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Your question

What do publishers do, exactly?

This week someone said to me that they’d asked advice from a couple of people they knew who were in publishing, and then helpfully mentioned that they were authors. I pointed out that this wasn’t the same thing, and that very few authors knew the first thing about what happens in a publishing house. If you don’t actually work in this sector it’s a pretty common assumption (and one we can take advantage of whenever marketing is fronted by an author).

To most people, publishing is synonymous with ‘producing books’. As in print production and eBooks (the latter assumed to be something that results automatically from the former) of the work of the author. With zero concept of all that we do in between.

Is it any wonder that many authors come to the process with unrealistic expectations of what we do?

Academic authors are too preoccupied with their own working challenges to stop to consider how publishing works. We can put helpful guidance on our website, but they don’t read it. Somehow we need to find ways of gently coaching in the realities at the various touchpoints in the relationship.

Positive working relationships with authors is always covered in our Academic Marketing Workshop.


23 November 2021

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