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You Wrote a Book: Now What?


By Isabelle Resnick

When Atlantic Publishing’s president, Douglas R. Brown, wrote a book on restaurant management over 30 years ago, he did not know he would found his own publishing company a few years later. Despite being offered contracts by two of the largest publishers in the hospitality industry, Brown was frustrated with the way his two prospective publishers were going to handle the production and marketing of his book, and he felt he could do it better himself.

In 2017, 35 years after he started Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. in his garage, Brown published another book: How to Successfully Publish Your Book: The Step-by-Step Guide to Writing, Publishing and Marketing.

The book elaborates on Atlantic Publishing’s recently established Partnership Publishing Program, a successful and profitable happy medium between traditional and self-publishing. To get a well-rounded look at all the publishing avenues, we’ll begin with the world of traditional publishing.

Though traditional publishing is a successful enterprise, it can be a competitive and discouraging game. For a long time, the only way to publish a book was through a traditional, royalty-based method that required a literary agent liaison.

As it stands today, when a publisher (finally) accepts your manuscript, the contract is signed and cash advances/royalties are discussed and exchanged, the publisher will take the reins in bringing your work from a text document to a living, breathing, bound book. They will advertise it, market it, and distribute it, too, and though this is a great option for authors, the costs incurred for publishers to take all this on is so high that they accept only a few manuscripts.

Often, publishers only consider books from proven authors. But how do you become a proven author if you can’t find the right company to publish your book?

Some people get rejected enough times that they decide to take matters into their own hands with self-publishing, which is sometimes called vanity publishing. Self-publishing was established in the mainstream when a technology called Print on Demand (POD) was invented a few years ago. A person could publish just one book with POD, or they could print enough to sell to friends and family for whatever price they decide. With complete control over the book and 100 percent of the profits to be earned, it seems like a great option for authors.

The problem with self-publishing, however, is that the initial investment to the POD company is very high. The author also does not have access to the professional editing, typesetting, and cover design resources that publishers do, so they may choose to work with POD companies that charge exorbitant amounts for these additional services. These companies are often running scams, too, and the final products they present authors with can be low in quality, which makes them more difficult to market and distribute (a task the author must do without the help of a publisher-provided team).

FUN FACT: Self-publishing is not as new as we think; in 1922, E.E. Cummings self-published his first book, The Enormous Room. He even dedicated it to the 15 publishers who rejected it.

When it comes to co-publishing, authors who work with Atlantic Publishing in its Partnership Publishing Program get the benefits of working with a full-service publisher. And unlike self-publishing services, Atlantic only accepts projects they think are a good fit for their catalog of titles.

As Brown says, “Writing is a creative art; publishing is a business.” A publisher sees a book very differently than a first-time author does. To the former, it’s a business investment, to the latter, it’s artistic validation, public recognition, and an income.

With co-publishing, or partnership publishing, the author and the publisher both make a monetary investment to produce the book. The author then has access to professional and high-quality services from the publisher, which may include editing, design, printing, marketing, warehousing and distribution. When all is said and done, Atlantic promises authors 100% of the profits from their books.

In this publishing channel, the author is not alone in the process from inception to completion. At Atlantic, there is an incentive structure built into the author-editor-publisher collaborative relationship that ensures an author’s book will become the best it can be.

To bring your book to life with Atlantic Publishing, learn how to submit your non-fiction manuscript here.

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