I have finished building my team. Stop blinking at me in surprise, I know you are wondering what on earth I am talking about. Not fantasy football, that's for sure.
As you may or may not know, I have signed a contract with Booktrope to publish my novel Disenchanted. But things are not going to proceed the way they would in most publishing companies. Booktrope is a different kind of publishing company, with a rather unique business model.
Before I go any further, for those of you thinking, "But I thought you signed with Vox Dei Publishing," you are right. Vox Dei is an imprint of Booktrope. An imprint is essentially like a specialized department within a larger company. Many former publishing companies have been bought up by bigger ones and have become imprints, but in this case, all of Booktrope's imprints have been created to serve particular niches.
So, back to Booktrope's business model. Booktrope is not a traditional publisher and neither does it offer services to self-publishing authors. An author does have to submit a manuscript and have it approved, and does not have to pay anything to have the book published, which distinguishes it from companies offering services to self-publishing authors. Once you have been signed, you have access to their internal website and are given a Teamroom. You pick your own editor, publicist (which they call book manager), proofreader, cover designer, and in most cases, project manager, who coordinates the entire thing. And each team member voluntarily signs on, all for a share of the profits. The reasoning is that if everyone gets paid only if the book succeeds, everybody is going to give it their best. And in this respect, it is similar to self-publishing, because the author is in the driver's seat.
In my case, the Managing Editor of Vox Dei was assigned to me as Project Manager, which I am pretty happy about. It meant that I had a coach from the very beginning. I have spent the last week or so figuring out who I would like to work with and approaching people, and I now have a team. The proofreader still has to confirm, but seeing as she would only start her work as everyone else is winding down, I can get started even before she confirms. This is one of Booktrope's strong points, from an author's point of view: control. I have much more control over the production aspect than I would with a traditional publisher. Nobody can impose on me a cover I don't like, for instance. Not that I'm worried. I sifted through all of Booktrope's published books, picking out my favourite covers, in various different styles, and discovered that the vast majority of them were the work of a single man. It was not at all a hard decision who I wanted to approach for my cover designer.
So my publicist and I are getting to know each other and preparing to work out a marketing plan, my editor has a couple of things to wrap up and then will give me her full attention (she's already read the first chapter or so), and we are getting geared up. I'm excited, and a bit nervous. I've never had anybody go over my work with an editor's eye before. Honestly, I'm looking forward to it. I want to learn how to up my game, and that will take another set of eyes. Hopefully, I will be able to tell you soon when you can expect Disenchanted to be available.
For those who follow me on other social media, you know that Vox Dei has already run an interview with me on their blog. It was a little different to be answering the questions, rather than posing them.