For those of you who are new to my blog, I’m a little gun-shy when it comes to publishers, particularly new small presses. I’ve even heard some unsettling stories about the more established smaller publishers.
Now, this isn’t to say all publishers are bad. There have been lots of times I wished managed to snag an agent to help me navigate the world of contracts and subsidiary rights. I wish I would have fallen in with a publisher who had clout in the industry, who could get my book on bookstore shelves, who worked tirelessly to get my book noticed. If you can find a publisher who can do all that for you, GO FOR IT!!!
A GOOD publisher is always worth considering. But a BAD publisher can ruin your book and destroy your career.
Not everyone who claims to be a publisher is reputable or experienced. Not everyone who claims to be a publisher knows how to format, edit, or market your book. Some of these wanna-be publishers can’t format, edit, or market any better than you can.
Ask yourself these questions:
Unless you’ve found a publisher who can offer you something you cannot do for yourself, there is no reason NOT to consider self-publishing. You can do your own formatting, hire your own editor, and commission your own cover. You can do many of these things at little cost to you. You can upload a book to Kindle, Smashwords, and Createspace for FREE. You can get your own book on Barnes & Noble and most of the online sites.
If you decide to sign away your rights or royalties, a publisher needs to offer more than amateur editing and formatting. Anyone can do those things.
What should your publisher be doing for you?
If you find a good publisher, sign. Let someone else take over the burden of editing, formatting, and marketing. But, if an inexperienced press without a proven track record wants your book, your best bet is to either continue to search for the publisher of your dreams, or self-publish. Don’t settle. Your book deserves better.