Mill Park Publishing of Eagle, Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.
The company facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
and organizes writer's retreats.

Thursday, 04 August 2011 14:45

We're Writing a Book in One Day

We’re looking for local writers to write a book in one day and have it published in time for holiday sales. And, we’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. All we need are provocative, poignant, and enlightening essays about “The Dress.”

It all started when my friend, Liza Long Walton, wrote a message two weeks ago on Facebook about seeing used wedding dresses in thrift shops. The response came faster than a nervous flower girl. We all have stories about wedding dresses (and some of us have multiple stories.)

So, Liza and I met over coffee and decided to publish a book of essays from women who want to explore the myth and meaning of the wedding dress. Thanks to the magic of social media and the Little White Dress Facebook page, we already have volunteer (meaning: unpaid) writers who want to contribute to the book. They include married, divorced, never married and gay women. We even have liberal, conservative, and lactose intolerant writers!

To make it even more interesting, we decided to write and compile the book in one day. (Liza and I are co-authors of Daily Erotica, and Mill Park Publishing is the publisher, so we’ve been around the writer’s block on publishing books.)

After another cup of coffee, we settled on the “Rules of Engagement” (pun intended) for our contributing writers:

  1. 1.  Must be female (Yes, it’s sexist but it’s our book.)
  2. 2.  Must have previous experience with a wedding dress
  3. 3.  Submissions must be under 2,000 words
  4. 4.  Submit on one day – August 8, 2011
  5. 5.  Gather at my house from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (email me for directions)
  6. 6.  Those out of state (or out of the country) can email only during that time frame
  7. 7.  Submission does not guarantee inclusion; writers will be notified by Aug. 31
  8. 8.  We reserve the right to edit all accepted entries
  9. 9.  Each included writer must try to sell at least 20 books to help cover production costs
  10. 10. Net profits will be donated to a local charity as determined by the contributing authors
  11. 11. Genre can include poetry, short stories, and essays

 

Just think about that dress delicately packed in white acid-free tissue paper, wrapped in unbleached muslin, and sealed in a box with a view window that’s stored in the attic. Why do we save them? Or, are they destined to hang empty and forgotten in some thrift shop, waiting for another chance at the dream wedding? What’s your story?

Published in Elaine's Blog

Exciting Publishing News: In the past two weeks, Amazon.com has ordered 25 copies of Mother Knows Best – Wit and Wisdom from Idaho Moms.

Flunking "Business 101" News: Mill Park Publishing lost $50.75 on the transactions.

Having a book on Amazon.com is great for publicity and national exposure, but it’s punitive for a small publishing company. Mill Park Publishing paid $5.28 per copy to cover the cost of printing, shipping, cover design and layout design. We set the retail price at $8.99 in hopes of making a small profit. Amazon.com pays only 45% of the retail price, so Mill Park Publishing receives $4.05 per book – a loss of $1.23 on each book. As a result, the recent order to Amazon for the 25 books cost us $30.75 plus $20 shipping. That’s a total loss of $50.75. Ouch.

Local book stores pay 60% of the retail price on consignment, so we receive $5.39 per book – a profit of 11 cents. We make our most profitable sales through direct contact and through intimate, local events.  

Mother Knows Best by author Patti Murphy enjoyed a fun debut on May 6 at Berryhill & Co. Many factors contributed to the successful sale of 100 books: The book is a creative compilation of interesting tidbits, the cover is attractive, the debut was right before Mother’s Day, and Patti is a dynamite promoter as well as an excellent writer. We sold the book at the full retail price of $8.99 plus Idaho sales tax, so Mill Park Publishing was able to cover the costs of the books, the food, the room rental, and have money to apply toward the production costs.

Though it’s a definite thrill to produce and introduce a quality book, it’s a sobering fact to realize that neither the author nor the publisher has earned one penny from the sales of this book. We still haven’t recovered the total printing costs, but that is a goal to reach by September. And, after all the books are sold, it is our intention to have a small profit and still be able to make a donation to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance.

To end on a positive note, we can rejoice in the astounding success of The Backyard Chicken Fight. Author Gretchen Anderson has sold enough books to pay for the printing costs in record time because she is everywhere! She teaches classes, organizes book signing events, and creatively generates her own publicity. She’s in Costco, which is a huge accomplishment in the publishing business. Gretchen is proof that with excellent writing talent and powerful promotion ability, a writer actually can make a profit.  It's a great story! 

Published in Elaine's Blog

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