About Publishing and Publishers

Hi Folks,

As I write this (back in early February), a young writer got in touch with me earlier today to ask my recommendation on publishing. She mentioned that she was “talking to a publishing company that is a subsidiary of Hay House.”

I didn’t look up the company, but a little bell went off in my mind. I believe Hay House is one of the companies that charges writers an up-front fee to publish their work. If they don’t, their “subsidiaries” almost certainly do. She didn’t mention the name of the particular subsidiary.

I told her, and I will tell you (again) “I recommend indie publishing 100%. You can pay someone to design a cover and do the eformatting (and/or layout for paper publication), but after that you don’t pay anyone anything and your royalties belong only to you.”

For a free overall guide to indie publishing (self-publishing), click http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Quick-Guide-to-Self-Publishing-FAQs.pdf.

And if you’d like a by-the-numbers crash course on digital publishing (free), click http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DPubV2X.pdf. This one is a little outdated, but it will teach you how to format and submit your work to various distributors.

Some writers are still in the agent chase, though I will never understand why. That’s tantamount to giving the guy who cuts your grass once every two weeks 15% ownership of your home.

If you’re still seeking a “traditional” publisher and aren’t wild about negotiating contracts, I recommend finding a good intellectual property rights lawyer and paying him or her to negotiate the contract for you.

Better yet, learn copyright and do it yourself, perhaps with an IP attorney in the wings to advise you.

Either way, I will never advocate paying any company up front to publish your work. Period. A few that spring to mind are Booklocker, Wheatmark (I think that’s the name of it), AuthorHouse, etc.

And before you sign ANY contract, READ IT or better yet, have your IP attorney read it. Giving any publisher “all rights” (print, electronic, etc.) to your work for the life of the copyright is just foolish, even for what appears to be a good advance.

Just ask yourself, what is your intellectual property (your copyright on a story or novel) worth to you over your life plus 75 years?

Now, a personal example: if a traditional publisher wanted one of my novels, even all rights for the life of the copyright, and wanted to pay me say $250,000.00 up front, I might be interested. But no amount short of that. And that would be only for the one novel. And that’s just me.

That’s the amount that would pique my interest, and signing that contract would leave me with 28 other novels to sell.

You’ll have to set your own price based on your own needs.

A late addition to this post: To see a short interview about writing with Yoors Trooly, check out http://www.sherrydramsey.com/?p=3801.

‘Till next time, keep writing!


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