WRITERS. Since starting this blog, I’ve been amazed to discover how many different book-publishing models are now available to aspiring authors. It’s as if traditional book-publishing has been smashed into a million little pieces, and no one yet knows which pieces will be used to reconstruct the book-publishing business in a whole new form. WriteLife LLC is a company I learned about while scrolling through online press releases.
WriteLife is a collaborative publishing company that offers serious writers of non-fiction, fiction, and children’s books an alternative to do-it-yourself and independent publishing companies. Instead of requiring you to pay some of the up-front expenses for publishing your book, WriteLife chooses which manuscripts they want to publish. Then, like a traditional publisher, they manage all of the details and costs associated with editing, cover design, book layout, pre-production, and production services.
On the plus side, you don’t have to go through the process of finding a literary agent to sell your work to the publisher. But don’t expect to get a cash advance either. According to WriteLife, “Our advance to our authors is the pre-production and production costs of editing a manuscript, creating a book, and placing it in distribution channels such as Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.” And, no matter what publishing route you pursue, you will still be expected to play an active role in marketing and promotion.
With WriteLife, you will earn authors’ royalties equivalent to 50% of all net profits from the sale of your content. (Net profit is the money generated after WriteLife has recovered the expenses involved in publishing the book.)
Every WriteLife author receives a complimentary copy of their published book, without any requirements to purchase additional copies.
Here’s how the process works:
- Sign up as a member of WriteLife.
- Use the WriteLife2Go book-creation software or an approved word processor to produce your manuscript.
- Submit your manuscript for screening. WriteLife Publishing Consultants will pre-screen all submissions for approval and assist you through the publishing process.
- Upon approval, your manuscript will be reviewed by professional editors. WriteLife requests that you make the advised corrections. Your WriteLife Publishing Consultant will work with you through this revision stage and help ensure that your book is marketable for its intended audience.
- Once the editing process is complete, you will be asked to review an e-proof.
- After you approve your proof, WriteLife will submit your work for publishing.
- WriteLife will see to it that your book is registered into the International distribution chain. WriteLife will also help you generate ideas about how to market your book.
The major risk of being an independent author is that you can easily spend far more money producing and marketing your book than you will ever earn by selling it. Many independent publishing companies will happily accept your money without ever suggesting that your manuscript might not be marketable as a book. The authors of some dreadfully amateurish published books could have saved a lot of cash and disappointment—if only someone had been kind enough to give them an honest appraisal of their work early in the process.
Whether the WriteLife business-model is a better approach to publishing depends mostly on the expertise and proficiency of their editing and production team. Before submitting a manuscript to WriteLife, I would buy one or two of the books that WriteLife has published and examine it critically through an editor’s eye. Is there a noticeable difference in quality between a WriteLife book and other independently published books being sold online? Are WriteLife books closer in quality to what we expect from traditional publishers?
Eventually, the best new book-publishing business models will rise to the top, while others will fade away. Until then, authors will have to continue to figure out which model seems to make the most sense for them.
If you have experiences (good or bad) with different types of independent publishing models, I would love to hear your thoughts!