Publisher Evaluation Criteria
This page contains my evaluation criteria to which I measure publishers.  The criteria listed are those which I feel all authors must consider when choosing a publisher.  The publisher I now have for my current book meets all these criteria and I am quite satisfied with their performance in meeting my needs.  I will be creating publisher web site pages for those which I feel meet all or most of the criteria I have noted below. 
Established Company - The company is not new and has years of experience in the industry.  They must also have experience in the genre an author is considering.  This does not mean that those just starting out do not have the capability to meet an author's needs.
Publishing agreement accessible from or on their site.  It is important that a publisher openly provides access to their publishing agreement either through a direct link on their site or the opportunity to download it so it can be examined before an author decides to utilize them.
Publishing agreement is easy to understand. It is important that any publishing agreement have language that does not have vague statements but clearly defines the responsibilities of the author and the publisher.  The languge should not be one that requires a lawyer to understand.
Publishing agreement has defined options for cancellation.
Publishing agreement does not require long term committment (several years and locks in your work to their company)
Author owns all rights to their work -  This is important as it is your hard work and you should keep all the rights to it in whatever format is generated.
Publisher has experience with genre of book
Publisher has their own printing machine or printing company. This is important to assure ready access to print orders and not depend upon the workload of another company to fulfill their orders.
Recommended by others (may be by individual author experiences or sites that evaluate publishers)
Profit is from sales not authors  Some companies make their profit from their authors not sales of the books.  This should be a key as to whether you want this type of arrangement.
Author gets royalty on own purchases  -  If you purchase books from your publisher you should get royalties as if it was another sale.
Payment criteria (monthly/quarterly or yearly)  -  This is one area that is important.  If your publisher sells books you should not have to wait to be paid in quarterly or semi-annual payments.  This makes it hard to make a living. 
What do they offer that is different from other publishers -  Every publisher offers something different and if what they have is something you want or feel you should have available, then it is an option to consider.
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This page was last updated: July 13, 2009
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New Company -  Choosing a new company may also be a choice if you are comfortable with anyone you trust that recommends a company or they are connected to one themselves .
Any publishing agreement should have options for cancellation or termination of the agreement.  This is necessary so that you are not trapped into a contract where you are not satisfied with the relationship with the publisher.