WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU PUBLISH
Welcome to the wonderful world of authorship! You are taking advantage of the opportunity many dream of but few accomplish. Burkhart Books believes that “everyone has a book in them.” Radical changes in technology now allow anyone with the initiative to become a published author. Traditional publishers accept three of every 100 manuscripts received on average. That’s only 3%. Burkhart Books exists to partner with the remaining 97% to put their books in print. We are passionate about partnering with you to tell your story! Welcome to the adventure of nontraditional publishing.
Technology has made the ability to put your book in print easy and affordable. Burkhart Books makes it personal. Publishing can be intimidating and discouraging. Rejection from a traditional publisher can be disappointing, but it is not the end of the world. Burkhart exists to help you navigate the process of publishing in the easiest and most affordable way.
To better acquaint you with the process, we have divided it into eight (8) stages. A summary of these steps is provided so that you may understand the process to make an informed decision concerning the selection of services. This explanation is not exhaustive and is not intended to make you an expert in every aspect of publishing. The intention of this explanation is to assist you to understand better the order and priorities of the process necessary to publish your book. Burkhart partners with you to provide the services necessary to complete each stage in the process while allowing you to complete the services you wish to perform yourself and save on the cost. The publishing process consists of the following steps:
Burkhart Books provides guidance, encouragement, and direction concerning all stages of the publishing process throughout the relationship with the author. Coaching is provided to offer personal attention and direction throughout the entire project and beyond. Regular communication and access concerning any and all phases of the project are provided. Burkhart is committed to a relational approach, which makes the collaboration easy, keeps costs affordable, and encourages continuity of relationship.
Everyone has a book in them, but everyone is not able to write their story. Writing is an art and a discipline, and it takes valuable time that many do not have. In most cases, authors complete the first step in the publishing process by composing a draft of their story, but there are occasions when authors may require assistance. Burkhart employs talented and experienced ghostwriters who can compose a draft from your notes. Whether the author writes the book or a ghostwriter develops the manuscript, the initial step in the process of publishing with Burkhart is composition.
3) EDITING & PROOFING
Once the book has been composed, it is reviewed according to accepted industry standards to produce a draft you can be proud of and is appealing to read. The editing & proofing step includes revising grammar, spelling, word selection, and refining the manuscript so that it is complete for presentation according to accepted industry standards. Authors are notoriously bad editors of their own work because they know what they desire to write and can miss errors. Burkhart encourages authors to recognize this “blind spot” and rely on our proven editorial staff to review the work objectively and with a keen eye for detail. This is a collaborative process between you and our staff. In this stage, the author’s draft is converted to a proper and complete manuscript with your active assistance. Authors can choose to decline this service and complete this step in the process themselves, but this is an indispensable part of publishing. Burkhart provides professional editing and proofing services to ensure your book is presenting according to the highest standards.
4) DESIGN (Body, Cover, & eBook Conversion)
The design of your book may be the most important stage in the process. Once the draft has been composed and edited & proofed to produce a complete manuscript, a layout of the body of the book for publishing is ready to be designed. Design is a highly technical aspect of the publishing process. A book’s appearance has a significant influence on its appeal and resulting sales. Design includes creating the body and cover of the Work. Burkhart employs creative and skilled layout designers who can transform the manuscript into a book that represents the author. Burkhart supplies the ISBN, Library of Congress registration, and a mandatory barcode for online sales for each book. Burkhart also employs talented artists to create the cover for your book. The design of the manuscript also includes conversion to digital format for eBook, ready for distribution through online vendors of digital media. These are services that most authors cannot complete on their own, and Burkhart recommends you let us complete the design stage of the publishing process.
Completion of the design allows for the opportunity to revise the book before printing. The manuscript may have been composed months prior to the design step. Upon re-reading the design, authors often desire to re-write portions to express their content better. Called the “volleying” stage because it is like hitting a tennis ball back and forth over a net, the author and Burkhart “volley” the design back and forth,
revising it until the author is satisfied with the work. Burkhart resists using the word “correction” because the term can be considered negative. There is no right or wrong way to tell a story. Of course, industry standards for editing and proofing are maintained. The revision stage enables both parties to make the design ready for print and eBook conversion. Included in the revision stage is the review of a print-proof which is an actual printed copy of the book. It is made available for final review and release to print.
Once the design of the cover and body of the manuscript are created and revised, the book is ready to be printed. This is when the book is produced in print on paper. Burkhart employs state-of-the-art print-on-demand companies that provide the highest quality product at the most affordable cost. As a result, there is no minimum quantity to order for print. There is also no need for a large capital expenditure upfront and noneed to warehouse a large quantity of product. Books can be ordered for print according to sales and budget. We can often get books to authors within a week and can ship them anywhere in the US. The cost of printing is not included in the Publishing Agreement and is a separate charge for each order. The cost of printing and shipping is determined by the final design of the book, quantity, shipping address, and speed of delivery.
7) FULFILLMENT & DISTRIBUTION
Once the book is printed and converted eBook, the published work requires methods for making it available to readers. This is called fulfillment and includes all the activities required for putting your book in the hands of readers. It involves receiving customer orders, packaging, shipping, and processing payments. The way to receive the highest Receipt of Sales (ROS) is to provide a book to a reader directly, but such sales are limited by proximity. An author may set up their own fulfillment system, which requires a stockpile of books, packaging, and postage for shipping, personnel, and an eCommerce system to receives funds online. Fulfillment can be costly in time and money. In most cases, authors cannot compete with established fulfillers. Fulfillers provide your book for sale through their retail and online stores and can offer substantial savings to readers because of their volume. Burkhart recommends Amazon.com and Kindle as the primary fulfillment channels for print and ebook because of the ease of use, affordability, and the receipt of sales this largest online retailer can provide. Burkhart serves as the limited agent for authors by establishing and managing the fulfillment channels for the book.
The second component of getting the book to readers is distribution. Distribution differs from fulfillment by market. Fulfillment provides the book directly to the reader; distribution offers the book to other retailers, like bookstores. Distribution is an essential aspect of ensuring the book is available to the purchasing public through chain bookstores and often, more importantly, churches and smaller neighborhood bookstores who require the book to be represented through a national distributor. Publishing with most independent publishers (self-publishing) penalizes many authors because their book is not recognized by most bookstores because it is not in a distributor’s catalog. Burkhart has eliminated this common obstacle by partnering with Anchor Distributors, making a book published with Burkhart available in any bookstore in the US.
Each fulfiller and distributor provide differing returns to authors for sales according to how they provide the service. Burkhart’s relationship with established fulfillers and distributors makes publishing with Burkhart unique and allows access to the largest retail networks in the US and the world.
The final and continuing service of the publishing process is promotion. The entire publishing industry has been turned upside down by the radical changes occurring in advertising and marketing because of the changing habits of readers. Once the big three choices of TV, radio and print ruled, now TV is only in the home, radio only in the car, and print is becoming an endangered species. The cost of these media has continued to rise while equally effective promotion can be done through social media without any charge. While the environment may appear intimidating, the potential for anyone to rise to a level of popularity is real and viral. Burkhart partners with you to develop a promotional strategy customized for your book and personality. Authors can elect to engage Burkhart to develop and implement a personal promotional strategy for their book, but Burkhart does not recommend spending any funds on promotion. A multitude of promotional activities can be completed at no cost at all (see Burkhart’s PROMOTools).
Now that you are more acquainted with the publishing process, you can consider entering into an Agreement to Publish with Burkhart Books better informed and armed with options for publishing your book. Burkhart holds that a hand-shake is sufficient for binding two parties together, so we do not call our Agreement a contract, although it does carry the full weight of a legal document. This proposal serves as the basis for creating an Agreement to Publish. Burkhart utilizes an Agreement primarily to spell out expectations. When we know what is expected, we are better equipped to work together, and there is less opportunity for disappointment.
Contact us today to discuss your publishing project - Burkhartbks@gmail.com