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Many people ask this question, although the answer is often so complex, a publisher doesn't want to answer. Instead try answering the question, what makes a book make money?

In today's ever changing world of the publishing industry, this task is becoming a bit of a snaffoo for those in charge of choosing books to represent. If it is a big, well established publisher, with a large marketing budget, then everything is easier. Today though, there are dozens of "publishers" popping up every day.

  • Self-publishing publishers
  • Indie-publishing publishers
  • Vanity press publishers
  • Micro-press publisher
  • Traditional style publishers

Who knows what they all actually call themselves. It is a difficult industry to get into, although many authors jump into it to publishing their own book, not realizing the many hurdles. Then offer to do it for someone else. Suddenly they are a publisher needing a contract to offer.

I remember when I offered my first contract. I cringe at the thought of that author coming back to dispute it, he would win, hands down. I had no clue back then about contracts. I had been working in the industry for 8 years already. I had done everything EXCEPT offer a contract.

Today, I am regularly solicited for a contract and I can be much more selective about the quality of the book. But I still cannot answer that question... What is it that made you pick that book?

As an avid reader of many genre, I guess I would have to say it is just the story that grabs me. I'm not saying books that have come across my desk and been turned down were bad, it just didn't grab ME.

The biggest knife at my neck now is marketing. I won't even consider an author any more that doesn't have a website at least the in process of being set up, and some of their social media set up. I expect all of my incoming authors to assist in their sales. I hate to be more and more like the Big 5, but I have to, I'm just one of the small fries.

Publishing checklist
Jennifer FitzGerald

"My biggest desire is to publish truly great books that bring our readers back because they know we have quality reading."

Jennifer FitzGerald has been designing books and marketing for over 15 years. She expanded into a Micro-Press Publishing company in late 2014 and currently has four imprints and over two dozen authors.

About Jennifer FitzGerald

One Response to “What do Publishers want?”

  1. Helene

    October 23, 2008 – 8:34 pm Never would I have thought to make social media optimization a part of my local marketing strategies. You’ve clearly outlined ways to do just that. Another fine post my friend!


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