What do you want in a Publisher?

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What do you want in a Publisher?

Postby CrystalSpiritinc » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:09 am

Greetings all,

I have been doing a little research regarding the reasons authors move towards the Self-Publishing route. I know that for some,it is beneficial because they don't want to lose control, want more royalties, don't want to wait more than 12 months etc. There are plenty of reasons, all that I find valid and to be honest were some of the same reason I started out as a self publisher. However; if you were to consider publishing with a traditional publisher, what is it that you would want or need? As a publisher, I am starting to receive manuscripts from authors that either tried the self-publishing way and it didn't work for them or they are still not sure as it can be a little scary.

So, I am trying to see what could be done to address their needs (being proactive) before I even consider the option.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Crystal Spirit Publishing, Inc
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Re: What do you want in a Publisher?

Postby pls » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:51 am

Vanessa, I would want transparency, quick, honest responses to queries and questions, generous royalties, treatment as an equal in a writer-publisher joint partnership, and an all-out marketing program - again, a joint writer-publisher effort - in a publisher.
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Re: What do you want in a Publisher?

Postby shadowwalker » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:00 pm

I want a fair advance and royalty rates; editors who know what they're doing working with me to give the book its final polish; format and distribution to all outlets; marketing strategies proven to work. Publicity would be nice, but I'm patient, so as long as the marketing is done right, I'm fine. I'd want veto power on book cover, but otherwise willing to concede the experts usually know what they're doing there. Also, I want them to have a good enough reputation so I can concentrate on my writing and not worry they're going to muck things up elsewhere.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

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Re: What do you want in a Publisher?

Postby trracki » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:29 pm

Currently I am focused on that great debate between self-publish and traditional as I near completion on my manuscript. What I like about traditional publishers is they have the knowledge to make my manuscript the best it can be. They also know what works and what doesn't work in terms of price, page count, cover, formatting, etc.. They have the network to make sure that the book gets out into the right hands so that its more widely reviewed and promoted.

What I don't like about publishers is how they treat their authors. First authors have to somehow climb out of the slush pile, which is touted to be a 1-in-100 odds event. Then they have to have an agent because if they don't the publisher is going to know they can put the screws to the author, even then the screws are still applied. Once the contract is signed now the publisher says, "this is mine not yours" and you have to accept the cover and the title and say goodbye to residual rights.

Why is publishing not a partnership? Why is there a sort of master-slave mentality?

I'm the rare breed of author that makes a good living doing something else but still wants to write because they love it. I'd like to call writing my second profession. I want my books to succeed and am willing to put down a decent amount of money to do that, namely decent marketing (avg. marketing budget is $5K I read), and am willing to do a lot of legwork to make sure the word gets out about how my book is entertaining and it deserves a read. My fear is that a publisher is going to still give me a lousy royality regardless of how much money and how much time I put into building my platform. How is that fair?

I spoke with a four book, bestselling author, last week. He said that he had given up on traditional publishing because the royalties were a joke. He was making 3x more money self-publishing in eBook format only and that his 5th book wouldn't go print even though he had a traditional publisher asking for a contract. When I am told things like that it makes me really rethink going the traditional route.

I want a 50/50 partner, not a dictator.

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Re: What do you want in a Publisher?

Postby ken9901 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:45 am

Has anybody tried Pentian.com ? They are a crowdfunded publisher with an interesting business model and seemingly great distribution.

They cite nice case studies like this Houston Chronicle story by Dennis Abraham who wrote a book of Shakespeare for YA audiences called "The Play" http://bit.ly/1t3CTXf

Or this by R.J Huneke on his novel Cyberwar http://bit.ly/1xh13II

Note to users: the links in this post are genuine. No need to report the post. Note to poster: do not crosspost. Once is enough, and your other post has been removed -pls, mod.

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Re: What do you want in a Publisher?

Postby keWhee » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:30 am

pls wrote:Vanessa, I would want transparency, quick, honest responses to queries and questions, generous royalties, treatment as an equal in a writer-publisher joint partnership, and an all-out marketing program - again, a joint writer-publisher effort - in a publisher.

Well, I think everything you just described you can have....in yourself. Those qualities are the basis for what self publishing is all about in my opinion. As I have began the tedious process of trying to find a literary agent, I'm finding the research into to that is more involved then the actual writing of the manuscript. Agents are just people and you have to do thorough research on each one to see not only what their personal preferences are (social and political agendas included) as well as what type of authors and manuscripts do they already represent.

Being a tech geek myself, I'm finding it much easier to find the right material about self-publishing than actual navigating the gatekeeper process. It really comes down to what you goal in your writing really is. For me, I just want to tell my stories and find out how the public receives them and if I can make a buck or two all the better.

The technology available today is astounding, and believe me it will get better as it goes along. I truly believe that self publishing will one day open the door between the traditional publishers/agents and many of the authors who have great stories who are mired in the slush pile. One only has to see the examples of travel agents, block buster and the music industry to see how much technology and the infinite number of gadgets the greater public has impacted those traditional businesses. The impact of technology on those mediums has been revolutionary to the norm in only a decade.

I hope I'm right. I hope the self publishing business is both a boon for aspiring writers and the publishers who will one day embrace the medium.

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