Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bookmasters, Inc. - Industry Leaders Series 1

Welcome to the 1st installment of my Industry Leaders Interview Series. The brunt of this series is to promote awareness of how the industry runs through the eyes of those leaders in the field.

My first interview was with Mr. Ray Sevin, President of Bookmasters, Inc. (BMI), and Ms. Carol Bowersock, a BMI sales representative.

Before we begin, I want to open up the floor to any of my followers. If you have any suggestions of willing editors, agents, or other industry workers you associate with who might be up for an interview, please suggest away. I'm always looking for more volunteers.


JWP - Yours Truly
RS - Ray Sevin
CB - Carol Bowersock

I thank Mr. Sevin and Ms. Bowersock for taking time out of their day to provide the following responses. You can find more information about BMI by visiting their website.

Let's begin!

* * *

JWP: Where is Bookmasters, Inc. located and how did it come into business as a grounded self-publishing company?

RS: We are located at 30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, Ohio 44805. We began over 35 years ago and have always provided services for the small and independent publisher. However, we also print, store and distribute for all sizes of publishers.

JWP: As the president, what exactly do you oversee in the BMI operations?

RS: I am primarily responsible for manufacturing and sales.

JWP: What services does BMI provide that makes them stand out from other established self-publishing providers, such as Lulu?

RS: We provide prepublishing services, composition/editorial services, cover design, offset printing, digital printing, binding, fulfillment and warehousing, online bookstore, marketing services, ePublishing, and CD and DVD duplication.

JWP: How many authors to-date has BMI assisted in "realizing the dream?"

RS: We produce 30-50 titles per month that would fit the category of "self-published".

JWP: If I wanted to begin an account with BMI today, what steps would I need to take? Who would I need to contact and is there a start-up cost for becoming a client?

RS: Depending on the services needed I would start with a request to speak to a sales representative to determine which services you need.

* * *

The following responses come from sales representative, Carol Bowersock.

JWP: As a sales representative, what is your primary objective when a writer becomes interested in BMI's services?

CB: To determine their needs and/or anticipations of their title in order to guide them correctly from start to finish with the service(s) that best suit those needs.  I also try to make certain they are aware of all of our services in an effort to allow them to keep their project under one roof at the same facility within the same company.

JWP: How exclusively do you work with clients?

CB: One on one

JWP: After a client sets up with BMI, do you stay to work with them if they have future projects in mind, or are they directed elsewhere?

CB: Absolutely stay with them.

JWP: What is the best part of BMI, from your representative standpoint, that makes the company stand out from other self-publishing providers, such as Lulu?

CB: The vast array of services we offer, location, knowledge and involvement in the industry, connections with wholesalers/retailers and by far our quality and customer service.

JWP: From your experience, what are some of the challenges presented to you with clients and how do you best respond to those challenges?

CB: Lack of awareness of how to create files that are press ready wherein I simply advise publishers to invest in a good publishing software for their next endeavor and to be certain their PDF (print ready) file is exactly as they want their final book to appear.

I would like to give a huge thanks out to Mr. Sevin and Mrs. Bowersock for offering their input. 

Question to the Cohorts: Many new writers see self-publishing as the way to go. The reality of the publishing business is at a fact point that most writers will not see their work published. The margin is slim. Do not let it get you down. That said, do services, such as those that Bookmasters offers, change the way you look at self-publishing?

I look forward to your comments.

Peace and Writing Love!



  1. Justin: Awesome series. I'm really interested to see more, and Bookmasters sounds like a different company than places like Lulu. More one on one with real people in a physical location. Kind of nice rather than having everything be digital.

    Thanks for putting on this series!

  2. The most daunting feature of self-publishing, for me, is the lack of personal contact, and the loss of the editor.

    I need someone to believe that the novel should be published, and not just because I'm paying a feww to get the job done.

    The editing errors I see in self-pubbed novels is frightening. And I am not a salesman! I couldn't sell you water if you were dying of thirst. So the whole marketing thing makes me want to stowe away my novels forever.

    BMI seems to offer more services than just taking the money and printing the novel. Which brings me to my last consideration - financing such a venture.

    I enjoyed the interview JW. They sound like interesting professionals to work with.

  3. I have an award for you over at my blog.


  4. Thanks for the award, but I already have it. Thanks for thinking of me, though! Talk to you soon.


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