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Salem
08-08-2007, 09:34 PM
I have an offer from a new publisher. Mine would be one of her first three books to be published within the next year. (I have checked the background of the publisher and she seems credible--has published works of her own, teaches classes at a well known university.)

Will a new publisher have good enough resources and contacts? Is it worth signing the rights of my manuscript over to someone with no track record?

I would appreciate any words of wisdom from those of you who are experienced at this. I'm still very new and this is my first manuscript. I can be very patient and don't mind searching around for an established publisher. Thanks!

maestrowork
08-08-2007, 09:54 PM
I can't really say. The fact that she's a published author and a teacher doesn't necessarily mean she knows how to run a publishing company. But maybe she does. The problem is, they have no track records to go by and no previous authors to give testimony, no previous book sales and no books you can actually read to see about the quality, so if you sign with them, it's pretty much a leap of faith.

The questions you need to ask them: a) what are their business plans? b) how do they plan to get books into stores? Distributor? Trade reviews? c) do they give discounts and do they have return policies? -- these are biggies for getting into stores.

If you do decide to sign with them, make sure you look over the contracts, especially about rights, termination, etc. so you're not at a disadvantage.

Birol
08-08-2007, 10:02 PM
It depends. As Ray said, being an author does not teach you the other sides of the publishing process. Publishing is a specialized business.

I'm curious, who published her previous book? Was it self-published?

Also, why did she choose to start a publishing house? What are her qualifications for operating it? What kind of contract does she have in place? Does she have distribution, marketing, a sales force, qualified editors? Is she trying to establish a niche market? Why or why not?

How did you first hear about this publisher?

Can you provide us with the name of the publisher? That would help us help you research it a little better.

Salem
08-08-2007, 10:23 PM
Thank you so much for your responses! There are a lot of questions that you brought up that I wouldn't have thought to ask, being that I've never published anything before. I will definately investigate all of that. I'm very hesitant to jump into anything right away.

maestrowork
08-08-2007, 10:27 PM
Not to be discouraging, but there are many questions you must ask and get answers before making a decision. I like what Uncle Jim said:

1) being badly published is worse than not getting published at all

2) if it's good enough for one publisher, it's good enough for others

Salem
08-08-2007, 10:45 PM
1) being badly published is worse than not getting published at all

2) if it's good enough for one publisher, it's good enough for others

I love these quotes! That's what I was afraid of in the first place--being badly published and losing the rights to my manuscript. And you're not being discouraging at all. The 2nd quote there is very encouraging! Thanks.

Lauri B
08-09-2007, 02:14 AM
One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not hte new publisher has a distributor.

veinglory
08-09-2007, 02:50 AM
It doesn't matter if she is a good professor or author, what is her publishing experience? New publishers are general not a good ide, the may be a not bad idea if they are run by someone experiences, have a good niche and market plan and start up capital. (i.e. doing print runs).

Salem
08-09-2007, 08:17 PM
Thanks for all the advice, everyone! The more I think about it, the more I want to wait. I'll keep submitting...or maybe I'll self-publish...anyone have the number for PublishAmerica? ;)

victoriastrauss
08-09-2007, 08:19 PM
Unless you are absolutely sure that the staff of a new publisher have genuine publishing industry experience, it's a good idea to wait to hook up with a new publisher until it has actually published some books. Not only does this assure you that the publisher is able to take books all the way through the production process, it allows you to assess things like physical quality, whether or not the publisher is getting review coverage, and how it's marketing its books.

New publishers often get into financial trouble (especially if they start up without a business plan), or overcommit their resources, and go out of business abruptly, sometimes without ever publishing a single book. This can be a problem for writers, leaving rights in limbo. It's really much better to hold off on considering a publisher until it has demonstrated some staying power.

- Victoria