Publishers – What is, and Isn't One

Recently I’ve been asked several questions by authors I hope to work with that have actually saddened me.  How much will it cost me – directed at anything a publisher should be doing for their authors – gets me every time.  It should cost you nothing.  If a publisher tries to tell you to pay for your own cover, your own editor, or any part of the process (and this includes scanning and reconstructing a book that they plan on publishing in digital) – they aren’t a publisher.  They are in business making money OFF of writers, not for them.

Traditionally publisher paid advances.  At Crossroad Press we don’t do that.  We have opted to keep our overhead as low as possible and to give the lion’s share of all money made to the authors.  We do not charge for covers.  We do not expect authors to kick in on anything, in fact.  Authors create, and publishers provide that creativity to the public – hopefully to make money first for the author, and THEN for themselves.  If this is skewed the other direction, you can pretty much rest assured that the “publisher” has their own interest at heart.

So, just to be clear, there is a message here.  If a publisher wants to publish your work, it is THEIR job to get the cover, convert the book, edit the book – not yours.  I actually heard today of an e-mail from a publisher who claimed it was no longer the responsibility of publishers to market the works of their authors?  Really?  How then do you suppose money will be made?

Just as the Internet has created a lot of authors, it has created a lot of “publishers”.  Make sure you know your own goals when you approach them. If all you want is a book with your name on it, publish it yourself and keep what little return you get.  If you go with an actual publisher, don’t pay them to publish you – that’s the same as doing it yourself, except more expensive with less return.

End very short rant.  I guess I just don’t understand greed very well.  I recognize it, but I don’t understand it.

-DNW

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