I keep trying the name on for size: an independent publisher. As in: "I'm an independent publisher."
When I was a baby editor in Manhattan, we had a Legal Department, Editorial, Art-Direction, Proofreading, Production, SubRights, Publicity, and Sales Departments. Now it's all me.
I formed my own publishing house, Lifted Board Press, LLC, so all the things an author expects a publisher to do...it's on me.
Need an editor?
I hire an editor.
Need a beautiful cover?
I hire a talented cover designer.
Need an interior book design? Make it so, number one.
I hope to neither humble-brag or complain, but wow.
So many moving pieces here: not just getting the novel whipped into its best shape, but also figuring out comp titles and prices, subsidiary rights, and publicity.
The Sales department is flitting about like a punch-drunk moth, as the countdown clock tick-tock, tick-tocks (two months?! Yipes!).
These days, book reviews are the lifeblood of authors in the new publishing world –– book reviews used to be pretty cinchy: I'd flick through the office Rolodex, whip up a stack of labels on my IBM Selectric, type multiple letters with essentially the same message to various book review editors, pop them into a padded envelopes with an Advanced Readers' Copy (ARC) and drop them into the mail.
These ARCs would end up who knew where (sometimes in the thrift shop bookshelf), but that's how (plus some schmoozy phone calls and backstage deals) we got book reviews into newspapers and magazines.
No surprise to learn that things have gone electronic these days. There are only a few book reviewers in the media; people aren't as willing to pay for news, so they tend look for recommendations from places like Goodreads and Amazon and Instagram, or from actual word-of-mouth.
As an independent publisher, I joined a co-op and put the book out for review on a central service. That's not nerve-wracking at all.
The Publicity department created author pages on Goodreads and Amazon and Ingram Sparks, aiming for just the right tone of cheeky self-promotion in with the bona fides.
A book trailer went up on YouTube and Insty, and the department is brainstorming the next one.
Meanwhile, downstairs in the Production department, I've studied about 137% more about file formats and how NOT to convert them than I ever hoped to do: epub, jpeg, png, pdf, wtf, try again.
Even though Ingram Sparks and Amazon paperbacks are more or less indistinguishable, each has its own protocol for formatting. Different ebook companies have wildly differing file requirement, so we here at Lifted Board, LLC must coordinate Apple, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo versions.
Happily, the Art Department is an outside resource who knows his business (THAT's why you hire the best you can afford!), so we hope each edition will be a joy to behold.
Enough about my bliss. The Publicity department is direct-messaging over and over (ding! ding!) about posting a short unboxing video and Production has got to get a move on.