This is main title of book Diane Lunsford. Bunch of Diane Lunsford Books

Who Pays Who?

Whether the decision is to self or traditionally publish (or any derivative in between), it is the author’s responsibility to do the homework before signing on the dotted line. Speaking from experience, if things seem too good to be true, they are in fact, too good to be true.

In my own journey, one of the obvious conclusions I have come to is there is no shortage of aspiring authors. There is also a wealth of writers who are profoundly gifted. I’ve had the pleasure of reading (and reviewing) some of those bodies of work in particular. To we authors ‘aspiring’ to get published, it is imperative to have the wisdom to listen to your inner voice. Before you query, consider spending the time and money to have your work professionally edited. Remember, you are the writer. You may have built the story, but as a writer, we tend to be emotionally attached. If we cannot relinquish our work to a professional editor for its first litmus test, how on earth will we react when the only thing stopping the work from getting to print is the publisher recommended edits?

The romantic notion that a publisher is waiting for your arrival with a fistful of money is just that… romantic!  In turn, think long and hard before you consider delivering a bucket of money to a publisher (because it’s their requirement of their publishing process). Contrary to what one publisher may tell you that it is ‘industry norm…’ there are still entities looking to back a solidly written and viable story and newsflash: without the author plunking down the cash.

If you have been selected to advance toward contract, it is imperative you do your homework before you sign. Reach out to those authors already published by the house that is considering you. Delve into the company’s history (i.e., how long have they been in business; what are their credentials;  what is their success rate; what does ‘success’ mean to you… them… what is the royalty pay out… who owns the work…)  The only foolish question is the unasked question. When it is your time to sign, clarity will surface no matter the outcome. Remember, it is a journey and homework is a huge part of the process. If your inner voice speaks, listen!

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