It’s every author’s nightmare for their publishing deal to not meet their expectations, but many authors don’t even know what to look for when going into a contract. Here are three things that frequently happen when an author chooses the wrong publisher.
1. The manuscript is not vetted or edited.
No one can write a perfect manuscript that doesn’t need editing. All of your favorite books became what they are today because they were edited well. So when looking for a publishing deal, make sure that thorough editing is part of the package. The publishing company should also vet your manuscript before giving you a publishing deal. You want a publishing company that has chosen your manuscript over others so you know that they truly believe in what you’ve written and aren’t just trying to get your money.
2. The publisher owns the copyright, not the author.
Taking over the copyright to your book is a huge red flag, and allows the publishing company to do whatever they want with your work.
3. The author doesn’t get a chance to review the manuscript after it’s been edited.
Less reputable publishers will send their books straight to print after editing without giving the author final say. You’ll want to make sure that your publishing company plans to keep you in the loop about changes being made to your book.
So why do authors end up in bad publishing contracts? Often, especially with first-time authors, they get swept up into the emotion of the sales process. They speak with a publishing company representative who promises the world, and so they get excited and don’t do their proper research. The author should always take their time to be fully aware of what they’re purchasing before they sign a contract.