Every step in the publishing journey is a fresh and exciting challenge. With Barlow Books you won’t face them alone. We partner you with highly skilled professionals who will help make the publishing process engaging and memorable. Below you will find brief explanations of the many services we offer.
Barlow Books offers one-on-one coaching with our publisher to help you:
- clarify your concept and vision
- understand your competition and market
- strategically position your work to reach your target audience
- evaluate your publishing options
- create a book proposal for an agent if you prefer a traditional publisher
Barlow Books can provide you with in-depth reports on your manuscript from one of our seasoned editors. Reports provide:
- an overall assessment of your manuscript, message, content, structure, and ways to improve
- a market needs analysis to let you know if there is a niche in the market for your book, its marketability, and projected sales figures
Writing & Editing
Every manuscript should begin with a strategic and well-structured plan, and every manuscript requires editing. Our editors will work closely with you to develop your manuscript. They can work with your initial draft, or write manuscript engaging content for you, or a combination of both. How we proceed with the creative process is entirely up to you.
Our editors can work with you to:
- crystallize the core concept of your book
- develop the overall structure of your book, beginning with table of contents and an outline of each chapter
- write (or re-write) the content for you based on your supplied material—or give you notes to guide you as you write the next draft
- develop and refine an existing manuscript to meet our publishing standards
Design is an essential element in presenting and communicating your message, building your brand, and producing a great book. It can be the difference between getting noticed or being passed over. At Barlow Books, we partner you with professional book designers who can help you make informed design decisions about your book.
Our creative team can work with you to:
- create a professional, eye-catching cover that speaks to your target audience
- create a professional and attractive interior design that displays your content in a manner that is clear and easy to follow, as well as pleasant to read
- create any graphics, illustrations, charts, and diagrams required to enhance and accompany your content
- choose any photos, fonts, and colours that reflect the tone, look, and feel of your book and your brand
- provide any Photoshop expertise required to enhance your photos and ensure they are print-ready
- select paper stock, weight, and colour
- decide on special print finishes like matte, gloss, or spot varnishes, as well as foils and/or embossing or debossing
Your manuscript receives the fine attention of experienced industry professionals throughout the entire process. We transform your manuscript into a book that meets professional trade standards.
Our managing editor will oversee all of the details and guide you every step of the way, including:
- editing and editorial queries
- cover and interior design
- formatting/page layout
- indexing (if including an index in your book)
- preparing your files for printing, and creating industry-standard print-ready PDFs
- printing and manufacturing
We also ensure your book files are aligned with all distribution requirements so there are no hiccups or delays in publication.
We work with professional suppliers to print and manufacture books. We can fulfill orders for any amount, small or large.
Small and Individual Orders
For small orders, we take advantage of print-on-demand technology. Individual books are printed when an order is received. The order may come from Amazon, the publisher, or another store. The advantage of this option is that you do not have to pay up front to print and store thousands of books with no certainty of selling them.
Orders Over 100
If you wish to print quantities over 100 to sell in bookstores or to sell yourself at speeches or seminars, then we use an offset printer. Our printer will deliver the books to you or our distributor’s warehouse. The distributor will then ship the books direct to stores or to your seminars and speaking engagements. In this case, you will have to pay for printing in advance—but you will enjoy a discount on the printing.
We create ebooks and get the digital books into the main digital outlets, such as Amazon and Kobo.
Marketing & Branding
The digital world has revolutionized the business of buying and selling books. Books are now available in both hard copy and digital formats. They can be found online as well as in your favourite local bookstore. They can be enjoyed on ereaders, tablets, and smart phones. Kindle, Kobo, and Nook are now part of the bookselling lexicon.
It’s a new world, and yet some things never change:
- the book must be a compelling read for the target audience;
- readers need to know about it; and
- readers have to be able to find it in the store.
At Barlow Books, our customized approach ensures that these two principles are built in to every go-to-market strategy. Here are some sophisticated tools we offer to help you plan and execute your marketing strategy. We will work with you to determine the services that are most useful for you. You can choose as many of these services as you like.
To help authors market their books, we start with the brand—your brand and your book’s brand. Together we work on developing and refining your positioning, your identity, and your message.
What is your brand right now? To answer this question, the Smak team will conduct a brand audit to:
- assess your current brand, including a review of your existing social media assets
- assess the global conversations taking place today on relevant topics—or lack thereof, which presents an opportunity all the same
- review the competitive landscape
In conjunction with Barlow, smak and their partners at PSD&G will work with you to crystallize your brand for the book and for you. You’ll work through the answers to seemingly simple questions, such as “What business are you in?” Together we will study your target audience and discover the brand DNA of you and your book. This powerful exercise will clarify and orient all the work you do on your book.
Book Market Strategy
Marketing strategy includes a competitive analysis of the market, key messages, and selling features for the target audience. It also includes a plan for marketing tactics, such as media relations, community outreach, speaking opportunities, advertising, partnerships, and special sales. Part of the strategy is to ensure that all parts of the marketing effort, including social media and website, reflect the brand of the book and author.
PR & Social Media Strategy
This integrated strategy, based on a deep understanding of your brand, covers conventional and social media. Our PR partners will plan a conventional PR strategy for the optimal radio, TV, and print opportunities for your book and give you media contact lists. They will give you recommendations for your social channels, and recommendations for finding new audiences and influencers. As part of this strategy, our PR partners will suggest new opportunities/channels for thought leadership in your area of expertise.
Our PR experts will develop tailored pitches, call media and influencers, develop interview preparation documents, as well as book, staff, and de-brief media interviews. We also provide goals and measurements for media outreach campaigns and a formal results/wrap report for media relations campaigns.
You will work with experienced journalists who will teach you how to deal with media questions in TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine formats. You’ll do mock interviews and watch yourself in action. You’ll get practical tips, such as what to wear, where to look, and how to react to uncomfortable questions or journalistic tricks like the silent treatment.
Social Media Correspondent
If managing social media seems like a daunting task, we can help. We will work with you to promote your messages across relevant social medial channels with engaging content and imagery. We can post, tweet, and respond to messages to help build your presence in a social media universe and add strategic hashtags to get you into conversations that count.
Marketing Campaign Management
A marketing manager will oversee the marketing campaign and activities, keep everyone on track, and ensure that messages are aligned with the brand. The manager will develop a critical path outlining activities and responsibilities, hold regular phone meetings with the team, and report on the progress and budget as the project develops.
At Barlow Books, we offer a calculated play for media and retail space, built to your specifications and delivered by media experts who know what it takes to build and grow an audience.
Sales & Distribution
People still like to buy books in stores. In fact, over half of the books sold are sold in bricks-and-mortar stores such as Indigo. If you want to sell a lot of books and gain visibility in the media and elsewhere, you have to have your books on shelves (not just on a store list, available for order).
To get there, you need to work with a sales and distribution company. A sales representative sells books to a store's book buyer, who then arranges to put the books on store shelves. The distribution centre gets the books to the stores and collects the money.
Distribution in Canada and the U.S.
At Barlow Books, we can help you get noticed. We distribute books to both Canadian and U.S. stores. Our books are sold to retailers throughout North America, including Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Loblaws, Amazon, as well as independent bookstores and libraries.
Our distributors handle the sale and distribution of books for both countries—in digital and print formats, online and in-store. They also take care of the invoicing.
In Canada, our sales and distribution is handled by Georgetown Publications. In the U.S., sales and distribution is done by Midpoint Trade Books.
Are You a Barlow Author?
Barlow is always looking for new enterprising authors:
- Do you aim high? Do you want to write and produce a great book, whether it’s for your family, your colleagues, or the general public?
- Do you want your readers to be able to buy your book in bookstores and not just on Amazon (and other online stores where it will compete with a million self-published books)?
- Do you want to work with top publishing professionals every step of the way, from writing to editing, design, production,sales and distribution, and marketing?
- Do you want expert publishing advice but still maintain control—over the title, the cover, the distribution, the PR outreach?
- Do you want the best because this is your book and your brand?
- Do you want personal attention—from your editor, your book designer, your publisher—not a phone call or an email from an anonymous account representative?
- Do you want a senior editor, with extensive book publishing experience, to read your book and give you insightful advice?
- Do you want strategic, creative design thinking about your book and its audience?
- Do you insist on top-quality production, at the level demanded by bookstores everywhere?
- Do you value top quality in every aspect of publishing, even if you don’t intend to sell your book in bookstores?
- Do you want legitimate marketing, and PR guidance, from experts to help you find your readers?
- Are you a book entrepreneur? Are you willing to invest in your idea, your story, your book?
- Do you like the idea of getting 100% of the print book profits—not 10% as you would in a traditional book deal?
- Do you want to invest your time and energy into making your book a reality now, instead of waiting and hoping that an agent or publisher will pick you and your 70-page book proposal over 99 others?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then welcome to Barlow Books!
Feel free to contact us with your ideas and questions. Let us help you publish your book.
We look forward to hearing from you!