I believe that this topic will be useful to aspiring new authors. The recent bad experiences that a good friend had with a publisher in the UK point out the need for experienced authors to share their knowledge and provide some pointers to members of the forum who are planning to publish a book. Earlier this year I was disappointed with Fonthill Media in the UK after reading three of their recent publications. One publication suffered from such an extremely poor job of editing that it should never have been published in its current state. The photos in other books had a lower resolution than expected and I could see a noticeable difference when comparing the same photos in a different book published by Helion for the same author back in 2002. Several weeks ago I wrote to the management of Fonthill where I pointed out those deficiencies. In their response, Fonthill replied that there was no business case for making such improvements, even though in their advertising they stress that they publish quality books. Fonthill also pointed out that in the future they would be checking submitted manuscripts more closely before agreeing to publish them.
From what I have learned in recent years it would appear that most publishers do not put forth a great deal of effort when it comes to editing and the author’s skill with PhotoShop will largely determine the quality of the photos that are published. Do other people agree with this?
What terms have been included in your contracts with publishers such as copyrights, deadlines, royalties, right to approve final page layout and text before publication and cover images?
What have been your experiences with self-publishing, especially Lulu?
Thanks for taking the time to provide your input.