If 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?