Small independent publishers cannot really afford the inherent risk in untested authors. My company Kima Global Publishers have burned our fingers in the past by taking on enthusiastic authors who maybe expect instant results from no effort or risk whatsoever. After the book has been published they lose interest and do not support their book. Subsidy publishers lessen that risk by asking the author for a small contribution to cover hard outlay costs. That way they only risk losing the many hours of work they put into the whole process of editing, design, typesetting, proofing and preparing print-ready files.
Subsidy publishers such as Kima Books (now an imprint of ePublishify) offer a clever mechanism whereby an author (with very little effort) may recover their investment. We offer a 40% discount on any book orders by the author with a minimum first order of twenty copies.
In the case of Kima Books and ePushify, all submissions go through a strict assessment process and many manuscripts get rejected. In the case of Kima Books, they preferred mission-driven authors with a good online presence who gave workshops and lectured. Back of the Room sales are a winner, and can lead to an ongoing income stream for the author as well.
The subsidy publisher’s role is to undertake all the many tasks needed to get a book out into the world that a writer simply cannot do. This includes descriptions placed on the BookSearch database used by bookshops. They also need to make sure that a book is available worldwide through good distribution.
It is the author’s job to support sales by drawing attention to their book through marketing and social media exposure, blogs etc. Over the years we have found that the author is by far the best ambassador for their book.
Subsidy and hybrid publishers are the best bet, because they offer huge advantages for very little cost and a good chance to recover your investment.