Romance Publishers: Finding the Good Ones

© Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved


You've worked hard over several long months, perhaps even years to complete, what in your eyes, is the perfect romance novel. You've polished it until it shines. Now comes the time to send your precious literary child out into the world. How do you know that the publisher you've chosen is a good one? How can you be sure they're legit?

After working so hard, you certainly don't want to be conned or taken for a financial ride. You don't want to see your work treated badly. So, it's important for you to do your homework. Take a good look at what's out there and make an informed decision.

Now I should say up front here, that my experience is solely with electronic publishers, that is to say, legitimate royalty paying publishers who run their businesses online. These are small press independent publishers. That's my frame of reference. But I think many of the same principles apply when searching out one of the larger brick and mortar houses.

The internet makes it relatively easy to research publishers, particularly the indie pubs working online these days, and there are many. A quick Google search of electronic publishers will bring up a huge number of hits. But there are some easier places to start.

Renowned sci-fi/fantasy author Piers Anthony has compiled a huge listing of electronic publishers on his website Mr.Anthony has, for the past few years, taken a great interest in the e-publishing industry, and in fact, has his books published by Mundania Press He has compiled a list which he keeps updated with such information as who has gone out of business, who has complaints of poor treatment of authors, who offers a poor contract, or a good one, who is a classy operation. It is an excellent place to begin researching homes for your precious novel.

Another site is Preditors and Editors

They act as a watch dog group for the electronic publishing industry, and a red flag from them is worth watching for. Like Mr. Anthony, they list the various publishers with comments, and keep their list updated regularly.

EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Internet Connection, has in recent years become the leading e-publishing professional organization. Citing that they are the "voice of electronic publishing", they offer lots of helpful information on their site. Most notable is their sample contract and the red flags to watch out for. Great homework for any author.

Another step to take in searching for a publishing home for your book, is to visit various publisher's sites. Get a feel for them. See how they conduct business. Check out their contract, if they offer it online (many do). Compare it to EPIC's model contract. Look at their writer's guidelines. See what they're actively looking for. Even purchase a book or two to get a sense of the quality of the work they publish. Most ebooks run $5.00 and under, so this is an affordable thing to do. Often, even the tone of a website, will tell you if this is a place you'd be comfortable placing your work. Be wary of any place that asks for payment for services, like editing. No reputable publisher will ever ask for money from their authors for this kind of thing.

There are many yahoo groups for writers, where you can join and relate to other writers. Places like WRW (World Romance Writers) and EPIC's social list give you the chance to ask fellow writers about their publishers and publishing experiences. There's nothing like getting the information from an inside source.

Other groups like Books We Love, and Divas of Romance are promotional groups for authors and publishers. On their sites, you can visit author pages and see who their publishers are. Soon you'll see publisher names cropping up time and time again. These are publishers you might want to take a closer look at.

The important thing to remember, after all your hard work to create that wonderful romance novel, is to do your homework. It's a little bit of work to protect your precious creation.

Judy's publisher's are Draumr Publishing, Fictionwise, and Pearlsong Press.


About the Author: Judy Bagshaw has been published since 2000. Writing romance featuring full-figured heroines, her publishing credits include 4 novels, 1 collection of short stories, and short stories in three anthologies. She was also part of the writing team for the Ginn Reading Series, and Reaching Readers Series, used in many elementary schools. Retired from teaching, she writes full-time from her home in Ontario, Canada. Visit Judy's website:





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