You've written your book. You've polished it within an inch of its life--or maybe within an inch of yours. You've had critique partners and beta readers go over it and tell you all the things that need to be fixed, and you've polished it some more. You are finally ready to send your baby out into the publishing world.
But figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Assuming you want to be traditionally published (self-publishing is definitely a viable option, but that isn't what this post is about; I'll talk about that another time), you have tons of options available to you. Do you go for a small press or a big-name publisher? E-book only, digital first, or print? Or do you submit to an agent who can open more doors for you and maybe net you a better deal than you can get on your own?
When you're trying to get published, there are so many options available now that even people who have been in the business for years might feel a little lost. I know one author who has been published in the past by big names, who narrowly avoided a scam publisher because at first she thought it sounded like a good small press to try. Another author I know submitted to a small press that had been in operation for several years--and found numerous misspellings and an illegal clause in the contract they offered her.
Over my next few posts, I'll be giving you tips and resources to help you find the best--and most reputable--home for your baby. For today, one great place to start is the Absolute Write Water Cooler. These forums are populated by over 10,000 authors in every stage from just starting out to multi-published best sellers, along with editors, agents, and other industry professionals. Among the boards there is the Bewares, Background Checks, and Recommendations board, where you can find or ask for information on any publisher or agent you encounter. Chances are if you've found them, others have as well, or can find out information for you. Absolute Write itself is full of excellent articles on writing, so I would recommend checking out the main site too.
I'll be back in a couple weeks with more.