If They Can Do It - Lynne Garner

Back in the mists of time before the banking system wrought havoc on our economy I used to work as a freelance writer for a packager. If you don’t work in the publishing world you may not know what a packager is. Basically they find freelancers like myself, hire us on a flat fee basis to create a book. This book is then sold to a publisher or even publishers (if they sell the foreign rights) who then sell it under their own branding. It’s a great concept and at one time kept me very busy.

The first book I worked on for a packager was a craft title. The concept for the title had been sold to a large publisher before I was even commissioned to work on the project. Typically, just days before the agreed deadline the publisher (in their wisdom) wanted an additional 12 pages. I began to panic. I simply didn’t have the time to produce that amount of additional content. My editor told me not to worry because she had content from a similar title she could use to fill these additional pages.

It was then I discovered this is not an unusual practice and there are a great many books that contain content that has already been published. For the packager it makes sense. By reusing content that they have already paid for in a slightly different format  means they optimise the income it generates. So with this in mind I decided if they could do it then so could I.

So over the last month three of my four short story collections have been merged to create a new title. The new book is a bumper collection of short stories (24 in total) and will be available in a printed format and as an ebook under the new title ‘Meet The Tricksters.’ I’m hoping that by following the format of reusing and repackaging my stories in this way will achieve the increased income enjoyed by the packagers I once worked for.

The ebook version is in review as you read this and the printed version should be selling within the next couple of weeks. I'll let you know how it works out. If this is something you've already tried and you don't mind sharing I’d love to know how it worked for you.


P.S. My online courses via Women On Writing:
How to write A children's book and get published
5 picture books in 5 weeks
How to write a hobby-based how to book


julia jones said…
Yes I remember packagers. Was a bookseller in those days. Feels like a lost world but it isn't of course. Good luck with the new book
Wendy H. Jones said…
How fascinating. I didn't realise any of this
Dennis Hamley said…
Yes, I've written for packagers. It turned out to be a much better experience than I had expected. I'm interested, Lynne, to see that you're into 'bookmaking'. I too am finding stories, both previously published and new, to put together into new collections/compilations. I've done two and am just doing a third. I sometimes think that Createspace was made for this! A pleasant, harmless and - who knows? - possibly a profitable way of passing the time! My only gripe with the packager is that they kept the copyright of the stuff I did for them, so I can't reissue my three little books, which I'm very fond of, myself.
Lydia Bennet said…
I didn't know about packaging Lynne, how interesting. Good luck with your short story package! One drawback I can see is that people might be annoyed if they buy something they already have - I've seen this happen with a newly edited novel with a new cover a publisher put out, which the writer had had published before - people bought it thinking it was new and it crashed once the word got around. So being upfront about some of the content being previously published is important I'd think. In poetry you get the 'new and collected' book and everyone knows what that means.
Lynne Garner said…
Dennis - my first Createspace paperback now sells as many and sometimes more than the ebook versions.

Lydia - I'm with you on being up front about the content of a book. So I've placed at the bottom of the description for this book a note stating these stories have been published before and given the title of each book.

Enid Richemont said…
Lydia - I have a vested interest in what you say, because I have a lengthy (TOO lengthy!) backlist out there in the form of ebooks, and now I'm tentatively considering CreateSpace for them.

Dennis - I haven't heard from you emailwise for months, which is usually a publishers' speciality, not a friend's or colleague's, so please get in touch, or I will send out the Harpies.

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