So you're going to publish a book – congratulations!
You may still be writing or proofreading your manuscript, but it's never too early to start thinking about how you're going to publish and who you're going to publish with.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you launch into the world of publishing:
Are you going to work with a self-publisher or approach a traditional publishing house?
Each publisher has different expectations. How quickly you need your book in your hands and your budget will both determine whether you'll work with a self-publisher or a traditional publisher. How much assistance you want with layout, design and marketing will determine whether you go with an a la carte service or an assisted publisher.
Above all, you want to be able to trust your publisher.
They'll be handling your creative work, and you want to know that they'll do so with care and respect. Some publishers prey upon the author's ego and promise immediate success, rather than focusing on creating a book that mirrors the author's vision. Ask questions – be inquisitive. You want to feel secure in your decision.
Do your research.
Read any contract and agreement extremely carefully. The contract clarifies the publisher's and author's obligations, and will dictate the royalty agreement. It will also inform you of the consequences of breaching the contract. These are all things you should be familiar with before signing!
The right publisher will be upfront and educate you on the industry.
Good publishers don't just sell unneeded high-priced services; good publishers want their authors to succeed – and will offer services based on those needs.
Remember – you only have one chance to publish your first book. It's integral that you feel 100% confident in your decision.
Once your manuscript is complete and you've decided on a publisher, production begins. Be sure to check out Part II of this series: Book Production.
Written by: Todd Wiebe
Edited by: Julia Dillon-Davis