1. Gigantic

    Gigantic New Member

    Aug 30, 2013
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    The Scotlands

    Independent Book Publishers/Autobiographies.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Gigantic, Mar 30, 2014.

    A character in my book is a shamed figure, formerly adored on a 'celebrity' status by the public. He is approached to write a book of memoirs after a chance meeting with an old connection who now runs their own book publishing company.

    I am very much unfamiliar with how independent publishing companies operate.

    Firstly, if a publisher approaches a person to write a book, does the publisher offer money before the work is completed? Or do they offer a percentage in sales? What is the incentive?

    Given currently that most celebrities that have autobiographies are reality TV personalities with not much common sense - how much help do they get with writing their 'own words'? And is this help given with or without consent from the origional author?

    When the publishing company has the finished book, how do they ensure that it reaches shelves in stores?

    If anyone has any further insightful information on this subject, I would appreciate reading about it. I am researching this subject in various avenues. I understand that a lot of people on here may have experience with independent companies.

    Many thankings.
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    ...an advance could be offered, though many small publishers don't, since they don't have the funds available... 'percentage in [sic] sales' is called the 'royalty'... and it's the standard method of payment...

    ...an advance is normally paid on acceptance of the completed, polished ms... if the author is so well known that the book is guaranteed to sell well no matter how it's written, or if the writing quality is shown to be good enough in a book proposal by an unknown writer that there is little to no risk, then an advance could be paid on signing a contract for a book that hasn't yet been completed...

    ...it's not a matter of common sense, only of writing skills... and most celebs don't have the ability to turn out a publishable ms, so they either hire their own ghostwriter, or the publisher will assign one...

    ...'help' can't be given without the celeb knowing it, or it wouldn't be 'help'... if a ghostwriter or co-author is needed, the celeb would have to agree to the selection, since they'd be working very closely with each other for an extended period of time and thus have to be a good 'fit'...

    ...if an autobiography is written by someone other that the person whose life it is, it's called an 'unauthorized' autobiography... such as frank sinatra's infamous one that was written by journalist kitty kelley... in such case the subject of the book might sue both the writer and the publisher... and may or may not win...

    ... 'distributors' take care of that...

    ...hope this helps... love and hugs, maia

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