Your Pick of Publishers


I’ve blogged about the topic of new and inexperienced publishers in the past, and for those of you who are regular followers of my blog (and probably sick of reading my lectures about using caution when seeking a publisher), I apologize. For those of you who are new here and might be new to writing, I hope I can help you make an informed choice when it comes to making decisions about publishing your book.

I recently read a post by a Facebook acquaintance who is setting up her own publishing company. She’s a very nice lady. From what I can tell, she seems very honest and dedicated. She’s written several books, has organized book signings, and even has her own online radio show. She has many admirable qualities. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t trust her with my books. Not in a million years.

This nice, dedicated, determined lady has almost no grasp of grammar or punctuation. Her Facebook posts are littered with grammatical errors and her “edited” books aren’t really any better. Her assurance that she has secured the services of an editor for her business doesn’t make me eager to check out her publishing company. If the editor for her business is the same person who edited her published books, I fear her new company is not going to be producing quality reading material.

Like I said, this lady seems very nice. It gives me no joy to make such dire predictions about the future of her new venture. I truly hope her publishing company is successful and I hope the authors who sign on are happy with their publishing experience. I hope no one involved ends up disappointed or disillusioned if things don’t work out the way they expect.

If you’re a new writer who is seeking publication for the first time, you have a wide variety of choices. It can be difficult to choose between a traditional publisher, an indie publisher, or self-publishing. You might be overwhelmed by the decision-making process. Or maybe you’ve already queried numerous agents and/or publishers and have received a batch of rejection slips. You might feel tempted to settle, to take the easy route, to answer the call of the brand new publisher who is enthusiastic, but not very experienced. After all, what do you have to lose?

A lot, actually. Handing over your book to a new or substandard publisher can damage your career and possibly ruin your reputation as an author. You could lose time, money, and maybe even your will to write.

Most people assume that someone who runs a publishing company knows something about publishing, but that’s not necessarily true. Anyone can claim to be a publisher. Anyone can set up a website. A publisher who has the best of intentions can ruin your book’s chances at success just as thoroughly as a publisher who is out to scam you.

Don’t be in a rush to sign with the first publisher who shows interest in your book. Don’t settle. Picking a publisher is a huge decision and not one to be rushed. If you need more information about screening publishers or in choosing the perfect publishing option for you, these posts might help:

What Can Your Publisher Do For You?

The Plague of Independent Publishers

The Costs of Self-Publishing

Can You Afford An Attorney? Can You Afford Not to Hire One?

An informed author is a happy author. Do your research and trust your instincts. And keep writing!




21 thoughts on “Your Pick of Publishers

    • Thanks for sharing, Joleene. There are a lot of nice people out there who have great intentions when setting up a publishing company, but it’s a tough business. It takes more than good intentions to do everything that needs to be done when publishing and promoting a book.


    • So true. People judge you by the way your book is presented. If your book is published with errors in the blurb, readers are going to be turned off. It’s important to make a good impression in your Facebook posts, Tweets, and other social media interactions. Mistakes happen, but too many make you look sloppy or illiterate. (I’d love to hear more about the conversation you had this weekend. Sounds interesting.)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is sad — sad but not surprising. Given the number of aspiring authors who are pretty clueless about what goes into producing a book (from the writing to the editing to the production to the marketing), I’m not surprised that there are equally clueless aspiring publishers. At the same time, I came up through the feminist Women in Print movement. I know how crucial independent publishers, from the very small to the relatively large, can be. In those days, most of the publishers, like most of the booksellers, learned by the seat of our pants. We didn’t have publishing or bookselling backgrounds, or much in the way of capital either.

    It’s not news to anyone that the current publishing scene is in massive flux. It’s frustrating, both for capable, committed writers and for readers in search of good books. Indie publishers can provide a way out of this mess. They can do what feminist and other indies did in the old days, and are still doing: identify good books, help make them better, develop markets for those books, and, in the process, give readers the assurance that anything from this press is worth taking a chance on, even if it’s not something they’d usually read. To do this, they have to be selective. They’ll turn down many more mss. than they accept, and some of those mss. will be worthy of publication. A world with many indie publishers, each with its own interests and criteria, to me is a better world for both writers and readers than a world in which a handful of conglomerates serve as gatekeepers and everyone who doesn’t make it through the gates floods the market with their efforts.


    • There are some fantastic indie publishers out there. Writers just need to do their research and make sure they choose a good one. Some writers lament the lack of gatekeepers, but I’d rather have an environment where everyone who has a story to tell has an opportunity to tell it, than an environment where writers are locked out and silenced. Great comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing how many people think they can just put up a website and be a publisher. In many ways, it’s better to take a self-publishing route than to go with an unvetted publisher.


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  5. Wow! This is sound advice and well articulated! We truly are judged by the company we keep, so authors need to do their homework before they jump into an alliance. So glad to have found you, and am now onto reading more of your posts, due to the quality of this one!


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