We’ve all seen them. Imprints are key part of publishing. As readers we might not really care about them, but as a writer, especially as a self published writer, they become more important. Below are the various imprints from Penguin and Random House after their merger.
And here are some others:
An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which it publishes a work. A single publishing company may have multiple imprints, often using the different names as brands to market works to various demographic consumer segments.
Some of those above are established publishers with offices and staff, others are self publisher imprints. The trick is – if you look professional then people will assume you’re professional. Also BE professional… obviously…
In a previous post I talked about how buying your own ISBNs and how when you do this you are prompted to give a Publisher Name. Picking a name is one thing, but you should also think about your imprint design. One publisher can have multiple imprints if the genres it publishes are different enough; often having one for children’s book, one for horror etc.
You can pay an artist, or make your own via various free design programs online and it’s not too hard to come up with something striking. The Penguin logo was originally a doodle by a junior member of staff!
The key is to make sure the image doesn’t fly in the face of the content matter. You might not want a fluffy cloud slapped onto your horror novel.
Crimson Key Publishing is my own publishing house, and the featured image above the blogpost is my imprint. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. What do you think?
A few weeks ago I shared a post describing ISBNs and how to approach them. Here’s a fun little titbit – when you buy your ISBN you are prompted to supply a publishing name.
It’s not legally binding, and the site does say that it’s up to you to make sure the press doesn’t exist (Google to the rescue!). Yet it still feels like a big and very real step. This is the name and imprint that will appear inside your self-published work. It’s important that it’s not too incongruous from your topic, or any future topics you intend to publish (I still find it strange to see a horror cover with the cute little ‘Penguin’ logo). Having your own name is a little bit noobish so it’s best to go all out and have a proper title.
I’m a keen gamer, and I can spend hours on a character creation screen trying to decide the right name, so to be faced with a choice when it’s something that will really matter… well… it was nerve-wracking.
An hour of Google translate trying to find a decent word in Latin got me nowhere. By that point it was the early hours of the morning and I was getting annoyed at myself. Fortunately my beloved came to the rescue with her addiction to keys (which is pretty damn phallic if you ask me, but anyway) and we came up with the above.
My first self published work will be under the imprint of Crimson Key Publishing.
I like it. It could be fantasy based, it could be horror based, it’s ambiguous but interesting.
Now to design the imprint…
When I was in university I was one of those students who would get an essay back, only to skip to the end to get my grade and then never look at it again. My ability to write academically suffered because of this.
Years later during my Masters I had to really focus on my mistakes, but even then I struggled to really take it in.
Now that I’m pursuing creative writing it’s more important than ever. The hardest thing is trying to understand how I can make such simple mistakes? We’re all guilty of it, but I mean… the wrong kind of ‘Where/were’ in the first paragraph? How did I miss that!?
Haha, this sounds more negative than I meant it too. It blows my mind how blind we can be of our own work sometimes.
Proofreaders = vital
p.s. Like the cover image? Follow this link.
Writing is lonely, even in a blogging rich community. When it all comes down to it the root of our passion begins at an empty word document with just our thoughts for company.
I enjoy structure, to a point. Writing has none. You can write and write and write and get nowhere in traditional writing. Then when you do get through things are out of your hands. You have to wait on other people’s timetables.
Self publishing is a little different. You can set your own goalposts because you have more control. In this case you have to rein yourself in to not go rushing off and putting stuff out there which is under-cooked.
What’s true for both is that when your doing all this, on your own, you have to set realistic goalposts. You can’t just say ‘I’ll write a novel’. That will drive you insane. That’s the end game, not the immediate goal.
Instead think along the lines of a set word count every day. I consider it a good day if I write 600 words and I have two novels finished and an anthology of short stories (anthology coming out soon!) so it does mount up to something.
Life is a series of journeys all made of little steps. We all get to the end eventually. There’s no need to rush ahead and lose your mind. Pace yourself.
Consistency is the key, find your dreams and stick to them – soon enough they’ll start sticking to you.
Criticism is difficult. As writers we create entire worlds. We are GODS! How dare petty mortals dictate how we should alter things!?
Yet ours is a flawed creation. We are too close to it to see its problems. There’s no shame in that. A parent won’t care for the flaws of their children because they love them unconditionally. The same goes here: We love our creations and are thus less likely to see their faults.
The sooner we come to terms with this and the sooner we’re able to take on criticisms the better these worlds will become.
Criticisms (constructive ones at least) provide fresh foundations for our creation. They make it better, stronger… faster?
If you built a ship but accidentally left a hole in it you’d WANT people to point it out. It’s that or drown.
Ask for feedback, absorb it, let it propel you forwards.
Writing is bloody hard. Sure, it comes easily some days – the words spew out of you onto the page and if all of writing was just first drafts then it would be great. The problem is it isn’t just about first draft. Most of the writer’s I speak to have writing schedules which consist of editing more than anything else.
Literally so much time will be spent of every page. It might take a few hours to slam out a couple of thousand words (on a good day, a VERY good day), but that is nothing compared to the time spent beating it into shape.
When you blow this up to novel size you might wonder where anyone finds the time.
Personally this is how my life is laid out:
I work two different jobs every weekday which occupy me 9am-6pm. I do this because I need money. I’m lucky in that I enjoy both my jobs, but this only leaves me a few hours every evening where I can work on my writing.
You could argue I have three jobs. Two that run from 9am to 6pm and then writing which runs from 6pm to 10:30pm.
I don’t do this evening job every day, but I do know that if I miss an evening I have to work more over the weekend. to catch up This might sound awful – except I love writing.
What I’m saying is whatever you love doing you have to pursue it actively. Once you find the thing you love MAKE time around the other aspects of your life to make it happen. You might not feel creative every day but there are still things you could be doing to further your craft.
Remember to live, remember to love, but also remember that your dreams require work and sacrifice if you want them to be anything more than dreams.
If it’s truly your passion then it won’t feel like sacrifice ^_^
p.s if you have a loved one who supports your art – hold them close and never take them for granted. You may have to focus a lot on your work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spare the time to give them attention (if they support your crazy ass then they deserve it!)
Just a small post tonight:
What will happen if we don’t write? Our stories will die when we die.
What will happen if we DO write? We’ll live on in our stories for as long as there are people around to read them.
Why do we write? Hope.