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Groundmark Press help authors, who have found little or no success in the 'legitimate' publishing field, get their books published. Here are some pros and cons to consider before taking such an expensive step.
As any struggling writer will gladly tell you, one of the hardest elements of the writing business is finding a publisher. Most of the well-known and well-connected publishing houses will not even consider unsolicited manuscripts, unless submitted by reputable literary agents. Trying to find a respected literary agent who will represent your work is even more difficult. The good ones are seriously overworked, and an unscrupulous agent can actually do you more harm than good. Even if you manage to impress a legitimate literary agent, it may be years before he or she can strike up a deal with a publisher. Then you still have to wait for that publishing house to put your book into production and promotion channels, while you still make zero dollars from non-existent booksales. Once this initial hurdle is finally conquered, however, your future may be much brighter. But many writers never reached this stage in their fledgling careers.
PRO: Groundmark Press will allow my book to be published sooner. Depending on the particular schedule of the press, your manuscript can go from rough draft to camera-ready copy to finished book in a few months, as opposed to at least a year for most books produced by publishing houses.
If you're in a financial position to pay for the initial run of a self-published book, you should have a product ready for sale in time for the busiest buying season- Christmas. Many books that are self-published are intended for specific events, such as a history of a college meant to be sold at Homecoming or biographies of local soldiers for sale on Veteran's Day. If you have a book idea that is of mainly local interest, self-publication may be the way to go.
CON: Groundmark Press usually do not have the support staff you will need for a successful book.
PRO: If I go with self-publication, no one will censor or edit my thoughts and feelings. Publishing companies that specialize in self-published books are almost always 'hands-off' when it comes to an author's manuscript. As long as you are able to meet your financial obligations and do not violate the broadest definitions of obscenity or anti-government sentiments, your book will be published as written. This does mean that you will have to be extra attentive during the editing and proofing process yourself, but your words will not be artificially suppressed by publishing houses concerned with their own images. Many controversial topics are usually explored as a self-publishing exercise first, then shopped around to legitimate presses later if the sales figures are promising.
CON: If I self-publish, no one will edit my work at all, no matter how bad I need it. The relationship between a writer and editor can sometimes be contentious, but in general the process yields a more readable and marketable product in the long run. Facts can be checked, grammatical errors can be fixed and holes in plotline or character development can be corrected. Potentially libelous statements can be amended before publication, which cannot be said for self-published work. Having a manuscript published 'warts and all' may give you a sense of artistic freedom, but if your manuscript has too many warts your sales will suffer. For something of this magnitude, you may be better off waiting patiently for an agent or publisher to accept your work instead of rushing a potentially litigious tell-all book to Ground mark Press.