Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vocabulary Words and Wealth

How many of you remember when you were in school and the teacher would put up a list of vocabulary words on the board for you to copy down and memorize for the spelling or vocabulary test that week?

She might write the words, tomato, sanguine, unethical, excellent, or any of a zillion others, and we would faithfully learn them and their meanings, week after week. Those words are what we now use to write books! How important are those little exercises to us now? To me, they are very valuable. I learned a lot from vocabulary tests.

Well, why have you stopped? There are still a lot of words and terms that we need to know!

Here is your most important vocabulary list (and definitions!) for this week:

Commercial publisher--purchases the right to publish a manuscript (usually together with other rights, known as subsidiary rights), and pays the author a royalty on sales.

Vanity publisher-- prints and binds a book at the author's sole expense.

Subsidy publisher-- also takes payment from the author to print and bind a book, but contributes a portion of the cost and/or adjunct services such as editing, distribution, warehousing, and marketing.

Self-publishing-- like vanity publishing, requires the author to bear the entire cost of publication, and also to handle all marketing, distribution, storage, etc.

When a friend of mine talked about getting a book written and out in the market, he was quick to say he wouldn’t be worrying with editing and all that jazz. I got hives just thinking about what that meant, but I remained mute and let him rattle on. He truly believed that edits were what editors did and therefore not necessary for him to contribute anything. No editor in his or her right mind would take on such a work, although I didn’t point this out. Some folks just do not need to hear everything I have to say. The term “deaf ears” comes to mind.

It is my opinion that he would do well to seek out a vanity publisher. Some of them will print anything if you have the money, including a cookbook. They do not care overmuch for style, composition, grammar, or punctuation. Only the color of your cash is what moves them. If you got the money honey, they got the time.

For the rest of us, if you want a solid publishing contract, with royalties paid to you for your efforts, and a professional editor to aid you, (not write the book for you!) then seek a commercial publisher with a proven track record. Why on earth would you spend the time it takes to write a 300-page novel and not give it the most perfect landing? Believe me, traditional and e book publishers have worked hard to get where they are today. Send your book out into the jungle of publishing with a breath of hope.

Your book will thank you.


Adele said...

I love new words!

Suko said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with us, Kim.

Kim Smith said...

You are welcome Suko. Hope others find it helpful as well. Hagelrat, from new words springs new works, eh?

Sheila Deeth said...

You had me worried for a moment, but excellent words, and good advice. Now to try a bit more of that breath of hope...

Kim Smith said...

Keep going Sheila. It only takes one YES!

s.w. vaughn said...

A very good list of terms to know, indeed. :-)

It's really a shame we can't cure Golden Word Syndrome. Almost every new writer contracts it at some point. Everyone should try to remember that pobody's nerfect. LOL