In the past self-publishing had a poor reputation because of poor-quality production, low editorial standards and little access to the market.
But now the publishing industry has changed. New print-on-demand technology and advances in digital publishing mean that independent writers have unprecedented access to readers and sales opportunities. Independent authors are now regularly hitting the Amazon bestseller lists.
At Kazoo we have over 50 years’ experience in book publishing and we bring this experience to every book we produce. We can help you produce a book that is edited, designed, produced and printed to industry standards.
Our clients are authors who have chosen to publish independently but to the highest possible standard. As best-selling independent author Joanna Penn says, ‘People don’t buy books based on the publisher.’ If your aim is to get your book to readers, Kazoo offers you a fast and sure way to achieve your goal.
For many, independent publishing is a stepping stone towards getting a traditional publishing deal; others prefer self-publishing because they receive a higher royalty on sales and retain full control of their rights. Publishing independently also allows you to set the price of your book and to get it to market quickly. Whatever your reason for choosing to publish independently, Kazoo offers you our extensive experience to make your book the best that it can be.
John Makinson, former chairman and CEO of Penguin, told the Guardian, ‘Self-publishing has moved into the mainstream of our industry . . . It’s hard to overstate what a radical change this is for publishing. Fifty Shades of Grey began not only as self-published but as a work of fan fiction, which signifies a deep change in the relationship between readers and writers – of readers who become writers.’
At Kazoo we offer a full editorial service. We have a team of professional editors who can help you improve your work and make it ready for market, whether you choose to purchase one of our packages or not. We urge all authors to have their books professionally edited to give them the best possible chance of success.
Remember, it’s very difficult to edit your own work, so if you choose not to use a professional editor you should have as many people as possible read your work and offer suggestions and corrections.
Why editing is important
In traditional publishing it generally takes a full year from signature of contract for a book to hit the bookshelves. During this time, the manuscript goes through a rigorous three-stage editing process. While that process can be accelerated by publishing independently, editing is crucial to ensuring your book is as polished as it can be when it reaches the reader. You are asking readers to invest money and time in your book, and they expect to get a quality product. Poorly produced books result in bad reviews and low sales.
The three stages of editing
- Structural edit. Do you have too many characters? Do you have long passages of description and no action? Is the pace too slow or too fast? Do you have a weak subplot? Is your message clear or confusing? The structural edit generally deals with issues of:
- Chapter structure
- Clarity of message
- Copy-edit. Is your grammar correct? Is your spelling consistent? Does your protagonist have the same colour eyes at the start of the book as at the end? Did she put toast in the toaster instead of bread? The main purpose of the copy-edit is to ensure consistency and correctness throughout your book. It deals with issues of:
- Misused or overused words
- Sentence structure and style
- Clarity and consistency of language
- Correction of facts, names, dates, etc.
- Proofread. This is the most basic form of editing and should only be performed after most errors and inconsistencies have been caught and corrected. A proofreader will correct any remaining spelling and punctuation mistakes and typographical errors. She or he will also ensure that house style has been applied consistently. A proofread is included as standard in every Kazoo package as it is essential if a book is to reach the most basic industry standards. However, a proofread does not replace a copy-edit, and we recommend that you have your book edited so that the proofreader can perform their task effectively.
The benefits of independent publishing
- Speed. In approximately eight weeks you can be holding your book in your hand.
- You have full control over the process, including the level of editorial input you receive, the design of your book cover and the writing of the blurb.
- You retain all your rights, including TV, film, audio and translation, which you are free to sell to publishers or production companies.
- Independent publishing is ideal if your book is too short to be considered by trade publishers.
- Independent publishing is ideal if your book crosses genres or does not fit with publishing norms.
- As an independent publisher you will receive a higher royalty for your book than you would if you signed a traditional publishing deal.
- Independent publishing allows you to establish your credibility as a writer and to present a sales record to traditional publishers when you approach them with your next project.
- Many traditional publishing houses already require their authors to do much of their own marketing. If you publish independently, you will reap much greater benefits from your marketing efforts.
- No one will feel more passionately about your book than you do. If you publish independently, you will always be in complete control of your project.
To find out how successful independent authors have made their mark, check out these websites:
- JA Konrath – The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing www.jakonrath.blogspot.ie
- The Creative Penn – www.thecreativepenn.com
- The Alliance of Independent Authors – www.allianceofindependentauthors.org
- Writing.ie, Ireland’s national online writing magazine which is packed full of tips on all areas of writing and publishing – www.writing.ie