The worst of the worst publishers are also the easiest to find…for the obvious reasons to rip people off. However, the best or really good ones are pretty easy to find as well so searching for a publisher can be like playing sharks and minnows by doing an Internet search. Even the DIY alternative has these perils when it comes quality of work and price since you are taking a chance and don’t know the person.
99.99% of newbie authors are not going to know the good guys from the bad guys at first glance without doing some background checks or talking to other people. It is almost like telling someone who has never been to the ocean or learned about it at all and then asking them to identity the bottle-nosed dolphin from a bull shark. It is purely chance if they answer correctly.
Publishing experts all realize the power of the internet and the strength of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a topic for later and a valuable tool for authors. The concept is very simple, but it is very powerful. This is how they rank so high on Google and other search engines when someone puts in a keyword like: “self publishing companies”. SEO is just one way that publishers are easily found. You get both good and bad publishers when you do this since both sides of the publishing force understand this concept. They dump a ton of money into this and have experts working on this day in and day out to make sure they stay up there since the Internet changes all the time and not just every once in a while.
In some author communities and portals I see publishers camping out there–both good and bad. It’s obvious isn’t it? They are basically fishing for their potential clients. It works the same way as authors hanging out with the readers on Goodreads, but Goodreads has proper channels in how author promote themselves without spamming. It’s the same thing so to speak since I never received any spam mail by the publishers who put ads there. It’s nice to see the good guys at an author portal, but I am appalled to see the bad ones right there with them! Heads or tails…your publishing future…is good…or bad!
Without a background check there is no way to tell who’s good and who’s not especially when everyone advertises they are the best. If anyone can learn anything from this opening series it is to abandon the ‘benefit of the doubt’ scenario since it doesn’t work in determining who is good for you or your book or any piece of it. Always do a background check or ask for samples if there aren’t available!
It would almost seem like that it would to be done best yourself, but like any other DIY project, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could flood the basement (or in an author’s sense ruin your reputation), but that is a topic for later.
Next week I will tell about my ex publisher that taught me the painful lessons that I was able to learn from. At least during that process I wasn’t really discovered and they didn’t help me sell any books which became a blessing in disguise.