I’ve been asked recently why Martin Brown Publishers, LLC are so picky about what they accept for publication. The answer is very simple. Risk. As the saying goes, time is money. At this point, seeing I’m at the beginning of this post, I have to ask a question. Would you be willing to work for nothing? Yes I know, you’ve devoted many hours writing a novel. That’s wonderful. But if writing was what you do for a living, would you write for free?
I make my living publishing books. Put another way, what do you make your living doing? Are you retired, do you teach? What do you do to pay your bills? I pay mine with revenue from books. When I publish, I expect a return for labor expended. If a novel is in horrible shape, time has to be expended to get it ready for publication. On the other hand, if a novel is practically print ready, I expend less time. Time is money. Of course, as with all things under the sun, there are exceptions to this rule.
Suppose, as a for instance, I’m queried by an author who has a huge social network following.
Although she’s never published, her name is out there as a budding author. The odds are very good, in this person’s case, that if I publish her, even though I’ll have to invest time in fixing her novel, I’ll get a return on my money because of her platform. Will I take the risk, probably.
But let’s take the other author; the one who has no social footprint and whose work is in bad shape. Will an publisher, or even an agent, take a risk on his work? The odds are stacked very much against. Time is money—or not in many cases.