Two years after I stopped submitting to New York, I was ready to try the small electronic presses. The list came from RWA, once again, on their website under "approved publishers." This meant epublishers who met RWA's criteria for a legitimate publisher--not a vanity press.
I studied each one on the list and narrowed them down to about ten. The others required something more than I had to offer, or at least some facet that did not apply to me.
With these ten, I made notes of the submission requirements, the appearance of the home page, and very important to me--the covers. (I made another spread sheet!)
During this process, I learned how important covers were to me. Some had covers that were garish, amateurish, too dark, and especially--too sexy. I didn't care for half-naked people in a suggestive pose. This narrowed my list to five. Of the five, I finally chose one that really appealed to me, and I felt I would be proud to have a novel with them.
Next, I sifted through my finished manuscripts, seeking the most polished, the best opening, and the best characters. All my opinion, of course.
I bit the bullet, wrote my query, sent three chapters--and in a week--I was offered a contract!
I have never regretted that choice.
Now that I have had seven publishers, and soon will be narrowed to five, I do have a wide range of knowledge about what publishers offer--or don't offer.
|MY FIRST BOOK|
THE WILD ROSE PRESS
EBOOK AND PRINT
THIS BOOK IS STILL SELLING!
(1) Length of contract. At the beginning, all I saw were two-year contracts. Now the trend seems to be five years. Some of those who offered two, have now changed to five.
Think carefully about this. Five years is a long time. The publisher has a reason for the length, but you might not agree. On the other hand, you might feel secure with five year contract. Think about that carefully.
Note: All My Hopes and Dreams has a two year contract, but it's still selling in its fifth year.
(2) Publisher rights. Publishers list their rights to a movie of your book, an audio book, prints, and anything else that might be invented in the future. The only one I might argue with are the prints. If a print is not promised, why keep the rights? More and more avenues for authors to take on a project on their own exist, and I suspect in this new world of publishing, more will appear. You might want to keep your options open.
|THIS COVER IS BY|
GEMINI JUDSON OF
IT WAS A FINALIST
COVER THIS YEAR
(4) Royalties. Percentages for ebooks and prints are close among all publishers. One publisher I have gives a much high percentage on both.
(5) Price of ebooks and print. The amount set is the publisher's decision. I have ebooks ranging from $3.99 for a full-length novel, to $8.95; and prints range from $9.99 for full-length, to $16.99. Which would you choose as a reader?
(6) Author's Discount. A real sticking point, and one I advise the author to study carefully. On one print, with a very low discount for me, and the high price of the print plus paying the postage, I lost money selling these books in town. At the other end of the spectrum, with a very high discount for me, and a low selling price, I made a nice amount of cash.
(7) Requirements for prints. Study your contract carefully. Usually an author does not know the terms of a contract until it's in hand. If you must pay a certain amount to get prints, don't sign. If you must buy a certain number of books, I do recommend you don't sign--with this one stipulation: if you know you can sell the amount, then go ahead. You'd be buying them anyway.
Praise for Publishers!
(1) One who listens to my concerns and answers in a timely fashion.
(2) One who treats me as an individual and not part of a crowd.
(3) One who sends my books to multiples sell sites.
(4) One who is professional at all times--no scolding or harsh words.
(5) One who likes my book as is and doesn't require rewrites and doesn't make me eliminate a good, useful character.
(6) One who has good editors to help me polish my masterpiece.
(7) One who gives me fair return for my efforts.
(8) One who doesn't play favorites.
Think there's no such publisher? Oh, yes there is. More than one is fact. You just hope you can find one.
If you have an opinion, please share.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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