When some of my would-be publishers hear that answer, they run for the hills. Lucky for me, it’s only some of my would-be publishers. If it were all of them, my stories would not be published at all.
Here’s a sign of a publisher you might not want to do business with: “Together with your manuscript, you must send us a business plan on how you will market your work on social media including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and the like.”
Well, sheee… Ain’t got one, because I’m on none of those platforms, sorry. Now, when this demand is clearly shown in the submission guidelines page, I feel like thanking the publishers for not wasting my time. In reality I just move on to the next publisher on the list. But… When a publisher, after informing me that it has accepted my marvellous manuscript and wants to publish it tells me that I must submit the business plan I just mentioned, it’s a bit of a letdown, to put it mildly.
I’m not in the business of marketing, that’s the reason I submit to publishers. If I had a love affair with marketing, I would go the self-publishing route. I never do, so I search for publishers that will do that for me. When a publisher tells me that nowadays that’s the way it is, then I reply: OK, then what exactly is the value you are adding to the process? You sound just like a middleman trying to cash in on my work. Thank you but no, thank you.
Time to look for another publisher. And trust me, there are plenty out there that will work with you to get your stuff published without expecting you to be a door-to-door salesman, to buy 500+ copies of your work and then pitch them in conventions and the like. There are still those.
So the choice is yours: keep enabling these middle-men or take control and find the right publisher for you.