Who is the Right Publisher for You? (Part 2)

Ah, sequel time, boys and girls…(Everybody enjoys a good sequel…hehe!)

Today is the day, future author! The initial query letter you sent in topublisher X resulted in a request for sample pages and synopsis. A  few months later, (please pretend time lapse for effect) the acquisitions editor asked for the full manuscript of your sparkling novel, Sacred Skin, and within a time frame not to exceed six months, you receive a phone call from Mr. Redpencil (hehe) saying, “Welcome to the family. We at publisher X would love to add you to our family of authors. We want you to review the contract we have prepared, where our author royalty percentages are above the normal industry standards!” (I always wonder how many people were polled to determine the industry standards?)

Now, my author friend, excitement fills you to the brim, and your fingers tremble , as you barely keep your sanity. I know you want to sign the contract right this minute…but take a deep breath, and S- L- O- W- down. Before you do anything, read the damn thing!

A few things to look  at…

1. What format/formats is your work going to be published in?  Mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, audiobook, e-book, or some form of publication not developed yet? (Yep, many contracts have this phrase in it.) Find some other titles the publisher has released, and see if they are in the same format as yours.         

2. Distribution of your work. Will the novel be listed with all the large book store/libraries/chain merchandise retail stores?  You need to scrutinize this portion of your contract very carefully and ask questions of Mr. Redpencil if you don’t understand. The more distribution you have,  the more likely your book will be seen! If Sacred Skin is only listed on publisher X’s website, this may not be the most effective way for your work to be seen.

3. Royalty payments. The contract will list a schedule of royalty payments. Sometimes it’s quarterly/semi-annually. Understand the payment schedule and don’t be afraid to inquire if you feel something doesn’t sound Kosher. It’s important the contract addresses the term royalty statements. The statements determine your sales figures for a designated time frame. Example, if your sales for six months is 5,000 copies, the statement should reflect this amount.

4. Synergy with publisher.  Hmm,  I hope…no let me rephrase that…I pray you have done research in the initial querying process to determine if publisher X is the right one for you. This can be as simple, as recognizing the kind of novels they publish. If Sacred Skin is a suspense/thriller, and publisher X has only released children’s stories, this may not be a match made in Heaven. Publishing a novel takes team work, and you want the publisher who chooses your work to love it and embrace it as you do. Does that mean you and publisher X should dance under the moonlight together making kissy-face…no, of course not (not unless you want to). BUT  IT DOES mean to have an open and  honest communication of what the partnership needs to be successful and how you work as a team to achieve that success.

Finding the right publisher takes a determined effort and committment.  There may be times when a publisher has offered a contract, and you review it to find they have great distribution, outstanding royalty payments, and will release your work in all formats…but the synergy is off, and working with them is painstaking, to say the least. What do you do?  Hmm, Now that’s a question YOU have to answer.

Hehe! Hehe!

Until next time… Death is only a click away!

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