What to look for in a Publisher
by Eva Márquez
Most authors find it very painstaking to search for an appropriate publisher who will put enough effort and resources towards making their book a success. This guide is meant to reduce the stress that authors undergo, though, truth be told that ending up with a committed and appropriate publisher for your manuscript requires a great deal of personal effort. For example, you have to research, read, interview and observe; at the same time, you have to do all of these carefully and do them well.
Below is a guideline to assist authors in finding their dream publisher for their manuscripts.
First things first, before you contact the publisher whom you think will be an appropriate candidate you should be able to prove their legitimacy. Do they have the permission to practice in that field from the authorities? Are they capable of completing the publication of your manuscript to a market that will sell?
2) Submission Guidelines
Every publisher has their own way of doing things just as every human being does. Most eminent publishing companies will have guidelines for authors to read and understand before submitting their manuscripts for publishing. These guidelines are very important as they state what the publisher is looking for and how they want it submitted. You wouldn’t want your manuscript submitted to the wrong publisher or even if they are right one, you don’t want them sending you a rejection letter because you refused to follow their submission guidelines.
3) Publisher’s Catalogue and track record
Before you submit your work to a publisher, you should go through their catalogue carefully. Find out what types of work they are doing; find out what they have done in the past. Visit the Amazon bookstore online or even physically go to a bookshop. Peruse their books and get an established track record of how good they are at what they do.
4) Customer Service
Normally a good publishing company will have a well-established customer service desk. However, that is not where it stops. Besides having a customer service desk, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with their customer service so that you are able to know how they respond to clients and readers. Are they helpful, polite, and kind and calm enough to help you? Or are they just a bunch of careless and arrogant individuals? Their response to emails should be descriptive and not vague and they should treat your readers with utmost professionalism. That is the only way your published book will sell.
5) Genre of the publishing house
Be sure that the publisher whom you choose is specialized in your type of genre. Most publishers are specialized in 1-5 genres while others are specialized in only one. However, it is best to find a publisher who will put a lot of effort in publishing within your genre.
6) Cost of publishing
As an author it is also important to do your math properly. The success of your book also depends on how cheap or expensive your publisher is. A very cheap publisher is not a good sign; always keep in mind that cheap is expensive, in the long-run. On the other hand an extremely expensive publisher might really hurt your pocket for something that another publisher will charge less for. Also, be insistent about earning 50% of the profits of your book.
A good way to know if your intended publisher is professional and that their books are successful is to go to a bookstore and get one or two of their books. Go through them and find out if the book has any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Find out the magnitude and frequency of such mistakes. Go on Amazon and track the reviews of these books and their sales to gauge success.
8) Freedom of creativity
Ensure that your publisher allows you to exercise your full freedom of creativity in the publishing of your book. Being the author of the manuscript, you are entitled to many freedoms in the publishing process. Do not allow a publisher to limit your creativity.
Essentially, the guidelines above are meant to help all the writers. It is important that writers find the right publisher for their manuscript, in spite of the amount of man-hours a writer must put into that search. By putting in some time and dedication to the search process, a writer may avoid receiving rejection letters from publishers who are not intent on publishing their work.
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Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.
Her latest book is the YA/Adult Fiction, Sweetest Taboo.
You can visit Eva’s website at www.SweetestTabooBook.com