Advice from our clients for new authors

Over the years I’ve worked with many authors and publishers – including travel and fiction writers, academic writers, and educational and magazine publishers. Some of my author clients work with traditional publishing companies and some self-publish, so I asked them for some advice to pass on to new authors.

Traditional Publishing

For traditional publishing, author Mara Vorhees suggested that the best way for an unknown author to start is to work with a literary agent to get the attention of a publishing company. That means the author needs to sell the book proposal to an agent who will have contacts at publishing companies. Mara was already a published author but wanted to go the traditional publishing route so she talked to agents who had represented similar books.


If you decide to self-publish, you’ll be responsible for your own marketing and costs of publishing, and publishing a print run can be expensive. Some self-publishing companies require you to submit print-ready files and artwork. Don’t forget to check their requirements to see if they need images in pdf or png format.

I recently learned there is something called “assisted publishing”. These companies may offer assistance with layout, copy editing, and proofreading, but you’re still responsible for publishing and promotion costs.

Learn from other authors

Last spring I worked with author Jacob Taylor-Mosquera. He initially considered working with a literary agent but that would mean a longer timeline to get published, likely a couple of years. He decided to work with Amazon BookBaby, a print-on-demand publishing service, to get his book to market sooner. He does his own marketing by using social media and blog posts with snippets of his book to generate interest.

I’m currently working with author David Ebsworth, who works with Silverwood Books, an assisted-publishing company. He has already published 9 books and has built his own team. He works with a copy editor and proofreader, and has a graphic designer create his book covers. And now he works with a cartographer to create maps because his readers asked for them!

David told me that Silverwood reads through his manuscript for technical editing and helps with the book layout. He does his own marketing and has a newsletter for his subscribers.

Author interviews

You can listen to interviews and podcasts with authors to learn their editing and publishing process and find out what works for them.

A good place to start is the Yak-king podcast with Peter Wright and Kathleen Beauvais. They’ve had fascinating interviews with several authors, so check out their Youtube channel.

And Chuck Bartok has a long-running podcast called “You Can Build It: Your Business” and many authors tune in weekly to chat and share their stories and advice.

Some of our book projects this year

In case you missed it, I wrote blog posts about some client book projects this year.

And here are some more projects for authors and publishers – I haven’t written about these yet, but stay tuned!

I hope that the information can help you.  But if you have any questions or want to chat about maps, feel free to reach out.

Learn more about maps for books, or contact me today to chat about how maps can help your readers understand your story.

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