Working with a Small Press
One option for authors who don’t want to self-publish, or are not interested in the agent route, is to submit to a small press. Magazines like Writer’s Digest and Poets & Writers often have articles about such presses, what genres they publish, and how to submit. Small presses are not the same as those publishers, often called vanity presses, who will publish any submission for a fee; instead, they use a competitive process to ensure quality. In addition, they are not always open for submission, so it might take a while to find what you want.
I am currently working with Booktrope so I can tell you a little about their business model. It is called “partnership publishing,” where costs and profits are shared throughout the length of the contract instead of the author paying the upfront costs of setup before receiving a percentage of the profits.
The Booktrope process is as follows: After your manuscript is submitted and is accepted for publication and you have signed a contract, the next task is to establish your team: book manager, editor, cover designer, proofreader, and marketing manager (who is often the same person book manager) and to negotiate the profit split either by using the standard percent or some other arrangement based on particular circumstances. The company has a large number of professionals who have signed up to participate in these capacities so you can select people whom think would be compatible with you as the author and your genre.
As the book moves through the editing and proofreading stages your manager will work with you to set up a marketing plan. She or he will market for you, although as with any book no matter who publishes it, you can expect to do a lot yourself.
Like all contracts, there are some downsides: You do not have total control as you would with self -publishing, not do you have 70% percent of the profits as you would on Amazon. But as someone who has self-published, I like the feeling that a professional team prepared the book and is looking over my shoulder after it is published. And I especially like that my book is distributed by Ingram so bookstores and libraries can order it.
Every small press is different. The November/December 2014 issue of Poets & Writers has a lengthy article about several well-known small presses along with interviews of authors who have worked with them and with contact information if you are interested in checking out the company.
As with any contractual arrangement, before signing you would need to carefully check out the company as well as the details of the contract to be sure you understand the agreement.
Judith Works. Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in
The ten years of happy and sometimes fraught experiences are the subject of her
memoir, Coins in the Fountain. She continues to travel, having visited over 100
countries in between many journeys to Rome Italy
where she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return to . Judith and her
husband now live near Rome
where she is working on her second novel. Seattle