Friday, July 4, 2014

"Should I pay a fee to get published?"

"Hey Mr. Lukeman, I hope you can offer some advice, experience, suggestions and knowledge about publishing a book for me. I tried to self publish my first book but it was very costly. I recently finished my second book and was looking for a publisher. I was contacted by and chatted with Page Publishing in NCY. When I described my book to the guy and told him everything is done, illustrations, type, cover he said to send the file to the submissions link for review (this was Friday), I got a call today saying they loved the illustrations and the story and that it would do very well and they want to take it to the next level. So I get the contract and they want $795 initial up-front payment and (10!!!) monthly payments of $295 for a whopping total of $3745 for them to publish my completed book. I have everything ready for publishing and they want to publish my book but it's costing me this much! I had several people tell me I shouldn't have to pay up front fees. Are there publishers out there who will accept new artists and publish a first time illustrator? Any advise would be greatly appreciated."

As I have mentioned several times throughout this blog, NEVER pay a fee to get published. In nearly all cases, that means the "publisher" is just trying to take advantage of you--and in this instance, that certainly is the case.

It is difficult to get published, and even more difficult if dealing with an illustrated work, but the answer is not to pay money to "publishers" who are likely illegitimate anyway.

If you have a strong desire to self-publish, then I would suggest you publish your book as an ebook, via self-publishing portals like KDP, Play, KWL, B&N and Apple. If you want a printed edition, then use a service like CreateSpace or Lightning Source.

If you have a strong desire to be published by a traditional publisher, then you must first seek out an agent (I describe how to do this many times on this blog and in my free ebooks). If your work is heavily illustrated it will be much harder--and it's hard to say exactly without knowing the genre and subject matter of your book. But that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Please take some time to read ALL the questions and answers on this blog and to download the free ebooks. This question is covered many times.

1 comment:

  1. My wife has the opposite problem: A publisher came to her and asked her to write a couple books with an illustrator as a "work for hire" contract for $1500 each. The books became instant #1 and #2 bestsellers in their category on Amazon and have sold out five consecutive printings and counting. (I don't know what constitutes a "printing" but it sounds like a lot.) The publisher wants her to do more books in the series but they are getting harder for her to come up with more content. I told her she should ask for royalties and the publishers rep said that they were "not allowed" to change the type of contracting in a series. That smells of BS to me since we had no contract terms regarding future books. Nonetheless my wife agreed to another flat fee for this next one that I feel is not fair since it's no longer a risky unknown as to how well it will likely be. (Pre-sales of the next book on Amazon are already going strong.) They said they expected the books to be a "slow sell" but the success has blown everyone away. It seems to me that the publisher is likely raking in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, so they should be willing to to pay royalties or at least a much higher flat fee. Am I just being unappreciative and greedy, or should they expect her to be paid a lot more? What would be reasonable to ask? The risk is that they could always hire someone else for the next in the series.


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