What To Look For In A Good Book Publisher

By on July 5, 2017
What To Look For In A Good Book Publisher - Writer's Life.org

If you have decided to submit your book for publishing it is worth carefully considering what you are actually looking for.

It can be very easy to think that any book publisher who is willing to give you the go ahead and actually say they’ll publish your book is a dream come true for any writer. However, just as when it comes to any kind of business, there are good publishers and bad publishers, and if your book ends up being published by a bad one what you thought was a dream situation could quickly turn into a nightmarish one.

So what are the key things to look out for when choosing a book publisher to submit to?

They won’t ask you for any money

Steer clear of publishers who ask you to pay them in order for your book to be published. They may be making all the right noises about how great they think your book is, but if they thought it was that wonderful they’d be willing to back it themselves. Asking for money upfront should always set alarm bells ringing.

They will involve you in decisions

While the most prestigious and established publishers will have whole teams of experts to work on your book, smaller publishing companies may have only one person doing multiple tasks. Either way, while you have to leave some things to the experts, being involved in some of the decisions about your book should be expected. Always be clear about your involvement going forward before you sign on the dotted line, and make sure you are happy with whatever arrangements are in place.

They will communicate with you properly

A good publisher will respond to you promptly. You should feel cared for and well looked after and should feel as though they genuinely care about the success of your book. If you are constantly having to chase your pubisher or wait weeks for replies to even the simplest of queries this isn’t a great sign.

They will be willing to negotiate

No publishing contract is set in stone, and there should be room for manoeuvre if there is something that you don’t agree with. While you might have to accept that you can’t have everything your way, whether it’s rights or royalties or anything in between, you are allowed to ask questions and make amendments, and shouldn’t be made to feel as though you can’t.

They will do the majority of the marketing

Your publisher should be the driving force behind all of the marketing of your book. They should be pushing your book in every way possible to get it into bookshops and get it noticed. If you feel as though your publisher isn’t making any effort to help sell your book, and it’s all on you, then it might be time to look elsewhere.

They will manage your expectations

Of course, any relationship with a publisher is a two-way street. Writers must also be willing to adapt, to change parts of their work, to do everything in their power to market their book, to keep appointments and appearances and communicate well with their publishing team. Doing so will create a healthy, mutually beneficial working relationship, and even a great friendship too!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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