How to Deal with Publishers

Thursday, August 09, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 0 Comments

Do you know how to deal with publishers? Self-publishing can be a writer’s logistics nightmare if you don’t know what’s coming in the days ahead. But let’s make sure you don’t curse publishers for good. Here are a few suggestions to make your experience smooth-sailing.

How to Deal with Publishers

Here are a few pictures of the book that I worked on. Initially, the book I approved did not look like the book that finally got to my doorstep – and you can imagine the trouble of having to return hundreds of books back to the publisher because the books didn’t make the cut. (Publishing houses are managed by human beings – so yes, they are bound to make mistakes.) I share more details in my article on the pitfalls of self-publishing.

How to Deal With Book Publishers

Below, I share a few suggestions on how to make sure you can publish your book without too many problems. But yes, there will always be problems - count on that and you won’t be too surprised when you encounter them.

  • If you want to self-publish successfully, always follow up with your publisher. Did your publisher say they’re coming out with a sample in a week? Then, check back before one week is over. Did you tell the publisher to correct a few margin errors? Then, ask for another sample that respects the new corrections. Remember, publishers deal with many books everyday. They just might forget your request – even if you emailed it – and it’s best to err on the side of caution.
  • Make sure to choose a publisher that listens to you. If the person in charge of a publishing house seems not to care about your requests or fails to listen to your specifications, don’t make the mistake of assuming that they will listen once you pay up. No, their behavior will be the same before and after they receive your check. Keep reading for more tips on how to deal with a publisher.
  • Compare quotes and consider all expenses before choosing a publisher. How much are you planning on selling your book for? The publisher’s quote may be too much; your book might become too expensive to the point of being unprofitable. Learn to cut your losses if necessary. And make sure you read on how to freelance and actually earn enough to pay the bills.
  • Build rapport with your publisher. Have an amicable chat with them outside of work. Make sure they see you not just as a client, but as a person who needs a great book. This sensitizes your publisher to your reasonable demands.
  • Learn to be firm with your publisher. You agreed on glossy paper, but they printed a thousand books using matte paper. The publisher pleads with you, saying the matte paper looks even better and that they’ll run a deficit if they have to reprint. Their loss is not your fault; you don’t have to suffer for their mistakes. But let them down gently. And despite the pleading, be firm with your demands.

Despite the many things that can (and will) go wrong when you self-publish a book, I hope the above tips help ensure a wonderful experience for you. Know how to deal with publishers – and never assume that all of them are out to get you, because some of them really have your best intentions at heart! Avoid the horrors of self-publishing by doing your research. Check back soon for updates on the self-published book I mention here! And don’t forget to find me on Twitter or Facebook.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!