I’ve blogged about the topic of new and inexperienced publishers in the past, and for those of you who are regular followers of my blog (and probably sick of reading my lectures about using caution when seeking a publisher), I apologize. For those of you who are new here and might be new to writing, I hope I can help you make an informed choice when it comes to making decisions about publishing your book.
I recently read a post by a Facebook acquaintance who is setting up her own publishing company. She’s a very nice lady. From what I can tell, she seems very honest and dedicated. She’s written several books, has organized book signings, and even has her own online radio show. She has many admirable qualities. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t trust her with my books. Not in a million years.
This nice, dedicated, determined lady has almost no grasp of grammar or punctuation. Her Facebook posts are littered with grammatical errors and her “edited” books aren’t really any better. Her assurance that she has secured the services of an editor for her business doesn’t make me eager to check out her publishing company. If the editor for her business is the same person who edited her published books, I fear her new company is not going to be producing quality reading material.
Like I said, this lady seems very nice. It gives me no joy to make such dire predictions about the future of her new venture. I truly hope her publishing company is successful and I hope the authors who sign on are happy with their publishing experience. I hope no one involved ends up disappointed or disillusioned if things don’t work out the way they expect.
If you’re a new writer who is seeking publication for the first time, you have a wide variety of choices. It can be difficult to choose between a traditional publisher, an indie publisher, or self-publishing. You might be overwhelmed by the decision-making process. Or maybe you’ve already queried numerous agents and/or publishers and have received a batch of rejection slips. You might feel tempted to settle, to take the easy route, to answer the call of the brand new publisher who is enthusiastic, but not very experienced. After all, what do you have to lose?
A lot, actually. Handing over your book to a new or substandard publisher can damage your career and possibly ruin your reputation as an author. You could lose time, money, and maybe even your will to write.
Most people assume that someone who runs a publishing company knows something about publishing, but that’s not necessarily true. Anyone can claim to be a publisher. Anyone can set up a website. A publisher who has the best of intentions can ruin your book’s chances at success just as thoroughly as a publisher who is out to scam you.
Don’t be in a rush to sign with the first publisher who shows interest in your book. Don’t settle. Picking a publisher is a huge decision and not one to be rushed.