Picking a publisher – promises or proof?

Mar 14, 2016 | Book Publishing

“What do you think of this outfit?”

My client’s manuscript would be done within the month and he had reserved time with a professional business book editor. He already decided to use a POD publisher and do an ebook. A friend suggested a company to handle the publishing and promotion. That’s the “outfit” mentioned above.

The outfit’s web site made plenty of promises. But promises are easy. You want to know if they can actually deliver. The only way I know to assess that is to ask for proof. Here are some things to look for.

Have they published any business books?

Look for business books, like the one you intend to publish. Experience counts.

Where are those books for sale?

For an astounding number of outfits, the answer is “on our web site” and nothing more. For most business book buyers if your book is not on Amazon, it doesn’t exist.

If the outfit you’re evaluating has published business books and sold them in places where business readers buy books, you can move on.

Ask for the titles of business books the outfit is proud of

I’ve done a lot of book publishing projects. I know how many ways a project can turn out poorly. So I ask for books the outfit is proud of.

Check out the books and the author’s experience

Once you have a list of books, look them over, inside and out. Here are a few questions to help.

Does the cover look like it was done by a professional? Another way to ask this question is “Does it look like a ‘self-published’ book?”

Look inside the book. Does that look professional, too? If you’re in doubt compare what you see with a sample of a professionally published book. Check out typeface, line spacing and margins.

Read some of the book. Does it make sense and read easily?

If things still look good, contact the author.

You want a professional-looking and easy reading book. You also want a good experience.

Ask the authors about the experience of getting their book published and selling. Ask if they were happy with all the outfit’s services like cover design, editing, and marketing.

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