There are a number of ways Manifest Identity can help authors get their books published, starting with helping you decide what you want for your book and how best to reach your audience. Whether you want to publish a personal memoir primarily for your family, or you feel you have written a potential bestseller, or your organization has a retrospective book in mind, contacting Manifest Identity for both perspective and practical guidance, is a good first step. If you have a finished manuscript, it can be an opportunity to “look before you leap.” If you are only in the early stages of planning a book, so much the better. This is the time to look down the road at where you want to go, and let that help shape your book. Here are some of the possible routes to publication with which I can help:
I know publishing from the author’s perspective, as well as from years working in the industry. The Cranberry was published by Tilbury House Publishers and I self-published my Doodle-ography Journal.
Choosing the best way to publish your book
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all in book publishing, which is why Manifest Identity’s very personal approach has proven so helpful. To begin with, there are more ways to publish a book than most people can imagine, ranging from landing a contract with one of hundreds of traditional publishing houses (large and small), to putting your book up on Amazon yourself—and dozens of pay-to-publish and “hybrid” options in between. I can help you explore and compare what each has to offer and which is the direction best suited to you and your book.
Placing your manuscript with a traditional publisher
All the options for publishing have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantages to traditional publishers is the time it takes to send a proposal or manuscript to a publisher and wait to hear back—often, only to have it rejected and have to start over. Having Manifest Identity assess your book can save a lot of time and frustration. Of course, I cannot guarantee that your book will be accepted, but I can offer my honest, informed opinion of whether or not that kind of time investment might be worth your while. In addition, I work with top-notch editors and other publishing professionals who can give us a second opinion, if needed.
I designed these covers for Safer Society Press, Down East Books, and Church Publishing. I’ve also worked for Rowan & Littlefield, WoodenBoat Books, Cowley Publications, BDQ Publications, and others.
The pay-to-publish route
There are now hundreds of what I call pay-to-publish companies and more cropping up everyday. They range from reputable companies that publish only high-quality books, to unscrupulous firms that pray on unsuspecting authors. Some of the major publishing houses have started pay-to-publish divisions, as well. Some presses are curated—that is, they might or might not accept your book—and some are not. Some houses that claim to be curated really will publish anything, as long as they are paid. Some of the curated houses pay for at least a portion of the costs of producing a book and others do not. There are advantages to the good pay-to-publish companies over self-publishing, and there are also disadvantages. If you are considering a pay-to-publish company, I can help you make a well informed choice.
I designed these book covers at the pay-to-publish company where I worked for four years. That experience is what really inspired me to offer help to authors in navigating this unfamiliar terrain.
Support and technical know-how if you self-publish
More and more people are deciding to publish their books themselves. Even authors who have published previously with traditional houses are now choosing this route. Helping authors “self-publish” is a specialty of mine, but it is not the right route for everyone. If we do decide it is an appropriate route for you, I can help you every step of the way—self-publishing a quality book isn’t as simple as it sounds. I have witnessed too many authors produce a book that could have been very good, but that was not taken seriously. Instead, because it was unprofessionally produced, or positioned badly, it sat on Amazon, bookstores wouldn’t carry it, and readers did not buy it. This avoidable disappointment really is what has inspired me most to offer my help to authors. Manifest Identity can help you get the highest quality product possible—as good as or better than mainstream published books—yet it will still be completely your book. Read more about Self-Publishing Services.
What about marketing?
The best person to market your book is always you. Even if you publish with a traditional publisher or a pay-to-publish company, you will find that you still do most of the marketing yourself. They may have suggestions and preferred marketing consultants, but most of that will be your responsibility—and not included in a paid package. I am not a marketing consultant, but if you decide to publish your book yourself, I have some perspective and simple suggestions of what helps, which I have learned from experience. Read more about marketing help if you self-publish.
A good website is essential for every published author. If you don’t have one yet, Manifest Identity can also help you with a simple, affordable website. Read more about Manifest Identity Websites.
How Manifest Identity’s Publishing Consulting Works
Contact Lindy to set up a free, no-obligation phone consult. If we both decide we want to work together, we will proceed with one of two next steps:
If you do not yet have a manuscript, we can set up a schedule of phone or Zoom consulting at $65/hr on an agreed-upon schedule, to help get you there.
If you are ready to publish, the next step is a no-obligation, $200 assessment of your book. You send me your table of contents, three sample chapters, sample art (if any), and a page estimate and I provide a professional assessment and suggested next steps. In a follow-up call, we will decide together if it would be best for you to move forward on your own or to continue working with me.
If we decide to continue working together, we will start either:
• Publishing Consulting at $65/hr, on an agreed-upon schedule or
• Self-Publishing Services if your book is ready and you decide to publish your book yourself with my professional support.
Non-profit discounts available.