A Publisher's Conversation with Authors: Expectations of Publishers


photograph by Frank Perez)

It is Tuesday. Time to tall turkey. Monday's madness is over, and Wednesday will take us over the hump, so Tuesday it is--for some serious discussion with authors. Tuesday talks mean to address authors in waiting and self-published authors who would like to go a more traditional route or who would at least like to take their steps with a publisher by their side.

Today's topic addresses expectations that authors, especially first-time authors, have of publishers. Often these are unreasonable and are just not going to happen, leading to disappointment. Jane Friedman has written an excellent column on this topic, pointing out the following:

  • Publishers are not going to send you on a national book tour--and shouldn't. 
  • Publishers are not going to invest as much in your book as they would in a bestselling author--and what they invest is likely to be far less than you thought and hoped when you embarked on this journey.
  • Publishers are not going to throw a lot of money into marketing and promoting your book for an extensive period of time after the book launch.

There are reasons, solid reasons, why your publisher is not going to do these things that you may well expect. Misperception and misunderstanding of a publisher's role is more typical than one would think. Friedman, a former publishing CEO, explains the rationale for why publishers are not likely to meet new authors' expectations HERE.

Want to read more about how publishers react to difficult authors? Click HERE.

Lesson for today's Tuesday talk: Be reasonable. If you are not a world famous author or world famous for any other reason, don't expect VIP treatment from a publisher. Instead, work to build your own fame.

Read more posts about publishing HERE.

The Tuesday talks reflect real discussions between the management of MSI Press LLC and our own authors or those would-be authors who come through our doors but don't make the cut--yet. If you have a topic you would like to see addressed, leave the question in the comment section. Chances are, in our 17 years of publishing first-time and experiences authors, we have had a conversation with one of our authors that we can share with you.


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