Changing my mind about Self-publishing Part 4: intake to the alternate Publishing Path cont’ further
After taking care of the financial end, the details on how to prepare the manuscript to send into iUniverse arrived. As I’d indicated that the book was written to sell, iUniverse kept probing, and my signaling continued. The preparations for the initial manuscript intake required creating a lot of additional material including a short bio, a ‘keynote’ description (the elevator pitch for a book: a intriguing summary of the novel in 50-75 words), an 8,000 character sample of the book—what one would find on a website if it offered some sort of “look inside”, and some favorite quotes from the book: All material required for promoting a book, which is exactly what I was doing to iUniverse—selling them on the idea that the book and I might be worth investing in.
By preparing all this material without foot dragging, I was pitching myself as someone who took the process seriously, and was willing to work to deliver the best material possible to the people who would eventually recommend the novel to the Special Recognitions Board.
A few days later, A Perfect Blindness finally left my hands as an MS Word document, accompanied by various supporting documents such as the target audience, the book’s genre, my own bona fides, and thus began its trek towards becoming a book that would find its way on that alternate route to the Traditional Publishing Path.
Receipt was confirmed, and iUniverse began the one evaluation all books undergo regardless of its goals or what publishing package the author decides to get, which requires a small ($150) nonrefundable deposit against the total cost whatever package was chosen: the Content Evaluation. Here, the book’s content is analyzed to, in their words, “ensure the originality of content, integrity of works sited, usage rights of images, and [for any] statement which might be considered libelous, defamatory, or against our policies.” If it passes this test, then it moves on. If not, the writer can either fix any violations or refuse to revise the offending text. In the latter case, the publication stops, the agreement is voided, package fee refunded, deposit kept. Done.
While its content was being evaluated, I read deeper into the agreement to make sure I understood what I was and was not getting. While digging into the small print, I came across verbiage that looked like a deal breaker: that explicit sex is a violation of their terms and will not be printed. Since there are few explicit scenes that I cannot remove without breaking the book, I told my contact that if they can’t print the book because of this, they can keep my deposit and we’ll go our separate ways.
She had to get back to me.