How Imprints Differ from the Parent House in Book Publishing

With 2018 fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your writing/publishing plans for the new year. Technology has allowed so many changes in the book publishing industry that I thought it might be good to get back to basics.

Parent houses are the large entities that publish books. As many of the large houses gobbled up their competitors over the years, fewer and fewer large publishing houses remained, That meant there were fewer places authors and their agents could approach with book ideas.

A solution came when parent houses divided their various (and often unrelated) editorial segments into imprints. Imprints are part of the parent house, but many imprints have their own editorial staff  (and most likely their own budgets) dedicated to the specific area that imprint publishes.

There are several reasons a parent house will have various imprints, but the most common are to keep the genres/subject areas separate from each other and the ability to focus its appeal toward each different demographic group. In other words, an imprint is much like a trade or brand name. Having different imprints allows the parent house to expand the types of books it offers under its corporate umbrella.

One important thing for you as an author to understand is the parent house will most likely not allow its imprints to compete with one another for buying your work. Why not? It’s not good business to allow two divisions of your company to bid against each other for the same item.

A new year is coming, so start thinking about how you’re going to make it your best year ever as an author/writer. Happy writing!

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