You Don’t Have to Go It Alone: Building Your Publishing Team

July 27, 2015

Miji Campbell and team at her Toronto book launch. From left, publicist Melissa Shirley; editor Judy Phillips; author Miji Campbell; editor Michelle MacAleese; and designer Jennifer Griffiths.

Miji Campbell and team at her Toronto book launch. From left, publicist Melissa Shirley; editor Judy Phillips; author Miji Campbell; editor Michelle MacAleese; and designer Jennifer Griffiths.

We sometimes feel the term “self-publishing” is a misnomer. It implies that you have to do it all yourself, which makes some writers feel overwhelmed. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone! While the DIY approach is fully available to anyone with some free time and a computer, there are many reasons you might want some company as you embark on the publishing journey.

For one, nobody will be skilled in every aspect of the publishing process—writing, editing, designing, printing, marketing, selling, and distributing. It takes professionals years of study and experience to gain expertise in their respective fields. Traditionally, building teams of talented professionals falls within the publisher’s realm of expertise.

Self-publishers certainly don’t have to be experts to produce a book (although they will surely hone their skills over time with each new publication). Some online service companies work hard to automate some of these processes, which can work well for the author who has lots of time and the interest in learning how to navigate online systems such as ebook conversion platforms.

When we ask our clients to tell us about their expectations for the publishing process, we find that most of them don’t want to do it alone. They want the support of experienced professionals who can help to make the book as strong and well produced as possible. They also have questions that need to be answered, problems that need to be solved, schedules that need to be synchronized, and ideas that require collective brainstorming. Throughout history, writing and publishing has always been a highly collaborative process, with the earliest printing houses acting as think tanks and hubs for creative exchange.

This is why team building is so important to publishing. Some of the most successful self-publishers have had the support of a dedicated team of professionals to help them get there. This is also our approach at Page Two. For most of our self-publishing clients, we cherry pick a team of professionals who are best suited for each writer and each book. And, along the way, the writer is the one who retains control and makes the final decisions, supported by our recommendations.

Our client Miji Campbell, who recently released her book, Separation Anxiety, wanted the support of professionals who are especially creative in their approach and have a deeply literary sensibility. We brought together a copy editor, proofreader, designer, and publicists who all share that description, and the result was amazing. Miji’s beautifully written book was given thoughtful care and attention, and Miji felt that her book was produced and promoted in a way that suited it well. The Toronto-based “dream team” members felt so invested in the book, they all came together to celebrate when she threw a launch party there.

Do you have questions about building your publishing team? Let us know how we can help.

We’d love to know if this post was helpful to you. Let us know, and please feel free to suggest other topics you’d like to see us address. We welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at hello[at]pagetwostrategies[dot]com.

# #