|What has been your experience with publishers?
In a nutshell, my experience with publishers has been stressful at times, but not horrible. As much as I hate to say it, the easiest part of being an author is actually writing a book. Publishing, design, promotion, and production are where most of the stress comes into play. When dealing with literary agents or publishers, I try to park my ego outside but I refuse to let anyone push me around. I try to stay firm, but humble.
The industry is just that, an industry. Make no mistake. In other words, universally rejected.
It's best to have a reputable and effective agent when dealing with a publisher. Be prepared to promote your own work and since you love what you wrote, why wouldn't you want to do this? If you want to keep a larger % of the profits from your book marketing efforts, self-publishing allows you to do this, but you'll have to be disciplined and possible create various ways to earn money from writing (i.e. grant, proposal, newspaper, magazine writing).
My magazine publishers are great.
My fiction publisher was a disaster. They went bankrupt and took my last six months of royalties with them...ouch!
My experience is, I am sure, different than others. I've worked for a publisher. I've submitted to publishers as an agent/authors representative, and I've submitted my own work.
All of MY personal experience has been good...
I share information about interaction with publishers in my work blog.
I self-publish my books. I have an anarchist, do-it-yourself style for most things. I don't submit to publishers. I don't use an agent for marketing. I do have editors for online publications though.
No experience at all. They seem to be hiding from all who would dare to send them material. I understand that there is a mass of work out there and weeding through it must be very difficult for them. I have recently been trying to find an agent but I think that the subject of my book must be pase' as none seem interested. I am self published printed and so far not very well self marketed. I told a friend that I can sell a million dollar building but do not seem to be able to market a ten dollar book.
So far they have been very helpful.
They want me to write faster (not likely until I retire from the day job), and never publicize/market my books enough [a universal complaint by fiction authors].
I began publishing in print, but now I publish mostly online. I find that online publications (even those that are counterparts to print) often publish more exciting work that breaks the old molds. You also have far more readers and often receive feedback. Still, there are far more stories being submitted each month than slots to publish them. You can't take it too seriously.
So far, I've have wonderful experiences with publishers. I've done a lot of freelance editing for publishers and have enjoyed them a lot and have learned a lot also. When I first started submitting queries, I got very discouraged by the normal form "rejection" letters I got from publishers, but when I realized how many pieces of correspondence they receive, I came to understand the form letters...though I really appreciated those who took five minutes to jot a note on my rejection slip!
I only have experience with newspaper publishers. They have been OK, although prone to let me work in one area for a decade or more before letting me go without the slightest hint of the coming axe.
Book publishers? Hey, that would be neat...
Publishing has changed a lot and I realize I need to update myself regarding that subject (especially online publishing and agents). I've had most of my writing published successly by others in the past without any bad experiences that I can recall (except, of course, for those aggravating rejections!), but have been self-publishing since 1995 (because it guarantees being printed). I realize now that I need to ideally do both, self-publishing and working with publishers and agents.
The book publishing industry is in a state of emergency these days. But it has been that way for some time.
When I wrote my first books, publishers were willing to take a chance on a book by an unknown writer or expert. Heck they would even send that author out on a book tour. You can forget about that today. All publishers want their authors to have a strong platform - meaning that the author can virtually guarantee substantial sales.
It can all be very frustrating for a writer. I once got a big rush from an editor at McGraw-Hill to turn in a manuscript by such-and-such a date. A real short deadline. I hit the deadline, then waited months and months to get any feedback. She wouldn't answer my calls or emails, or those from my co-author. Then one day her assistant called and said that they wanted a substantial rewrite in just a few weeks, so they could work the book into their Spring catalog. So I went ahead and hit that deadline. But by the time I turned the book in again, that editor had left. And the woman who replaced her had little interest in the book, so it got orphaned and never really sold.
That's just the way it is in all businesses today. Not just in publishing. American business is in crisis, so why should publishing be any different? Yet lots of authors like to sit around and feel like they are being victimized. It's the old "I am an artist being victimized by the evil businesspeople" mindset, which I really don't subscribe to. Everybody is being vicimized today. So I would say the best course is to just sit down and write and let the chips fall where they may.
They don't promote. The publisher of my thriller is fairly new and has empty pockets. The publisher of my fantasy (Tate) I have learned is really a vanity publisher (although they deny this intensely). Tate is there to make money off the author, not the sales of the author's books. Tate promises a huge investment in the author's book, but they have done really nothing to promote it.
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