Scott D. Roberts, president of 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com), and I recently remarked on the "shysty" nature of some self-publishers who take people's money and produce little or nothing. The stories are so rampant it's sad.
Education. You must educate yourself on this industry and carefully investigate your potential publisher before you drop a dime. Our hybrid services (crossing traditional and self-publishing) aren't aimed at quantity. We focus on quality over quantity. If 3L Publishing published every manuscript that came to us we wouldn't have the reputation with the book reviewers.
What should you look for?
Buy some of their books. Nothing will give you a clear idea of the product quality than to buy the product. Look the books over. Do you see errors on something as important as the back cover? A few mistakes in the book is common, but not on every single page. How does it read? Is it a page-turner? Is it shockingly bad? Is it brilliant, interesting, unique or clever? Is it well written?
Do their authors win awards? Check out if there are award-winners in the catalog. Not every book will win an award; but it's good indicator of quality if some of the books have won a few awards.
Do they have any Amazon best sellers? Few books (and most of those come out of the New York publishers) make the New York Times best-seller list, but it's more telling if the publisher has some Amazon best sellers in its catalog.
Read testimonials. What do their authors say about the company? Many positive testimonials reflect well on the company. Ask for references. Get on the company's mailing list and read things like this newsletter.
If you would like a consultation and advice, please send an email to info@3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012. If you would like to learn more about 3L Publishing, log onto www.3LPublishing.com.
Here are some of 3L's award-winner titles: