Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness
Each iUniverse STAR title gets a personal agent: the iUniverse STAR Program’s Rights Consultant, a veteran of the book publishing industry. This person presents the book to traditional publishing houses, international publishers, audiobook publishers and book clubs for their consideration. But unlike in the old model of peddling mere manuscripts, when this first gatekeeper, the agent, had to have been approached by a writer, who had convinced the agent that not only did a manuscript have potential, and that there was a market for said manuscript, and that the author was someone the agent, and by extension the publisher, could work with to get that manuscript into the best shape possible, and then would continue to work with the publisher to sell the book after publication.
If the author could convince the agent of all these things, the agent would then take this raw manuscript he or she believed had potential to editors at various publishing houses. At each of these houses, the agent would attempt to convince an editor of these same things—that the manuscript had potential; there was a market for it; and that the author was capable and willing to do what it would take for the manuscript to reach it’s potential and would continue to work with the publisher after that to sell the book. No small order this.
With this new onramp to the Traditional Publishing Path, no author has to approach an agent nor convince anyone to believe in a manuscript; it’s market or the writer’s willingness to work on its success. Once the book has sold enough copies, it gets the agent automatically, no sales pitch needed. Not only is a Star title already written to industry standards, having already gone through the full editing process from developmental, through content and quality editing, the book has been through design and proofreading, with an author who has already worked very hard to not only getting it into the best possible shape but actually selling it.
In this new path, the agent is no longer hocking a manuscript that should sell with sufficient work at all, but a finished book that is already selling.
The pitch is not longer “here’s a manuscript and writer I believe in and think you should give a try,” but “do you want to hitch a ride on this author’s book?”
The system has been turned on its head, creating a whole new, author-controlled (though funded) pathway to traditional publishers and all that that might still mean.
So how does a book get this special treatment?
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