We are living in a time where there is an overload of information on everything you can think of. From how a Giraffe eats to what is Nollywood, you get it all. But the sad part is there is not much relevant information on Publishing. Rarely will anyone come and handhold you when it comes to printing your own book.
With a rising number of Self Financed Publishing Houses coming up, there is a decreasing trust factor on the art of Publishing, increasing frauds and a very steep decrease of Literature.
I have tried listing down the very basic 5 things one needs to know while Publishing:
- Copyright: Copyright is a lengthy issue and I can’t cover the topic in details in one article. All an Author needs to know is that the copyright for the Book belongs to her/him. In the printers page(where the details of the publisher, printer and ISBN is stated), there should be a line stating the copyright belongs to the Author or a copyright symbol with the Author’s name.
- ISBN: International Standard Book Number is a unique code given to a book. It is the identity number for a book just like our PAN Number. Without an ISBN number, a book has no face and it cannot be sold legally, online or offline. ISBN numbers can be bought separately but they are a hassle. Every registered Publishing House owns their own set of ISBN numbers. So if you’re getting your book published through a Publishing House, make sure it has an ISBN.
- Contract: A contract is very important for both the Author and the Publisher as it sets the expectations right. Whether it is a self published book or a traditionally published book, a contract is a must. The number of years the contract is valid should also be mutually decided. The job role for the Author and the Publisher should clearly be stated. One cannot function without the other.
- Editing and Proof Reading: An editor and a proof reader are like lab assistants during your Chemistry practical (pardon my science background. I could not come up with a better example). Even though there is a teacher, there needs to be some personal hand holding. It is not easy to write and keep the technicalities in mind. An editor does just that. The importance of an Editor should never be undermined. The proof reader is like a Demi God whose contribution to the story you cannot ignore. All grammatical errors are taken care by the Proof Reader.
- Distribution: So now that you have a book in hand, what do you do next? Make sure that your publisher has a proper distribution chain, online and offline. Online so that it gets reviewed and offline where people can find the book. Whether the book lasts in the market and is displayed in stores after a week, depends on the strength of the Book and response from the reader. But the initial thrust has to be from the Publishers end.
Remember: It is not always about how much information you need to have. It is mostly about how relevant the information is!
For any query related to Publishing and Printing, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Keeper of BEE