Many writers may know this already, but it’s worth repeating, repeatedly. Unless your choice is to self-publish, never pay to get published or pay for services to get published, or pay an agent to get published. Money should always flow to the writer, not the opposite. Writing is an investment. And with that investment, it also means investing your time (not money) to research on finding the right place for your work. Research is the key component here.
If you pay a service to help you get an agent, that doesn’t guarantee getting an agent. Even if you get an agent, that STILL doesn’t guarantee you getting published. Paying for a vanity publisher will be an even bigger mistake. I know of no vanity publisher that was super successful with their books. Unless someone can prove me wrong. I surely don’t know every publisher out there. But I do know nine times out of ten, it’s a scam.
If you’ve devoted your time and energy in your work, why not devote your time and energy to getting the right publisher? Places like AbsoluteWrite, Preditors andEditors, Publisher’s Marketplace, Agent Query and QueryTracker (.net) are all good places to start. And it’s all free information gathered from firsthand experience and proof of reputable places.
It breaks my heart when I see someone struggling miserably to get out of a contract, never getting paid, never seeing their book go to print. All because they signed with a bad publisher.
Case in point: My first two books, “Dreaming a Reality” and “Demon Girl” still sell after three years of being out there and I get very little to no money on my royalty statements. (and I’m talking 5 bucks and under here. And that’s every three months!) The only thing they were good for was to have writing credentials. Because that is, and will always be my work. That they can never take away from me. But I learned the hard way. I’ve paid to get published years ago with a picture book and a year went by with nothing done. I pushed for it to happen and they sent me the cheesiest drawings, and poorest editing, I no longer felt good about the project. Instead I felt absolutely miserable. That was the last straw. I terminated that contract before it was ever published.
So, to get back. Do your research extensively. Dig as deep as you need to go, but don’t pay for anything. You will regret it in the long run.