While I would love to give you a list of publishers and the exact science to picking the perfect publisher for you, that list doesn't exist and no publisher is perfect. And it is a two-way street, a lot like dating!
But, publishing a book is very personal, so don't let anyone tell you the path you HAVE to travel on your publishing journey. The only path to travel is the path that fits your needs.
But some advice can go a long way, so how do you pick a book publisher or publishing route?
TYPE: Are they the type of publisher you are looking for?.
Types of Publisher is something I address in a different blog post, but I always go back to this, because this is where you start. Don't sign on for self-publishing if you don't want to do all the heavy lifting. And don't sign on for traditional publishing if you want all the control. This is the foundation of the relationship and it needs to mesh with your needs.
MISSION: Do their goals align with yours?
Picking your book publishing is ALL about alignment. I always go to the about us page of every publishing house, illustrator or author I work with and evaluate their mission and vision for publishing. Dreambuilt Books' mission is to provide literature that teaches and inspires our audience. So, when I am approached with manuscripts, if the story does not align with that, I won't accept it to publish. You should use the same criteria as an author.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Do you need an agent or can you submit your work?
This is more logistical. Solicited vs. Unsolicited. Do you have an agent who can approach them (Solicited) or will they work with you directly? It is a big NO-NO to ignore this requirement, so don't. If that is the publisher you want, you may need to go find an agent first.
PACKAGES: What are they offering you?
Understand the details you'd be agreeing to, before you agree. Based on YOUR research, what is the royalty rate you're willing to accept? Do you want an advance? What rights are you willing to give up? What is their communication model? What do you have control of? Are they charging you for services or paying you for your work? And do your research from credible sources to understand what you should and should not expect.
Places I use to Learn: Kindlepreneur, AuthorGuild.Org, Writer's Digest
VIBES: Sounds crunchy, but do you vibe with the publisher?
All of this boils down to, do you mesh? Do you feel good when you communicate with them or do you feel like you're being brushed off/not provided transparency? Is the contact person too aggressive? The publisher you pick is likely to be a relationship you're maintaining for many years, so they can be someone you enjoy or someone you avoid. I advise find someone you enjoy.
I can't say this enough. It is important that you remember this--
This is YOUR publishing journey.
You don't have to work with anyone who doesn't align with you, for any reason!
There is a publisher who will fit you; maybe it's you!
Always research anything you don't know from reputable sources.
And reach out if you every need to run a question by someone who refuses to be pushy about people's publishing path. DreambuiltBooks@gmail.com
Wanna join the inner ranks and help give a new book some wing?