What is the Definition of a Legitimate Publisher?

Well, we’ve now been through the cost of writing and where you can look to publish your fiction. We know that there are paid subscription listings available and a few of you may subscribe to other places like Absolute Write or the Freelance Writing Job Bank. As you go through the listings, though, you may ask yourself whether or not the publisher is “worth it.” Here are my top tips to help you create your own set of writing submission criteria for any publisher.

What is the Publisher’s Online Reputation?

If I’m researching a publisher, I like to check out what other writers are saying about them by organically searching for their name or variants thereof. I read through forums, blogs, comments, etc. to see if there are any negative comments about a publisher. If there’s only a few, I may follow up on the author’s blog to see if the comments were credible. Remember, a lot of inexperienced writers may take rejection very poorly–even if the writer was in the “wrong.”

Besides chatter online, I also look for news about their business or how well they promote their writers. Sometimes, I may accept a lower rate per word depending upon how well a publisher might treat me and my work.
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From Email: How do I get Published? How do I Figure out if my Writing is Worth the Trouble?

As I had mentioned last week, today I was going to address when it makes sense to write for “free” and what the returns are. Today, though, I’m going to take a bit of a different turn and get back to basics. In the midst of getting some questions answered from literary agents for an upcoming article series, a writer was kind enough to shoot me a personal email. Here’s what struck me (Thanks so much to Thomas for letting me quote you!):

“I always wanted to know how one goes about getting published or pitching their works to creditable sources to see if they are of value or maybe it’s best I stick to business writing only.” –Thomas Cristel for Bed & Breakfast La Torretta Bianca in Italy

After I read his email, I sat back in my chair and hit my head. You see, I interpreted his question as a multi-layered one, that had several meanings. First, Thomas (who professionally writes white papers, articles, etc.) reminded me of the many writers out there who might stop themselves from submitting a different style of writing because they’re unclear of what their writing is worth. Second, he wanted to know what the process was for submitting work was and if it was worth the trouble.
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