Let me preface this post by saying: I am pre-pub'ed! That is writer-speak for: I ain't been published yet, Sherlock. So what I write here is worth exactly what you are paying for it, or what you choose to make out of it. Understand?
First and foremost: Publishing is a business. The publisher is not in business to help you get your story published. He is in business to make money. If he can use your work to make money, fine. If you happen to make money too, well, isn't that just special. It is a business, not a charity. Don't get the two confused.
There are reputable publishers, and, well, not so... Enough said? How do you tell them apart? The first resource that I always recommend is your writing association. Writing associations keep track of these things. They are in the business of helping you write to the best of your ability and to get published. Their help is well worth the membership dues. I have already talked about the classes they offer.
In my side bar list Very Useful; Very Important, you will find links to some organizations that are extremely helpful. In addition, you should find some help in distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys at the following URLs:
Writer Beware: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/
Preditors & Editors: http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/peba.htm
Piers Anthony: http://www.hipiers.com/publishing.html
Surf theses sites for both the good and the bad.
I am sure that there are many more, and if you will e-mail me the URLs that you think are helpful, I will be glad to set up a separate side bar list so that it is easier for everyone to check publishers out. I have had too many of my friends burned, and I don't want to be on a fly-by-night publisher's Bar-b-Q, do you?
Do your homework!
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