Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So many publishers, so little time to decide.

I wanted to talk about the process you need to make to determine which publisher you will decide to sign with.
I know your story, book, or novel is a vital part of who you are.  You took the time to research, write and edit your creation.  This creation has become part of you; your hard work has become like a child to you.  Choosing a publisher can be like sending a child off into the world, you expect much for it, and want to provide the best publisher for it.
First, I want to warn all potential authors out there.  There are many scams and rip-off artists out there who are looking for inexperienced authors.  These scam artists are out for one thing, to remove you from your money, and they care little if anything for your creation.
THIS IS VITAL.  A publisher, agent should never, never, never ask for money up front.  If they do, then find someone else.
When you begin researching which publisher is right for you, it is vital to find out what books that particular publisher is interested in.  I would suggest looking on the Internet for a specific publisher in your genre.  Example: If you wrote a YA book, Google for YA publishers. This seems simple, but you could not estimate how many rejection letters are based on the author sending their manuscript to a publisher who does not work in that type of genre.
So now you have found several publishers that you are interested in?  How do you tell if they are legit or not?  Again, using the Internet as a tool is vital.
I would suggest looking up on Preditors & Editors first. This is a good site which states which agents, or publishers are recommended or not.  Do not rely on this site alone, because publisher’s reputations can change overnight.
Another useful site is Absolute Write Water Cooler.  This is a good site for you to begin with and for you to join.  Many of the authors on that site like assisting new writers and will take the time to help you.
I am going to make a statement here, which may upset many authors.  Some authors believe that they are the greatest thing in the world since Shakespeare. They have never written a book before, and want the publisher to unload lots of money to them and they (the authors) should not need to raise a hand to promote their own book.  As a result, some authors will look down on a small publisher because these publishers do not have the resources to pay advancement or want the author to take an active part in promoting his or her works.  Just keep this in mind when you read reviews about any publisher. Also remember a small publisher can the time and do many more things to help you than a larger publishing house can.
One of the best resources that you can use is to speak with the authors who have worked with the publisher in the past.  This is what I did with Safkhet Publishing.  I contacted Sheryl Browne early on in my search.  She told me the highlights and low spots of being an author and recommended Safkhet Publishing.  An author’s advice is vital to you, and if you become a published author, make sure you return that favor to others.
Finally, I would suggest looking at the publisher’s record.  See how many books have been published by the company, and see their sales and see how they market their books.  Remember, if no one can read your book, if they cannot GET your book.
I hope you have good luck in your search.
I might also comment upon a statement I made above.  If you are an unpublished or minimally published author, publishers or agents do not owe you anything.  The publisher is taking their money and taking a chance on you and your novel.  Do not think because you wrote a book that the publishing world is going to open its doors to you.  You have to establish yourself to the writing world, show the publishers you are willing to promote the book, which they took the time and money to publish. Pay your dues before you expect it to pay dues back to you.

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