February 25, 2016

Collaborative Publishing

We publish stories that make a difference.


HigherLife’s publishing process offers you many distinct advantages. We develop customized publishing and marketing solutions tailored to help you reach your intended audience in the most compelling and effective way possible. We work collaboratively with you, not just to publish a book, but to help you position and use your book as a way to make authentic connections with the audience you most want to serve. Also, with HigherLife you retain all your publishing rights.

Publishing today just isn’t the way it used to be, and there are a lot of unhappy authors out there. HigherLife clients prove that doesn’t have to be your experience.

Let us help you avoid all the publishing landmines that derail and disappoint so many authors. We want to partner with you to help you determine the publishing process that’s right for you.

In general, there are three types of publishing services:

1. Traditional publishing
2. Self-publishing, sometimes referred to as digital or on-demand publishing
3. Collaborative publishing

Each publishing category has strengths and weaknesses.

Traditional publishing:
It has become difficult for the vast majority of authors to secure a traditional publishing contract. The reason is traditional publishers prefer to sign authors who already have sizable audience platforms. So unless you are well-known by a significant segment of society, you may find it challenging to get a traditional publisher interested in your message.

The key elements of a traditional publishing contract typically include:

  • A requirement that you assign all or a significant portion of your publishing rights to the publisher.
  • The time to market is often 18 months to 2 years.
  • Authors are typically not required to invest any of their own money to get published, though some traditional publishing contracts now require authors to purchase a specified quantity of books from the initial press run.
  • Publishers get the final say on how your book is edited and packaged.
  • The price you pay to purchase copies of your book for your own sales purposes is typically set as a percent discount off the retail selling price which is set by the publisher.
  • Most authors don’t get much marketing support. Since traditional publishers make most of their money on their “A-list” authors (which is typically the top 15%-20% of their author line-up, that’s where most of any marketing investment tends to be spent.
  • Publishers will handle getting your book represented and distributed to bookstores, distributors, libraries and other primary bookselling retail sites (referred to as “the trade”).


Self-publishing has made becoming a published author much easier. The different ways to self-publish vary depending upon whether you do all the work yourself or contract with a publishing firm to assist you.

The key elements of a self-publishing contract typically include:

  • Either you do all the work yourself or you pay for the services of your publisher to assist you.
  • Self-publishing companies tend to thrive on publishing a high volume of books in lower print quantity so most authors who work with a self-publisher may not get the level of personal care, education, or attention they need to be successful.
  • The time to market is very quick, typically 3-6 months.
  • You are not required to keep a large amount of inventory on hand because books can be reprinted digitally in very small quantities.
  • Most often self-published books are not as artfully packaged and designed as in other forms of publishing.
  • Authors don’t know what they don’t know and so many times, important steps in the publishing process are skipped and the amount of editing needed to make the book more saleable is not done.
  • Little marketing strategy is offered.

Collaborative publishing – HigherLife’s unique, author-centric model:

For many authors, the collaborative model makes the most sense:

  • You still retain all your publishing rights.
  • You pay no publishing fee, your only cost is to purchase an initial order of books from the first press run…and this cost typically amounts to a 60%-80% discount off retail!
  • You benefit from a full team of editors, designers, publishing and marketing strategists, and copywriters who know how to take your message and craft it as well as any New York Times best-selling publishing house.
  • You get trade sales distribution and support including both print and e-book formats.
  • Your reprint costs are even lower than your initial order, typically 80%-90% off retail!
  • Your book is published in 6 months or less.
  • We pay competitive royalties on the trade sales we deliver, typically 15%-50%.

At HigherLife, you always receive the full-service treatment and the utmost in creative collaboration from a team with deep roots in the publishing industry. Every step of the way, you feel supported and equipped.

Call 407-563-4806 or use the form below to send us an email and request a free consultation. We love helping our authors experience the thrill of making a difference!