Business Rule One: The Publisher Pays You

July 6th, 2005 · 3 Comments
by Booksquare

If, perchance, you’re looking for clues about the legitimacy of your publisher, may we offer up the following:

For one thing, some e-mails from Ivery were riddled with misspellings and bad grammar. For another, when Geniesse asked [Martha] Ivery to fix some typos in his manuscript, she told him it wasn’t worth bothering about, since it wouldn’t help sales.

Yes, it’s true. Typos don’t matter. Readers hardly notice them, and they rarely form judgments based on the fact that a book is virtually unreadable. After all, people purchase books to put on coffee tables. What’s contained between the covers is surely not of importance.

Martha Ivery, who in her spare time masqueraded as agent Kelly O’Donnell (presumably adopting an Irish brogue to disguise her voice), has been charged with all manner of fraud as she operated under the business names of Press-TIGE Publishing Co. Inc., and Kelly O’Donnell Literary Agency Inc.

We cannot stress it enough: publishers pay authors, not the other way around. You are not supposed to front any of the costs for your book, except actual writing (which you will likely never recoup as one cannot put a price on creativity). Also, if you’re a first time author and your money-hungry publisher promises you a complimentary cruise, worry. A lot.

File Under: Publishers and Editors

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