So you've sent out queries and garnered a few requests from publishers. Then one of them offers. A friend had this happen to her a couple months back.
I asked her the usual questions:
Do they check out on Preditors and Editors?
How long have they been in operation?
How do the rights and royalty rates compare?
How is their distribution?
Everything seemed to check out there, but then I thought of something else, a detail that seems to be ignored in a lot of "seeking a publisher" blogs.
Do the authors stay with the publisher?
I remember reading a book by a certain publisher that I really enjoyed. I've been looking forward to the author's next book. But there hasn't been one. And the first one came out in 2009. The publisher has great connections, excellent staff, wide advertising and distribution, but authors usually only stay with them for one book.
It makes me think of my publisher's motto: "Sourcebooks publishes authors not books."
Obviously those other guys only publish books.
Luckily, the publisher making an offer on my friend's book appear to keep their authors and everything else looked great, so she accepted.