Book packagers offer another way for writers to get published and for editors to be employed in the publishing industry. Packagers are independent companies that create products for publication by imprints of trade book publishers. Trade book publishers publish the books that are sold in bookstores serving the general public. Both large and small publishers use book packagers to enhance their brands.
Invented in England
Paul Steiner of Chanticleer Press introduced book packaging to the American publishing industry. Originally, the company was the subsidiary of a British company; it became independent in 1952. By the time he passed away in 1996, Paul Steiner had launched a whole new way of publishing books in the United States that had grown from strength to strength.
What Book Packagers Do
While some packagers deliver printer-ready books to publishers, others may rely on the publisher for finalization. The amount of work done by packagers varies, as does the compensation they receive from publishers.
Why Publishers Use Book Packagers
Both large and small publishers appreciate the services provided by packagers. By relying on book packagers, large publishers can go into specialty fields like art or licensed books without hiring more staff. Small publishers with small staffs can get more accomplished with the use of packagers. Ever since Chanticleer Press was established, heavily illustrated books have been an area in which packagers have shone from the start.
Book Packagers Work in Several Genres
Books as varied as the National Audubon Society’s Field Guide series, Andrew Greeley’s The Cardinal Sins, New York Public Library Desk Reference, and most young adult books have been produced by book packagers. Packagers are no longer limited to any publishing genre, although they dominate certain genres such as young adult books, illustrated, and nonfiction books.
Some of the leading nonfiction genres include diet, cooking, design, pop culture, fashion, lifestyle, pop psychology, relationships, and parenting. So many companies are involved in this aspect of publishing that the quality of their product varies also.
Packagers Offer Reliable Work
Working for a book packager offers a way to build published credits and writing/editing skills. Generally, writers do not own the intellectual property of their contributions and do not receive royalties. Compensation for writers varies. Some packagers pay a flat fee; others split the proceeds or take a portion of the writer’s royalties.
Reputable packagers value talent. They give novice writers a chance and use writers that have worked with them previously.