Monday, November 18, 2013

Looking for a Publisher? What to do, or not to do.

As a new writer, I decided to forsake the path of getting an agent.  The right agent is worth the money and time, if they are with the right writer.  The problem with an agent is they are looking for “established writers”.  This means if you are new to writing, like I am, it is difficult to find one. If you are lucky enough to get an agent, then get one, but if not, it is not the end of the world.

If you read my previous blog, you know I described about writing.  Now, I have a completed novel, what is next?  Find the right publisher.
BEWARE, the publishing field is filled with many good people who are business men and woman who are trying to create a wonderful product, but it is also populated with sharks that are looking for naive people to devour.  You must learn how to tell the difference between the two.
Your first step in finding the right publisher, you must do some research.  Find out which publisher actually publishes the genre of your novel.  You do not want to send your horror story to a publisher who only publishes children’s books.  This can be accomplished very easily by doing searches on the web.
Once you have a list of publishers, now it is time to do your homework, you need to find out, which is legit and, which are not.  At this point, I need to bring up a topic which is contested by writers. 
What is being published?  Many writers are now self-publishing, which means that you basically are your own publisher, and you do everything that the publisher does.  This is not a bad concept, and many people are successful at it.  I am a new writer and do not have contacts that other writers may have, so this was not an option.  I might also say that “self-published” authors are not look upon favorably by the publishing industry.  This means, that once you have a book self published, in the future you may not count it as a published book credit to an established publisher.  You must weight these options.
Vanity publishing is another issue you must consider.  This is where a publisher will ask you for money to publish your book.  This is not a good situation to be in.  If your book is good enough, you can find a publisher to get it out.  You should never pay money to get your book publisher, ever.  Be patient, eventually you will get your book published.
This leads us to unscrupulous publishers.  These are the ones that appear to be legit, friendly publishers, but they end up charging you money for their services.  Once published, you find out they charged you for “editing fees” or charged you for “set up” fees for your book.  These publishers are the ones you need to avoid, and avoid at all costs.
How do you find who is legit or not, do more research.  There are many sources on the web for this.  I might recommend.  A site called “Preditors and Editors” is a wonderful source.  They will display links to the sites of the publishers and also state if they are recommended or not recommended.
Another valuable asset is the writers themselves.  Ask the writers who are signed by the publisher you are thinking about.  See their take on how the publisher treated them.  See if the publisher is friendly and works with the authors, or is combative and ignores them.
It was this last part that convinced me to sign with Safkhet Publishing.  The writers, who are signed with them, were more than helpful and recommended them highly.  I will talk about the publisher more specifically in future blogs.
Our next step will be the cover letter, and how to write it. I hope you will come back and join me again.

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