I’ve accepted a publishing agreement for (title) th a small independent publisher.
Thank you for considering my manuscript, and I look forward to querying you for other titles.
This arrived in my email on July 22.
The query for the novel arrived on July 14.
When the author withdrew the manuscript, I hadn't even read the query.
My guess is the author was querying publishers and agents at the same time.
I understand the temptation to do this.
Here's why it's a bad idea:
1. If your book is good enough for a quick acceptance by a small publisher, it's probably good enough for consideration at a publisher that pays advances, has a sales force, has a library sales team, and an actual art department.
Why jump for publication so quickly? Why not get a sense of what your options are first?
2. "I look forward to querying you for other titles" might be true for the writer, but it's not for me. Once you're published, with a sales track record, it's harder to sell your work for lots of money. That's a just a plain cold hard fact. And since I make my living selling books, I tend to pick the ones that I think I can get some money for. LOTS of money in fact.
I don't say any of this to you when you write to withdraw your query. I simply say "congratulations and I look forward to seeing your book in the store."
A few days ago, I got word that Publishing Company Z is accepting direct submissions in four genres, including mystery/suspense. Their site indicates they do not charge authors for reading, nor do they charge accepted authors for light editing, cover creation or marketing. They do ask that their authors do as much marketing on their own as they can, in addition to the publisher's efforts. Not unlike a small press, I hear. In short, they seemed legit.
I sent in my much-improved query (thank you for that!) along with a longer synopsis. That night I got a request for the first two chapters. That was last night. Today I was told they want to publish my novel and attached a contract. (They haven't read the whole thing yet, you'll note.)
It's not so much that they haven't read the novel before offering a publication contract (which is a pretty big red flag in and of itself, but given I've sold novels on partials, not a total deal breaker) it's that they're carefully telling you they don't charge to read or edit, or create covers or do marketing.
Since a publisher shouldn't do those things anyway, why do they feel the need to tell you they don't? Like the person who assures you he'll never do something that you never considered he might.
Clicking on Publisher X's webstite was a very illuminating experience:
"All work must be original and free of copyright"
That phrase demonstrates very clearly that the pubisher doesn't understand the concept of copyright at all. That's a very fundamental thing in book publishing.
With Publisher X you are joining a network of authors. Their contacts will be visiting the bookstore with your book(s) in it, and your contacts will do the same. This process creates more exposure to all of our books and gives authors a better chance of selling than going it alone.
This is delusional. It's also illogical. Do you really think your "contacts" are going to visit stores to promote an author they don't know? Hell no. I'm a radid drooling DEVOTED fan of several authors I do not represent and if they asked me to visit stores to promote someone else at their publisher I wouldn't do it. I advocate for writers I love. That's the nature of being a fan and a "contact."
This publisher not only doesn't understand publishing, they don't seem to understand people. I can think of a lot of problems I'm willing to have with publishers; these two aren't on that list.