Thursday, July 4, 2013

Researching Potential Publishers

I first want to say, hi! I'm author Lacey Wolfe and I'm thrilled to be a part of this blog. I've been published a year and a half, and I've learned quite a bit. From small press, to self-publishing. I hope I can give you a few tips along the way.

Today, I'm sharing with you an article I wrote a few months ago, slightly edited now with any updated information.

One thing many authors do is use multiple publishers so they can have more releases a year than if they only used one. It also helps you reach a different audience as well. Which brings me to today's topic...research before you submit.

I've been burned quite a few times. I've had two publishing houses close on me and a few other things that I won't mention. And since this has happened, I research a publisher the best that I can before I will even consider submitting to them.

Now to share what I do with you.

The first thing I do when a publisher crosses my radar is:

Check out their website: This is the first impression. I read the about us section, their submission guidelines, and if my story fits. After that, I look at their list of authors. This is what's important to me - How many return authors do they have? That speaks volumes in my mind. If they have a ton of authors but only a few have multi-published books with them, it throws up a red flag. Why are the other authors not returning? Guess what, authors have websites! Go check them out. And if you're feeling brave, email a few of the authors. Those who return and those who haven't to get their take on the publisher. Remember...this is your book. You want it in the right hands!

The cover art: This is important. The first thing readers will see is your cover. If you're not crazy about a publishers covers, others aren't. And guess what, you might have a great story with a horrible cover you're stuck with for about three years. In fact, your most faithful readers might not touch the book solely on the cover. So yes, JUDGE THOSE COVERS!

Check their sales: I use a website to check not only my amazon ranks, but publishers. Its easy. Either type in author name or in the publisher box, put the publishers name and wa-la you get a whole list of their books and their current rank on amazon. The lower the numbers, the better. And you want to see low numbers. If most of the publishers books are in the 400,000 range, that most likely means the publisher is putting books out and isn't doing much to promote. Its also a sign if they are new, they could go under. Which is something else to think about.

How long have they been open: A new publisher isn't bad. They are ready to make you happy and are excited for this new opportunity. Some authors who've been burned like I have will kinda veer away but if you email the owner, ask them their plan. If you like it, consider submitting. You never know, they might become one of the big ones! After all, they all have to start somewhere.

Absolute Write: I love this website. Its a forum and you can learn A LOT here! People are honest and ask tough questions. Many publishers will interact with with those asking questions. You will get peoples opinions - good or bad. If the publisher isn't brand-spanking new, then they most likely have a thread there somewhere.
So now that I've shared my tips, have you got any of your own?

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Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own.
From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

You can find Lacey at the following places:
Facebook / Facebook Page / Twitter