Friends, today a super star is visiting my blog! Seriously.
The Alex J. Cavanaugh is here to chat about small publishers. Alex, creator of the massively popular Insecure Writer's Support Group, is one of the most supportive, nicest guys ever.
Curious about small publishers? Me too. Take it away, Alex!
In the Middle – the Small Publisher Debate
You ever notice how things can get lost in the middle? Think there can be no middle ground? After all, the two sides sound so appealing:
The self-published author – keeps all the profits and doesn’t have to share. Gets to make all the choices and has total control. Can write outside the genre box and is free from deadlines.
The author with an agent and a book deal – work is validated. There’s no book costs and gets a royalty advance. Bookstore placement and marketing. Big reviews and often better sales.
Both sound great, right? So, what’s in the middle?
Signing directly with a (small) publisher.
You’ve probably heard a lot of good and bad things about that route. Let me list a few points for you, some based on experience and some on the experiences of other authors.
- Small publishers don’t have huge marketing budgets. Some don’t have any.
- Your book sitting in a book store probably won’t happen. A lot are eBooks only.
- They are more likely to experience financial troubles.
- Often there’s no advance royalty. Overall royalties aren’t much.
- Sometimes covers are simple or involve stock images.
- Small publishers are more willing to take a chance on a new author or genre.
- Acceptance gets your foot in the door and garners some respect.
- You’re not a number – you’re a real person and sometimes family.
- You have some input in the process, including cover design.
- Often there is support past the initial release.
The middle was my choice. Overall I’ve been very fortunate with my publisher. They took a chance on a complete unknown and continued to support my books months after their release. They kept me in the loop and the covers they’ve produced have been stunning. And while there was no advance for the first two books, I did get one on the third book, and overall royalties have far exceeded my expectations.
Is it the right choice for you? Only you can answer that question. There will be pros and cons either way. Everything in life has pros and cons though. Which ones matter most to you?
Thank you Julie for the opportunity!
Alex, thank you! Not only for this great post, but for all you do for writers. You're a bright light in this community, and we're so thankful for you.
I've heard many authors speak about the family atmosphere with small publishers. Friends, do you have any experience with small publishers? Have you queried them? Published with them? Please share! Any questions for Alex? Ask away!
(No fair, Alex! A shadowy photo??)
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of Amazon bestsellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.