Monday, April 23, 2012

Publishers: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with Author Terri Bruce

Part 1

Researching Publishers: Do you need an Agent?

This week it has been decided, with the help of my fellow Blog Ring of Power host Dean C. Rich, to give you a series on Indie Publishing in the eyes of our BRoP creator Terri Bruce.  Between Dean's blog The Write Time and right here on the Realms of a Fantastical Mind we will talk about Publishers.  Let's dispel some myths shall we.  Take it away Terri.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing 
by Terri Bruce

I am thrilled to be here today to talk about navigating the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of publishing. Many, many wonderful people helped me on my road to publication—sharing information, resources, and their experience—and I jumped at the chance to do the same when Emily and Dean offered me the opportunity.

With so many indie presses, conflicting information, and scam artists out there, Dean and Emily asked me to stop by and talk about what I learned while I was searching for a publisher and why I made the decision to work with a small press with a questionable (internet) reputation.

Publishers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When I was researching publishers and agents to submit to, I found a lot of confusing and often contradictory information online about different publishers. With legitimate scams out there, horror stories of publishing contracts with large, reputable publishers gone, and new indie presses springing up (and going out of business) overnight, how is an author to know that he/she isn’t make a big mistake?

You don’t.

That is to say, not always. Stuff happens. There are countless stories of authors dropped by agents, dropped by publishing houses, of publishing houses going out of business and the author not able to get his/her rights back to sell the book elsewhere. If you didn’t read the two horror stories included in Part I of this interview, I highly recommend you do that now. (they are on The Write TimeI’ll wait. ::hums jeopardy theme:: Now, repeat after me: bad stuff happens to the best of us. You can’t foresee—and you certainly can’t insulate yourself against—everything that might happen. That’s life. But, there are some obvious “red flags” you can look out for that will help you avoid the obvious scams. 

Myth #1: If I don’t have an agent I’ll get ripped off.

There’s a big difference between being ripped off and not getting the best possible deal. While an agent is a huge, huge bonus, lack of one doesn’t mean that you are going to get ripped off if and no one should be afraid of working directly with a reputable publisher without an agent’s assistant. As always, educate yourself, do your homework, and work with a reputable publishing house, and, as I keep saying, before you begin the search for an agent or publisher, be sure to know your values, goals and assess your ability to handle different areas of the publishing process, including: do you feel able to find and understand information about the publishing industry, including technical or legal jargon? Do you feel confident in your ability to ask questions and/or negotiate portions of your contract? Are you comfortable advocating for yourself? Are you able to afford an intellectual property lawyer specializing in publishing contracts? Are you able to find such an attorney on your own? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you should definitely get an agent.

OK my friends, now head on over to The Write Time to see the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-publishing and Indie Publishing and why she went with an Indie Publisher. Tomorrow we will be talking with Terri about Predators and Editors, and vanity press.

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at

Connect with Terri:

Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

1 comment:

  1. I am Just amazed at the number of authors out there who would have another author not defend themselves when a publisher breeches a contract, Because if they have done it to one author they have done it to many. Read your contracts people and if you do not understand it or have issues with it Find someone to help you. Publishers are not your Friends. They are in business to make money. Don't ever forget it.