How To Find The Right Publisher

By on September 15, 2018
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We all know how difficult it can be to get one’s book published, and while there might be a temptation to send your novel to every publisher out there in the hope that one will bite, this could be detrimental.

Writers can afford to be a little fussy when looking for agents and publishers. If not fussy, at least informed.

The bottom line is, if your book isn’t a good fit for a lot of publishers out there, spending time and energy submitting your manuscript to such publishers is just a waste - and means you have fewer resources to put into submitting to those publishers that might just bite.

Finding the right publisher not only increases your chances of receiving a positive response, but also, should you decide to go ahead with them, will allow you to feel confident you are getting the best business deal and that your work is in the hands of professional people who are going to love and care for it, root for it and believe in it as much as you do.

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So how do you find the right publisher? Here are some things to consider:

What the publisher accepts

If you don’t have an agent you can rule out many publishers simply on the fact that they won’t accept manuscripts unless they come via one. If a publisher states they don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts you might need to put them on the backburner or focus on securing an agent to help you get a look in.

Submission guidelines

Start by carefully reading the submission guidelines. If you aren’t willing or cannot follow them, there isn’t any point in submitting your novel to this particular publisher. Editors often automatically reject manuscripts that don’t adhere to their guidelines without looking at them, so don’t get caught out by something as simple as that.

Browse their catalogue

Find out what other books they have published, are they similar to yours? Look at the genres they specialize in. Your writing needs to fit in with their catalogue and be easily marketed to their established customer base. If they sell crime fiction and you have written a romance series, you know they are not the publisher for you.

Finding the right individual

You need to feel assured that there is a person or team of people who are going to feel as passionately about your book as you do. Doing your research and asking the right questions when you are negotiating with the publisher will quickly let you know whether the people have the same aspirations for your book as you do.

Understand your role

Some authors want to be actively involved in many of the decisions surrounding the book, and some publishers don’t like that. If you want ultimate control and aren’t willing to let someone else take over, or accept feedback, you should carefully consider whether this or indeed any publisher is right for you.

The contract

If you are at the stage where you get a contract it is essential you read this thoroughly and make sure you understand every section. If you don’t, you can employ a lawyer to help you. If the terms aren’t right for you, you need to negotiate, and you might find there are some deal breakers in there on both sides that may lead you to reconsider.

Remember, if a publisher is genuinely interested in your work they will be happy to answer questions and will want to reassure you that they are the best people to sell your book. Once a publisher has decided they want to represent your work, the roles are somewhat reversed. They now have to convince you that they are the best people for the job. Therefore asking questions about how they intend to do this is essential, and will give you a clear idea if they are going to do everything they can to sell as many copies as possible.

Thoroughly researching publishers before you submit just makes good sense. You’ve put so much time, and effort into getting your book to this stage- and being less thorough and engaged when looking for someone to sell your book could cost you a publishing deal. Selecting appropriate publishers saves writers time, and heartache, so it’s well worth the effort.

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

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

 

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

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