If you're looking for a publisher in the age of social media, self-publishing and print-on-demand, maybe you're doing that for the wrong reasons. Let's find it out together.
Ego and approval
The idea that publishers are good quality judges is still around. Let me explain this false myth.
Publishers are companies. They mostly publish what thay think will sell.
If you're in need of reassurance that your title is worth and "with quality", you must know that the publishers criteria will ruin your plans. Publishers are interested in titles they can monetize. This is why they'll discard your title if it can't be sold easily, no matter how wonderful it is. The effort and risk to produce it is just too high.
Beware of pay-to-publish
The PTP publishers are companies that publish authors who pay for it, usually in an opaque way. For example, the author is forced to buy almost all printed copies of his own book. Its actually easy to recognize them:
It's always the publisher to pay the author. never the opposite.
I'm only an author
Making a complete title on your own can be overwhelming. if you accomplished this, now you may just want an ally to handle editing, press and marketing..
After all, we're only authors and we already did our duty.
This analogic way of thinking does not work anymore. Only a few publishers can fund a planned and targeted marketing strategy. And there's no guarantee they can do that on your title instead of others in their catalog.
Even with a publisher, an author must expose himself today.
I'm scared of self-publishing
I don't know how to do it
You can learn what you don't know.
A lot of authors self-published before you and they're still alive... me too! Don't be afraid to contact them and ask for advice. There are a lot of social communities and blogs where you can get information and suggestions.
I lack time and money
Self-publishing needs a lot of discipline, all around skills and a greatinvestiment in time and money. If money is your obstacle, prepare a business plan and save money as long as it's needed. Also, a well planned and timely crowdfunding can do well.
It took 14 years from the concept to the first printed comic book of Niki Batsprite.
Then I suceeded in publishing up to book #10 in half of the time. I know authors who struggled 20 years before getting their first printed book. So my timing is kind of average.
As a self-published author, I learned a lot of foundamentals. I agree that self-publishing is not for everyone, because of the mindset than external obstacles like time and money.
Most publishers are small and have similar resources to an individual author. Some of them were born byauthors' teams who joined together in collectives and structured themselves like actual publishers over time.
If the idea of self-publishing alone scares you, join other authors or a collective.
The teamwork will help you to learn how to survive in the industry when you'll decide to go alone.