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Host: What are the characteristics of conventional publishers and what do they look for when publishing a book?

Jim Frey: Conventional publishers are much different than the first three publishing options. In that they typically are divisions of major international conglomerates. The days of the conventional publisher being only publishing standalone company are pretty much history in the United States. What they are looking for is known authors. They want known authors, well-known authors because they can forecast the return on the investment that they are going to make in publishing that author's work. Unlike, going to a printer or utilizing the services of the print-on-demand publisher or a self/subsidy publisher, conventional publishers pay all the necessary funds to get the work published. So, they are extremely reluctant to look at manuscripts from an unknown author. In fact, most conventional publishing companies require that first time authors have a literary agent to get published.