Should I Use A Publisher? 10 Questions To Ask | Just Publishing

Given what happened to Leila Samarrai recently, she has now learnt the hard way that everything is not as it seems in the often murky periphery of the literary world. Happily Leila has now found someone trustworthy to translate her work Till Words Do Us Part, from her native Serbian into English.

The accompanying post below could not be more timely, or indeed relevant, not only for her but for all of you. As usual, Derek states the blindingly obvious. Like myself, he has been writing for years. If someone like Derek or I don’t drum some much needed common sense into your heads, who will? Remember that both of us have learnt the hard way. So pay attention!

Face it people, we’re in a cut-throat business. The writing game isn’t for the faint hearted, easily offended, or the blissfully naive among us. If you want to survive within the literary world, you have to be made of far sterner stuff and above all, be wide awake when dealing with anyone offering services to writers, particularly if they want you to part with some of your hard earned cash. Poor Leila found that out.

As for landing a publisher, one who is actually prepared to edit, format, publish and promote your book these days, believe me, they are non existant! None of the five major publishing houses do it. So why would you expect to find a small press prepared to do everything for you?

Yes most will at least offer editing, formatting and cover design as well as publishing. But that is it these days, which is why both Derek and I prefer the Indie route to what’s currently on offer. Besides, both of us are Anzacs. He is from Australia, now living in Switzerland. I was born here in the UK, but spent the largest chunk of my life in New Zealand, before returning to my birthplace. In other words we both come from practical backgrounds where you learn to do everything for yourself. It teaches you so much.

But, if you don’t want to go down the full Indie route like us, the ten questions Derek has clearly set out here need to become the standard ones you employ when talking to any publisher. Why? To save yourselves a lot of trouble. Never ever rush in to any deal offered to you, no matter how good it sounds. Ask these questions first! If the publisher is in any way reticent, avoid like the plague.

Now read and inwardly digest.

Should I Use A Publisher? 10 Questions To Ask | Just Publishing.

24 thoughts on “Should I Use A Publisher? 10 Questions To Ask | Just Publishing

  1. Excellent questions all, Jack. I did most of that with a publisher who offered to take my book and decided not to accept the offer. Most publishers I’ve run into don’t market for you, so why on earth would you want to hand your book over to them – especially when you make less on the sale of your book than if you go the indie route. I decided to stay and indie and hired a marketing group.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks Jack for this post! Information I need to know when I get there with my books! I get the minimal marketing by traditional publishers. Part of the required non-fiction book proposal includes YOUR marketing plan and how many public “connections” you have. Christine


  3. I think most writers have a romantic notion of being trad published, which is as far removed from reality as you can get! I think the rise of Indie publishing will see more writers achieving moderate success, and fewer big celeb authors like JK and Steven King. We’ll probably also see more one off phenomenons like 50 Shades.


  4. This is so good. Self-published indie authors need to read this and take it to heart. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with the publishing industry not following through. I’m content with my own promotion and my own advertising, which I do mostly for free through blogging, twitter and other social media.


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