"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Thursday, January 2, 2020

What to Consider When Choosing a Publisher in 2020

Welcome back, readers!
It's a pleasure to reconnect in this new year. 2020 holds the potential for endless opportunities and the manifestation of unrealized dreams.

So grab a cup of your favorite brew and let's explore a topic that many will find relevant and timely.

There's no doubt about it: book publication is a goal for most serious writers in some juncture of their professional careers.
Whether the avenue is through a traditional publisher or the self-publishing route, getting our work into the public arena fulfills our need to connect, inspire and share our expertise with an audience.

Additionally, book publication is a form of validation and accomplishment.
After all, the title "author" is not afforded to everyone.

Different Paths Can Lead to the Same Destination

In my vast career as a writer, I've had many essays, poetry and "how-to" pieces to appear in traditionally published titles and self-published projects as well.
I can attest that they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
About two months ago, after much consideration, I decided to embark upon something different.
On the heels of self-publishing numerous poetry titles, I decided to seek a traditional publisher to expand my horizons, so to speak.

This has been a bit challenging in that poetry as a genre is not (unfortunately) accepted by all publishing houses.
Though I'm no expert in this arena, the experience and information I have garnered during this process can perhaps shorten your learning curve and optimize your efforts.

Accordingly, here are 5 Things to Consider in Your Search for a Publisher This Year (regardless of genre)


To my surprise, my research revealed that some publishers now require a "reading fee" before reviewing your manuscript. The typical range here is between $8.00-$25.00. The fee is non-refundable, but in some instances they will apply the fee toward a book or magazine that they produce, that you may choose from.


Publishers differ in how they prefer to receive their manuscripts. Some accept work only online; others will only accept work through snail mail; while others require that your manuscript be uploaded and tracked through Submittable Management Software. A caveat here: be sure to read the publisher's guidelines carefully so as not to disqualify yourself due to a simple oversight.


I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say that I hate "the wait." Through a process of elimination, I will only consider publishing houses with a reasonable time frame for a response (less than six months).
Also worth noting is that some publishers will allow for simultaneous submissions. Which, IMHO  is smart and fair.


Depending upon the terms of your contract, the type of publisher you choose, and your "platform" you will receive royalties, free publication of your work, and/or an advance for your creative efforts. Some publishers even sponsor contests whereby there are cash prizes awarded to winning manuscript entries.
To quote a popular song: "You better shop around."


Be sure to do your homework here. Before signing on the dotted line, "Google" the publishing houses you are considering.

What do you find? Any complaints? Bad reviews? How about the titles and authors they represent?
Is their website user-friendly?  Are they transparent? Is there adequate contact information?

These are all important things to consider in your pursuit.

For those who aspire to publish a poetry book in 2020, here's a link of publishers to put you on the "write" path. Some also accept other genres.


Thanks for reading!

Thoughts? Comments?

Image Credits: Pixabay.com


  1. These are all important points along the road to publication. In particular, the "Submission Process" requirements are crucial to getting a publisher's attention. In a world where we don't always follow the directions, this is something with which to be diligent. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Jen!

  2. Currently I am not looking for getting any of my work in front of any 'Traditional Publishers' I have submitted things like filler articles in the past and did have little successes with actually getting published in both small scale publications and even in some Big Magazines.

    Only now I mainly Published our own Post- & Greeting Card Designs in our own Online Webstores, (we also have a line of DIY-Cards where you can write your own texts on the Cards) and I frequently Publish crispy fresh new Blog posts on my Blogs and Publish new Tweet messages on our Twitter.

    And we also have Published an E-Report about Digital Photography through a Publishing On Demand Company.

  3. Thanks for sharing this article. Loved the way of your writing :)