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RECOMMENDED!






How to Evaluate A Publisher

by Wendy J. Woudstra   

 
 


Authors too often jump at the chance to get published without considering whether the publisher is a good match for the book, and for the author.

Difficulty Level: average      Time Required: 1 day

What You'll Need:

  • Internet Connection
  • Library Access
  • Here's How:
    1. If the publisher's contract specifies that the author should pay part of the production and marketing costs, there's no need to proceed further. Just burn the contract and look elsewhere.

    2. Browse the publisher's catalogs to check for other books in your genre or topic area. In the best-case scenario, the publisher will have many books in your topic area, but none directly competing.

    3. Check the bookstores in your area, especially the chains, for books from the publisher. This will tell you a lot about the effectiveness of their distribution channels.

    4. Check the publisher's titles in the online bookstores. See if the listings include cover art and descriptions to learn about their ability to market books online.

    5. If the publisher has listings with online bookstores, but no presence in physical bookstores, be wary. Online sales alone will likely not earn back an advance

    6. Contact other authors the publisher has worked with and get their views on the company.

    7. Talk to the editor or publisher who will be working with you. Is this someone you will like working with? A good author - editor relationship is a must.

    8. Read the contract carefully. Are the terms reasonable? If you aren't sure, get some advice from a lawyer or agent.

    9. Once the contract is signed, live up to all your obligations, meet your deadlines, and help promote the book wherever possible to ensure the relationship is a long and profitable one.


    Tips and Tricks:
    • Bigger is not always better. You might be better off publishing with a small publisher who can give your book more attention, rather than having it get lost in a large publisher's list.

    • If you're feeling uneasy about a publisher, search the Internet for the publishing company name. Newsgroup postings and Web sites often expose unscrupulous publishers.


    by Wendy Woudstra