When you buy a house there are three words you must never forget: “Location, location location.” I think, right or wrong, this truth extends to business and so when I went to meet my new publisher to see his digs, imagine my delight when I found myself at…..
Yes, Richmond and Spadina, the pulsing heart of Toronto’s cooltown. Some might accuse me of being shallow for being pleased that Iguana Books wasn’t run by a lone book nerd living in his parents’ basement in the outer reaches of the Baharimba. No my book nerd, my publisher Greg Ioannou (who bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Dumbledore), can actually afford to pay rent in a large loft in downtown Toronto. Good sign. That means he knows what he’s doing.
Greg also has staff; a band of eager and talented young editors, publicists and designers. In short, Iguana Books, a 21st century publishing house, looks and functions pretty much the same as any of the smaller traditional houses.
So how does the process differ than the old way? Today’s tale isn’t about the creative side (more on that in a later dispatch) rather it’s a quick primer on how the digital end of the business works.
First, the manuscript (after being professionally edited to within an inch of its literary life) is formatted to fit the many different e-readers on the market by Sharlene Hopwood. Most e-readers use e-Pub, but Kindle uses Mobi.
Next it’s off to Ingram Books, which has the industry’s largest active print inventory, where they’ll be digitizing my novel. Ingram sends it to Amazon (or anyone who deals in the e-book game. It’s staggering how many online book sellers there are and Iguana has forged relationships with them all over the world). Then you order the book from Amazon, who sends you a copy of the file and easy peasy you’re reading.
A small caveat and this is merely indicative of the market at large. Let’s say you bought a Nook and you want to purchase a Barnes and Noble title. That process is so simple my dog could do it. However if you’re buying books from another source, there’s an extra step in file conversion. A slightly unexpected stumble I wasn’t anticipating. It’s not really that big of a deal once you figure it out, but certainly worth mentioning if you’re in the market for an e-reader. In other words, make them explain it to you.
Next week, the mystery of how the print side of the business works, courtesy of the welcoming gang at my new publishing house….Iguana Books