Whatever your chosen method, the ability to publish is a gift.

by Renée Layberry

In my current role at a local subsidy publishing company, I coach writers through each step of the production process.  I work with them to transform their raw manuscript materials into a finished product that they can either market to the general public or to simply keep as a legacy for their family and loved ones.

Presently, I have a portfolio of over sixty authors that I am working with at every stage, be it manuscript preparation or post-publication. These non-traditionally publishing authors receive support in order to gain momentum, utilize their own tools, and tap into other resources.

Most of my authors are comfortable with word processing, but many of them don’t know where to start when it comes to seeking out and hiring an editor or a graphic designer on their own. There are some that already have a background in desktop publishing or graphic design, but because of the demands of their own schedules, they need someone to consult with when it comes to procuring ISBNs, exploring copyright, marketing their own product, and embarking on a comprehensive (and sometimes overwhelming) Social Media plan. And that’s just the beginning.

There are some who feel absolutely convinced that traditional publishing exists in order to separate the wheat from the chaff in literary ability. Others believe that, because of the accessibility of word-processing software, digital printing and eBook technology, anyone and everyone can publish and distribute a book. My intention here is to expand upon what I have learned from subsidy publishing, and to explore everything that I possibly can about self-publishing as well as traditional publishing.

What I find most intriguing is this: what began as a spark of an idea in someone else’s mind has journeyed through countless twists and turns, sleepless nights, proofing rounds, edits, re-writes, formatting, marketing research, file uploads, and print runs. At the end of the day, whether it’s self, subsidy, or traditionally-published, it’s the ideas on the page – or the screen – that are delivered from the author straight to my own willing and receptive consciousness. It’s both transcendent and so fundamentally human to want to share our thoughts with one another, and there are as many ways to make that happen as there are individuals on the planet. For the moment, let’s put aside any arguments for or against any particular method of publishing, and just be thankful that we have the freedom and means to do so.

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