This morning I had a meeting with clients to discuss a book that they are just beginning to write. For the time being, I am functioning in the role of book coach. I told them, as I would advise anyone who wants to write a book, that they need to first determine who the audience is for the book. (And PLEASE don't tell me that the book is for "everybody"! There are very few books, especially non-fiction, that will appeal to everybody.) Until you determine who is going to read your book, you really don't know the correct way to write the book. So that is a huge hurdle right from the get-go. But I think they are up for the task. In the meantime, they have a public relations firm who will be looking at existing books in the market to see who is their competition.
The conversation made its way around to the publishing aspect. Like most authors they would like to go with a traditional publishing company. However the nature of their topic is fairly time-sensitive, in their case meaning others will probably be getting similar books out sooner rather than later. I told them that even if a traditional publisher picked them up, the book would not be out for 1-2 years after they submit the manuscript. That is not an option, really, unless an educational publisher has a quicker turn around time. I offered to publish the book under my company name. I have considered doing books by other authors in the past, but it really comes down to the contractual arrangement. Who pays for what? Who handles distribution? What about the marketing? How are the sales split? These are all things that would need to be resolved. I also would probably want to pick up some liability insurance coverage as well, since I could be sued along with the authors if something is awry in the book. There are lots of things to think about.
Having said that, I think it would be exciting to publish a book for someone else. It would also add more credibility to my publishing company. For right now, I am just going to enjoy helping these two authors make their dream a reality.