I mentioned in a recent blog post that there are good publishers and there are bad publishers, and that I would be talking about the difference. That’s what I want to look at today – the difference between a good publisher and a bad publisher.

In fact, there’s a lot to look at here, so I’m going to be breaking this down into parts and multiple posts.

Today, I want to talk about the first thing *I* look at when looking for a publisher to which I might submit.


The very first thing I look at when selecting a publisher to submit my writing to is whether or not the publisher charges a fee for anything.

I will NEVER submit to a publisher that charges a fee, period, for any reason.

If you have to pay a publisher, then you are with a vanity press, period – whether it be co-op, POD, or self publishing.

I don’t want to self publish. If I did, I’d start my own publishing company and go directly with a printer, and not use a middle man publishing company. If I was broke and couldn’t afford to go with a printer directly, I’d go with a place like Lulu.com and publish, assuming I wanted to self publish.

I don’t though. I will never self publish a book unless/until I make it on the best seller’s list so much so that I become a household name and every says, “Have you read the latest Devon novel?”

When that happens, I might just consider opening my own publishing company and truly self publishing.

And since I don’t anticipate that happening any time soon (read: ever – but one can dream!), then chances are I will never self publish.

If the publishing company charges you a fee for anything, run away!

Real publishers don’t charge ‘reading fees’.

Real publishers don’t charge ‘editing fees’.

Real publishers don’t charge for your formatting or cover design.

Real publishers do NOT require you to purchase your own book unless you choose to purchase it, and then they usually offer an author’s discounted price.

Real publishers may recommend that you get professional editing, but a real publisher will never recommend any specific editor to you. This is a conflict of interests, so be wary if a publisher tries to sell you an editing package or refer you to a specific editor in order to publish with them.

If the manuscript is worthy of being considered, the publisher will hire or use an in-house editor and edit your manuscript at no cost to you, the author.

If the manuscript is worthy of being considered, but has grammatical and mechanical errors, the publisher may ask you to get it professionally edited and resubmit – but they will not tell you who to edit with or recommend it or even promise you that they’ll publish it if you get it edited!

So that’s my first thing to look for in a publisher:

Good publisher – doesn’t charge the author anything to publish the book
Bad publisher – charge a fee or charges for services or requires a minimum purchase of books

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about advances and publishing companies, and then we’ll move on to other things to look for in a good publisher.

Keep writing!

Love and stuff,