When you’re an agent, you get to see a lot of what publishers do every day.
At the same time, because you don’t actually work in their offices, you don’t know a lot about what they do.
Since I’ve been an agent a long time, I don’t need to write a blog like this to butter up the publishers. They already know me. But because there’s such publisher bashing, I think now’s a good time to consider what publishers do for their authors.
To the publishers, thank you for:
- Thinking through each and every book project before bringing it to market. This means vetting each manuscript through several meetings, composed of different groups of people who’ll have a say in whether they think the book will be a success. As a result, every author will have a team of publishing professionals behind each book. No one stands alone in a publishing decision. Does this mean each book will be a bestseller? No. But it does help more authors become successful once they are published.
- Investing many dollars in each book. It’s hard for authors, and even agents, to understand just how much money we’re asking a publisher to invest in an author. Great cover designers, editors, marketing people, accountants, contracts people, administrators, and author relations people don’t come cheaply – nor should they. It must be frustrating for publishers to hear authors complain that not enough money was invested in their particular books. Maybe in some cases, more money could increase sales; maybe not. But even the last book on the list has still had considerable investment.
- Hiring fabulous editors. As an agent, I can attest to the high quality of editors in CBA. I would hate to be an author going it alone in the publishing wilds, hoping to find an editor on my own. And while not every author and editor are a good fit at every publishing house, the publishing houses I work with consistently hire the best editors in the business. The fact that I rarely if ever read a book review saying, “The author could have used a good editor,” regarding a CBA book is testimony to the fact. Readers of secular book reviews will see such criticism time and time again – justified or not.
- Caring about their authors. Yes, this is a business. And sometimes authors don’t “feel the love” but the editors themselves really do care about their authors. I’ve seen the tender loving professional care editors give to their authors’ books – and real friendships can develop.
- Caring about the quality of the books they publish. The editors and publishers I know truly want to glorify the Lord by presenting readers with quality books. Isn’t that what authors want as well? What more can we ask?
What would you like to thank your publisher for, as an author?
As a reader, does anything come to mind?