Friday, June 27, 2008
What kind of publisher do you need?
Here's a quick and easy checklist to help people decide whether it's commercial or vanity publishing that they need.
I have written a book, and... (please tick all that apply)
___ I want it stocked in bookstores nationwide (and overseas).
___ I want a good advance and/or royalties for it (write for love, but publish for profit).
___ I want a professional editor to look over the manuscript and a professional artist to design the cover.
___ I am prepared to wait as long as is necessary to achieve this.
___ I will write another book while I wait.
___ I will accept critical feedback and correct any problems in the manuscript.
If these apply, then commercial publishing is for you. Either a trade publisher or a reputable small press should be fine.
___ I don't want to go through the stress of rejection letters and research.
___ I only want my manuscript printed up in book form.
___ I want a few copies for my family and friends.
___ I plan to sell the book in a certain specific context - for instance, from the back of the hall after I have given a lecture or presentation.
___ I know the manuscript is unlikely to be accepted by a commercial publisher, perhaps because its appeal is very limited, such as a family history.
If you ticked these, then vanity publishing should work for you. Consider Lulu, which provides better books than a copy shop would. Covers can be autogenerated or put together by the author, and you can purchase as many or as few books as you need. If you don't buy any of the extra features, like an ISBN, you won't have to pay anything, and Lulu will take a percentage of each sale.
___ I don't want the stigma of paying to be published, but I am prepared to spend money on the copyright, promotion and bulk purchases of my book.
___ I want to think of myself as a Published Author.
___ I would rather be published badly than not published at all.
___ I want it published soon.
___ I don't plan on writing another or having a career in writing.
___ I believe that editing, advertising and sales should be the responsibility of the author, not the publisher.
___ I don't want anyone suggesting any changes to my work.
___ I want it published very soon.
___ I believe that reputable agents only accept clients whom they meet in person.
___ I believe that one dollar is a fair price for the rights of first publication of my manuscript.
___ I believe that commercial publishers only publish books by celebrities and bestselling authors.
___ I believe that having a book on Amazon qualifies as distribution.
___ I don't want a publication credit that will be recognized by the industry.
___ I want it published NOW.
___ I am not a writer.
If these apply to you, I know this great company in Frederick, Maryland, which should be a perfect fit...