Have you just finished writing a book that you would like to see published? If you have, you may want to start sending your book manuscript to publishers that fit your genre. Doing so is okay, but before you accept any offers, it is important to know as much about the publishing process as possible. You do not want to end up being the writer that gets taken advantage of or paid less than they are worth because you didn’t take the time to do the research first.
One important point that you will want to take into consideration, when looking to get a book published, is that many publishers have specific wants and needs. For example, one children’s book publisher may be seeking science-fiction books for young adult readers, while another children’s book publisher may be looking for nature-inspired picture books. Since is there a variance, even in a specific genre like children’s books, it is important to know what each publisher wants before sending your manuscript off, especially if your book is not what is needed at the current time. This allows you to not waste your time or money.
In keeping with what a book publisher wants, it is important to learn as much as you can about the publisher and their guidelines for writers. For example, if you are writing an adult book, see if full manuscripts are allowed or if sample chapters or query letters are advised. You will want to make sure that you follow all instructions given by a publisher because if you don’t, your chances of having your book published significantly decrease. The Writer’s Market books, others similar guides and the online websites of publishers can often tell you what is expected of you as a writer.
Before accepting an offer from a publisher, be sure to learn as much as you can about book publishing payments. This is important as not all publishers pay their authors the same amount of money. You won’t want to lose sight of the main goal, which is to make the most money possible. Many first time authors are so excited that a publisher wants to publisher their book that they will accept just about any offer, even one that is significantly less than it should be. Flat rate payments, advance payments, and royalty payments are common methods of payment for book publishers.
In keeping with payment, advance payments are nice, but be sure to closely examine them. You will want to look at the long-term payment. Some publishers make advance payments seem better than they truly are. With that said, some writers, especially unpublished writers, find advance payments, regardless of what they are to be enticing. As for royalty payments, get everything in writing and have a set schedule. What percentage of sales will you receive? When are your royalties counted; on a quarterly or annual basis? How soon can you expect payment after each schedule ends? These are all questions that you will want answers to before agreeing to sign a contract.
The above mentioned points are just a few of the many points that you will want to take into consideration before accepting an offer from a book publisher. Regardless of what genre your book is for or what publisher you receive an offer from, be sure to fully read and examine a contract before signing it. Also, be sure to ask any additional questions that you have. All reputable publishers should be more than happy to answer your questions.