At the fall conference, one of the attendees asked for the Pros and Cons of publishing with a small independent publisher, versus self-publishing or going with one of the “big six” as we call them in romance distribution.
Since I’ve been published by three e-publishers or small press publishers as they’re now called, I do know a thing or two about being published by the “kids on the corner”
Below shows the basic pros and cons of dealing with a small publisher. My first book, Little Secrets, has been in print and for sale since April of 1996. I’ve been getting royalties on that book ever since. It’s been through revisions with three publishers and it’s still making me and my publisher money. I cringe because, as my first book, I’m sure my writing is better now, but we press on.
Pros: More Creative Control, No Agents Required, Books may NEVER go out of print, Deal directly with Decision makers. Contracts are more straight-forward, You have more input as to cover art and print style, Author discounts available if you want to have books for hand sale, Nice royalty rates – 45% to 55% per book, Publisher handles formatting and distribution, Some Marketing and Promotion help, Shorter Contracts–Varying rights are purchased, Many small presses now publish e-books, audio books, and print books, One stop shop for author.
Cons: No Advances, Make deals by yourself, File your own copyright papers, You need a business head, Services vary by company, Vanity Press by another name-be careful, Distribution may not be as wide, May not be as lucrative, You may have to do more marketing than you think, Confused with Self Publishing, Start up businesses come and go, Do your research, Not many freebies.
I prefer to deal with a small publisher for two basic reasons:
1. I don’t want to deal with the business side of distribution. I don’t want to learn how to format and upload and secure world-wide cyber distribution. I DON’T! My publisher handles all of that. I’ve learned my books are now available all over the world. I’ll be anxious to see if that availability translates to sales. But I’m delighted I didn’t have to worry about it. Mundania Press did that. My books are also under contract to be audio published. One of them is already on the “e-shelves.” Mundania also fights with Amazon to get the royalties we’re owed.
2. I don’t want to deal with a bureaucracy as big as a New York Publisher to get a book out. I want to write what I want to write. I have much more freedom to do that in the small press world, with editors, artists and tech staff to back me up. I like being able to pick up the phone, make a call and talk to the owner of the company. I’ve known him nearly 15 years, through good and bad. That’s a nice business arrangement.
My newest book, All a Lady Wants, was released in February of 2014. It was immediately available in e-book and print format. The cover Mundania did for me was gorgeous and didn’t cost me a cent. It is available through Mundania ( Awe-Struck Imprint), Amazon and several other outlets, in a multitude of formats. I like that. Now all I have to do is keep writing.
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