The Aristotelian philosophy teaches us that “the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” This is why it is difficult to put a price tag on artistic pieces, and more difficult to market them because we sell not only what meets the eye; but also the story behind the beauty. This goes to authors too. Writing a book is an artistic expression of the author’s thoughts and imagination. A book, whether it is a novel, a short story compilation, or a collection of poems or illustrations are masterpieces of the authors. Yet, how can authors capture the same appreciation from the readers? Or better yet, how can authors capture the market of the readers who have a different interest from their subjects?
This is when business and publishing consultants enter the picture. Their biggest help is how to turn an author’s work in to a saleable piece. Robin de Jongh who works for a New York publishing firm, has helped a number of authors for the publication of their books. Yet, he still feels that authors need more than just a publishing consultant; and that authors must seek advice from business consultants. According to de Jongh (2016)
I had an author recently who got half an hour's advice from a top self-publisher. It cost him $300, if I remember rightly. Yes, that's $600 per hour. Why did he do that? He'd already got most things right writing and marketing the book, based on my guidance and the guidance of my colleagues, and the book was selling well. However, he felt there could be more [that] he could do. So, he went to someone more successful than me. I think he got that right. When you have got all the help you can from the $10/hour guys, then you implement what the $30/hour guys say, and once you're at a point where you really need an edge, you go for the $100 or $600 advice. It's like sport. You wouldn't send a child of 5 to an expensive tennis coach. Then, can learn how to hit a ball from you, or from a local club coach. But, when Andy Murray needed to up his game and start winning grand slams, he hired Ivan Lendl as [his] coach.
Business consultants assist self-publishing authors with sound advice that can help them make smart decisions on how to publish their books, develop their digital media strategies, and create a sustainable long term plan for their writing. Some business consultants even gather experts from different areas to provide the authors with the best services and turn their books into best-sellers. Many business consultants offer these services to the authors:
This the process of overseeing it all. Your business consultant will make sure that all the pieces fall right into place to create a beautiful output while still maintaining the author’s goals.
The business consultant creates a feasible marketing strategy. In this stage, the author is being helped how to identify the target readers and how to hit them by getting the author’s and the book’s message across to them.
Writing Coach Services
This is one of the best help that business consultants can offer to their authors. In this process, the business consultants will hire editors, or other expert writers, to give the author tips on how to improve his/her content and turn his book more enticing to readers.
Some authors have full of ideas and stories to tell, but they are trapped in a limbo on how to write and what to write. Business consultants can hire expert writers to assist the authors realized their vision and goals.
Copy editing, Proofreading, and Book indexing
This is what every author needs to make sure that their books are perfect as it can be. Business consultants will provide the best copy editors, proof readers and indexers to make sure that the author is being helped.
Most business consultants offer these services to ensure that the copy rights go to the authors and avoid unwanted cases of stories and ideas being used by another party.
Book Design (Cover and Layout)
This is one of the most important factors that an author must consider, and that a business consultant can offer. Many readers get attracted with the cover design, and will make them interested to read further. The interior lay out also helps in making the book exciting to read. Business consultants have studied the author’s target market and basically know what design, color, lay-out, and shapes that the target market want for their books.
In this age, authors need more than just printed ads, they also need to have strong presence online and in social medias. Business consultants help authors make their own websites and how to market their books online.
Logo design and Business branding
Authors must understand that their works are also business ventures. A good logo and excellent business brandings can create the image of reliability. This will make their books sought after by readers and can help build the author his/her name in the industry.
What are listed above are only the common, but very few, services that business consultants can offer to get the authors achieve their dreams of publishing their books.
Amber Race, self-published author and founder of the Oracle’s Library Indie Pub, said that it was too much work for her when she started because she had to contact, gather, and pay as many people as there were just to help her finished her first book. From editors, to lay-out artists, graphic designers, multimedia specialists, and even an accountant, she felt that she was running a company. Yet, with the help of business consultants, she just needed to talk to one person and get her ideas crossed; then, everything came out as what she wanted it to be.
Some consultants may not come cheap; but, with all the help that they can offer, business consultants are worth every penny that a self-publishing author will spend on.