Sunday, August 12, 2007

One of the key features of the EREC website was intended to be the publisher surveys. However they seem to get limited use so I am thinking it might be time to make some adjustments. I think the surveys are too long and really identifying features that really distinguish petween presses. Almost all of the publishers on the list have been sent the survey at least once and many failed to respond. The information is probably too unfocused and hard for authors to use.

I feel it would be useful to limit the survey to 5-10 important issues and list these on the main page next to the sales figures and warnings. The goal would be to cover the most important question used when making a short list to investigate further, rather than to provide comprehensive information. Please let me know what you think. Currently the questions are shown below. I think we need to retain the questions in bold.

1) Publisher’s name:
2) Webpage:
[these are already on the publisher list and so don't need to be in the survey]
3) Which genres do you accept? Which sub-genres do you specialise in?
4) What lengths of fiction do you accept?
5) What rights do you purchase?
6) What is your typical response time? (in response to query/to manuscript)
7) What royalties do you pay to authors? (% of cover price) [Useful in theory this data is often misleading (based on net etc) and in practise there is very little difference between publishers.]
8) What are your payment periods and methods?
9) How is cover price determined? (price/word count if possible)
10) What methods do you use to promote books?
11) How are your books distributed?
12) What are your typical sales per title? (This answer may be as general or specific as you choose) [Useful in theory, this question is never answered in any specific way]
13) What sets you apart from other publishers?
14) What advice would you give to authors contemplating submitting their manuscript to you? (e.g. common mistakes to avoid, current needs).
15) Any other information you would like to provide:
16) In which year was your publisher founded?
17) How many titles do you currently have available?
[Also provides releases per year.]

I think it is most useful to know if a publisher has been around a while, their output and lengths of fiction taken. Anyone listed can be assumed to take erotic romance. I intend to make separate short lists of those taking the various sub genres (MM, BBW etc). Most of the other questions do not distinguish between publishers being nearly uniform across the industry.

But what else to do really need to know before short-listing a publisher? The name of the owner or chief editor? Print options? What is it that you want to know as a first step in deciding whether a publisher goes on the 'maybe' pile?


J.M. Snyder said...

I would also want to know what heat level they accept. I write gay fiction; not all of it is erotic, but some publishers instantly assume that the suggestion of anal sex = the hottest heat level they have. But if it's just a romance with little sex, this may not be the case.

Perhaps also a link to any specific submission calls ~ anthologies, series, etc ~ that are open to new authors.

I'm interested in more short story markets, but they seem to be few and far between. At the moment I'm happy with the publishers I've worked with, and am not sure that (outside of one or two "big" names) I'll be short-listing more any time soon.

Anonymous said...


I think #5 should be kept. I think knowing if they are going to keep the rights to your book forever or just for a year could be an important indication of the type of people you are working with, or could be working with. It is unreasonable to ask someone to give up a work forever.

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