Sunday, April 24, 2016
When a publisher shuts its doors
Over the past decade dozens of publishers have closed their doors. Not just small digital publishers, but also some large print publishers as well. One thing I am convinced of, is that no publisher is secure, no matter what its advertising material states, or how long and illustrious its career might have been.
Therefore my first piece of advice to authors is all about eggs and baskets.
Diversity is essential. Don’t drink the company Kool Aid. Yes, the company may truly believe everything it tells you, but the only 20/20 vision is in hindsight. Submit to several publishers, two or three perhaps, or self-publish some of your work, but don’t trust any one source to pay all your bills.
My second piece of advice is to go out gracefully.
If the worst happens and the company your book is published by closes, don’t make a huge scene (or even a small scene) out in public. Always behave in a professional manner even if the dying publisher does not.
Some publishers have behaved extremely badly, absconding with money that belongs to authors, lying and cheating, possibly even behaving in a manner that is overtly illegal. This doesn’t give the author a “get-out-of-jail-free” card to copy that behavior.
Be professional. Certainly claim your rights back and any withheld property such as royalties, but always behave politely and within the law.
Everyone knows everyone in the publishing business. Maintaining your good manners in the face of adversity and trauma is your best chance of being picked up by another publisher when many people will be knocking on their doors right then.
Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.