While there are many of good, honest publishers in the writing world, there are a few who aren’t out for the best interests of the author. And, unfortunately, sometimes it’s too late before you realize you’ve found a bad apple in the bunch. Were there red flags you just didn’t see? Or did the publisher hide their skeletons very well?
Any respectable publishing house, small or larger, is never ever going to charge their authors any fees. If you are being asked or it is written into your contract that you will have to pay any kind of fee, other than buying your own print books to resell, you are not signing with a good traditional publisher.
PREFERS VERBAL OVER WRITTEN
If your publisher makes verbal agreements over the phone, but refuses to put them in writing in your contract then there is a good chance down the road you are going to have a legal fight on your hands. Never make verbal agreements and if your publisher is pressuring you to do so, then that’s a huge red flag they are dishonest.
If you want to know how professional their product is in appearance and how well the novels are edited, nothing is going to tell you more than if you splurge on a few of the publishers’ current novels. And, if all you find is poorly formatted and unedited novels, then you can be certain it’s a good indication yours will be one in the same.
DIFFICULT TO READ CONTRACT
If you and a lawyer can’t read the contract, chances are it was written the way it was on purpose-to confuse and mislead you. If you don’t understand it, then don’t sign it.
Thanks to the internet, looking up reviews on a publisher that offers you a contract for your novel is as easy as a few clicks. Sure, you might have to do some digging and leg work to find the nitty-gritty information, but for the most part, finding a few of their authors and getting their opinions is quite easy.