29 Feb Self-Publishing Done Really Well!
We are so pleased to have been involved in the publication of this beautiful coffee table book about Burma. What a joy and an honour it was for me to officially launch the book recently in front of so many of the author’s friends, family and other supporters. It was a heart-filled celebration fitting for this soulful book. (And the location of the launch wasn’t half-bad either.)
As a former illustrated book publisher at Lonely Planet, this is my kind of book. And it’s such a pleasure to see an independent author do it so well. Captain Honey was a ‘silent partner’ in this production. We gently guided the author from behind the scenes, ensuring that sound decisions were made about the design, production and printing of the book, and we provided technical support on the design of the book.
It was an interesting challenge. In traditional publishing, publisher’s call the shots. The author is consulted (generous, I know!), but all decisions relating to the book’s design and production are at the control of the publisher. In our role now, we act as support team to the author, so we need to guide and explain, but the author is the decision-maker. This can be scary at times, like when the author decides to change the size of the typeface the day before the book goes to print (ahem) but generally it’s a really positive process that, done properly, sees the author getting the book she wants published to the standard she deserves (and we expect).
My first thought on opening the beautifully-crafted cardboard box that houses this book, was ‘Wow, this looks like a real book’. It could have been published by any one of the traditional publishers. And it days gone by, I think it would have been. That it isn’t is a commentary more about the state of commercial publishing than about the quality of the book.
Anyway, I heard that the author sold over 100 copies of the book at her launch, and for $59.99 a pop maybe this self-publishing lark isn’t so bad after all.
Anna Swain’s love for the country shines through in every photograph on every page of this stunning book, and her thoughtful pairing of the images presents a sensitive story about the place. The Age called it a visual feast, while apologising for using a cliche, but unable to resist it: because that’s what the book is.
Buy the book here.
Read the reviews: