"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SP Tip #6 - Check out publisher before signing contract

Most authors are usually so ecstatic when they finally get that book deal offer from a publisher that they forget to do their homework and check out the publisher. This is especially important if you didn't do this before you submitted a query, and even more important for the small to mid-sized publishing company. Major publishers generally have good reputations, which is why they've been in business as long as they have.

Too many publishing companies have bad reputations. Some don't pay their authors on time, some don't keep accurate sales records or give out regular statements, some don't communicate well with their authors, some don't follow through with what they promise, some are only interested in publishing their own books or those of their friends, a few are just plain rude liars who use their authority to abuse their authors. Of course the bad publishers aren't likely to tell you all this.

So who do you get this information from? Their authors.

Before signing that contract, no matter how good it may seem, make sure you contact at least 5 of the publisher's authors and ask them to list 3-5 things their publisher does well and 3-5 things that are problematic. Contact 1-2 authors who had books come out a few years ago; then contact newer authors.

Although authors generally don't like to badmouth their publisher to a stranger or in public, many will give you information via email or they'll tell you in such a way that you can read between the lines. Some will tell you outright that their experience was terrible, or that they wouldn't recommend that publisher to anyone. That should send up a very bright red flag. In simple terms it means, stay clear of that publisher.

You can also check for issues with publishers at http://www.absolutewrite.com/, especially in the Watercooler forums. Or check with Preditors & Editors

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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