What Makes a Greenleaf Author?

One of the questions our team often hears is, “Who is a good fit for Greenleaf Book Group?” It may be a surprise to some that our answer is, “Not everyone.”

Whether or not an author will benefit from working with Greenleaf has everything to do with the goals of that author, and the goal to share a book with the public is almost always just the tip of the iceberg. A myriad of needs, hopes, and preferences underlie the desire to get a book in readers’ hands, and those priorities dictate what publishing model will work well. Some authors prioritize creative control. Others seek literary acclaim. Still others want a straightforward way to summarize their knowledge for potential clients. There is a publishing model for every type of author, and while ours isn’t for everyone, authors who do excel through our process share a few key characteristics.

Thought Leader Aspirations

If there is one quality that almost all Greenleaf Book Group authors possess it’s a desire to share an impactful message with the world. That message often relates to a business or organization the author is connected to, and many dedicate their time to speaking on their subjects of expertise. For Greenleaf authors, the book itself is one piece of a larger goal to build an audience and establish a credible brand.

Depending on the genre of your book, thought leadership may or may not strike a chord with you. For many CEOs, executives, consultants, motivational speakers, and thought leaders writing in nonfiction genres, the book needs to be a seamless extension of their brand and vice versa. For authors in the fiction space, the draw of a book often lies more within its content and less on the persona of the author, so branding takes a back seat to pure book promotion. That said, many fiction authors place high value on the relationships they build with their audiences, and those relationships can be tied to a strong online presence and consistent branding of the author in relation to their work.

If your book and your personal brand hold equal weight, a hybrid publishing option like Greenleaf that gives you control over your work and takes a holistic approach to the success of the book in coordination with the brand could be a great fit.

An Investment Mindset

Setting aside the pride that comes from great writing and, for many authors, the joy of creative work, writing a book is a business. Like any endeavor with huge potential benefits, a successful book requires investments of time, money, and energy. The difference among publishing models is who shoulders that investment. Greenleaf authors retain their intellectual property rights and make final creative decisions about their books, so a willingness to invest in the process in order to reap great results is key. Conversely, traditional houses that pay advances and hold the rights your book will require no financial investment for publication, and very few creative decisions will be under your control. Because the author invests in the process in the Greenleaf model, they keep a much larger royalty share on the backend. On the other hand, since a traditional publisher shoulders the financial risk, an author in that model earns a much smaller royalty by comparison.

As you’re considering your publishing options, ask yourself how much time and resources you’re willing to put into your book. Writing is a task that you’ll take on in nearly every publishing scenario (unless you’re working with a ghostwriter), but the level of your input will vary based on the path you choose. With any publishing path, it’s important to remember the necessity and unmatched impact of self-promotion. Even with a deal from a traditional house, the bulk of marketing and promotion will often fall to the mind and wallet of the author. That can be to your advantage. Your network is the first audience for your book, and you’re the best person to get them excited and ready to spread the word to everyone they know.

An Eagerness to Collaborate

Authors who work with Greenleaf Book Group invest time and resources in their books, but they’re by no means alone for the journey. Our teams, ranging from editorial to design to book sales, have experience in both traditional and independent publishing realms and share a passion for bringing high-quality, high-impact books to the market. Authors have the final word on how their covers look, how chapters are organized, what marketing strategies will come into play, and more, but they make their decisions with thoughtful input from team members who know them well and are aligned with the ultimate goals for the brand and the book.

Authors who have confidence in their knowledge of the industry and want to forge ahead solo may consider pure self-publishing options, while authors who hesitate and can be overwhelmed by decisions could be more comfortable in traditional arrangements. If you’re excited by the idea of balancing creative control with the support of a team, check out more of our articles on choosing a cover, editorial support, and distribution to see if Greenleaf could be a strong option for your book.

The publishing world can be complicated with seemingly endless options for new or seasoned authors to realize their books. At Greenleaf Book Group, we alleviate the common pitfalls of independent publishing with high-quality production and expansive retail distribution, and we empower our authors to retain the rights to their work and make the most critical decisions that impact their books and brands. If you’re a budding or experienced thought leader who relishes the idea of having more ownership of your book and working with an energetic and results-oriented team, we invite you to explore our submissions page or reach out to our team to have an introductory discussion.

Wherever your path may lead, Greenleaf Book Group wishes you the best of luck, and happy writing!