A reader posed this question to me in an email:
I read your comments about Publish America, and so I thought I would write and ask what publishers you would recommend for an aspiring writer trying to get their first short novel published?
Reputable ones. It’s a simple as that. Publish America isn’t one of them. They are a vanity press in disguise.
Here’s another piece of advice, since you’re asking: Don’t get involved with any publisher that asks you to pay to be published. They should pay you, not the other way around.
I would also be extremely leary of any publishers that are strictly print-on-demand. I’m not saying all the non-pay-to-be-published POD presses are dishonest, far from it, some of their founders really love books and respect authors… but many of those "publishers" tend to be on very shaky commercial footing at best. Take what happened with Quiet Storm, for example. On the other hand, Ellora’s Cave has become very successful and treats their authors well (though they have some of the most laughably horrible "covers" I’ve ever seen).