How I Did it Part 3 – Ellechor Publishing House
When I was ready to start looking for publishers for Alizel’s Song, I decided to go back to the traditional route. I knew that I had grown substantially as an author since DreamQuest, and I had some sales and marketing experience to back it up. I also figured that since this was a Christian book, I might be a better match with a smaller Christian publisher than with a larger mainstream imprint.
I went back to work researching the market, and found that a new type of company had sprung up in the last few years. These companies basically “filter the slush pile” or take the first part of the acquisitions process that was usually reserved for publishers themselves. They serve an important role in that not only do they filter with respect to quality, but they also match up the sub-genre between authors and publishers. Authors generally pay a fee of about $100 to have someone give their manuscript a basic filter for writing quality and then include it in a report to publishers if it passes.
I used two such services, the Writer’s Edge and Christian Manuscript Submissions. Christian Manuscript Submissions doesn’t filter out for quality, but instead includes a short “proposal” of all submissions in their database for their member publishers. I made the cut at the Writer’s Edge and they sent out some information to all of the member publishers.
There are other companies filling a similar role, some of which take sample chapters and have users vote other books up and down. To me this is a great development, similar to the new overall trend of crowdsourcing. Publishers take less risk because they know that they will only publish popular books. I was looking into these but never went anywhere with them. I didn’t have to – I received an email from the acquisitions editor at Ellechor Publishing House.
So how was part three of this post related to part 1 and 2? Did my POD books really help, or was this just another case of an author with a good book getting lucky? I believe the first two parts were critical. In my Writer’s Edge application, I mentioned the other books and the sales numbers for them. I sent off my manuscript and Ellechor took nearly seven months to get back to me. They said that they liked it and wanted to schedule a phone interview. I did a lot of research on the company, and found that on their FAQ they stated that they will not publish a book unless they think that they can sell at least 1000 copies. Bingo! When I talked to the CEO Rochelle Carter on the phone, I told her that I knew what it takes to do just that, and that I had already done it with POD books twice.
Of course, any publisher is interested in the quality of a book. Yet, at the end of the day they need to make money. I believe my knowledge of how to market a book and experience selling my own books was a factor in their choosing to offer me a contract.
The book has since been through four rounds of editing, and gotten better every time. I think Ellechor is a great fit for me, and I am very grateful to them for taking a chance on Alizel’s Song. The book will be released in three months, and I couldn’t be more excited!
If you have any questions about POD helped me land a contract with a traditional publisher or about writing in general, please post on my Facebook page and I will be happy to answer! You might also want to see part 1 or part 2 of this post. I am very proud to be an Ellechor Publishing House author!