I’ve been trying to garner some interest in ‘Fortune’s Thief’, and having failed to find an agent, I’ve been contacting independent publishers to see whether anyone would be interested in publishing it.
So far, I have had two contract offers, but I won’t be accepting either of them. I had no idea when I started sending out my manuscript that it would be such a minefield.
The first offer I had was from a publisher whose employees are illiterate. The email accompanying the contract, and subsequent correspondence was so badly written I had to read it three times before I could understand what they were trying to say. They were also planning to put it out exactly as I’d sent it to them, with no editorial input or modifications whatsoever. I’ve checked it the best I can, and had a few friends review it, but I have absolutely no doubt that it would benefit greatly from some professional editing. Having read up about these guys on the Absolute Write Authors Beware section, they’re definitely one to avoid.
So I sent it off to a second publisher and had a grammatically correct response on nice headed paper, asking for a printed manuscript. Then followed three weeks of watching the doormat, wondering when a letter was going to land. In the interim, however, I looked them up on my new favourite forum page (Absolute Write Authors Beware) and found that many people were reporting bad experiences with them. These guys appear professional, but are in essence a vanity press and will charge authors for publishing, so when I had the contracts arrive today, I wasn’t in the least surprised to find that they wanted £2,300 to publish my book. If they had been up-front about it, and indicated on their website that contribution-based publishing was one of their possible routes, I wouldn’t have wasted my time or theirs in submitting to them.
I’m now going back to a third publisher, who expressed interest about the same time I heard from the second publisher to see whether we can still work together, and what their terms will be.
More news from the minefield as it breaks…