Author Ann Mayburn joins us for the second part of her guest blog on e-publishing. Just how do you find the right e-publisher for your manuscript?_______________________________________
What’s an author to do? Research! If you can spend six hours perfecting the type of poison your dastardly bastard would use in ancient Greece in the summer during a draught and what kind of wine was grown in that region that it would be mixed into, you can research a perspective publisher.
Google them, go to the different book selling sights and see what they have listed. Does the cover art suck? If so, you may want to pass. This is totally a personal opinion, but I think that if publishers have second rate covers the rest of their operations tend to be second rate as well.
Talk to their authors. Chances are if you send one of their authors a polite email asking for their experience with their publisher, they’ll tell you. I know authors that have been more than happy to tell me that they would never publish with XXX publisher again and why. Above all else, buy at least five of their books. It will give you an idea of their quality control and what type of work they publish.
I currently have books signed with three different publishers. I researched all of them before submitting and did all of the steps outlined above, including contacting authors. With all three every author I contacted had nothing but good things to say about them.
Why three instead of just one? I’m a prolific writer and I wanted to go with publishing houses that specialized in different areas that I like to write in. In my personal opinion, and I know many will beg to differ, I think I reach a wider audience by being published with more than one house. At the end of the day all my work ends up at the same eBook sellers no matter which house I publish with.
I picked Liquid Silver Books(LSB) to handle my romantic urban fantasy series and a few stand alone books in different genres. LSB has been around since 2005 and has a proven track record of putting out fantastic romance, fantasy and urban fantasy books that ride the cutting edge of the genre. I’m a fan of many of their authors and have enjoyed the work they put out. They have a strong web presence and their authors love them.
I chose Loose Id to handle my super steamy hot hot hot erotic romance. Established in 2004, they publish intelligent, sensual, and envelope pushing erotica. Well known in the erotic romance market, they are a very professionally run organization and the most consistent of my publishers in their business approach. They treat their authors with the utmost respect and always strive to put out the best material possible.
Finally, I did the forbidden. I went with a brand new ePub. But Ann! You said don’t go with brand new ePubs! You said any asshole can call him or herself a publisher! Yeah, I did. I never follow my own advice. 😉
Decadent Publishing caught my eye after I read a very passionate blog post by one of the owners. Her enthusiasm for her company and the impressive roster of known authors that had signed with them reinforced my gut feeling that I wanted to work with Decadent. I took a chance on them and they took a chance on me. I am now happily eyeball deep in edits for my first novel with them with a second waiting in the wings.
I would like to reinforce that you should ALWAYS research new ePubs and if at all possible, wait at least a year to see how they are doing. I got lucky, really really lucky, that Decadent has turned out to be such a great organization. Let’s face it, we want to believe that the publisher that offers us a contract is awesome. After all, if they recognized our brilliance and bought our book they must be amazingly gifted and talented. 😉 No matter how nice they are to you, no matter how skinny they tell you your butt looks in those jeans, remember that writing is your business and should be treated in as professional of a manner as possible. That includes not picking a publisher just because they have a cute fuzzy bunny in a bikini logo.
If you have any questions I’d be more than happy to answer them as best I can. While far from being the expert on ePublishing, I have recently run the gauntlet of getting published for the first time. Hopefully I can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that come with ePublishing and help you find the confidence to submit!