10 Questions to Ask a Publishing Company

Publishing companies are in the business of helping authors get their books onto the shelves. But even if you have a book in the works, it’s important to know what to expect from your publisher, what they can do for you, and how they will work with you. 

Here are 10 questions all writers should ask in order to find the right publisher for their work:

  1. What are the submission requirements for my manuscript?

Sometimes publishers require certain forms, manuscripts, or samples submitted with work. Ask what’s required beforehand so you’re well-equipped to move forward with your project. 

  1. How long does it take to publish a book once all of the material is received?

Try to determine if the publishing process begins immediately after submitting your manuscript or if there will be a waiting period before the publisher can start on your work.

  1. Do I have any say in decisions regarding cover design, editing style, or other elements that go into publishing my book?

If so, what kind of influence can I have over these aspects during the publishing process?

  1. Can I see examples of books similar to mine that were previously published through your publishing company?

Before signing anything official about publication rights or royalties, check to see if you like the quality of publishing that has been completed for other books.

  1. What titles in your company’s catalog would be considered comparable to the kind of book I am publishing with you?

Does the publisher have experience working with the same genre, and market that your writing would fall under?

  1. What marketing opportunities are available once my book has been published? Ask the publisher how readers will know about the existence of your new title when it is released. Do their authors receive copies for themselves they can use when pitching their work to media outlets like radio shows, television networks, or national magazines?
  1. What are the terms of payment for royalties and other monies earned through publishing with your company?

Ensure you fully understand any publisher’s payment structure, including when payments will be issued – whether monthly, quarterly, or annually. 

  1. Who owns my manuscript and copyright when my book is published? 

Do you have full rights to the content? How about movie rights or play rights? If the book has illustrations, do you fully own them and can you use them without seeking additional permission or paying for marketing permissions? Will the copyright be processed in your name or will it be in the publishers? These are all vital questions you need the answers to before you agree to a publishing agreement. 

  1. Is the book release limited to Amazon only or are there additional retailers?

Does the publisher work with a variety of retailers like Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and Booktopia.com, for example? 

  1. Does the publisher do more than just place it on the retailer listing site? 

Will your book simply be released to the retailers? With such incredibly large catalogs of books on each of the retailer sites, your publisher needs to be working diligently in keywords, BISAC codes, and SEO to help make your title “findable.” Does the publisher have a marketing strategy to help you rank on the first page of Google when your title is searched? 

Now is the time to move on to partnering with the right publishing company for your work. 

At Lucid Books, we are here for you every step of the way. Whether you have questions about how to format your manuscript or you are simply looking for general industry knowledge – we can guide you through the process. 

Contact us today to learn more about our available partnership opportunities so we can help get you on your way to writing a best-seller!