Writers Beware: 8 Publisher Red Flags

Writers Beware: 8 Publisher Red Flags

Red Flags for Authors Looking for a Publisher

In the wild world of book publishing, new authors can easily become overwhelmed. The process of finding the right publisher is not one to rush, and it’s crucial to approach this decision with caution. While there are numerous reputable publishers in the literary landscape, there are also some looking to take advantage of authors. Read on for a list of red flags to watch out for during your publisher search.

1. Lack of Transparency

A transparent publishing process is vital for any author-publisher relationship. If a potential publisher is evasive or unwilling to provide clear details about their publishing process, royalties, marketing plans, or contract terms, it’s time to be skeptical. A legitimate publisher should be open and honest about all aspects of the publishing journey. Contracts should be clear, not leave you with more questions than answers. Authors should know exactly what they’re getting, not be surprised with hidden costs.

2. Poor Reputation

Researching a publisher’s reputation is essential. Look for reviews, testimonials, and author experiences online. Pay attention to negative reviews, complaints, or stories of authors who have had a bad experience with the publisher. A pattern of dissatisfied authors is a significant red flag. Check out the website Writer Beware, which compiles information about scams and questionable or downright unacceptable practices in the publishing industry, including agents and publishers to stay away from.

3. Unrealistic Promises

Be cautious of publishers who make unrealistic promises, such as guaranteeing bestseller status or huge financial success. While publishers should be enthusiastic about your work, overly ambitious claims may indicate dishonesty or an attempt to lure you into a contract. Publishers should never guarantee book sales or promise that you’ll land on coveted lists. If a publisher convinces you that your book is destined to win a Pulitzer, you should probably run.

4. Lack of Professionalism

Professionalism is such a broad term, but it covers many important areas in the publisher search. You want to choose a publisher whose forward-facing appearance makes you proud, not skeptical. Look for things like a well-designed website (no typos!) and quality cover designs. The age-old phrase, “You get what you pay for,” should come to mind. Likewise, any communication you have with the publisher should be timely and professional. Don’t hear back for ages? Red flag.

5. No Author Input

Publishers have the final say when it comes to creative choices in the book production process, but that doesn’t mean that authors shouldn’t have some input. At the end of the day, authors should be happy with their book packaging, so it’s important to feel that your voice is heard. Publishing can be collaborative, and control doesn’t have to be one-sided. Ask your potential publisher how much author input they take into consideration when titling and designing their books.

6. Inadequate Editing and Proofreading

Editing is a crucial part of the publishing process. If a publisher is willing to accept your manuscript without thorough editing or proofreading, it’s a clear red flag. A publisher should have a dedicated editorial team to ensure the quality of your work. Check to determine whether editing is part of your publishing agreement—you shouldn’t have to pay extra for editing services.

7. Limited Distribution and Marketing

A good publisher should have a solid plan for distribution and marketing of your book. If the publisher is vague about their marketing strategy, has limited distribution channels, or expects you to handle most of the marketing yourself, it’s a warning sign. Ensure your publisher is committed to promoting your work and reaching a wide audience. But beware of false promises, such as being told your book will receive special treatment over others.

8. Little Track Record

All publishers have to start somewhere, but that doesn’t mean you want to be their guinea pig. Small or brand new publishers may not have the experience or connections you want for your book. Consider choosing a publisher that has a proven track record and testimonials from previous clients, from whom you can gather valuable information to make your decision. After all, you don’t want to waste time or money on something that may fall through.


Choosing the right publisher is a critical step in your journey as an author. While the publishing world offers many opportunities, it’s essential to be vigilant and recognize the red flags that may indicate a questionable publisher. By staying informed and conducting due diligence, you can protect your work, reputation, and investment in your writing. Always seek professional advice and consult with fellow authors to make an informed decision when selecting a publisher. Remember that a reputable publisher will support your writing aspirations and help you achieve your goals in the literary world.

Transforming Your Book into a Script: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transforming Your Book into a Script: A Step-by-Step Guide

Converting Your Book Into a Script

Adapting a book into a script can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor for writers and storytellers. The process requires careful planning, creative adaptation, and an understanding of the differences between these two storytelling formats. Let’s explore the essential steps to prepare your book for the big (or small) screen.


Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with Screenwriting Format

Before you begin the adaptation process, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the format of a screenplay. Screenplays have specific rules and conventions that differ significantly from book writing—remember, a book may be 80K+ words, but movies rarely exceed two hours in length. Screenwriting software such as Final Draft or Celtx can help you adhere to these standards.

Step 2: Identify the Key Themes and Characters

Begin by identifying your book’s central themes, characters, and plot points. These elements form the foundation of your screenplay and should be preserved as much as possible during the adaptation process. Consider what makes your story unique and captivating, and ensure those elements are retained in the script. You may be unable to carry over every detail, but you don’t want to lose the most important things.

Step 3: Create a High-Level Outline

Next, create a high-level outline of your screenplay. This outline should map out the major story beats, including the inciting incident, plot twists, character arcs, and the resolution. While a book allows for more extensive exposition and internal monologue, a screenplay must be concise and visually engaging. Focus on the visual and dramatic elements that translate well to the screen. Tip: Read a book that has been adapted, then watch the film and note the differences.

Step 4: Break the Story into Acts

Divide your screenplay into three acts, following the traditional structure commonly used in screenwriting. Act One sets up the story, introduces the characters, and presents the central conflict. Act Two develops the conflict, introduces obstacles, and escalates tension. Act Three resolves the conflict and provides closure to the story. By organizing your script into acts, you create a clear and compelling narrative structure. Now is not the time to be a pantser!

Step 5: Character Development and Dialogue

In the transition from book to script, character development, and dialogue are critical components. Since screenplays rely heavily on visual storytelling, you’ll need to convey a character’s personality, motivations, and growth through actions, expressions, and dialogue. While you may lose some of the depth found in a novel, focus on capturing the essence of each character and their relationships in a visual way.

Step 6: Trim and Condense

Books often contain subplots, internal thoughts, and extensive descriptions unsuitable for a screenplay. During the adaptation process, be prepared to trim and condense the narrative. Yes, this is the time to “kill your darlings.” Focus on the central plot and the most critical character arcs, eliminating any extra elements that don’t drive the story forward or translate well to the visual medium.

Step 7: Visual Storytelling

One of the key differences between books and screenplays is the emphasis on visual storytelling. Readers create their own images in their minds, but when you’re watching a screen, it’s right there in front of you and, therefore, must be strong. In your script, use vivid descriptions to create compelling visuals for the audience. Show, don’t tell, whenever possible. Prioritize scenes and moments that can be captured effectively on camera.

Step 8: Adapt the Narrative Style

Books often allow for extensive introspection and exploration of characters’ thoughts and feelings. You’ll need to adapt to a more external narrative style in a script—we can’t hear what characters are thinking on screen. Rather than delving deep into characters’ inner thoughts, convey emotions and motivations through actions, expressions, and dialogue—things viewers can see.

Step 9: Seek Feedback and Collaboration

Once you’ve completed your first draft (yay!), it’s time to seek feedback. Getting fresh eyes from industry professionals and writer communities is a great way to examine your work objectively. Constructive feedback can help you refine your adaptation and identify areas needing improvement—just remember, feedback can be tough to swallow. Still, it’s a critical step in any writing project.

Step 10: Revise and Refine

Post-feedback, don’t be afraid to make changes, refine dialogue, and polish your screenplay until it’s in its best possible shape. Keep in mind that adaptation is an art, and finding the right balance between staying true to the source material and making necessary changes for the screen is essential. No book and film is ever 100% identical, and that’s to be expected.

Step 11: Pitch Your Script

Once you’re satisfied with your screenplay, you can pitch it to agents, producers, or studios. Prepare a compelling pitch package that includes a logline, synopsis, and any relevant information about your background and the marketability of your project. Networking and attending industry events can also be valuable for making connections and opening doors. Most importantly, be confident in your work and never give up!

Turn your book into a screenplay!  Talk to our liasion to learn more.
Nina Purtee Attends Author Showcase

Nina Purtee Attends Author Showcase

Book signing for Roger N. Messer J.D

Congratulations to Nina Purtee, author of Beyond the Sea: Annie’s Journey into the Extraordinary, for a successful book event! It was held on November 1st at the library on St. Pete Beach in the Tampa Bay area. The event was the first local Author Showcase for patrons to meet the authors and have the chance to see and purchase their books. Nina connected with local readers and offered signed copies of her books.

Congratulations again, Nina!

Book signing for Roger N. Messer J.D
Book signing for Roger N. Messer J.D
Our October Unboxing Video Winner, Jo Shekeruk

Our October Unboxing Video Winner, Jo Shekeruk

Cover of Better Your Best by Jo Shekeruk

Congratulations to Jo Shekeruk for winning our October Unboxing Video Contest! Her book, Better Your Best: With recipes for success and inspiration from industry leaders in Detroit and across the country, will receive a complimentary book trailer. Check out the unboxing video HERE!

We love receiving our authors’ videos of them unboxing their books and promo items (thank you!). So, remember to capture the moment and send it to us when you receive your complimentary copies, bookmarks, posters, business cards, or invitation cards!

Then, email these short videos to your Publication Coordinator or socialmedia@pagepublishing.com. Please remember to include your name (or pen name) along with the title of your book in your video. Not only will these videos be shared on our Page Publishing social media pages, but authors will also be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a FREE video trailer for their book!

Limit one entry per month.

Drawings will occur monthly; 1 winner per month.

10 consejos y técnicas para crear personajes convincentes

10 consejos y técnicas para crear personajes convincentes

Como autor, uno de los retos y recompensas más importantes es crear personajes que calen hondo en los lectores. Un personaje convincente puede dar vida a la historia, suscitar emociones fuertes y dejar una impresión duradera en el público. Tanto si eres un escritor experimentado como si acabas de iniciar tu andadura literaria, dominar el arte del desarrollo de los personajes es esencial para crear una narración apasionante y memorable. En este artículo, vamos a explorar algunos consejos y técnicas clave que le ayudarán a crear personajes que encantarán a sus lectores.


1. Aceptar la complejidad

Los grandes personajes son multidimensionales, como las personas reales. Evite los estereotipos unidimensionales o los clichés. En lugar de eso, dota a tus personajes de una mezcla de virtudes, defectos, fortalezas y vulnerabilidades. Explore sus antecedentes, motivaciones y sueños para comprender qué les hace únicos. Los personajes defectuosos suelen tener más resonancia entre los lectores, ya que son más cercanos y muestran un mayor crecimiento a lo largo de la historia.

2. Mostrar, no contar

En lugar de contar a los lectores cómo son sus personajes, muéstreselos a través de sus acciones, pensamientos y diálogos. Deje que sus personalidades brillen a través de sus decisiones e interacciones con otros personajes. Deje que los lectores descubran sus rasgos y emociones de forma natural, creando una conexión más profunda entre el público y los personajes.

3. Objetivos y motivaciones

Los personajes convincentes tienen objetivos claros y comprensibles que hacen avanzar la trama. Entienda qué quieren sus personajes y por qué lo quieren. Sus motivaciones deben estar arraigadas en sus personalidades y experiencias pasadas. Contar con objetivos y motivaciones bien definidos dará a los personajes profundidad y propósito, lo que facilitará que los lectores se impliquen en su viaje.

4. Defectos y crecimiento

Nadie es perfecto, y eso es aplicable a los personajes. Los personajes “perfectos” pueden ser aburridos y poco interesantes. Introduce los defectos o debilidades que tus personajes deben afrontar y superar durante la historia. A medida que se enfrentan a retos y crecen, los lectores se involucrarán emocionalmente en su viaje y celebrarán sus progresos.

5. Conflicto interior

Las luchas internas añaden profundidad a los personajes y los hacen más humanos. Explora sus dudas, miedos y emociones contradictorias mientras se enfrentan a sus decisiones. Este conflicto interior puede crear empatía y un vínculo emocional más fuerte entre el lector y el personaje.

6. Las relaciones importan

La forma en que los personajes se relacionan con los demás en la historia puede revelar mucho sobre su personalidad. Desarrolle relaciones significativas entre sus personajes: amistades, romances, rivalidades o lazos familiares. Estas conexiones pueden servir de motor para el desarrollo de los personajes y pueden ser poderosas herramientas para evocar emociones en sus lectores.

7. Diálogo con propósito

Entablar un diálogo que sea auténtico y sirva para algo más que para conversar. El diálogo puede revelar rasgos de carácter, emociones y conflictos. Evite una exposición excesiva o largos monólogos que puedan resultar poco naturales. En su lugar, utilice el diálogo para mostrar la dinámica entre los personajes y hacer avanzar la trama.

8. Involucrar los sentidos

Dé vida a sus personajes atrayendo los sentidos del lector. Describe su aspecto, sonido, olor y movimiento. Los detalles sensoriales pueden hacer que los personajes sean más vívidos y cercanos, lo que permite a los lectores visualizar la historia y sumergirse en ella.

9. Evitar los estereotipos

Desafíese a sí mismo para evitar caer en estereotipos comunes o personajes simbólicos. Tenga en cuenta la diversidad y la representación en su elenco de personajes. Adopte la inclusión y cree un mundo que refleje el rico tapiz de experiencias de la vida real.

10. Pon a prueba a tus personajes

Ponga a sus personajes en situaciones difíciles para ver cómo reaccionan. Esto le ayudará a comprenderlos mejor y a afinar sus rasgos y respuestas. Póngalos al límite y vea cómo evolucionan, haciendo que el viaje sea aún más gratificante para sus lectores.

Recuerde que crear personajes convincentes requiere tiempo y esfuerzo, pero el resultado merece la pena. Cuando los lectores establezcan un fuerte vínculo con sus personajes, los seguirán con avidez a través de sus aventuras, y su historia dejará un impacto duradero. Así que invierta en sus personajes, déles vida y vea cómo encantan y cautivan a su público, haciendo que su escritura sea realmente inolvidable.