The Publishing Challenge
Writing a novel or nonfiction book challenges the author’s perseverance, patience, and skill. Far more writers start a book only to stop than start and actually finish. Yet finishing it is only the first challenge. Getting the book in the hands of readers is a second, even more daunting challenge. Traditional publishing has always required strong talent and extreme luck, and with the advent of self-publishing, those prerequisites to traditional publishing are even greater today than in years past.
While the advent of self-publishing has made it easier for authors to make their books for sale, it has actually made it harder for a published author to actually find readers. When readers were limited to brick and mortar bookstores, traditional publishers served as the gatekeepers, screening titles and narrowing options for buyers. A September 2016 Bowker report stated that more than 700,000 books were self-published in the U.S. in 2015, which is an incredible increase of 375% since 2010. With that many new titles published every day across a plethora of online platforms, book buyers are absolutely flooded with options, leaving the self-published title to drown in a sea of noise, never getting discovered, and leaving the author frustrated and disheartened.
We Help Writers
Located along the banks of the Kennebec River in Maine (U.S.A.), we at Kennebec Publishing have worked in publishing since 2005, when the advent of self-publishing was still in its infancy. We began by utilizing the new print-on-demand technology to publish military manuals and then marketing them to niche audiences through blogging and online advertising. We found success this way at a time when few were doing it. Others quickly caught on, however, and the competition for books in the public domain became stiff. From there we began a more traditional publishing business, signing agreements with authors whose books would appeal to our already-established audience. At a time when vanity presses took shape to fleece writers, we were offering traditional agreements, where we were paid only when/if the book succeeded. We had titles that succeeded. We had titles that failed. We learned from each of them.
We got better as time went on, learning from our mistakes as publisher, and seeing what authors did or did not do to contribute to their own success. Soon authors we had turned away were beginning to ask for help self-publishing. They wanted our advice and requested our editing assistance, interior formatting help, cover design, etc. Thus began our new business model as a hybrid publisher, working with authors of all types, in all genres, and in different ways to meet their specific needs and the needs of their work.
Through this website, our email list, and our various social media accounts, we are hoping to bring our advice to as wide an audience as possible, deliver publishing-related news and information to self-published authors and aspiring writers. Contact us with any feedback or questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Kennebec Team
Derrick founded Kennebec Publishing in 2007, but only since 2011, with the help of his wife and others, has it grown to a become a successful small business. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a BA in English, and a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service, Derrick’s work background has ranged from social work to writing public policy to editing and ultimately publishing. He has developed numerous blogs, sold some for profit, and helped many authors with website development and online marketing.
Derrick spends his free time with his family, hiking, camping, and finding adventure in New England’s outdoors.
Sarah graduated from the University of Maine with a BA in English (Literary Analysis), and earned a Certificate of Graduate Study in Non-Profit Management from the Muskie School of Public Service. She has worked for a prominent Maine-based ad agency, worked as a communications director for a non-profit advocacy group, and has led the communication efforts for a large government agency. Her passion lies with the written word, however. She enjoys being part of the creative process and working closely with authors to bring their stories to completion.
Noemi helps with book formatting and eBook creation. Six years ago, with a strong background in publishing and IT, she founded Nuclear Press to offer her skills in digital publishing and book editing. With the experience gathered in the past years, she helps authors’ dreams come true.
When not working, Noemi participates in book fairs as a publisher to meet new authors and readers, or is otherwise found hiking trails up high or caving down low.
Jamie does proofreading, editing, and small writing projects for Kennebec Publishing. Now a freelance writer, she previously worked in Maine government assisting lawmakers with their communication efforts. Jamie earned a B.A. in Politics (American Government) from the Catholic University of America and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Maine Studies) from the University of Maine. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing tournament Scrabble, and complaining about misspelled words and erroneous apostrophe usage.
Cristi is Kennebec Publishing’s book formatting guru. He has eight years of experience in three publishing houses: Kennebec Publishing, Paralela 45, and Diana Publishing House. He has worked as a proofreader, graphic designer, editor, and periodic translator. He has managed the publishing process for hundreds of books during his career. Serious, ambitious, and on time, he uses any down time to travel, catch the latest movies in theaters movies, and listen to music.
Melody is our lead cover artist. She’s a sucker for romance and short stories, and loves super heroes, Christmas lights, chocolate, unicorns, and marshmallows. She’s a writer who has had various short stories published. In her spare time, she likes to read, watch Disney movies and TV shows, and play horror games.