Originally posted on the Xchyler Publishing blog, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Over the last few weeks various contributors to the Xchyler blog have touched on some of the things that make the whole Xchyler (hereinafter “The X”) experience so different. In today’s post I’d like to take some of those things a step or three further, and get right down into the nitty-gritty of what The X does.
So what makes us so different?
1. In a word, The X is not . . . let me repeat that . . . not, and I do mean NOT a “normal” publishing house.
Don’t look to us for hushed hallways smelling of old leather libraries. Don’t look for people steeped in the hidebound practices of the old-school publishing industry. Don’t look for snobby New York City penthouse literary cocktail parties, huge advances, or a jet set lifestyle.
DO look for demands for careful plot planning and sometimes reordering, agonizing rewrites, hard polishing, and editors you will swear are trying to make you cry . . . in short, look for the kind of hard work and concentrated learning you would expect from an MFA writing program. (Ask any of The X’s published authors. Seriously. Ask them.) We at The X like to consider ourselves incubators of talent . . . your talent.
2. The X is a very different business model.
This is a partnership. Not being a traditional publisher we don’t buy your book upfront, then sell it to the public. We buy you. We have faith in you and your potential to create works that you—and we—will be proud to have our names on. Just like you, none of us makes a cent unless your book or story appeals enough to people that they want to buy it. Your content editor, your line editor, your proofreader, your publicist, and all the rest of the X-Men (most of whom are really X-Women) all are gambling their time right along with you.
What’s more, unlike some of the so-called publishing houses that are mere fronts to extract money from naïve and hopeful would-be self-publishers, there are no up-front editing or publication fees, and no demands that you buy so many copies of your own book—numbers calculated to take all the risk out of the relationship for the publisher and dump it all on you. No, if your book doesn’t sell, nobody gets paid. (You may, if you so choose, invest money in publicizing your book, but anything like that is at your own discretion. We’ll help you do it right, but you’re under no obligation.)
3. This is a giant step up from self-publishing.
Be honest now: haven’t you bought a self-published book on Amazon (or somewhere like it) and thought, “Man! This author could really have used an editor!”? Haven’t you? We all have. At The X we operate under the dictum: Everyone deserves an editor. All of us. Your Work-In-Progress (WIP) will be better for having gone through the editing process. And so will everything you write from then on. Lots of our authors compare it to giving birth: agonizing, but so worth it when you hold the finished product in your hands! What’s more, your work won’t have the stigma “self-published”.
Those are a few of the differences. If this just doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, good on ya, and we wish you all the luck in the world. If you want to know more, if you know that you need help polishing your craft and are looking for like-minded enthusiasts and partners, then The X is here to answer your questions. Jump on in. The water’s fine.