You’ve finished your book and now you want to find a home for it. You don’t want to self-publish or use a vanity press, so your only option is a small, traditional publisher because the major publishing houses don’t accept unsolicited submissions or require you to have an agent. Here are ten things you should know:
1. Some small publishers actually have outside jobs. These are hobbyists, not serious publishers, and they do a disservice to their authors.
2. Even if you are under contract with the publisher, they may not respond quickly to your e-mails. They may not respond at all. In case you were wondering, this is a red flag. Find another publisher for your future writing projects.
3. Any reviews you get for your book are probably going to be entirely through your own efforts. Don’t expect anything more than lip service from the publisher.
4. Your contract may give the publisher film rights to your book. Don’t hold your breath. Your publisher doesn’t have any Hollywood connections.
5. Even if your publisher works in a variety of genres don’t expect to be treated equally. Writers in the hot genres will receive preferential treatment. If you write mommy porn (AKA Erotic Romance) go to the front of the line.
6. These publishers operate on thin budgets. There is a real chance they will go out of business. The publishing landscape is littered with the carcasses of defunct publishers. Check out Preditors and Editors if you don’t believe me.
7. Don’t assume that your publisher has any real credentials. There’s a better chance they’re a high school graduate than a graduate of an Ivy League MFA writing program.
8. They are probably a staff of one and operate out of their spare bedroom. If they have any staff, it may be a spouse or best friend. Lower your expectations.
9. If the publisher is also an author, don’t be surprised if their writing comes first and pushes back the timeframe for the release of your book.
10. Publishing is a business that requires capital, entrepreneurial flair, and talent in multiple areas. It’s possible your publisher doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Those are my words of wisdom for today. Don’t be discouraged; your mileage may vary.