by Heather Moore
In follow-up to Annette's submission advice yesterday, I'd like to share a few things that I've done BEFORE submitting.
When I research an agent or publisher, these are the steps I take:
1. I contact a few of the authors and ask how their experience was. I can usually find email addresses or websites by googling their names and books.
2. I see if the company has a viable website with proper contact information.
3. I check their ratings on Preditors and Editors and Writers Beware
4. If they are a small press, I ask them about their wholesale company or distributor.
5. I ask for a list of their recent books published (or recent books "sold" if it's an agent). I contact a few of those authors.
I learned this the hard way. Several years ago, I received a publishing contract from Harris Literary. I was so excited! I signed it and was ready to mail it back. Then something nagged at the back of my mind and I decided to do a little research--more than I had before. I contacted some of their authors and all of the ones that wrote back gave me the same feedback. Do NOT go with this publisher. One was even in a lawsuit situation with them.
Last year I was contacted by an agent who used an email that I don't normally query with. So I was a little surprised. Upon further investigation, I found that it was a scam artist. Here is the full story.
Also, for a list of some red flags, go here.
Please do your research, and do it thoroughly before submitting to an unknown.