Don’t Plunge In…Research First…


Exorbitant – definition: going beyond the limits of what is fair; reasonable, or expected

article-new_ehow_images_a00_0h_jc_format-manuscript-submission-800x800When we are ready to share our words – with the world – there are quite a number of stumbling blocks to overcome. Do we find an agent, a vanity press, a traditional publishing house or go the self publish route? There are pages and pages of ‘publishing’ sites on the internet, all offering fantastic deals. So how do we ensure we will be treated fairly?

Firstly, try a site called Writers Beware, which is a useful tool in finding a number of companies who have been ‘flagged’ as unfair or downright criminal. It is not an exhaustive list covering all genres but it is a good place to start.  http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/

Another is http://www.canauthors.org/links/publishers.html for those of you in Canada.

It is best to thoroughly research the publishing organizations you want to approach before sending a query or a sample of your work. You are probably as aware as I am, of numerous horror stories (unfortunately) of authors paying out vast sums of money with nothing to show for it at the end. Utilize your writing group and other authors you are in contact with to investigate ‘publishing’ options.

Initially look at the publishing credits on books in your own genre – if the same name keeps coming up it should bode well as a reputable company. If you are brave you can approach the authors and ask what their experience is/was with that particular company. If not see if there are reviews or comments to be found regarding that particular company. Obviously, comments on the actual company site could be fabricated so treat them with a grain of salt, unless there are a bonafide author names/links with them. The more research you do the better.

I did find a few Codes of Practice – http://www.akmedea.com/pubsassn.html  – which was updated in 1997 but only for the UK, I believe. And http://www.americanpressassociation.com/code.php for those of you in America.

It is very easy to just jump in with the first companies you find highlighting your genre – because, as we all know,  the idea of being a published author is all consuming. Try not to get carried away with the excitement. It will pay dividends literally and figuratively if you spend time safeguarding your work and yourself from future disappointment and financial lost.

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