Four authors share their views about Publishizer: what the platform is, their experiences working with the team, the publishing deals they received as a result, and if you should start the process with your own book idea. As of 2020, they are just some of the growing number of successful authors who used Publishizer to get a traditional publisher for their books. More detail about their stories in the video and article below.
How do authors get discovered with Publishizer?
It’s all about finding the right idea. It takes work to create a book proposal that gets traditional book publishers and literary agents excited. Publishizer is just one avenue for authors and it’s still quite new. It takes an entrepreneurial spirit and a bit of determination. It also takes a good strategy to run a successful pre-order campaign. There are many avenues to getting your physical book out in the world. We are making it less of a daunting task with personalized support and our book proposal builder.
We’ve had many successes with most categories, including fiction books. The commercial trade non-fiction book categories typically do the best because these authors have a subject matter expertise that can be shared in book form and have started to build an audience with clients, an email newsletter, or a social following.
A traditional publisher oftentimes looks for authors with large platforms and rejects 96% of the proposals sent to their inbox. Part of this reason is that they charge no upfront costs and have to be very selective about which books they work with. It’s also because the quality of ideas is subjective and there’s still no other great way to predict book sales. Because of this, great book ideas are overlooked every single day and there is a lack of diverse titles hitting shelves around the world.
We started Publishizer to enable book ideas that don’t get their proper review by publishers and agents, either because 1. the author’s platform is not quite there or 2. the publisher is just not interested in the idea. It often has nothing to do with the quality of the book.
JK Rowling was rejected 12 times by publishers. The publishing process, traditional agents, and the industry, together, are not a perfect machine. Engaging with an email list and bringing a new book to market are the two main things authors learn while working with us. Self-published authors can also benefit from this, even if they are not pursuing a publisher or interested in running a pre-orders campaign.
Some authors do fantastically well. And some give it their best shot and come up short. Such is the nature of books. For every author, however, we have qualified traditional, hybrid, and service publishers who will show care to your book and help you get published. You always have the option to take the pre-order funds and self-publish the book, with nothing coming out of your own pocket. Self-published authors, instead of choosing one of our publishing partners, will still get access to email addresses from all readers for shipping, book printing, and book reviews once it’s released.
In the video above and stories below, four authors took the time to tell you in their own words: Why Publishizer? I hope they resonate with you and allow you to learn from their successes and focus on what’s possible with our book crowdfunding platform.
Neal Schaffer, published with HarperCollins Leadership, launched his campaign on October 18, 2017, and sold 544 book pre-order copies for The Business of Influence “Just put your book on Publishizer. It’s a no-brainer.”-Neal Neal and I worked on his book proposal back and forth remotely for about a month until we had an idea and a structure that we thought would do well in the market. I was working from Bali at the time and he was traveling back and forth between Japan and California for business.
We did some research on the trends of influence and then tied it into a good message Neal could promote to his clients and a growing audience on social media. It was great to see his book campaign finish strong and by the end of it he had a five-figure paid advance offer from a growing foreign independent publisher. He soon received a second slightly larger advance offer from HarperCollins Leadership, which he took after a few conversations with the editor.
As Neal shares in the video, it was a great way to test and validate the book idea, get direction on marketability and what will sell, and have options to publish. We are already in talks to do a campaign on his next book idea.
What we learned:
Great ideas thrive and they can be molded and changed as you go. We revised Neal’s proposal many times to get it right and once we had publishing houses interested we were still updating selling points of the idea to ensure it aligned with what they wanted.
Derek Loudermilk, published with Kogan Page and Wiley, launched his first campaign on October 3, 2016, and sold 255 book pre-order copies for Superconductors , launched his second campaign on February 28, 2019, and sold 517 pre-order copies for Experience: The Revolution “I actually ran two campaigns on Publishizer, and both received traditional publishers.”-Derek Derek and I also met while I was in Bali, but this time in-person at a Nyepi celebration in Ubud. At the time, were both travelers and digital nomads working with people through our laptops as we grew our practices. Derek had been podcasting for some time and stood out as a natural promoter with some experience behind the camera.
His first video had a beautiful location and he really connected with people when he shared the book idea. A few years later we reconnected when it was time for the next book and he did the same thing. Only this time, he had experience behind him with a campaign and an extra three years building an audience around his message and his podcast. He doubled the number of copies sold at a retail book price and got a paid advance deal from Wiley UK.
Derek is a two-time success on Publishizer and was our first signed fully agented author. Our entire team looks forward to his next book.
What we learned:
Consistency matters both as an author and as an agent. Derek views his author career as a long-term game. He wants to work with a big 5 imprint like anyone else, but understands it often takes incremental steps with several books to build the brand and the message that they’ll eventually not want to turn down.
Kim Colegrove, published with Mango, launched her campaign on November 15, 2018, and sold 330 copies for From Widow to Warrior “I landed a really good book deal and I couldn’t be happier.”-Kim Kim worked on her book with another agent at Publishizer and as a first-time author with no experience about how to write or sell a book, she gained a strong base of passionate readers and got hundreds of sales quickly.
Her proposal was like a story. In first-person, super personal, and gave very clear reader takeaways. This, along with her video, gave publishers a very good idea of her writing style and what she will be like to work with. And since her book category and idea aligned nicely with what they were looking for, the connection and match were very quick.
With Kim, the process went smoothly from beginning to end and her publisher utilized the Publishizer platform to gauge interest, communicate with her about the idea, and sign an agreement, all with minimal effort on behalf of the agent.
What we learned:
Technology helps because it improves publisher workflows and makes everyone more efficient. The platform did its job in hosting her campaign, allowing her to build an email list and then match with appropriate publishers. Once her agent got her ready, it was automation at its finest and resulted in a good book deal for her.
Daniel Stillman, published with Management Impact, launched his campaign on July 31, 2018, and sold 553 copies for Good Talk “It got me off my butt. It got the word out. It got me pre-sales. It got me a real deal.”-Daniel Daniel and I connected from a previous author on the platform and we ended up working on his book in length during his time on the platform. We met in-person for the first time near our office in Amsterdam while he was hosting a workshop there. Being a remote team and a company that spends so much of our time doing business online, we don’t often have the chance to meet with our authors in real life. So this was really nice.
He had a full manuscript at the time, so once his campaign ended we worked with a professional reader to provide some editing feedback before shopping it around to our publishers. Shortly after, Daniel received a five-figure paid advance offer from a Dutch publisher who translated his book in two languages.
It took almost a year from the date of Daniel’s launch to signing a publishing deal. His book category and topic allowed him to be patient and wait for a good deal because it was a strong message that will be relevant for years to come and he’s still at the beginning of his long-term push to build an audience around it.
What we learned:
Patience wins because publishers oftentimes move very slowly when deciding on and scheduling a new release. Time in the industry helps us connect with publishers with the right idea when they’re looking for it, and if a book can maintain its relevance in the meantime, a deal will follow.
Publishizer is still a startup with a new book publishing model that has landed a lot of really nice book deals for authors, including previously self-published authors. We are also a literary agency, and this industry takes decades of experience to develop relationships and work with the biggest players and pull in high-value deals.
We have started to do this in a very short amount of time with our model and we have many amazing happy author stories to share. We have come a long way and understand that we have an even longer way to go. It’s amazing to see a book in print and to have an author hold it in their hands for the first time. That smile on their face is why we keep doing this.
If you’re wondering: Is Publishizer legit? Consider that we are trying to innovate a massive industry and it takes tons of time to make progress with publishing professionals and reputable agents. We have worked with so many authors and book projects in a short amount of time, all with no upfront costs. We offer our professional services for free and for those who don’t get interest from major publishing houses, we have credible hybrid and service publishers for authors who may still be able to get books into online retailers.
Will any of these authors run a crowdfunding campaign for their next book? Will non-fiction book titles continue their dominance? Or will fiction start to find its place in the crowdfunding community and really start driving more book sales? Will the ability to run a pre-order campaign before writing the actual book increase in popularity as physical retail stores continue to struggle? We don’t yet know. And that’s what’s most exciting for us!
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