Publishing Background Check
So you just finished writing your first book. Your excited, eager and you can’t wait to get started on getting it published.
You don’t really want to pay or at least pay a lot. That first company you just looked up looks appealing and sounds good but wait! Stop right there! Before you decide to make any decisions right away perhaps you should look into this company you see before you to see if their legit and don’t just look into them but look into others. Don’t let your search end with just one company. When you are looking for a company to publish your book consider first whether or not you want to go with traditional or self-publishing. After you decide on this then you can limit and narrow down your search. With self-publishing you have quite a few very good qualities publishers such as Createspace, Lulu, LightningSource and Smashwords. However this is mainly to talk about traditional publishing and if you go down that road. If you decide to go with traditional publishing I strongly consider the following. First of all, look up several companies either from a list or wherever and then make a list of your own of them. After you have a good amount of names listed then begins the fun.
Go to the publishers site and see what they are like and what they have to offer. It’s important to look at what authors they have currently and what type of books they usually publish. Then you want to look into their submissions page and get a feel of what their processes are like. If you aren’t totally intimidated yet by their guidelines you should next look into the types of services they offer and how much they charge. If their fees are reasonable to you and in your range then make a note of this. Next look for any testimonials and reviews on the site about the publisher and reviews about authors books. This will give you an idea of what others have to say about them. But don’t let it start there. The next thing you should do is e-mail the publisher and explain yourself and ask about for a bit more information on them. When they write you back and can give you thorough answers and reasons this will help your decision further. Take down the email of an author on the site if possible. Write them and ask about how their experience was with the company and if they would recommend them. Finally go back to Google or Bing whichever search engine you used and type in the publisher and see what comes up. If all signs are positive make one last stop to a site like Preditors&Editors and look up the company(their list is in alphabetical order). If the publisher isn’t listed then it usually means they are good if they come up it doesn’t mean they are bad. Sometimes they list a company just to say what they are known for or sometimes even have a recommendation next to it. However if it has a red wording that says not recommended and explains why then your search should end and you should cross them off your list.
Basically you want to get as much information on publishers as you can. Don’t just choose one and done or give a small search into them. Do an investigation, heck have fun doing it! It’s all about you and your books livelihood is on the line. When I finished my first book I was so excited and eager that I didn’t bother to do any of the things I explained in here. I looked up free publishers and up popped “PublishAmerica” I looked into their site but I didn’t look further down to notice all the other things about them which weren’t good. Now you can get a good explanation about my experience with them in another article but to make this story short and it simple terms, I got screwed. My lack of investigation and amateurish ways got the best of me and before I knew it I had a poorly formatted and edited book on the market. Another thing to look into is the length of a contract a publisher offers you. A standard publishing contract is usually 2 years. Some will offer you a 4-5 year contract which seems like much but this also means they would like to and expect you to write and publish more books with them. If you see a company that offers you a contract any longer than 4 years do not and I mean DO NOT consider it. PublishAmerica’s contract is seven years, this is highly irregular in the publishing community and not to be taken lightly. Most places state their contract is one of the worst which by all standards is but according to PublishAmerica’s reasonable and accommodating.
So again you want a good contract but you also don’t want to be tied down for a long period of time. You also want to look into a termination clause. Most contracts usually have a statement which says they can terminate you at anytime for whatever reason but the thing you want to look into is whether or not you can do the same with no questions asked. Most publishers have early termination clauses and I highly recommend ones that do not just because something bad may happen but for if you want to cancel for any other reason.
So when your looking into a publishing company just remember to look into all the things I have mentioned. No one should have to go through what I went though with PublishAmerica. The internet is a wonderful place to look up things especially to see how good and distinguished a company is. Remember, if anything bad comes up then your should throw them out and move onto the next one. If it’s a small thing then maybe think about if you want to keep them a possibility. However the best companies to go for are the ones who leave no traces of a bad reputation with them and aren’t written about anywhere on the net and most of all have a positive aura to them and are recommended by many.