Publisher And Author: Are You A Suitable Match?

suitable-matchIf you are following this series, Publisher and Author, we are moving toward the end of your questions. Delightfully, these were able to be somewhat organized into a process for you. So if you want to go back to re-read any of them of interest, one way to do it is search the internet for: publisher and author + patricia weber. That will get you most of them on the first page of your search.

But in one of the closing posts I will list  titles for you to more easily find something specific is you are looking for it.

On to your questions, starting with:

Did you research the publisher?

This question made me think back to a time when a former potential co-author and I wanted to write a book titled “Don’t Get Nailed: How to Build the House of Your Dreams.” I believe we mailed out, yes real envelopes with stamps on them, about 89 or 98 letters to inquire to publishers who we researched out primarily through a paid subscription with Writer’s Digest. We got the same number of rejections as queries went out.

Then other life situations became more important for each of us, and our passion for the project naturally diminished.

The reason I bring this up is because in both that situation and on receiving the email for me to write from this publisher, research was part of the process.

But it might not be as detailed as some would think in particular an introvert would take.

I wanted to know who some of the other authors were, what kind of books they were writing, could I talk with one or tow, was there any mention of the publisher elsewhere on the internet, anything financial I could find, that type of information.

I researched them to the degree of my curiosity of some things, and then let the feel of the email relationship guide my decision.

What made you go with this publisher?

It really was not any particular information that I uncovered.

Neither was it that I was considering another one. Since I was fortunate to have them come to me, the decision was based more on do I write the book and negotiate what I am able to?

In the end my decision to say, “Yes, send me a contract,” happened in about 3 to 4 weeks of emails back and forth. The editor and I built a relationship that I feel I can trust.

I did not have to put out any money. But I knew it would be a major time investment.

Confirming my decision was that at least two other recently contacted authors would tell me they just signed with this publisher. So maybe either we are all right about trusting the relationship or we are all wrong.

Do you need an agent?

My initial thought about this question, “Gee, I never considered an agent as a paid speaker either.”

In my way of thinking, few of us “needs” an agent. However, if you are the one seeking a publisher it just might be important if you either won’t, can’t or aren’t interested in either researching the publisher, or feel comfortable negotiating. An agent would likely know who is a good match for you and who isn’t.

It is also likely an agent could help you with your proposal. That former potential co-author I had, he previously published a book so his experience in most of the process was valuable. He didn’t have an agent for his own experience.

In the end I suppose it is more of asking, why do I want an agent? And if you do answer with reasons that mean they will do for you what you cannot do for yourself, then find one. And research them too.

What would you include in due diligence of a publisher contract?

What do you think an agent could do for you that you could not do for yourself?



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  1. Cheryl Therrien

    You are most fortunate in that the publisher came to you. The rest of us have to go begging for one. 🙂 Research is important in anything you do. Whether you are making a purchase or looking for a publisher. That’s my view. 🙂
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…Recognizing The Five Stages Of GriefMy Profile

  2. As I read your series it occured to me that I had never rally considered approaching a publisher or an agent. Why? Because I never really saw myself as a writer. I am story teller and that has translated into a blog where I share my stories. I am now on the threshold of self publishing my first book of stories. It will be interesting to see what happens from that.
    Susan P Cooper recently posted…Beef Tips With Mushrooms: RecipeMy Profile

  3. Lorraine Reguly

    I am still researching publishers for my non-fiction book. I have not begun looking for an agent. Things are taking me forever to do. I’don’t know if my book will ever get published!

    I’ve also been working on my ebook, and blogging. I’m needing more hours in the day for everything!
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…Google+ Circles: The Unanswered Questions, Answered!My Profile

  4. Not being a writer I would think you would need an agent to seek out publishers for you. If you got the right agent for your niche you would have a better idea what book editors are looking for. I know this publisher came to you, but do you really know what your book is worth? This is where I think an agent could help. I know you negotiated with the publisher directly cutting out the middle man, but if an agent is involved they want to make money and have a vested interest in you so I would think they would look for the best deal for you.

    Are you tied in with the publisher for future books, or is this a one shot deal?
    Arleen recently posted…KFC Attracts Customers on the Go with Promotional CupsMy Profile

    • Interesting point Arleen.Back in 2007 there were maybe 6 of them. Today, there are dozens. The introvert niche books range from $16 to $20. I’m most confident it is going to be priced perfectly.

      The worth? I think of worth in terms of rare or vintage books. Value. My thinking is the publisher having 1,500+ titles in 10 years will know the value. What is the value when easy introvert angled actions can help with everyday business success? I really don’t believe I needed an agent for other than some fine print that I may have not had put it.

      Nope. Not tied into them for any long term marriage. If it is a win win win, I’m sure another opportunity will come available.
      PatriciaWeber recently posted…Podcast Fun: Your Love of Social Media Communication Can Help You Face To FaceMy Profile

  5. I haven’t given much thought to the idea of an agent. I love writing, but I’m still squirmy about calling myself a writer and if I’m weirded out by that, then I’m not going to be looking for an agent any time soon. 🙂 As I read your series I’m learning so much and while I don’t think the options you have had will present themselves to me (publisher calling out of the blue). It is definitely providing some good food for thought.

    In the spring a book will be coming out about my organization (stories from our front-line nurses). I’m excited about it because It will be a great learning experience for me to work so closely with a publisher. it’s also a chance to see what it takes to promote a book.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…How To Be A Charismatic LeaderMy Profile

  6. Agree that it’s important to research even a publisher before going ahead. Less so in your case because they didn’t ask for money up front. Have heard that there are a lot of new self publishing options around that require you to pay up front. If that is the case it is essential to research the publisher or you may just get ripped off.

    As for an agent, personally believe that for most authors that would be a good idea. At least they will presumably avoid being ripped off by a conman by hiring an agent.
    Catarina recently posted…What makes you follow a leader?My Profile

  7. I think an agent is needed when you are to busy to do the job yourself. Also, hopefully, if they are good, they have a lot of contacts that you would not necessarily be able to tap.

  8. Jeannette Paladino

    My husband spent most of his life in book publishing and he always discussed the difficulty of getting a reputable agent to take you on. It’s worse now, because all publishers want is the blockbuster writer. So finding an agent is incredibly difficult — a long shot, really. That’s why so many authors self-publish now. At least they are more ways to promote their books with the Internet.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…A Primer for Sharing Your Content on Google+My Profile

  9. Jeannette’s words are wise. the market has changed so drastically that is much for difficult to get offers from publishers than it used to be. I decided to self-publish (after having been traditionally published previously) because I wanted artistic control over my work. And because I wanted to see if I could surpass the earnings of a meagre advance (such as what I was offered for y last book.) I think I made the right decision, and am confident that Chocolatour will find its readers once I put my marketing machine in motion.

    I think a publisher or agent would be helpful in helping me find the international contacts I need to get my book out across the world in a big way. But I’m doing it slowly, and slowly, it’s coming together. Cheers!
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…upcoming Chocolatour eventsMy Profile

  10. Things tend to go a bit differently when writing fiction. Most of the bigger publishing houses don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, so getting an agent is crucial. Smaller presses can be easier to work with. All of the dos and don’t tend to make my head spin. You’re lucky you had publishers coming you you.
    Jeri recently posted…Ikea: Furniture Uber-StoreMy Profile

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