Establishing a new publishing company is relatively easy. Assembling the best team possible to properly prepare your titles for the brutal book marketplace is more difficult.
If you’re new to publishing, how will you know that the people you have chosen are doing the best possible job, and what will you do if they don’t follow through on their promises? It’s not easy to find, evaluate, and coordinate the many providers you’ll need to prepare your book for printing, especially if you are launching your new publishing business while working at a full-time job.
It’s never a good idea to “do-it-yourself” when it comes to design and typesetting. If you don’t have design training and experience, your results won’t be acceptable to the gatekeepers of the book industry — the reviewers, distributors, and retailers you’ll depend on to sell your books. But should you hire individual freelancers or larger companies who offer one-stop convenience at a higher price?
If you enjoy “getting your hands dirty” and diving into a mountain of details, then hiring individual freelancers for title writing, manuscript editing, back cover copywriting, cover design, interior design and typesetting is the way to go. You’ll spend a great deal of time coordinating all aspects of the project, but you’ll have maximum flexibility and may even acquire all these services at a reduced rate, because freelancers don’t have as much overhead as a larger business. The down side is that individual freelancers are more susceptible to life events that are out of everyone’s control, which can delay your job. And, you may not discover until it’s too late that some freelancers are just not reliable or even very good at what they do. One thing is certain: unless you already have experience in pre-press production management, you will be surprised at the amount of time it requires.
If you are comfortable allowing others to do their job, and prefer to focus on the “big picture” business issues, then you may find it more convenient to work with a larger company that offers a variety of editorial and pre-press services under one roof. These companies will basically assume all the headaches you’d have if you hired freelancers yourself, except that they already have a group of pre-qualified individuals who can get the job done, and they manage the entire process. Naturally, this will cost more, but it’s also more likely to result in a book that is finished quickly and competently while reducing your stress level significantly.
The choice you make depends on the time you have available, as well as your personal style and preferences. But understanding some of the issues you’re likely to encounter should make the decision an easier one.
What do you want to know? What topics should we explore together? How can we help you along your publishing journey? Everyone here at 1106 Design wants to help. Post your comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele DeFilippo, owner, 1106 Design