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Question 3: Have I chosen a publisher?

Choosing the right publisher can, and often does, mean the difference between the success and failure of your book.

Just like you shouldn’t wait until your book is in print to begin marketing, you shouldn’t wait until your manuscript is finished to begin choosing a publisher.

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The success or failure of your book could depend on the publisher you choose.

The publisher you choose should be in the business of selling books, not just selling authors.

What I mean is, your publisher should make more of its revenue from selling books than selling “self-publishing” services to authors.

Unless you’re planning to self-publish or you’re planning to hire a company like Xulon or Westbow, who actually advertise themselves as “self-publishing” companies, you and your publisher need to be partners in making your book (inside and out) the absolute best it can be, and partners in making sure your audience is being built and your book marketed well before it’s available in the market.

At True Potential, we make more than 80% of our revenue from book sales and the rest from marketing, services and digital education programs. That means, even though we sell more than books, books are our lifeblood. We are in the book business.

Unless we (and you) are selling your books, neither of us is happy.

Choose your publisher wisely.

“Self-publishing” companies are just that. You’re still a “self-published” author, meaning you’re responsible for every aspect of your book’s success.

For a price, they will edit, format, print and ship books to you. In some cases, they’ll even put your book in their “catalog.” But if they’re not actively involved in distributing, marketing and selling your book, they’re not really a publisher; they’re a “publishing services company.” After the “service” is complete, you’ll be reminded of the “self” in self-publishing.


Here are some questions you need to answer in making the best choice for your publisher.

(click here to download a printable worksheet)

1. Who are my top 3 choices for a publisher?

2. Of the top 3, which one stands out as being truly interest in my success and the success of my book after publishing?

3. Should I eliminate any of my choices if they are clearly a “publishing services” company rather than a full-service publisher who stocks, distributes, markets and sells my book after it’s published?

4. Which of my top choices stand out as the best long-term value for my success and the success of my book?

Click here to read the next post:  we’ll answer the question: “What do I expect my publisher to do for my book and me?”


This post is based on the third chapter of our e-book: The Seven Questions You Have to Answer to Turn Your Manuscript into a Successful Book.

Thanks for reading.

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