Do you need a Publisher?
Previously, I dealt with the question about needing an agent and I also discussed publishers. Today’s blog dives a little deeper, but may contain similar information.
Concerning Whether You Need a Publisher
How does one seek a publisher? First, you must decide what kind of publisher you need. See my blog on Need an Agent which also covers a Self-Publisher, Traditional Publishing, and the Indie Publisher
This is actually a critical decision. Unfortunately there is a lot of mudslinging going on. Not to mention confusion. In my blogs I have written on the different types of publishing.
But before you make that decision you will want to search the internet and discover who and what these publishers are. Even more important, is to decide the overall direction you want to go.
Which Type of Publisher Do You Want?
In future chapters I examine each type of publisher closer, but here it is important that you know what you need.
Here are just a few things to examine:
- How long are you willing to wait for your book to be published?
- Can you afford $800 or more upfront?
- Are you a new author?
There are other considerations as well. But these three will give you immediate indications as to what you need. For example, traditional publishers often have timelines that result in books being printed as much as two years down the road after signing the contract. On the other hand, self-publishers want you to pay for the privilege which often involves $800 or more.
And if you are a new author there are some publishers who will not consider you simply because you’re new. These are generally found in your larger traditional printing houses.
Then there are the publishers who are like self-publishers but have a minimum order requirement. For instance, I knew of one author who had to buy $5000 worth of copies at a time, which required that he maintain a storage area. Here you have the cost of the books plus storage costs. In his case he stored them at work, but not everyone has that opportunity.
Tip #1: Examine what your needs, perceived and known, are before searching for a publisher.
My First Novel
When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t know about costs, time, or submission requirements. So I began looking for a publisher while in the dark.
Fortunately, I had access to the internet and began learning fast. It didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional publishing was not for me. While they are free and pay royalties, they were too restrictive.
For example, as mentioned in a previous blog, the traditional publishers often required an agent (I didn’t have one) plus prospects for publishing soon were unreasonable (up to two years after signing).
I eventually signed with a self-publishing firm. It cost me about $400 upfront plus the cost of marketing tools which they sold. This was back in 2003, so costs have risen greatly since then.
Among other things this demonstrates that we all have a responsibility to find the right publisher for ourselves. Everybody has an opinion, but you are the one who has to live with your decision.
Read my chapters on the different types. Weigh the facts and decide which one best works for you.
More on the other side of this break.
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Now back to the article.
HANDLING REJECTION FROM A PUBLISHER
This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript, Indie Publishers never reject a manuscript because the Indie Publisher is you.
As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers.
That said, I can say this with authority: Never let rejection slips stop you!
Use them as you would any tool. Learn from them. Why was the manuscript rejected? Did it come with any suggestions as to how you can improve? If so, you should consider them (but don’t violate your own standards).
Another thing to remember is that editors have their own ideas as to what makes successful writing. They are not THE authority.
Tip#2: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.
Since I have never had a book rejected, although I was rejected by an agent, I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.
That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.
But better is this: As I said in the Tip: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.
My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.
You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!
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