I was lucky when I was ready to publish my picture book, THE STORY CATCHER. A publisher came to me wanting to publish my story. Most of the time you really have to search high and low for just the right company to give life to your work. It can be a tedious process but here are a few things to remember before you begin your search...
WHAT KIND OF BOOK DO YOU HAVE?
You've just put the finishing touches on your story. That manuscript has gone through numerous revisions and rereads by people skilled enough to help you polish it until it shines. Now you are ready for the next step where you start looking for a publisher. But wait! If you don't know what KIND of story you have, you just might put it in the hands of the wrong people to help you achieve your goal of becoming a published author.
Take a moment to think about the genre of writing you do. Is this story faith-based or secular? Do you write for children or is this a New Adult novel? Is your setting based on a high fantasy realm or are your characters straight out of the pages of history? Are you looking to publish just as an ebook or print as well? Identifying EXACTLY the type of book you just wrote helps guide your research efforts in the right direction.
WHAT KIND OF PUBLISHER DO YOU WANT?
A long time ago writers didn't have any choice when it came to the publishing industry. They wrote a book, stuck it in the mail to a traditional publisher (usually based in large cities like New York) and sat back to wait their decision. Today there are various avenues to becoming a published author and you need to be aware of the differences.
Traditional...publishers like Simon & Schuster or Random House, these are the publishers who take on the financial burden of covering the cost to publish the book and might not work with as many new authors as some other publishers.
Small presses...still part of the traditional publishing industry, but like my publisher Anaiah Press, these companies will also take on the financial burden of publishing your book but may or may not offer cash advances. Their reach is smaller but they are more likely to give an unpublished author a chance.
Vanity presses...companies like Tate Publishing and others give the publishing industry a bad name through questionable practices and disappointed authors. If you choose to go the vanity press route to publish your book, make sure you know EXACTLY what you are getting (and NOT getting) before you sign on the dotted line. Also be aware the bulk of the financial responsibility falls on the author's shoulders to bear...NOT the vanity press shoulders.
Self publishing...this is where you use a service like CreateSpace or others like it to produce your own book. While some of these companies don't require up front money from it's authors (their revenue distribution is where they make their money), the author is largely responsible for every aspect of the production (cover art, illustration, formatting, editing, marketing, promotions, etc). Some of the services self publishing companies offer might be free but more in depth help will probably come with a price tag.
WHAT KIND OF DEAL ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
If you are looking for a big contract with a large cash advance and a potentially large audience to promote your book to, go for the larger traditional publishing houses. They usually don't accept unsolicited manuscripts so you would need to have an agent but if you are lucky, you will have a big name backing your work.
If you like things on a smaller scale where the chances are better you will receive a book offer, pursue the smaller presses. Every writer has to start somewhere and a reputable small press publishing credit still tells the world your work is marketable.
If you are only looking to print a few copies or do not believe you are patient enough to wait the 2-4 years average it takes to actually get your book out in the marketplace, then a vanity press or self-publishing route is for you.
WHERE DO YOU BEGIN YOUR SEARCH?
No matter what path to publication you choose, you should always do your research first. Make sure you know as much as you possibly can before you entrust your "baby" to just anyone. Ask other writers about their experience with any publishers you are considering. Do your homework to ensure your manuscript has the best chance of becoming a book!
To help you begin your search, here are some links you might want to look at:
Book Marketing Resources...http://www.bookmarket.com/first-time-novel-editors.html
I hope you learned something new today and be sure to check back tomorrow for the next post in my month long celebration!
You can preorder my book, THE STORY CATCHER, now through Amazon, www.amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble, www.barnesandnoble.com. It is available in both ebook and print copies. Here is the book blurb and book trailer.
Addie comes from a long line of readers, or "story catchers," as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own, though, the words play tricks on her. Addie tries everything she can think of to corral those wiggly letters, but it will take a little faith to become the next STORY CATCHER.