Parnassus Press was conceived in response to many of the changes involved in the recent transformation of the global publishing industry. By definition, Parnassus Press is not a traditional publisher, as traditional publishing, the brick and mortar walls an appropriate symbol of its inability to transform and adapt, will certainly be forced to redefine itself or become a less relevant player in the years to come.
What has brought about this transformation in the publishing industry? The short answer is DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY, which has eliminated the need for literal city blocks as book production and print facilities, has eliminated the requirement of “10,000+ unit” first-print runs and costly inventory requirements, and has reduced production-to-release times from 2-3 years to 2-3 months—all these advances—are great for authors, but not-as-great for traditional publishers, who are still heavily-invested in the old (traditional) publishing model and the out-dated rules, practices and cronyism that go along with it.
This should come as no surprise, as many other industries, including newspapers, music, retail, advertising, television and film are ongoing similar transformations on parallel though industry-specific lines. Thus all authors, who are the front-line producers in book publishing, should take note of the transformation, the cutting-edge technologies and current trends to best achieve hard-earned successes. During this transformation, authors must take more responsibility for the trajectory and realization of their individual careers. “Waiting on someone else” will result in missing out on many of the incredible opportunities provided by this transformation.
As authors, it is important to get the boxes checked now. Ask yourself: Do I have an author platform? Do I even know what an author platform is? Am I aware of publishing trends, specifically related to my genre? Do I know what is selling in my genre this year? Do I have a market and a marketing plan for my “soon-to-be-published” work? Am I prepared to release a print book, eBook and audio book simultaneously? Have I decided to self-publish, seek traditional publishing or have I considered publishing my book through a publisher/author collaborative effort? What is the future of the publishing industry, and how does that future affect authors?
At Parnassus Press, we believe that future involves the publisher/author collaborative effort. What does that mean? In our publisher/author collaborative, the publisher and author—after both have decided to go forward with the project—the publisher and author create a custom plan for the title involving editing, layout, publishing, marketing and promotion. Many of the costs are shared, and the publisher/author split for publisher compensation is determined by the amount of overall risk (production and other costs) undertaken relative to each collaborative partner.
The publisher/author collaborative effort is an ideal starting point for unpublished/unknown writers and authors with offerings to niche audiences/markets. Overall, in publisher/author collaborative efforts, authors exercise more control throughout the entire process, they benefit from having all the “traditional publisher” advantages in production and distribution, and they earn a higher percentage of publisher compensation. Through publisher/author collaborative efforts (partnerships), authors can at long last enjoy a win-win situation in publishing.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.“
―Morpheus to Neo
While many authors are understandably excited to finally release and promote their books, the truth is that globally, the average published book sells no more than fifty copies—this is because the title’s audience is typically exhausted after family, friends and workmates have evidenced their support. Five hundred books is outstanding and gets the attention of major market book buyers, while it takes up to fifty thousand books to reach the ranks of best-sellers.
Without an author’s platform, most authors will not exceed fifty retail book sales, so at Parnassus Press, we will not accept a book that we do not believe will sell a minimum of one hundred fifty retail copies. However, we are willing to work with authors to help develop and strategize author platforms in order to help authors develop followings and establish themselves in the current publishing market.
The sheer number of publishers entering the industry today (indies, small publishers, self-publishers) makes for a highly competitive marketplace where timeliness, experience and professionalism matter. Parnassus Press should be your last stop before you think to submit your work to a publisher or publish any project. If you are an independent publisher, a small publisher or a self-publisher and you regularly have to contract out for necessary publishing services, Parnassus Press can provide specific services required for professional publishing, including ISBN assignment, manuscript evaluation, copy editing, rewriting, book layout, proofreading, proofs, galleys and final digital files (which meet all professional printing specifications), art, illustrations, graphic design, book cover design, eBooks and audio book creation, media folders, distribution, social media, publisher platforms, websites, manuscript-to-print packages and many other services that make keen and enterprising publishers more highly successful. Feel free to explore this site to discover which services may benefit your situation in the ongoing transformation of the publishing industry.