Monday, April 1, 2013

"There are three different difficulties in authoriship: to write anything worth publsihing, to find honest people to publish it, and to find sensible people to read it." Charles Caleb Coulton

Recently, I posted on my Facebook account, asking for ideas on what to post on my blog. Only one person responded, and asked me to talk about the pitfalls of publishing and doing your research when choosing to go with a publisher.

In this person's instance, they accepted a contract from a publisher about a year ago. It took the publisher almost a year to edit, then they published it, without going back to the writer to review edits. Then, when the author purchased a copy of their book for their e-reader, they found major gramatical errors littered throughout the first 20 pages, and so on throughout the rest of the book.

Let me start off by saying that any publisher that takes almost a year to edit should raise red flags. Editing, from start to finish, shouldn't take more than a month, maybe two. That is including the time that it goes back to you as a writer to review, accept, decline, or change any edits or story content. It is your job as a writer to stop everything you are doing when you get your edits (no matter what round) and really go through the manuscript. IT IS YOUR BABY. Treat it as such. You DO NOT want work with your name out there that has issues, gramatically, plot wise, or character wise. It is your job to see to it that the story is well rounded, that the characters are diverse, and that it is readible.

Do your research on the publisher you are offered a contract with. Google is such an amazing tool. Just type in the name of the publisher and you will be able to find different conversations about that publisher the deeper you go. Research their other books, are they quality? Is it the kind of publisher you want representing your book? As a writer, you hold all of the cards prior to getting published. Don't be so quick to jump on the bandwagon of being a published author. Having a quality product is worth the wait.

I personally got offered for a contract at a smaller publisher house for my first book, Kismet. It is too long for my current publisher, and I didn't feel like taking out 20k words, so I was excited. Then, I got back my first round of edits. There were NO edits. No line edits, content edits, etc. I told the publisher that I wasn't interested in working with them any longer. They asked me to give them one more shot, and so I did. When it came back, there were like 3-4 edits per page, and that was it!! Keep in mind, this is my first book, so I know a LOT of editing needs to be done. I ended up telling the publisher that I was cutting ties. Now, I'm back on editing the book, working on cutting out 20k words, and sticking with my current publisher. My current publisher, Decedent Publishing, is AMAZING. I don't plan on going anywhere any time soon.

In short, do your research when deciding to go with a publisher. Putting your name on crappy work is NOT how you want to get your name out there. Multi-Published Author's get away with a LOT more than what newbies can get away with.

Best of luck in your endeavors!


Erin Pryor

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