The arts and craft industry is a whole different animal, when discussing the possibilities for getting your work published. Very few people realize the cost involved in creating a craft book, as opposed to your standard hardcover or paperback novel. With the latter, you basically have the costs of a full-color jacket design, binding and printing of standard black ink on white paper. With a craft book; the costs increase dramatically, with all the extra color illustrations and photography that goes into it. As a first-time author, I was a little shocked at the total royalties I made off my book: a lot less than you’d think! People have a misconception about authors in general; as though we live a glamorous life with wads of cash falling from our well-tailored pockets. Nothing could be further from the truth, if you’ve only one book under your belt. Authors have to prove that they were well-received from their first publication, in order for future contracts for other books to be considered. The power to negotiate a higher royalty percentage will only occur when an offer to write a second book happens. I was told by my publisher that my craft book was “successful” and one of their “most popular” and “best-selling” ones that year. Yet, the royalties I earned didn’t coincide with all these accolades! I attribute this to two things: authors make less money from craft books, because of the increased costs of producing them, and the hundreds of books that saturate the market, results in too many choices and fewer sales on a specific book. Throw the money factor aside, and you’re left with the most important reward: recognition and a sense of accomplishment…neither of which you can put a price tag on!
So how does one achieve getting that first craft book published? The best advice I can give, is what I’m convinced is the reason my manuscript was accepted by the second publisher I sent it to. Craft books are meant to be eye candy on steroids! You simply can’t send in an idea and an outline to a potential publishing house and expect them to fall over in amazement. Because we’re dealing with such a visual medium, you need to deliver that. In others words, send in the most completed manuscript you can create on your computer: mine was 64 pages long, including text, illustrations and photos. After scanning everything and putting it on a flash drive, I had two spiral-bound, plastic-covered copies printed for about $80.00. Because it was more or less a complete book, it stood out among all the other submissions on the acquisition editor’s desk…this is what you want! Also, my strategy to send it to a smaller publisher first, back-fired on me. Try sending it first, to the larger craft book publishers…I think they have the resources and the interest to take on the risk of first-time authors. Are you ready to get the ball rolling on your dream of being a published author? Let’s discuss!