Finding the Right Publisher Part 1…yes, there will be a Part 2.
Hmm, let’s ponder that question. Some would say that anyone willing to publish your work is the right one. Not so much, aspiring writers. I know you slaved away on the manuscript and spent countless hours editing it to within an inch of its’ life, and then…yousent out dozens upon dozens of query letters, where the only correspondence was in the form of a cookie cutter rejection letter. It can be disappointing to say the least.
So, your next course of action, is to scour the internet and writing forums for publishers who accept query letters. You take a deep breath…(make sure you exhale, or you will pass out) and fire off a few queries to a publisher who you think will make your writing dreams become a reality. A few weeks/months later, the golden ticket arrives in email/mailbox, and the excitement grows to a level so intense, sleep is barely on the agenda. Hmm, it would appear the hard work has paid off, and you are well on your way to seeing your novel on display as an end cap at the brick-and-mortar stores.
Unfortunately, the publisher you have been so lucky to have been chosen by has no clue how to successfully market you or the novel you possess. When the book finally comes out, it’s so riddled with errors, you wonder if the editorial team (if they even have one) was high on some illegal substances. Now, to top if off…your 300-page trade paperback has been priced at the reasonable price of $19.95. (Hehe!) But have no fear…because you the author of the work will get a reduced price for future purchases (after your one free author copy) at the fair rate of $13.95…what a freaking deal, my author friend!
Wow, you may think the example above is far-fetched…but let me tell you, I’m fortunate to travel across the region doing author events, some with authors in the situation above. Their novel is priced at such an inflated amount, the only people who buy it either are family or friends. It pains me to see this, and I urge all the aspiring writers out there, if you decide to forego the literary agent route and tread into the waters of publishers, be mindful of who you are dealing with. In the above example, the research for finding a publisher was half-ass. A quick check on valuable writers websites tells you many things, but it’s your job as the author to be very thorough. Example, if the publisher has a list of authors, find out if those books are carried at the local book stores and libraries. The individual authors of publishers will have websites, active usage of social networking will also be important. Scour their sales numbers, and reviews through a multiple of networks. Your goal is to determine if this publisher can do the following: honest feedback when you ask pertinent questions, distribute your work to the masses, assist in author appearances, market your novel in all media formats, and the most important, (to me at least) love your novel as much as you do.
Next week, I will continue this conversation and talk a little more about the following:
1. Distribution of your work
2. Reviewing your contract
4. Synergy with Publisher
Until then, remember…death is only a click away.