Friday, October 27, 2006

Small Publisher Questions

Questions:
1. Can smaller publishers get you out across your nation or is that
beyond
their reach? Or in other words, is their circulation to small?
2. Can you trust a smaller publisher to look out for your best
interests?
3. Do they push your book and advertise well enough? (I read one critic
say
that Shadow Mountain messed up with one author because they did not
give his
book the publicity push it needed)
4. Do smaller publishers pay the author less then bigger publishers?

1. It depends on the publisher. Now that we have amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com and alibris.com, the sky's the limit, but the publisher's ability to get your book on the shelves of stores on the other side of the country depends on the publisher's resources to do so.

2. About the same as you can trust any major publishing company. Meaning, not at all.

3. Again, depends upon the publishing house you're talking about and the resources they're willing to commit to your book. If you've heard bad things about a small publisher, stay away.

4. On the whole, yes. Much, much less.

2 comments:

Simon Haynes said...

Re point 4 - you'll certainly get less up front, but the royalty percentage shouldn't differ. In some cases it might actually be higher.

Termagant 2 said...

OPINION ALERT: Small presses can be great fun but they are not for those of us who want to:

1) make a lot of money. For these purposes, assume anything over $500 is "a lot."

2) get your name and your writing nationwide attention. Some small presses have NO publicity budget and the entire promo responsibility falls on the author. Now, I can't speak for us all, but I like to write books, not morph into a marketing whiz at this advanced age.

3) get your book on the shelves of the biggie bookstores. B&N has an arrangement with my small publisher, at least on paper, but if you go into B&N and ask for one of our titles, their constant, nationwide answer is "it's not available." This strikes me as breach of contract, but I only wrote the book--what can I do about it?

4) get an advance. There are exceptions, but by and large, small presses do not pay advances. As Simon said, your percentage can be higher, but when you're selling a dozen or so books, the percentage isn't the first thing on your mind.

My experience and my $0.02.