What do we do? Pretty much the same thing as a traditional publisher (“trad publisher”), but we distribute to places like KDP, CreateSpace, Ingram Spark, and Smashwords instead of actually printing books and distributing them.
Like any other publisher, POV Press expects authors to have a solid author platform and to actively promote their own books. We will provide authors with tools and advice to help them sell the most books. We also encourage our authors to work together and promote each others books.
In addition, we have a website full of tools to help you motivate, market, research, and all the other tasks you need to do to write, publish, and promote your books.
POV Press: Your Book, Your Point of View
Like the content, the cover is up to you. A good cover is the single most important marketing piece for a book, and it’s virtually impossible to sell a book without marketing. In trad publishing, the editor and marketing department select an artist and they work together to create the cover. The writer will generally see perhaps two or three to choose from and can make suggestions, but the final choice is the publisher’s, not theirs.
At POV Press, we want every aspect of your book to reflect you, the author. We will help guide you, including help finding an artist, and we do reserve the right to refuse to use anything that does not look professional*, but the cover will be your vision every bit as much as the contents.
*No free CreateSpace covers and nothing your cousin designed in their spare time unless they are actually a professional graphic designer.
POV does require that you tell us exactly where the image is from and show that you have the right to legally use it, but we also provide our authors with a list of stock image sources and an extremely long list of copyright-free (or very easily obtained) sources. These resources go beyond the widely used stock images that do little to differentiate your book cover from the masses of other books on Amazon.
Why not a trad publisher?
Not everyone wants their books to be part of a traditional publishing house for a variety of reasons. Some are artistic: Books must make a lot of money because publishing costs are high, so editorial choices can change the book more than the author wants. Authors often don’t have a ton of say in the book cover with a trad publisher. Most of the work is done before they ever see it.
Others are timing related. It takes at least two years for a finished manuscript to become a published book through a trad publisher. If you publish yourself, a fast typist with an account that’s already set up can do that in two minutes. (Starting from scratch, you’re probably looking at an hour or two to have a finished manuscript for sale electronically and a day or two for print on demand, some of which will be spent hunting for your bank routing number.)
Still others simply don’t want to give up 85-95% of royalties to the publisher, especially when Amazon’s Kindle program only takes 30%. POV Press takes 20% of author royalties, which means after Amazon or whoever takes their cut. For an Amazon e-book with at the 70% royalty rate, that means the author will receive approximately 55% of the royalties.
Finally, as we all know, it’s just plain hard to get into a trad publisher. It can take precious time, energy, and resources away from writing and marketing your books. Even the best books and biggest sellers are turned down time and time again before finding a home.
What are we looking for?
In short, professional writers. There are a lot of authors and bloggers who have high-quality books but no desire to learn the back-end of the business and who are more than slightly over-whelmed at the thought of marketing their book. There is no specific genre we want or don’t want.
No one has to spend time explaining to them that Google isn’t a source for images – although we’ll still keep repeating it – and hopefully they won’t get their knickers in a twist if we send back a cover and ask them to totally rewrite the back cover copy.
Why bloggers? Any successful blogger knows from cold, hard experience the difference a good title and graphic make in how many people click through. They can check their Google Analytics and see how swapping these out increases, or decreases, their traffic. When asked to do A/B testing on a cover to see which of two reader prefer, they won’t balk – they’ll start figuring out how to use it to increase traffic on their blog. They are already professional writers.
Our preference is for authors who have at least three completed books in a similar area or bloggers with at least 50 posts of 500 or more words, and 1000 subscribers and growing. This article from BookRazor is on a slightly different topic, but explains the reasons for this beautifully.
Why the focus on what has already been written? It is as much work to market a single book as it is a series or several books in the same genre, with more potential upside from the series. POV Press and the author both benefit from taking the time to wait until there are two or three books ready to go in a series, then publishing them close together to maximize reader interest and profit.
There is nothing wrong with trad publishing, but it isn’t for everyone. POV Press is looking to be an alternative for those who have decided not to go the trad publishing route. In the future, we hope to be able to work with trad publishers! Many of the editors there see works they really love, but they know they won’t get permission to acquire them. We would love to have them send those to us!
Once all the business-end set-up is done (bookkeeping, finished contract, business licenses, etc.), we’ll come back and add information on what to send us if you are interested in signing up with POV Press!