Trying On a Publisher Like a Pair of Shoes

beagle trying on shoes

Here’s something I will never understand.  Author says,

“I didn’t really care about this manuscript, so I decided to give it to Publisher ABC to see if they’re any good.”

What the heck is that about? I’ve heard this numerous times over the years, and I’m confused every time someone utters it. If I worked on something, and wasn’t that invested in it, I would still NEVER give it to anyone, let alone “test” a publisher.

You don’t try on publishers like you would a pair of shoes. You research publishers to make sure they are a company who will do right by your book.

If you’re that unsure they’re any good, then trust your instincts and don’t query them. Once you publish something, it’s out there. Forever. Do you really want to have a half-baked book you wrote and don’t love out there?

And really, if it’s good enough to publish, then doesn’t it make sense to get it pubbed by a good company? If it sucks stale Twinkie cream and some publisher wants to publish it, then you already have your answer about the quality of that publisher, don’t you?

How ’bout you? Have you ever been tempted to send in a lesser quality work to see if the publisher you’re interested in is any good? I’m still scratching my head.

6 Responses to Trying On a Publisher Like a Pair of Shoes

  1. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Holy hell, people actually do that?!?!? It would never even occur to me, that’s outrageous.

  2. ericjbaker says:

    I’m still trying to get someone to look at my best work!

    So these people are confusing beta readers with publishers?

  3. T. M. Hunter says:

    I could see how a person would go down this path…if they knew their only opportunity at publication would come from a small press that works with POD, has no distribution, and no marketing…then it comes down to whether a publisher would treat you well on a personal level.

    But then, I’ve experienced life after not doing enough research…so I’d never do it again myself.

  4. If someone’s only option to publish is via a small press that has no print runs, no distribution, and no marketing/promotion, and their only redeeming trait is that they’re nice, then I would think that author’s priorities could use some Zen.

    But as you say, we’ve all had our Zen moments thrust upside our heads with a metal baseball bat…

  5. Val says:

    I wouldn’t send in something I didn’t think was good. But, there are times when I reread an article or family essay that was published and think I could have made that better.

  6. T. M. Hunter says:

    Alas, there are a lot of folks out there who “just want to see their books in print” (whether because they’re elderly or because they just want to impress their friends)… 🙂

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