When actor Jack Klugman decided to self-publish TONY AND ME, his memoir of working with Tony Randall, he didn’t go the POD/PublishAmerica route (which isn’t so much publishing a book as having it printed in book format). He decided to truly self-publish…he invested $500,000 and created an actual publishing house, headed by his son Adam (a veteran advertising exec) and hired industry professionals to staff it. According to the story in Publishers Weekly, the initial print run for TONY AND ME is 100,000 copies, back by a 19-city author tour and a 30-second television commerical airing on TVLand, among other venues.
"I didn’t know the first thing about how to produce a quality book or what
the industry standards were," admitted [Adam] Klugman. The first consulting firm he
used merely gave him what he asked for, instead of telling him what he needed to
do. At BEA, Klugman brought on Sally Dedecker, who advised him on how to handle
such thorny issues as book size, binding, paper stock, margins, photo layouts,
book tours and distribution. "I thought you hired a distributor and they put all
your books into bookstores," said Klugman. "What I found out is that they choose
you as much as you choose them."
Client Distribution Services is now on board to distribute the title and
publicist Roger Bilheimer is helping to promote the book, which was released
last week. "If we’re a success, it’s because I hired publishing veterans who
were able to do about 18 months’ worth of work in just six months," Klugman
This is still a vanity press publication, but Jack has got a few things going for him that most aspiring writers who choose this route don’t have — fame, money and the smarts to hire industry pros (instead of relying on get-rich-quick-Internet-hucksters). If the book sells, Good Hill Press will broaden beyond their one title to publish others as well.