Self-Publishing Part 7: Before the Good Things Start, Unexpected Tasks

by wlancehunt in Personal Narrative

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Once I handled the couple dozen mechanical issues the official reader had pointed out, a number of good things happened.

First came the most obvious part of the signaling iUniverse does: the Colophon, the symbol of the publishing house that appears on the back cover and spine of the book, gets a make over. From a simple orange circle with a white swoop leading to a orange dot over the i and black lettering that 95% of the books they publish get on their back cover:

it changes into this (actual background color depends on the book’s cover):


The publisher’s name—iUniverse—appears of course, but below that come the words “Editor’s Choice”, the reward for all the time, money and effort spent. The orange circle of the logo turns into a blue ribbon—we’ve a winner here. The swoop leading to the dot over the i remains, though in inverse, moving from negative space to blue, flying up to the newly blue dot:


The spine in both cases gets the circular logo with the swoop and launched dot—no i, nor text.

These changes separate this book from other independently published books, waving a flag that this is a quality book. The buyer has iUniverse’s assurance.

On the title page inside, the Colophon turns to a simple black circle with a white swoop and outsized dot over the i, no different from any books they publish: What good, after all, is a hidden signal? By the time this page is seen, a potential reader has already been intrigued enough to pick the book up, look it over, crack it open and start leafing through the pages: that battle is won.

In addition to signaling to readers the particularly high quality writing in and raised expectations for the book, this designation includes some institutional support beyond placement in specially designated sections of the iUniverse online bookstore: the book’s cover is given additional design work to ensure it hews to industry standards. Now, the publisher has started putting its own money and time into the success of the book.

At the very end of the letter, was a sentence telling me that the reader enjoyed the book very much.

For a writer, that is the true sound of success.

It remained sweet so as long as I kept beating back the suspicions that this is said to any writer who pays for their services with the dual cudgels that they are ponying up their own cash and services for the book now, and that we both make money if it does, in fact, sell.

Yet, I was hardly finished working on A Perfect Blindness.

Not only did I have to attend to some errata and resubmit the manuscript, I discovered I’d immediately have to start work on the second step of iUniverse’s Traditional Publishing Path. One to demonstrate that not only does this newly certified well written book have an actual market, but that I had the skills and will to help it reach that market. If I could do both—by the deadline—I would be eligible for the Rising Star designation and gain access to all the additional institutional resources that come with that reaching that step on the path.

That deadline was in seven days: A week to submit a complete marketing analysis and plan.

This was completely unexpected.

Have you’ve ever been caught by surprise by a publisher or marketer like this before?



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