Publishers’ Perspective

Facilitated by Melissa Caldwell, Cedar Fort Production Manager

Potential Employees

  • Will the job candidate be dependable, skilled, responsible, and on time?
  • Does he/she know more than just what the job description says?
  • Copyeditors should know copyediting and also the following:
    • The market
    • Design
    • Publishing processes (from raw manuscript to publication)
    • Marketing (e.g., ad writing)
    • Printing
    • Interest in the whole process
  • Will the candidate fit with company culture?
  • How long will the person plan to stay at the company?
  • Does he/she have the grit to work long hours when needed?
  • What retail/customer service experience does he/she have (interpersonal skills, sales/inventory knowledge, etc.)?
  • Has he/she completed internships? Sometimes unpaid internships can be particularly beneficial because they show that a person is willing to work hard even if they’re not getting paid.

Résumés

  • It’s obvious when a résumé is generic and not tailored to the job.
  • Spelling/grammar errors are a major turnoff.
  • Being specific (e.g., including numbers) is important.

Freelancers

  • Cedar Fort (CF) usually hires freelancers only for illustration and occasionally for copyediting. However, many other publishers use freelancers regularly.
  • Freelancers must follow the publisher’s style guide—it wastes time and money for the publisher to go back and fix style issues.
  • Communication is essential. If you’re going to go over the hours expected by the publisher, talk to the publisher to see if you need more hours or if the project needs to change a bit.

Authors/Manuscripts

  • CF publishes general fiction, LDS fiction, LDS nonfiction, camping, gardening, cooking, self-help, children’s picture books
  • A manuscript needs to be well written for its genre.
    • Fiction: catches attention, geared toward right age and audience
    • Nonfiction: well researched, relevant topic, appealing to audience
  • New authors: The manuscript needs to be in most final state possible
  • Returning authors: The manuscript doesn’t need to be in final form because the publisher has seen what the author has done in the past.
  • The author’s background is factor in whether a publisher will accept a manuscript.
    • It helps if the author has previously published, has a following, and has already implemented marketing strategies (blog, subscriber list, etc.).
    • If the author hasn’t published before and doesn’t have a following, they should show their willingness to be really involved in marketing and amassing a following.
  • Make the case for your book—why it can be successful. A cookie decorator pitched a cookie cookbook to CF. CF thought the audience would be too small, but the author showed CF there’s a community of cookie decorators and that she already had a following. CF published the book, and it did well.
  • Future of book publishing: Melissa thinks it’s going strong. The market panics sometimes (e.g., rise of ebooks). Internships are still valuable and going strong.