As a writer seeking publication, if I am to gain the positive attention to an agent or editor, the first five pages — at least — must be flawless.
I think the same holds true for agents and publishers.
Writers shouldn’t merely want to be published, but to choose the best publisher and/or agent best suited for their wordy children. It’s a partnership.
I certainly won’t give my manuscript to just anyone with literary credentials. When I peruse a potential publisher’s website, I study the professional look of the site, if it’s easy to read and navigate, and what books they’ve published.
If the books show sub-standard covers such as the use of clipart (and I could show you some doozies), and poorly described back-cover copy, I hop to the next publisher on my list.
Most important is how well-written the site is, and if there are any grammar or spelling mistakes.
One publisher I looked at contained a spelling error on the first page (I kid you not). In another publisher’s submission page, I found an error a few paragraphs before they described their dedication to thorough editing.
This from people who stress the importance of an error-free submission.
I don’t care if the publisher is a larger house or a smaller one; their website must be flawless. In fact, I think it’s more crucial for a smaller publisher, because writers prefer the larger houses — as do most readers. Like it or not, there’s a stigma attached to smaller publishing houses just as there is with self-published writers. Therefore, smaller houses need to present themselves as above average to get people’s attention.
These publishers are likely reputable and could be a good fit for my manuscript.
However, if they can’t take special care of their website, how can I be certain they will take special care of me and my novels?
Tomorrow: What else to look for in a publisher.
5 thoughts on “Will You be My Publisher? Next!”
Having worked for a publishing firm for 12 years, I feel it necessary to defend them . . . a little.
The editors generally have NOTHING to do with the actual web site. They may be given a print out of a file to edit prior to be adding to the website, but that is it.
The website is generally controlled by the IT department, which is not required to have any editorial training or staff on site.
Odd, I know. I even agree that a misspelled word looks unprofessional. However, knowing what I do about the internal design of a publishing house, I would not base my decision on whether or not to submit to a publishing house solely upon their web presence.
An ex-insiders POV.
It’s much appreciated, Misty.
Consider me a little red-faced for jumping to conclusions, but at the same time I’m a bit wiser.
Perhaps I should email the webmaster and let them know what I found?
I would, definitely.
At some point some one will find it and it’s much better for them if you do it than someone higher up the food chain.
I don’t think flawless exists. 😉
And yet we continue to strive for it, don’t we?