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Choosing the right book publisher is a big decision

Writing a manuscript is a huge achievement so, give yourself a pat on the back. However, instead of being the end of the process, for most authors, completing a manuscript is just the beginning. Now begins the hard work … trying to find a book publisher accepting new submissions who is willing to take you on.

Choosing the ideal publisher may seem simple. It’s the one offering the most royalties or a big advance, right?

WRONG! The right book publisher is one who believes in you and will do everything in their power to make your book a success.

Here are some points to consider when deciding which publisher to choose:

Be aware of the options you have

The industry is rapidly evolving and, where traditional publishing was once the only route for new authors, there is now self-publishing. A viable option for many, but not for everyone.

Understand what traditional publishing houses are looking for

You will find some publishers accept unsolicited submissions while others only accept submissions from literary agents.

The publisher you choose will be looking for a good return on investment: a unique voice, great story, and a writing style that smacks. Some publishers deal with specific genres (don’t submit gory horror to those only accepting romance). Others, known as vanity publishers, may want financial input from the author. (Avoid these.)

What do you want from your book publisher? Obviously, book sales are important but what other services do you require?

Don’t be a ‘stick in the mud’

The integrity of an author’s work is important and many writers describe their first books as their babies. Nonetheless, a good publisher will know if small changes are needed for the work to be a commercial success. It isn’t a reflection on you, but what they think readers want. After all, both parties are aiming for the same result. A bestselling book!

Don’t waste too much time chasing a book deal

It typically takes 12-18 months from signing the contract to seeing a book in print. If your plan A is to secure a traditional publishing deal, we recommend considering a Plan B. Take control of the process and either self-publish or use the services of a cooperative publisher.

(a) Call in the professionals

If you do invest in your own book, consider using a full service or a cooperative publishing partner. They can do a lot of the legwork for you, managing the entire project and reaching more outlets and readers than you could do on your own. Take the most professional path you can afford. The best cooperative publishers launch your book to the media, listing it with hundreds of sites in addition to Amazon. They will get your book into bookshops and can even arrange translation deals.

(b) Edit your work

Whichever route you take, make sure you use a professional editor with plenty of experience, preferably one who has experience of editing complete books.

(c) Get to know your publishing team

You’ll be speaking to them on a regular basis, so it’s vital you get to know them and how they work together. Compatibility is important so, working with the right team is key. You’ll know instantly if the fit isn’t right.

(d) Seek guidance from the beginning

It would be a shame not to seek the advice that could turn a great idea into a commercial success. Remember, publishers have experience. Take advantage of their skills to complement your own.

Don’t give up!

Rejection is commonplace in the publishing world, but don’t let rebuffs sway you. There are many online pages highlighting countless rejections dished out to many authors. Visit a few on the web and understand that even best-selling authors have suffered rejection.  Perseverance is key!  

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