goth

Publishing: Things I Was Thinking About Today

I was cruising around some of the small presses today to check out any open calls and ... What the hell, man?

To the publishers:
If there are terrible grammar and spelling mistakes on your front page, I have to give you the side-eye. Seriously, "they're" is not the same as "there." It leaves me questioning how well the editing will be.
Why do you not have any deadlines on your submission calls? That's something I'm interested in knowing so I can schedule writing around my TV watching.
Your social media settings are wrong. Why didn't you try out your links before putting your site live? That kind of carelessness does not inspire confidence in anyone.
Your site is a WordPress. How do I know? You made no changes to the meta login widget AT ALL, plus you're using a generic free theme.

I was really interested in this one press because the woman running it is a cover artist that did some absolutely beautiful artwork for another company, BUT her new press looks very fly-by-night. The website looks like it was made by someone that knows less about web design than I do, and I don't know much. Spelling errors and grammar errors (a comma is not to be abused) and it basically looks too shady for me. I'll check them out again in the future to see if they're still around. (It also doesn't inspire confidence that I have more Twitter followers, more fans on Goodreads, more fans on Facebook, etc than the press and the owner/operator, who is also an author, put together.)

There are some people that get a wild hair to create a small press. Unless you know what you're doing, don't. Do some research. Read some failure stories and see why they happen. If you're a self-published author needing some way to pimp your shit, becoming a publisher of other people's shit is NOT THE WAY. Especially if you don't correctly incorporate your business, you have no operating budget, and you don't have competent editors.

Anyways, if you're and author thinking about submitting somewhere, run a little research on the publisher. Check out the books they already have out and see if their covers appeal to you. I also run a Google search like this: "Etopia Press Absolute Write" which leads to the topic of Etopia Press at the AW water cooler. It's always good to check and see if other writers have been burned by a particular company before submitting or signing anything. (Etopia seems awesome, btw. I'm thinking about submitting to them.)

If a publisher seems shady, don't sign with them until you do some research. And if a small press is really a self-published author trying to create their own cabal of books, yet they do a worse job than you at editing and cover art and marketing and whatever ... Why don't you just self-pub yourself? It's harder than letting someone else handle the crap parts of publishing, but it's better than signing on with someone that's going to pillage your writing. Why make 40% from their store and 30% from the open market, then have to do your own marketing and you hate your cover? Not worth it.

Research, research, research.