Choosing the Right Publisher
by Tamara Hart Heiner
There are so many different kinds of publishers out there, and much of it depends on what you want out of your publishing company. I thought of this the other day when reading a friend’s blog and she mentioned how her agent is shopping her book around.
I’ve often heard that getting an agent is even harder than getting published. But if you want to get published by one of the big dogs, you gotta have an agent.
That’s where I decided I didn’t want to get published by a ‘big dog.’ Or at least, I didn’t want to spend three years trying. Of course I wouldn’t mind if one of them decided to publish me. But I decided to go with a small press, one that still took author submissions. This path ended up working out for me.
There are other presses that are only for certain genres. Others are only certain formats. Some companies (like the former Mystic Moon Press) are primarily e-books. Others might only be POD (Print-on-Demand) or you might only be able to buy through Amazon.com and not bookstores (likeMarcher Lord Press).
Here’s what I wanted: a company that I could directly submit to, that would offer me a contract, that would pay for all of the printing/distribution costs and offer me royalties, that would get my book online and into bookstores, and that would represent me well. I found it, in WiDo Publishing.
So, while you are shopping for publishers, here are some questions to consider:
1) Do I require an advance? If so, how much?
2) Where do I want my book to be sold? Bookstores? Online? Independent bookstores, specialty shops? All?
3) What is my genre?
4) Who is my audience?
5) How much to I expect in royalties?
6) How many people do I want my book to be available to?
7) How much marketing am I prepared to do?
8) Do I want to work with an agent?
9) Do I consider this a ‘starter’ book to get me in the door, or do I expect this to be my bestseller?
10) Will I be happy with a small press or do I want a bigger name?
Marketing is going to be a huge part of your decision. If you self-publish your book, you know you’re signing up for a ton of marketing. There is no company behind you, no financial backing, no support group (other than your friends and family). On the other hand, everyone seems to think that if one can just “get an agent,” very little of that stays the same.
The truth of the matter is, even if you go with a traditional publisher, you better be prepared to do some heavy marketing. I am always surprised when I see or hear of authors publicly complaining that their publisher is not doing the marketing they expect when the author himself is not doing anything to market either. If the author is not willing to put forth some effort, what makes them think that the publisher is going to have the confidence to do so? It’s a joint effort.
So really, what’s the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing when it comes to marketing? There shouldn’t be any. You should promote yourself and your book as aggressively as any self-published author.
Young adult romantic suspense novel.
Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her boyfriend die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne finds herself caught up in a dangerous world of intrigue and suspense.
As it turns out, she is not the only one doing the stalking. The killer is on to her, and all of her visions of the dying don’t reveal how her life will end. Somehow, she must stop the murderer before he arranges Jayne’s own inevitable death.
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Genre – YA
Rating – PG
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