Your publisher is closing their doors, or you’ve requested the rights back to your book for whatever reason. As an author, you recognize that the cost if self-publishing is beyond you and you kind of like the familiarity of having a publisher.
Your first step, of course, is to ensure your books are in great shape. Perhaps you give them a light polish, knowing your former publisher did a pretty good job on editing. Or you might have your beta readers pick out the elements you felt weren’t quite smooth enough, so you aren’t giving a bad impression. This will take time, so you’re beginning your research on which publisher will be a good fit for your books.
While you’re waiting on those beta readers, you use the time to research publishers. Looking over their websites and checking out how active they are on social media will give you an idea of how this publisher or that goes to work for their authors. Another way is you happen to know one of their authors. You’re able to ask questions and get a feel from someone on the inside.
Once you’ve done all this, you’re ready to submit. You have several books that you want to get back out to your fans as fast as possible. Typically, most publishers only take one book at a time. But you don’t want that. Your deepest desire is to get a publisher to take all of your books that were previously published so you can get to work on new material.
This search can be long and complicated. You will need to read the guidelines carefully with each publisher’s website you see. You will need to check out their books to see if they publish not only in the genres you do but also the type of book you have. Another good thing to check out is if this publisher already has a book with the same title as yours; this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t submit to this publisher but changing your title might be required if they do offer a contract.
While doing this, it is probably best to keep copious notes about each publisher’s website you visit, with the pros and cons of using that publisher listed. Many people consider this a slog and overlook this step, but it is important. You don’t want to think you’ll love being with Publisher ABC only to find out that you hate the authors and staff once you’ve signed a contract.
Finally, with all this information gathered, you should sit back and read your notes on these publishers. Have a list of their names on a sheet of paper and use some type of system to identify which ones you want to go to first. Be certain they accept simultaneous submissions.
Now that you’re ready and have received the comments from your beta readers and made the appropriate corrections, it’s time to submit. Eagerness runs through you. You are finally at the point where you are certain you’ll find a new home for your books. In fact, you’ve decided Publisher QYX is the one you desire to be with the most and you are on their submissions platform, with all of the information necessary to complete the upload of your book. Once that’s done, you pull up the notes for book two and begin a second submission and…
Hold on right there. Are you seriously going to submit multiple books to a publisher when you aren’t already one of their authors? Do you think that makes you look professional? What if only one of your books is accepted? What if this publisher is irritated that you submitted two, three, or even five books at once and they tell you no to all of them? Where are you now?
In truth, while some publishers do accept multiple submissions, it is probably better for you to submit only one book the first time you go to their site. This gives you and the publisher the chance to see if you really are a good fit. Then, only after your first book has been published, you can submit the others, after you ensure they accept multiple submissions.
About K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.