Like in any shopping experience in life, customer service is paramount. Don’t ever overlook it, chances are you’ll end up with a subpar product.
Turns out I decided to post about writing in a different blog thread, check it out here – A writing Journey
Instead, I’m gonna proceed onto publishers. This is the big one. I had so many questions when I started looking for my first publisher. Is it worthwhile trying for a traditional publishing house? What are the costs associated with self-publishing? Do I aim for a domestic release only? What will be the return per copy? Do I do ebook release only? Plus so many more. So I’ll try and cover as many of these as I can, just a quick reminder that all of the information below is based on my own experience and could be wrong or not apply to your situation. If you think I’ve missed something important or just want to add your own experience then let me know! I’d love to expand my knowledge in this field.
Self-publishers are unique snowflakes – I researched over a hundred self-publishing companies from around the world before I selected the two I used, and yes that’s not a typo, I did use two. I’ll explain later. Back to the point, these publishers are so numerous and so unique that you could get lost in the spiderweb that is publishing. Every single one is trying to outdo the other with some different perk or gimmick. That might be the wrong word, but after you hit up a dozen or so, you’ll start to see the ‘bonus offer’ for what it is. Not necessary. They all have a unique flair to their publishing style and you’ll probably not grasp this flair until you actually commit to working with them. That’s an important note actually, remember that you will be working WITH them, not FOR them. When I really break it down though, they work for you. But as you go along, provided you have a good experience with them you’ll start working harmoniously together.
There are a couple of things I recommend checking off when choosing a publisher. I wish I did this the first time around, but hindsight’s a bitch.
1 – Choose a local publisher, someone who understands your demographic. Who you are and where you’re from.
2 – Make sure they’re fluent in the language you will be publishing in. Else there will be confusion, lots of confusion.
3 – Ensure they have exceptional customer service and ownership. This is paramount. You are going to have questions, lots of questions and if they are aren’t ready to answer them then don’t bother. This is a serious stage, you’re committing to the final product and your nerves and anxiety will be at a stroke before meltdown. The best way to gauge customer service ability is to send through an enquiry email about their services with a bunch of questions. If you get a prompt well written and informative response, then you’re probably gonna have a good time.
4 – Thoroughly read through the services they provide. You might find that a publisher doesn’t do print well after you’ve started out with them. This could be an issue. So make sure you read through the services. I found a lot of publishers do package deals and in some cases, they’re able to cut the cost if you’ve already done some of the legwork. For example, the package I chose included cover design, but I had already done that. So it was a cost removed when it came to paying the publisher.
5 – Payment flexibility. This is going to be one of the most expensive parts of your publishing journey. So be upfront with your publisher, let them know you don’t have a freezer full of cash. They understand because they’re a business, and more often than not will offer some kind of payment plan. The great thing about this is that you can still publish while paying it all off.
6 – DO NOT USE AN ONLINE-ONLY PUBLISHING SERVICE FOR YOUR FIRST TIME. Now don’t laugh, but I used an online-only publisher a few month before I found MoshPit Publishing. These publishers are definitely cheaper, and the reason for this is because they cut overheads. You do everything, size selection, editing, cover work, font and print sizing. If you’ve never published before then this is going to get messy. I had no idea what the industry font size was or if I wanted to use it and after getting a couple of test prints I realised it just wasn’t going to work. The test prints came with double spacing, or blank pages here and there, or margin gaps and errors. It is not worth the hassle. When I moved to work with MoshPit, they did all of this stuff and it was awesome. My first test bring was near perfect and I physically felt my nerves vanish.
I think that’s a good start for publishers. I have more and I’ll put it all together in another post next week. As usual, check out my Facebook and Insta. Give my page a share, and don’t forget to visit your Grandparents and tell them about me. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.