Launched a publishing business? Maybe you have always dreamed of becoming an independent publishing house and now you are full steam ahead, but before you get whisked away and caught up let’s take a look at how you can run a publishing business successfully. Here are 5 excellent tips by Abiola Bello, publishing entrepreneur and prize-winning author.
Think about why you’re doing it
There are many publishing houses from the Big 5 to the indies so what makes yours different? What impact are you trying to make in the industry? Maybe you want to empower women and so you only want to publish books by female authors who have written strong female leads? Maybe you love YA and want to find the best Young Adult books. Passionate about diversity? The publishing industry needs loads more diverse books so if you have a passion for that, that’s a great reason to start a publishing house.
Pick your titles carefully
An amazing book can make your publishing house a household name but a bad book can literally take down your entire business. No-one really knows what book is going to sell loads of copies, especially if it is a debut but choose a book that you’re passionate about. A book that is a page-turner for you because then you will back it more fiercely. Never pick books based on trends as they change so quickly.
Social Media is key!
Twitter is the main platform for publishing, followed by Instagram. Make sure that you have really strong branding on your platforms and you’re following bloggers, librarians, authors, book competitions, literary agents and other publishers. Post regularly and shout about your books. Post pictures of the books, reviews, giveaways etc. Be friendly and approachable on your platform. People will support you more if you’re nice!
Selling books is not the only way to make money for your publishing house. In fact publishing houses have different streams such as author school visits, book panels and literary festivals. You have to get creative! Bookshops don’t usually buy hundreds of copies of a book (no-one has the storage). Once a bookshop buys the book, they can still return it so make sure you’re doing PR for the book to keep its name out there. A great way to sell a lot of books quickly is for the author to have a book launch party at a bookshop. Make sure you find a good sales team that have strong relationships with the wholesalers and bookshops, so they can pitch your book far and wide.
Your book needs to be in as many places as possible—Amazon isn’t enough! Your book should be listed online so it’s available from online retailers but it also needs to be in bookshops from Waterstones to indie bookshops. There are thousands of books being released in a day so you need to make sure yours is at the forefront for everyone. Link up with bloggers.
They are like the influencers of the publishing world. A blogger can give you a good review with a gorgeous picture of your book to go with it and then will share it with their followers on their social media and blog. It’s then more likely that people will check out your book based on their endorsement. Lastly, talk to librarians. Librarians are the best for children’s and Young Adult books and if a librarian buys your book and champions it, then you have hundreds of children who will be reading your book!