Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Need For Doing Your Homework Couldn't Be Greater

You know me. You know that I am a big proponent for doing your research and your homework before you make the big jump to professional publishing. Up until now, the biggest things I have pushed for is knowing the business and knowing the voice and style of the publishers and the agents. Yet, at this time in publishing, that need for research has increased significantly for writers.

It seems that there are more and more people out there who will tell you they are writing a book or have written a book. Maybe it is because we have a lot of people out there with stories to tell, but in my personal opinion, it is the rise in opportunities for writers to get their books "in print." It seems that self-publishing opportunities, small presses, independent presses and so forth are coming on to the scene every day in huge waves. It is for this reason that we need to encourage a lot more research.

Now don't get me wrong. These are some great opportunities for writers and not everyone out there is bad. But, the simple truth is there are A LOT of publishing opportunities out there and certainly some are better for you than others. Just doing a quick internet search is only going to scratch the surface and, most likely, these will be just local people.

As you look through these publishing opportunities, you need to really see what these people can do for you you. This goes beyond the cover and the printing. Are they providing strong editorial work? A lot of people will provide editorial work, but is it going to help you get your product the recognition it deserves? What about reputation? And yes, distribution is key.

This last one is really important. You need to insure your book gets seen by the readers. Getting it out there is one thing, but getting it to many readers is something different, Consider the recent moves by some of the bigger bookstores to not carry some specific e-book lines due to some legal complications (hint, these are two big dealers out there).

I could really go on and on of all the things you should look for, but this post would go on forever. The reality is that this is a "buyer beware" market and writers have to be very clear what they are getting into. I know it is happening due to the number of submissions I get of writers trying to "fix" what they got into and now need an agent. And by the way, it isn't just me. I have spoken with a lot of other agents who have said the same thing.

Just be careful. That is all I ask!

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