I've been writing a number of posts explaining some things authors can do to not only market their books but how to get recognized to begin with. Part of what I said has covered pro-markets, those paying five cents a word or more. Twenty words and you have a dollar in your pocket. Not too shabby. There are also semi-pro rates between a penny a word up to the pro-rates. Still better than splitting royalties. And, there are presses paying $25.00 a story or more. Maybe that's not equal to the others, but you are assured of making money.
So what's the point of this post, you ask? I am in a number of groups where authors discuss which way to go. Some want to hold out for the higher rates instead of self-pubbing or going for anything below pro-rates. Makes sense to me. However, and I'm certain to make some enemies here, your manuscripts had better be polished or you don't deserve it. If an editor reads your story, scratches his head, and says, "What the fuck?," you're out of the game.
Another thing: a lot of authors complain they're not being treated right by publishers. In a lot of cases they're not. However, to complain your book is not selling when you do nothing at all to help promote it, expecting the publisher to do it all, is totally ridiculous. I no longer publish any books for other authors. Yes, I still help out with edits and marketing for some people, but it is strictly gratis. My wife and I publish for ourselves only. We do all the work, knowing what it entails.
Most authors have no idea what it costs to get a book published. A Press has to pay for editing, cover art, formatting, copies for the authors, and marketing. It adds up. If a lazy author doesn't help with their own marketing, the Press loses. Big time.
So, my friends, stop bitching and chomp down on some facts. You must write a great story; it must be edited well; and you damn well better help to promote it. If you don't do all these things, your manuscript is no better than last week's garbage.
Thanks for reading.