Learn how to turn your book into a business
Joylynn Ross, CEO of Path to Publishing, started out as an author herself, so she knows where her clients are coming from when they reach out for guidance. She has over 15 years of experience in the literary industry as an author, ghost writer, editor, literary agent, consultant, keynote speaker and conference panelist. Her Las Vegas-based publishing business aims to help people share their message while also providing resources they need to turn their book into a business.
“I have been an author. I understand the plight because I have been on that journey.” She says, “We teach them how to act like an author, think like a business.”
This also happens to be the name of Ross’ latest book, “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business: Achieve Literary Success,” which shares her expertise on how to transform a book into an empire and is available on her website.
“[Let’s] normalize making money with our art as creatives,” says Ross.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Art with Money
Ross understands how writer’s think because she is one. Through sharing her own story, she proves that creating a literary legacy isn’t just a pipe dream. It can be a reality.
“People are afraid to mix art with money. Sometimes we feel guilty making money from our talent. Lawyers aren’t shy about it,” she says, “It costs money to move our message.”
Think about it. The shows we watch, the articles we read, the music we sing and the stories we love started somewhere, usually with a writer or creator on the other end working hard to find the best way to “deliver content that adds value to our lives.”
“As writers, we work hard. We belong on the red carpet, too.”
Another reason aspiring authors get tripped up on the publishing aspect is because they don’t know they have multiple options. Most are familiar with traditional publishing, but there are actually five options, explains Ross.
5 Different Paths to Publishing
There are five different paths an author can take to getting their story published: traditional publishing, self-publishing, assisted self-publishing, hybrid publishing and publishing on demand (POD).
- Traditional Publishing is the formal way of publishing. This option usually requires finding a literary agent to represent the writer’s business interests like negotiating contracts and helping them submit manuscripts to publishers on their behalf to get a book deal with a major publishing house.
“Traditional publishing takes the financial and creative risk off your shoulders. It gives you the power of physical book distribution, media coverage, editors and designers, along with a contract that pays an advance on your work plus royalties.”
- Self-Publishing is when the author has complete control over their book from the publishing to the marketing. They either have to take on all the responsibilities or hire experts out of pocket to do the other tasks such as editing, proofreading, book cover design and more.
“You edit, design, hire assistance if needed, cut a deal with the retailers and take care of all the printing processes. The upside is that you’ll be owning all the rights and royalties, have complete creative and marketing freedom, all while holding significantly higher profit potential.”
- Printing on Demand (POD) is exactly how it sounds. Books are not printed until they are ordered.
“Since not everything is done at once, POD publishing allows you to learn as you go. With time, you can make updates to your book, change the book formats, manage the inventory, and most prominently, keep a tab on your investment.”
- Assisted Self-Publishing is a service that helps authors distribute their books and offers support on the business side of things, usually when the book is already at its publish ready stage. But don’t sign any contracts without reading them word for word and without making sure it is the right fit.
“A much better option than the traditional way, assisted publishing entails paying an upfront fee to get a package of services. Think of everything you need to do while self-publishing, and then imagine assigning that to an expert in the industry.”
- Hybrid Publishing – This hybrid method lives somewhere between self-publishing and traditional publishing, similar to assisted self-publishing. But they believe in their author’s work unlike Vanity presses, which will take anyone who cuts them a check, she explains.
“Authors who want to hold on to the creative reins of the book while giving away any administrative responsibilities tend to take this line of thought. Since it is a partnership, you will be required (depending on the hybrid publisher’s business model) to contribute financially toward the publication of your book.”
Be weary of vanity presses. They are something entirely different and not to be confused with Path to Publishing.
What Makes Path to Publishing Unique
Path to Publishing works as a team to support their clients and help them discover which process aligns best with their personal book goals. Not all writers have the same definition of literary success, which is why it’s helpful that their website also offers a quiz to help aspiring authors get acquainted with all the options available to them. Educating wordsmiths is the ultimate goal.
“We are truly here to educate you on every single aspect of the publishing process and how to create your own literary legacy.”
What sets Path to Publishing apart from their competitors is their approach. It’s not just about selling the book and cutting a check. It’s about the person behind the book.
“What makes us unique from our competitors is that we’re going to talk to you. We want you to know what is your ‘why’. It has to go deeper than the initial why. That is when we get to the other person on the other end.”
One of the pieces of advice that Ross wishes she would have known going into the literary industry is to not drain all her energy into the numbers, book sales and royalties.
“I didn’t know my value as an author. I wish I had known that my book could be a business. You can create an empire.”
A Welcoming Las Vegas Literary Community
Originally from the Midwest, Ross says she was overwhelmed with a warm welcome from the local literary community.
“I was embraced by the arts community. The Las Vegas Writers Groups, the premiere Henderson’s writing group, immediately saw what I was doing and volunteered. They saw that my ministry was to educate the literary community to create a full business with their book [and] they embraced me.”
Path to Publishing also works with local non-profit organizations such as Spread the Word Nevada and Assistance League Las Vegas, which is one of the ways they give back to the community.
Parent to Publisher Program
One of her latest programs, From Parent to Publisher, is designed for parents with children interested in writing books to learn how to navigate publishing and get their child’s book on the shelf.
“We want to teach these parents on how to help their child become a published author, so the child knows their intellectual property has value.”
Children can realize their dreams from a young age and build confidence through programs like this one. It’s a powerful way to connect kids with literature. There’s no set age for someone to start writing a book.
“We know tomorrow isn’t promised. Don’t wait until you are 50 years old. Tell your story now.”