Over the past 10 years, I’ve trained nearly 500 authors and consulted with over a dozen publishing houses of all sizes. Throughout my interactions in the industry, I’ve listened to a lot of complaints from authors, and I’ve witnessed some unprofessional behavior by publishers. But, there are also good publishers doing great work everyday. If you’re an author who wants to know the difference between a good publisher and a bad publisher, these are the 10 tell-tale signs:
1. Good publishers get books onto the major retail bookstore shelves.
Bad publishers tell authors they’ll get “distribution,” which means no shelf placement at all.
2. Good publishers hire enough staff to handle the workload.
Bad publishers expect a skeleton staff to do everything without hiring more people.
3. Good publishers hire experienced professionals as editors and marketers.
Bad publishers hire college kids, throw them to the wolves, and hope they last.
4. Good publishers routinely get books onto the big bestseller lists.
Bad publishers only dream of making a real bestseller, like a losing baseball team that has never hit a home run.
5. Good publishers respond to author questions within days.
Bad publishers give authors the silent treatment for weeks.
6. Good publishers pay fair advances, such as $10K, $100K, or more.
Bad publishers insult authors with tiny advances of $1,000 – $5,000.
7. Good publishers keep their books updated on Amazon, where the vast majority of books are sold.
Bad publishers put their books on Amazon and never look at them again.
8. Good publishers admit up-front that they don’t give equal treatment to all books.
Bad publishers claim equal treatment for all books but leave most to a quiet death.
9. Good publishers create tailored marketing plans that maximize audience reach and the author’s platform.
Bad publishers use the same cookie-cutter marketing plan template and fit every book into it.
10. Good publishers silently respect how Amazon’s KDP self-publishing service is transforming the industry.
Bad publishers silently fear that Amazon’s KDP self-publishing service may put them out of business.
P.S. – If you think I’m being hard on publishers, wait until I reveal, “Good Authors, Bad Authors, and the Difference.”
Also, I offer a modified version of my Book Marketing Master Class specifically designed to help any publisher’s editorial and marketing teams get even better at selling books. Click here for details.