. We always try to be constructive and gentle when we send out those awful emails.
We realise that everyone would like to be published by one of the big boys, they want the backing of a large company with massive advertising campaigns and huge advances. We cannot offer that, we do not have the same budgets as those big publishers. But, most of those corporations will not take a risk on a new authors, they have circled the wagons and will not offer to even read unsolicited manuscripts, which means you need an agent, and that is even harder to find. It also leaves you open to more scams and scammers, pretend agents, agents that charge upfront, the list goes on.
It is enough to make you hang up your laptop and give in. But don’t do that, try some of us little guys, find a smaller publisher you like the look of, do your research and contact some of the authors that have been published by them. Check the terms of any contract they send you, ask questions, and be ready to walk away if you are not 100% comfortable.
At CAAB Publishing we love variety and have people working for us from many different walks of life, so we are prepared to take a look at most genres and see if the book will fit with us. We all have very different tastes, so we look for books that satisfy that diversity. At CAAB Publishing we also look at the author, we want to be a big family of writers that support each other, we are more likely to pick a book for publishing if the author is open to helping others and receiving help in return. That can be retweeting tweets, mentioning another writer on your blog or just offering advice.
When submitting, the most important things are to be sure that the book is well edited before you send it and that the story makes sense. If our Beta readers can not get through it, we will not publish it.
We have a wonderful website and blog that helps readers to connect with our authors www.caabpublishing.co.uk
We are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and we encourage people to contact us.
We also send out a monthly newsletter, which includes upcoming events, launches, and tips and tricks of the trade.
We are open for submission at the moment, we are running a kid’s writing competition and we have an anthology that is still open to writers of flash fiction.
Advice for anspiring writers:
If I had one bit of advice for a new writer, it would be DON’T GIVE UP! Keep writing, keep editing, and keep believing.
If you have any questions about the publishing industry, make sure to leave them in the comments below.