Publish date:

Things to Check, and Some Warning Signs

Before getting into any self-publishing venture, follow these steps.
Author:

Look at other books the publisher has produced. Does the interior formatting look professional? Are all the pages in order? Is the cover art attractive? Are the books of good quality? In other words, does the company produce a professional impression, or does it look like someone threw the books together in his garage?

Request references. And use them.

Talk to people who've used the publisher's services (other than those you've been given as references by the company). Are they happy with the quality of the books? Did they receive all the books they paid for? Did they have any problems getting hold of their books after they were published? Have there been any broken promises?

Choose a publisher that has an arrangement with a wholesaler such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor. That way, even if your books aren't stocked in bookstores, people will at least be able to order them.

If the publisher makes promises, verify them. If the publisher says it has an arrangement with a distributor, make sure it's telling the truth. If there are promises of marketing, ask for sample catalogs, ads, publicity releases and so on, and check their quality (vanity publishers often produce very unprofessional marketing materials). If the publisher claims to be able to get your book into bookstores, check bookstores to make sure you can find the publisher's books.

Comparison shop. Every company offers a slightly different mix of services and options. Costs (and the quality of the finished product) can also vary widely. Make sure the publisher you choose is the one that best fits your needs.

—Used With Permission From Writer Beware (www.writerbeware.org).

Why We Should Read Middle Grade Fiction as Adults

Why We Should Read Middle Grade Fiction as Adults

Young Adult fiction has surpassed its own demographic by being acceptable to read at any age. Why have we left middle grade fiction out of that equation? Here’s why we should be reading middle grade fiction as adults and as writers.

What Are the 6 Different Types of Editing?

What Are the 6 Different Types of Editing?

When you reach the editing phase of your manuscript, it's important to know what kind of editing you're looking for in particular. Author Tiffany Yates breaks down the 6 different types of editing.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Imayo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the imayo.

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Congratulations to Elaine Howley, first place winner in the Print or Online Article category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning article, "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Congratulations to Olga El, first place winner in the Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning TV Pilot script, "Jaguar Woman."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Congratulations to Nicole Adabunu, first place winner in the Non-Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning poem, "won't you celebrate with me."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Congratulations to MF Slattery, first place winner in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's the winning poem, "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Mainstream/Literary Short Story First Place Winner: "Tracks"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Mainstream/Literary Short Story First Place Winner: "Tracks"

Congratulations to Elizabeth Rosen, first place winner in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning story, "Tracks."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Genre Short Story First Place Winner: "A Brief Cameo"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Genre Short Story First Place Winner: "A Brief Cameo"

Congratulations to D. M. Ullrich, first place winner in the Genre Short Story category of the 89th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's his winning story, "A Brief Cameo."