I got a detailed response from Innovo Publishing, revealing that Ms. Darya Crockett had actually read my book. She made some specific minor editing suggestions (for clarity), and said that I should consider a cooperative publishing package.
Cooperative publishing is when the author and publisher share in the expenses and risks. Royalty percentages are higher, and after a certain number of books are sold, all of the author’s investment is reimbursed. They are the second publishing house that has suggested cooperative publishing for me. Tate Publishing had offered a contract for my book two years ago. My share would be $4,000.
I do not currently have a job, nor any funds to invest. I emailed Ms. Crockett discussing my situation. She replied with some very helpful tips that could possibly make MORE THAN SONGS more plausible for traditional publishing consideration. Since this blog is not just sharing my personal experiences, but is intended to be a source of encouragement and education for my fellow authors who are struggling on the path to publication, I want to discuss her suggestions for me:
As a traditional publisher, Innovo is highly selective and will acquire and invest in only a small number of titles/submissions. Traditionally published titles will align with our mission statement and market niche and have mass appeal to a general or Christian audience. Also, we are not just looking for good ideas or leads on promoting or marketing your book; we need solid commitments, preferably in writing, from organizations or groups willing to roll up their sleeves and partner with you to promote, market, or sell your book.
·The author must commit in writing to the types of marketing and promotional activities he/she will carry out—what kind and how many/how often.
·Various groups and organizations with which the author is affiliated must commit to purchasing a certain number of books upon publication or to helping the author market the book.
·Author’s connections and commitments must translate into the sale of enough copies of the book for us to recoup our investment. If you believe your book, marketability, connections, and commitments qualify, then we invite you to submit a full proposal. Since you have already submitted your full manuscript, you do not need to send it again. Your proposal for consideration should include the working title, length/word count, genre type, main topic/theme, target audience, list of similar published titles, marketing/promotion commitments, completion/target completion date, book summary (500 words or less), and table of contents (major headings only)].
The traditional publishing market is highly competitive. Industry wide, fewer than 1% of authors will get a traditional publishing contract. There are only so many resources to invest, and many, many authors seeking a traditional publisher. Don’t forget to seriously consider Innovo’s co-publishing model. It might surprise you, but in some ways what Innovo offers through its co-publishing option is actually a better deal than going the traditional publishing route. Sure, there is a cash investment on the front end that you wouldn’t have with traditional publishing, but traditional publishers usually pay the author only about 7-10% on every sale. That’s it. Since the publisher is taking all the risk, the publisher will take [almost] all the reward. At Innovo, we set out to create a better deal for the Christian author. If you’re willing to share the risk and the responsibility, then we’re willing to share the reward. This is an especially great deal for authors who have a platform to sell a lot of books. Yes, you will pay on the front end, but if together we sell 5,000 copies of your book in three years, Innovo will refund every cent of your initial investment on your base publishing package. Plus, along the way you will have collected royalties that are far better than what you would’ve earned under a traditional publishing contract.
Now, you know whether or not you truly have the platform/network to qualify for traditional publishing. If you don’t, you may have to continue your search for a publisher that may not be quite as strict with their requirements. We completely understand that, and there are no hard feelings here. We wish you the very best. If things should change for you later on down the road and you want to revisit co-publishing or independent publishing, we’d certainly love to pick up where we left off.
Keep your chin up, keep everything in prayer, and don’t give up.
Darya Crockett, Director of Acquisitions, Editorial, and Client Services Innovo Publishing, LLCFull-Service Christian PublishingBooks, eBooks, Audiobooks, Music & Film 1950 W. Poplar Avenue, Suite 4 | Collierville, TN 38017innovopublishing.com | Toll-Free 888.546.2111, Ext. 705 | 901.221.4055 Fax
Essentially, I need a base of support for the message and my ability to deliver it. I have never had a specific denominational affiliation, so it’s not like I can turn to that. I’m researching and devising a plan that should develop a strong platform for my book within 6 months.
I have known for a long time that I am supposed to take the message of this book to churches and Christian conferences, to speak and teach what God has taught me. I always figured that would be a waste unless there was an actual physical book to sell. I may have to re-think that. I’ll keep in touch. Please pray for me.