What You Need To Know About Book Publishing Houses

If you are trying to get your book published, it can be helpful to understand the landscape. You need to be familiar with the book market, especially in your genre. You need to be familiar with the book publishing process. You also need to know some very specific things about book publishing houses.

Usually Not The Best Option

The first thing you need to know about book publishing houses is that *MOST* of the time, they are NOT the best option to pursue if you’re a first-time author.

Of course, there are always exceptions but generally unless you’ve hit upon an extremely “sexy” topic where the book publishing houses can see they can quickly make a profit, your chances of striking a favorable publishing deal are extremely small.

That said, I realize that many of my readers will go on and try to get published by a major publishing house in spite of what I say ;) , so let’s explore this topic a bit further.

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Differences Among Book Publishing Houses

Book publishing houses are all different. There are publishers that work in certain genres, of course. Beyond that, each publishing house has its own procedures and processes.

Some publishing houses only work with agents, for example. Other publishing houses don’t require you to have an agent. Some publishing houses accept unsolicited manuscript submissions, while others don’t.

In that same vein, book publishing houses each have different submission guidelines. You need to consider those guidelines very specifically.

You need to be able to follow their submission instructions right down to the letter. The vast majority of rejections at many book publishing houses have nothing to do with the content of the book but rather with problems in the submission process.

What Motivates A Book Publishing House?

You also need to realize that book publishing houses are in business to make money. If one of them wants to publish your book, it’s because they believe there is a market for that book, and a market that they can tap into.

They’re not doing it because they believe your book to be the best story out there, or for any altruistic or artistic reason. They believe that, once they’ve paid you and paid to produce, distribute and promote your book that they’ll still make some money.

Being told “no” by a publisher doesn’t mean “your book sucks”. It just means that the publisher doesn’t see a profit in that book.

Book publishing houses don’t always make money on a book. In fact, around 60% of books fail to make back the advance for the publisher. Even fewer books, around 10% break even. About 2% of books make a good deal of profit for the publisher, and it is those top few books that keep book publishing houses in business.

What this means for you is that your advance is, in many cases, the only profit you’re likely to see from your book, so you’d better be sure you’re comfortable with that amount.

Finally, you need to recognize that just about every good book gets rejected at least a few times before it’s published. Even if every book publishing house tells you “no,” remember that working with a traditional book publishing house is only one of many ways to get your book published.


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