Book Digest defines Traditional Publishing as “when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher … pays (the author) royalties from the sales.”
Before even submitting any queries to a traditional publisher, an author should research the publisher to learn whether such a partnership would be a good ‘fit’, including questions such as:
- What types of books are represented by this publisher?
- Does the publisher have a particular mission? And if so, does it align with my own mission and values?
- Does the publisher represent authors like myself – perhaps in age, genre or book goal?
Once accepted by a traditional publisher, be sure to get clarification regarding the following:
- Do I retain the rights to my book? Which rights? For example, if approached by a movie production company, do I retain the right to agree (and profit) from such a venture, or does this contract give all future rights to the publisher?
- Will my creative input be accepted and respected regarding my book?
- Do I have any say in pricing, distribution or promotional placements? Will appearances be required of me, and if so, do I have a right of refusal?
These questions should also be asked of a hybrid publisher, as well as any other book contracts an author may enter into.