Let’s hear it for Impact Publications!
Five years ago, as we Early-Retirement.org posters hashed through the outline of “The Military Guide”, I was advised to self-publish. That’s good advice. Bob Clyatt had hit it big with “Work Less, Live More”, but “The Military Guide” was probably going to be a niche product with a limited audience.
By the time I finished the manuscript, though, I realized that I knew very little about the editing & publishing process. I’m not a starving author and I’m not in a hurry, so why not try the traditional route and learn a little along the way? I could always self-publish.
Eight query letters later, with wildly varying degrees of interest from acquisitions editors, I was beginning to feel a little discouraged. I don’t know which is worse: intense initial interest with weeks of enthusiastic discussion followed by sorrowful rejection, or months of stony silence followed by a form letter. (I’d had enough of that when I was dating, but this time I didn’t even get dinner.) I’m not going to name names here, but feel free to contact me if you’re planning to submit a retirement manuscript to a major publisher.
Impact Publications was near the top of my publisher’s list, but I wrote that letter last because it was by far the most complicated letter to write. Why, they actually require a marketing plan with the query letter! I couldn’t have put together a marketing plan on the first letter, not even with all the help I got from fellow veterans, but by the eighth letter I was ready.
I sent the package on the weekend. Wednesday the Postal Service e-mailed me that it had been delivered. Thursday I got a call from the man at Impact himself, Ron Krannich. The contract was signed shortly after that. No drama, no angst, no delays, no fuss.
When the contract ink was dry, the the first thing he asked me to do was to write another book: a 64-page “pocket guide” version of “The Military Guide”. When you’re handed an assignment to shrink 200+ pages of 6″x9″ text down to a pocket guide, you will certainly hone the clarity and brevity of your message. But it went better than I expected, and it’ll be back from the printers before the end of June 2011.
So far so good. I’m encouraged by the speed with which Mr. Krannich can make a decision, and the pocket guides have turned out to be a great product for seminars and transition classes. Impact’s catalog is distributed world-wide through military exchanges, and millions of military veterans (and families) have benefited from at least one of their books.
While I’m looking forward to the rest of the process, feel free to check out the rest of their catalog.
Questions? Problem? Suggestion? Send me a note!