Self-publishing vs Traditional Publishing

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly examine the pros and cons of different publishing paths for authors. A listener wrote in to ask the age-old question of whether they should try to find a traditional publisher or go ahead and self-publish. We have an obvious bias, but we did our best to treat the question objectively, because there are a bunch of benefits and pitfalls for both.

Microcosm Cleveland is Hiring!

Full time position in Cleveland, OH. This is a warehouse and fulfillment position, helping people get their books and be happy. We practice mask-wearing and are set up for social distancing. You can get a sneak peek at the humble work place here. Position closes November 1st, 2021.

We need someone who can:

• Lift at least 50 pounds

• Demonstrate an exquisite attention to detail (we aim for 99.99% error free shipments)

• Work independently

• Believe 99% in what we do but is confident to identify flaws in the system, ask questions, and bring up their own ideas about how things could be better

• Listen and find solutions that work for everyone involved

• Be very comfortable with alphabetizing and similar data sorting

• Show up prepared and work hard for their whole shift

• Locate books and pull and pack orders four to five days per week (90% or more of their time)

• Work 40 hours per week on site

• Start as soon as reasonable and commit to at least two years

Benefits:

• All company profits are distributed to staff in the form of raises and bonuseswe aim for (and have been exceeding) 20% annual raises

• Health insurance after trial period

• Employee ownership program after five years

• Options for paid vacation and professional development training programs

• Some flexibility in work hours

• Help empower readers to change their lives and the world around them

• Access to owners, management, and other staff for clarification, direction, priorities, continued education, and guidance

No experience needed. Entry level position. Equal opportunity employer. Preference given to former interns and diverse hires. Starts at $14/hour with 90 day trial then $15/hour. 

Apply by November 1, 2021 by completing this application and this test and submitting it to apply @ microcosmpublishing.com with the subject line “Cleveland warehouse application”; no resume or cover letter necessary unless you believe that additional details would be helpful.

Microcosm PDX is Hiring!

Full-time receiving and marketing assistant position at 2752 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR. This is a hybrid position- half physical labor tasks and half computer-related tasks, ultimately serving our purpose of helping people get their books and be happy. We practice mask-wearing and are set up for social distancing. Position closes November 1, 2021

We need someone who can:

• Lift at least 50 pounds

• Demonstrate an exquisite attention to detail (we aim for 99.99% error free receiving)

• Work unsupervised once trained

• Believes 99% in what we do but is confident to identify flaws in the system, ask questions, and bring up their own ideas about how things could be better

• Listen, learn from mistakes, and find solutions that work for everyone involved

• Be very comfortable with alphabetizing and similar data sorting

• Show up prepared and work hard for their whole shift

• Enthusiastically write original descriptions of distributed books and populate data fields for them (50% or more of their time) 

• Assist the receiving department (25% or more of their time)

• Do varying manual labor tasks including shelving, inventory, catalog mailing, tidying the warehouse (25% of their time)

Benefits:

• All company profits are distributed to staff in the form of raises and bonuses—we aim for (and have been exceeding) 20% annual raises

• Health insurance after trial period

• Employee ownership program after five years

• Options for paid vacation and professional development training programs

• Some flexibility in work hours

• Own voices focus to empower readers to change their lives and the world around them

• Access to owners, management, and other staff for clarification, direction, priorities, continued education, and guidance

Entry-level position. Equal opportunity employer. Preference given to former interns and diverse hires. Starts at $14/hour with 90 day trial then $15/hour.

Apply by November 1, 2021 by completing this application and this test and submitting to apply @ microcosmpublishing.com with the subject line “bookmonger application”; no resume or cover letter necessary unless you believe that additional details would be helpful.

What we learned at this year’s PNBA

On this week’s episode of the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly report back from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s 2021 trade show. The event was back to being in-person for the first time since 2019 and everyone was excited to see each other! And excited about books! We learned some things and came away with some observations about what’s going on in the publishing industry.

P.S. We’re running a quick Kickstarter right now for Dr. Faith’s newest book: Befriend Your Brain is a de-swear-inated edition of her bestseller Unf*** Your Brain, suitable for humans 10+ who want help freaking out less.

How do you write a book contract for multiple authors?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly tackle a reader question about the exciting world of contracts! Someone wrote in to ask how to handle a contract for a book with multiple authors collaborating, or an author and illustrator working together on a project like a kids’ book or a graphic novel. We walk through a few different scenarios and how you might handle them with the goal of having a clear, fair, and consistent contract. Also, we say the word “contract” a lot to desensitize you, because these helpful little documents don’t have to be as scary as most people think they are.

What is licensing and how do publishers do it?

Today on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly tackle the topic of licensing. This is the key business concept for any publisher to understand and consider. Licensing is sort of the engine fuel that makes the industry and your piece of it work; publishers license work from authors to put out as books and then sometimes go on to license different editions and formats. Here it is broken down in a way that will help you see your part in that ecosystem a little more clearly.

This one is part of a 3-part series – you can also check out our episode from last week on intellectual property.

What is an “Indie Author”?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast / vlogcast, Joe and Elly consider the term “indie author” and how various forces have tried to co-opt the meaning of independence when it comes to writing and creative work. No punches are pulled as we encourage you to think critically about what you value about independence and whether or not you actually are getting that from the company selling it to you.

What We Learned at the Las Vegas Market Gift Show

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly report back from Las Vegas Market—a giant trade show for the gift market. We talk about what “gift” means, why book publishers might attend such an event, what it was like, and some of the logistics and costs involved. Not mentioned, but deserving of a shout-out are Vegas’s bikeshare system and Tacotarian, two discoveries that turned our trip from a slog to a delight.