Jane Monzures picked the brains of our Leisure Arts team recently, about the world of publishing in her Creative Living Podcast. Listen along as you learn the ins and outs of publishing from Editorial Director, Tona Jolly, and Marketing Manager, Veronica Palmer.
We summed up this craft talk in a few concepts below. So listen along to Tona, Veronica, and Jane talk about how important it is to take your creative concepts and turn them into published ideas.
Research & Development: Staying True To You
The podcast starts off with the inevitable question: Where do I start? The answer lies in research and development on the designer's part, so they have everything they need to pitch their ideal concepts to a prospective publisher. Veronica stresses that when looking at potential publishers to pitch to, look not only into how collaborative a publisher is, but also at their distribution in retail. Do some research into where you want your book be placed, and where you want to market your book. She recommends going into your favorite craft store (for craft books specifically), and see who is publishing the books you like on the shelves.
Choosing The Right Publisher
Be true to what you are good at, and find the publisher that fits your style, and will help you stand up for what you believe in. You don't have be the best writer, you just have to have the idea, know who your market is, and know who you will be going up against. Tona recommends that you go to Amazon, and see the patterns of modern publishing, and styles of craft books that are out today for reference and research. After that, you work collaboratively with your publisher to make your book come to life.
The Book Deal & Production Process
There is a lot of talk and pressure these days about instant gratification, but when it comes to publishing, good things take time. Tona goes in depth about the publishing process - from creating page maps of book concepts, to planning out schedules to present these books to retailers at all times of the year. With all that planning and production, it can take from 12 to 18 months to see your book published, depending on if and when your book gets picked up and placed by a retailer. There are special circumstances that place a book on the fast track, if it's a particularly trendy idea that has the opportunity to hit big. Tona says that if you do think you have a big hit on your hands, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself (they don't bite)!
Veronica also urges that as a creator, you need to show your publishers who you are, and who your audience is. Influencer voice is key to showing how big of a market you serve, and how much of a reach you have with your community to take your ideas to a broader level.
After the Launch - Marketing Yourself
Jane takes the podcast from publishing to Marketing as she goes in depth with Veronica about promotion, and the journey a book takes while going to market. Veronica shares that typically, the designers and publishers have marketing plans of their own, and they work collaboratively together to get as much reach out of a campaign as possible. In terms of Leisure Arts' processes, we vary our tactics. Every book is different for when and how it gets published. From digital and hardcopy rollouts, blog book tours, in depth craft talks, social media takeovers and more, people want to have a dialogue with us, and want to be able to collaborate on a consumer level. It's a two way collaborative process that allows both the publisher and the designer to get endless exposure.
Self Publishing... yes or no? Self publishing is touched on here, as Jane asks if self publishing is a viable option for someone to pursue. Veronica lists the pros in cons of the process, arguing that while you retain the rights to your book, you have fewer resources to create and promote your material. It's really about what your publishing goals are, what's important to you, and how much time you have.
Can you get rich off of one book? Veronica shares that publishing is a meaningful part of your promotional portfolio, but one book won't get you rich quick. It is however, a door opener into being an influencer or content creator, which opens up other avenues for revenue. Tona says publishing definitely isn't dead, and that if done the right way, it goes hand in hand with your social platforms, and helps create an experience for the consumer, online and offline.
How long do designer publisher relationship lasts? Tona shares that 70% of the work Leisure Arts creates comes from the relationships previously developed. If they work well together, your publisher will reach out to you for more work. Leisure Arts has had relationships with some designers since 1975!
Rejection - Tona shares that when you get a no, don't get discouraged. keep trying! Just watch for trends, think about being cohesive, create an experience, and tell a story. Prep + Experience + Timing = Success.
Hopefully you've been inspired to take that concept to the next level after listening to that podcast! Let us know what you think, or give us a shoutout, @leisureartsinc for any extra questions you guys might have for Tona or Veronica.
-Leisure Arts Team.