In my previous article I alluded to the fact that we never assume that our authors’ will want to publish their next book with us. The reason we don’t make this assumption is because we take a unique approach to working with our authors. That approach is based on a for us, by us model. Immanion Press is run by authors, and as such we know what authors go through with most other publishers, which includes everything from multi-book contracts to rights of first refusal to holding on to the rights to the book in order to use those rights against the author. At Immanion Press, we don’t do any of that. When you first become an Immanion Press author and you get the contract for your work, there’s a few things you’ll discover:
1. The author retains the rights to the work. While we publish the book, the author keeps the rights to the book at all times. All we ask is to be able to publish the book for a set period of time. I’ve heard horror stories where authors have books they’ve published, which have gone out of print and the publisher won’t give the rights back. We don’t believe in holding your book hostage. We understand how hard you worked to write that book and we respect that work and you so that if you ever decide to stop publishing with us, you have the rights of the book, instead of the publisher.
2. Our contracts are for one book at a time. We don’t do multi-book contracts, because we don’t want to pressure authors to write books. We want the best, quality work of the author, so we prefer to focus on the book the author came to us with. By doing that we can help the author put together a quality book, which speaks to their expertise and talents. We also prefer not to force the relationship with the author and a multi-book contract does exactly that. We figure that if the author is unhappy with how we do with the book they bring to us, the last thing they want to do is publish another book with us. We want our authors to want to come back to us because they feel respected and valued as equal members in a partnership, instead of feeling pressured to produce.
3. We don’t do rights of first refusal. Many publishers like to have the choice of first refusal. This insures that they can keep the author’s future intellectual property, but the problem with this approach is that it puts the author into an unequal partnership. We don’t have rights for first refusal because we want our authors to choose to send a book to us. We also know that not every book is a good fit for us and the author may want to write something different than what fits our lineup.
4. No hard deadlines. While we obviously want to publish a book that has been accepted by us, we also know that some books will take a while to write. e don’t set hard deadlines to pressure the author, but what we will offer is some helpful coaching if they feel stuck. Occasionally a work has taken a couple years to get published and its always been worth the wait. The author has always felt supported and believed in, instead of pressured to produce.
5. We don’t change your work. When you send a book to us, we’ll edit it, but not to the extent that you no longer recognize it. Our editors are instructed to respect the voice of the author because the author has a distinct voice that needs to be respected. We don’t want to sanitize your work to make it more acceptable. We want you to write and publish a book that represents your authentic experience and vision of the book.
The relationship we have with our authors is paramount to us. We want our authors to feel respected and honored. While I can’t say every relationship is perfect, what I can say is that we do our best to work with our authors. We believe in them and their work and we want them to feel proud to be an Immanion Press author, because being an Immanion Press author is choosing to write a book that truly represents your voice.