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Book acquisitions

Who wants to hear about the acquisitions process at my house? I can hear that deafening rumble, the clamor to get to the front seat. Take it easy, now. There’s room for everyone.

The internal acquisitions process is a consideration of the varied indicators of a book’s potentials for success (but don’t quote me on that). Often, an idea for a book is brainstormed in-house based on a “felt need” in our core audience or a current trend that indicates the need for a book. With these internally-generated projects, the editor seeks out an author who has a passion for that particular message either as the core content developer, or as a spokesperson, depending on the availability and comfort level of the author. There aren’t many of these kinds of books and they typically aren’t the strongest sellers, but they do happen with a fair amount of regularity.

At our company, our mission is the driving force in the books we choose to pursue. Therefore, we strongly consider market feedback and research on the front end, but final approval to pursue a particular message is up to our ministry council team. They have the awe-inspiring job of determining whether God wants this book published or not (in so many words).

Once we receive a green light, we’re free to set up a launch meeting. At the launch, authors, editors, marketers, and designers get to argue about just who is expected to do what? …and by when?! The dust settles and the newborn, fledgling project is promptly nailed to a detailed schedule determined by the release date which is set according to catalog dates and best possibilities for promotion. It’s all very glamorous and exciting, I swear.

We’ll continue with contracts and negotiations tomorrow…

2 Responses to “Book acquisitions”

  1. I’m assuming that “core content developer” is a euphemism for author, and a “spokesperson” is someone who will need a ghost writer to do the writing? If so, I’m curious: where do the ghost writers come from? I’ve always wondered how that side of things works. Are they recruited by the “spokesperson” or do the editors have writers on tap for such purposes?

  2. Mike Morrell says:

    Wow Mick, you work for _that_ publishing company (I don’t want to blow your cover by mentioning it; I googled you), and you read the books listed over to the right?! They _let_ you?? Just one more ounce of proof from the people I’m meeting in the Christian publishing biz: You are way too cool for your job. God bless you bro.

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