The “Golden Rule” is for everyone. When a young girl starts to learn about the different ways to say it, she finds that every culture and faith has their own way to express the “Golden Rule”. Celebrate a love of diversity and acceptance in this beautifully illustrated tale.
European Geeks Publishing opened its doors exactly four months ago - to the day.
In that four month period, EGP has exceeded my expectations.
When I started this journey, kicking my book blog into overdrive and turning the catchy title into a legitimate publishing house, I did not expect to be submerged in titles right away.
In fact, I wasn't sure EGP would push out even so much as five titles the first year of business.
Now, in fairness, I tend to keep expectations low. It's a childhood trait that has served me well. I'm not often disappointed - generally, I'm pleasantly surprised. That doesn't mean that I don't strive for greatness, I just refrain from putting numbers or measurable goals on projects, and therefore, do not feel let down by the results.
I wanted EGP to do fabulously - and by no means have I slacked off at all... I have given EGP my all, every moment I have is spent buried in EGP work. I can't remember what the world outside of a manuscript looks like currently - but I did not set a numerical goal for EGP other than hoping and striving for the best.
In my opinion, it worked.
Here is what EGP has accomplished in the four short months that it has been up and running as a legitimate publishing house:
My baby is all grown up!
I would like to thank both the readers and the authors - without you guys, EGP would have died. Instead, it thrives and I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to pursue my dreams, and to help others achieve theirs as well!
Keep watching, Keep interacting, and most importantly - Keep Reading!
Most authors dream of making a living on their work - releasing book after book, spending their time in between furiously writing the next book. So, as an author who intends to make a decent profit on their work, it probably seems counterproductive to give the book away for free.
But in order to drive sales, this is a requirement.
Authors, book reviewers are your friend. While promoting your book in author platforms and chatrooms can drive some additional traffic to your social media sites - other authors are not your readers. Now, don't get me wrong - the author community is a small family... and becoming a part of these web-based communities can help you in many ways... other authors are exceptionally helpful and supportive. But, you need to keep in mind - it is a dog eat dog world out there and another author will be so busy promoting their own work, that yours will fall between the cracks in their blog and/or social media posts.
This is where I stress the importance of book reviewers. The community you really want to be in is the book blogging world. These people have full-time jobs, families, and hobbies, yet still take the time to read an influx of books and blog about them. A book blogger who loves your work will share it, post buy links, strike up discussions, recommend it to friends and followers, and will more than likely allow you to use their platform for guest posts, excerpts... The works.
These reviews pop up when people google literature keywords, or even your book title. These reviews appear on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. And these reviews can be the life or death of your book.
Authors, reviewers are your friends. They are your lifeblood, your sales force. Think of them as freelance, door-to-door salesmen (or women) with the ability to reach an infinite number of homes with a single mouse click. You want these people to go to bat for you!
With that being said, you want to reach out... you want to follow all of these book blogs. Comment, share, let the community know your name. And when your book is within a month of release, start reaching out and get those free ecopies in the hands of these book promotion soldiers. Give out as many as you can - get those reviews hitting the net as fast and furiously as you're able and see the traffic it generates for you, your social media, and your book sales.
As an author myself, I know how terrifying the query process can be. I suppose in some ways, it's the same as awaiting college acceptance letters or eagerly expecting a phone call after a job interview. It's nerve-racking, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time. Now that I am lucky enough to have expanded my reach into the publishing industry, I spend a lot of time perusing manuscripts. I personally hand-select each manuscript that is accepted by European Geeks - so let me just assure you that I spend a large amount of time reviewing queries and manuscripts.
Because I was an author first, I opened EG with the intent of being author friendly. I want to pull back the velvet curtain and expose the wizard - to shine some light on the darker corners of the publishing process, so that my fellow authors understand the industry better - perhaps giving them a heads up on what we publishers look for. If I can help just a handful of authors with the opening of European Geeks, I'll be happy, regardless of whether they are EG authors or not. I have and will continue to maintain an open door policy at EG - whether I'm answering questions for my own authors or others.
With that said, here are some tips to help you stand out when submitting to smaller publishers.
Take Time With Your Query Letter
Do not rush through your query letter!!! I cannot stress this enough. It does not have to be exceptionally personalized... you don't need to creep around on my blog or Twitter account to create a query. If you happen to follow and feel there is something worth mentioning, that's fine... but there is no need to go crazy with the personal research. What is most important is that your query letter contain all of the important information - your name, background & basic resume, synopsis, and genre information for your book. Pay close attention to the publisher's requirements. If they ask for X amount of chapters to be pasted into the body of the email, include EXACTLY that amount: no more, no less - and make sure not to include it as an attachment, unless requested. Most publishers won't open an unrequested attachment which ends your query before they've even read your submission. The most important thing to remember is spelling, grammar, and tone. If your letter is misspelled or poorly written, you can bet I won't be reading your included work.
Send Your Best Work
While this may sound like a no-brainer, you would be surprised at how much this piece of advice is ignored. While writing the last page of your manuscript is a momentous experience - in no way does that mean it is time to hit the send button! Small and Indie publishers usually operate with a smaller staff, which is why their royalty rates are the most competitive. However, this generally means that they won't take on a piece that will need heavy editing or story development. Once you have finished writing, put it away for a week to a month. Give your brain a break from it. Then pull it back out and go through your first round of edits. Then, give it to someone you trust - whether it is a friend or family member who is critical and excels in English or a freelance editor or fellow author - to do another round. Of course, one more round yourself will help catch any major errors that were missed in the first two rounds.
Because EG is run on such a small staff (allowing us to offer 50% royalties on print and 55% on ebooks) we won't take on a project that chock full of errors. We do understand that there will be some mistakes - but if I have to spend too much time with a red pen, chances are I won't be taking on your piece.
Set up a Professional Author Website with Accommodating Social Media Accounts
Once I have read your letter, I will check out any links you include in your query. If you don't include anything, my next step is most likely to Google you. It is important to show an online presence in today's literary world, as this is where most of your readers are. With websites such as Wix or Square Space out there now, there is no excuse when it comes to an author website. You can build a professional, eye-catching site in a matter of minutes. If your site is poorly designed, written, or maintained... well, you know the drill.
Keep an eye out for more tips from the founder of European Geeks Publishing, Elisha Neubauer. You can reach Elisha through email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, on any of our social media accounts, or by leaving a comment below. Happy writing!