Bottom Line: Do not pay any “publisher” to publish your work for you. At that point, you’re better off self-publishing your work. See the link below for a comprehensive thread.
Good to know
If I were to ever publish, what would you recommend I do beforehand? As in research, and what publishers are better, etc.
One of the biggest red flags is if the publishers wants you to pay. No good publisher will ask their authors to take money out of their pocket.
Look at what books they are selling and have sold. If there aren’t very many, I’d warn against going with them. Don’t be someone’s guinea pig.
If you’re planning on traditional publishing through an agent, do research on the agents too. See who they’re representing. Ask for references.
When you say ‘publishers’ in the first paragraph, are you referring to Traditional publishers or are they different?
First step is to produce a polished commercial manuscript – and that’s not easy to do.
Once you have one, decide whether traditional or self publishing is the route you want to go. Learn about both. Pros and cons. Figure out which is the right choice for your goals.
Once you pick, learn more. This is a BUSINESS you are entering into – there are contracts to deal with, marketing expenses, etc. Know the risks.
If you’re doing traditional, I strongly recommend focusing on agents, not publishers.
There are some publishers that accept unsolicited submissions, so a submission without an agent. I’d still advise seeking an agent, because they can negotiate a better contract.
Ditto what Makayla says. Only Vanity publishers request you to make payments and be careful because they advertise themselves as “assisted self publishing.” From a Traditional publishing standpoint, Trad publishers pay you advance against royalties for your manuscript, they are buying rights to exploit the work in various formats (they use this term a lot which basically means to use the work according to their discretion)
Self publishing doesn’t deal with publishers because you are the publisher. There are services like Amazon’s KDP but they are not your publisher, they just provide the tools and place for you sell your work in exchange for a percentage of the profits. All the costs marketing,editing etc is footed by you. Trad publishers pay those costs for you and will pay an advance based on an estimation of how well they think your book will sell.
Here is an info chart via Jane Friedman. I think this will give you a simple quick breakdown of things so it doesn’t get confusing.
What all the good people said
Try and check out this thread:I'm an established full-time author - willing to answer questions if you have them
He has so many good advice, and he’s open to answer more too!
I feel like I would get an agent and go for the traditional publishing. However, I don’t really like how with the bigger ones, the less control you have.
It even said you don’t have a choice to the title or cover! That’s ridiculous!
I think that’s somewhat of a myth and wholly depends on which publisher you’re getting.
Also, I mean, they’ll probably tell you if your title sucks and then try and guide you towards a better one. And the cover… Yeah, I don’t know about that. Some have some control, while others have zero. And then comes translations with their own covers and stuff on top of it.
That’s a little but reassuring
I understand that.
I just hope that I could have some creative input.
Honestly, I think it all depends on your own ideas. If they suck, you’ll probably not get a lot to say. If your ideas are good, you’ll get more of a say.
But honestly, I don’t know and can’t say for sure. I think it varies. So don’t quote me on anything
Hahah I won’t XD
Well its not like they will just force a cover on you that you don’t like but they do have a considerable amount of weight as they are the ones footing the cost. So they want to create a cover that they think will help the book sell but depending on the house you do have some input. Once you are published however and you do sell well it may give you even more weight for your next book.
Because I follow some authors and agents on twitter at least based on them, you can have some say about the cover and the illustrator may be inclined (via the entire publishing team) to take your consideration. What they won’t do is remake covers constantly if you don’t like them. After a certain time of deliberation the closer your book is to launch date they need to keep moving. Also every process cost money and depending on how much they paid for your book (via the advance) you may not get much clout.
Unless you’re self-publishing, you never pay to play.
This is a super helpful resource!