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.
What You'll Need:
|Internet Connection||Library Access|
Tips and Tricks:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Contact other authors the publisher has worked with and get their views on the company.
- 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.
- Read the contract carefully. Are the terms reasonable? If you aren't sure, get some advice from a lawyer or agent.
- 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.
- 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