especially if the work is a sequel to an earlier, self-published book, though the expectation is that all of the titles are stand-alone stories.
The CBG promotes its authors’ books through the company website, other Internet avenues of promotion, mailing lists, bulletin boards, and often by advertising in popular reader publications, both online and off.
Authors can expect their title and name to be tweeted all over the place. In return, the CBG expects the author to promote vigorously and widely with a strong web presence. Telling the company you have many contacts in libraries and bookstores doesn’t really cut it. The CBG is an e-book house, not a print house, though the company does handle very limited bookstore marketing, usually for an author’s hometown.
However, that is a rare event because, as the publisher says, “It’s not our business model to do print runs that are large enough to make it worthwhile. We are an e-book publisher.” The acquisitions editor adds, “Telling me in your marketing plan you have great contacts with your local bookstores and libraries isn’t going to go far because, as Ms. Smith likes to remind her staff: we publish electronic books.”
Books electronically published in any of CBG’s departments must sell 100 copies electronically before going into print. This encourages authors to get out there and market their books on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, their own websites, and any other means at their disposal. The CBG holds worldwide Englishlanguage rights for the term of the contract, but all other rights remain with the author. “Of course, the ‘map’ is changing with the advent of the Internet,” Ms. Smith says. “Boundaries don't exist like they used to, but foreign-language rights are there for the author to exploit. As far as print goes, an author could certainly negotiate which print rights to license to us, and which print rights they wish to retain, but for the most part, since we print digitally and print as needed, those rights (print on demand) are not usually negotiable.”
The CBG distributes e-books widely in all the major online stores. Paperbacks—usually trade-size—can be ordered from Amazon, Lulu and the Champagne website. Books in high demand get moved into increased distribution for availability in bookstores.
This reporter asked “What would you tell a writer wanting to submit to any of your lines? (And if you say ‘write the best book you can’ I'll smack you upside the head next time I see you,” to which the publisher replied, “I’d say, write a damn good book, make sure it’s something we’re looking for, and then stick like glue to the submissions guidelines on our site because my b**** of an acquisitions editor will certainly take notice if you don’t.”
As the b**** in question, I say, “Believe it, and tell your friends.”
Judy Gill is acquisitions editor for The Champagne Books Group, as well as editor for several of the Group’s authors and a free-lance editor at large. You can access all the lines and read the “wants” list at www.champagnebooks.com, and visit Judy Gill’s own site at www.judyggbooks.com; and her editing site at www.theprosepolisher.com.