So you wanna be a published author.
Well it ain't gonna be easy – that's for sure.
95% of authors don't make a living at writing.
I once read you need 10% luck 20% talent and a whopping 70% patience. That’s the truth.
Lots of free cash to promote your book.
You also need a publisher you can trust.
There are an awful lot of 'so called' publishers out in the book world, who really have no right to call themselves anything other than purveyors of broken dreams and shattered promises.
These publishers reside mainly in the small press.
Don't give up your day job – important piece of advice this, and not to be overlooked.
Check out Predators & Editors. It's a very valuable resource for would be authors. Here's their link – essential reading.
However, as much as P & E, try to keep their information up to date. There are times when a publisher snares the unwary simply because they have not been informed in time by disgruntled writers.
So, look for other warnings when choosing your publisher.
Suspect a publisher that has to advertise for submissions. It could mean they have so pissed off their authors that they are having to look further afield, for new meat for their grinder.
Check out to see if their writers come back to them more than once or twice with new books. Is their website updated regularly. If not – why not?
Go through the books they have for sale, see if they are best sellers. Amazon has a ranking system. This can be helpful when checking statistics.
Check out forums. And ask your Facebook Friends if they have heard anything about this publisher – good or bad.
Is this publisher busy on social media?
Does it tweet regularly?
Have you seen it advertise on popular writers blogs and the various on-line magazines?
This is a grey area. Like a lot of new authors who have been accepted by a publisher - it is so very easy, to not read the contract too well, and just sign the thing, thanking your lucky stars someone wants to publish you.
This my friends, is a big mistake that can cost you a lot of wasted time and effort. And often – money.
Not just in the time taken to write your 'baby' in the first place, but the time it takes for you to rewrite the book in the way you editor feels it would be better, and then to the final proof reading.
You could find yourself locked into a contract that you can't get out for years, although you are not getting the promotional support and financial rewards you expected.
Litigation isn't the answer. It's costly and you may not win, even though you deserve to. Probably, all you can do, is sit it out, and wait until the contract term ends.
Again, wasted – time.
If you have found a great publisher, that not only supports you and you trust them. Your books are selling well and promotion of your work is not just a promise. And best of all – you get paid on time.
Stick with your publisher - and enjoy being one of the lucky ones!
And at the end of all this, if you have been badly burned. Take the advice of a fellow author's lawyer.
“Forget about it. Write your next book and go indie published.”
Cheers all. And good luck. You'll gonna need it.
Your friend The Riotous Writer.
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