I just wrote an email describing what I do at my job, so I thought I’d post it here as well, since it might be vaguely interesting to my grandchildren, when they discover the internet again.
Of the self publishers, many are people “with a story to tell” but not necessarily with an audience yet, while others have a clearly defined project with a definite appeal for an audience. Some of them go on to sell pretty well to their community. Many of my clients are not interested in selling the books; they want them to give to their family so their story lives on, or even just to mark the end of their writing process (which I think is awesome).
My goal is to make a living while offering real value and hopefully even save people money. One client I’m working with now, for example, was about to spend $500 at Bowker buying barcodes and whatever other weird services that were being offered, but first she thought she should call someone before spending that kind of money. She found me, and I’m glad! She would have been left with a bunch of technical assets that didn’t actually do anything to take her manuscript and turn it into a book. In the end, I’m able to do everything she needs to actually get the book in her hands for the same price.
So in the course of my work, I help my clients figure out what they need to do to meet their publishing goals. This involves editing, design, print and distribution management, website building, and more, including just being a shoulder to cry on …
All of this is spelled out at goodbookdevelopers.com, by the way!