Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Working With Small Presses

Changes in the publishing industry as a whole:

POD used to be a bad word—this is what’s happening right now.

Dorchester Publishing/Leisure Books is not going to publish mass market paperback anymore—only POD and e-books.

St. Martin’s just announced they are switching to POD.

Why? Economic issues mainly.

Most of the small presses have been using POD for years—and at the same time, publishing e-books.

At last report 150 ebooks were selling compared to 100 paper books.

Paper books will not disappear, but things are changing.

When looking for a small press make sure that not only do they do print books but also e-books. You want to be able to sell both.

When submitting, do exactly what the guidelines tell you. Make sure they publish the kind of book your writing, that you format according to their directions.

If you are submitting to more than one house, tell them. (Not in the query, but if they ask for the whole manuscript.)

Some small presses will ask for a marketing plan (platform) upfront. Be sure to have one ready. If you don’t have a website yet, start one using Blogger or one of the other free blogging sites. Get on Facebook, Twitter etc.

You will have to promote your book—if you publish with a New York press, you will have to promote your book. You’ll need to do it online and at in-person events.  Not many good bookstores left like the Well Read Coyote, treat those that are out there kindly. Always offer to give a talk.

Do not bug your publisher. It is okay to email with questions—but don’t be a pest. Never say nasty things to a publisher. If they reject your work, move on to the next. They all know each other and pass the word about troublesome authors.

You need to have a presence on line. Subscribe to yahoo lists, belong to groups. When posting on the groups don’t just talk about your book. Keep up with what’s going on in the publishing world. You want people to recognize your name.

--Marilyn Meredith aka F. M. Meredith, author of Angel Lost, published by Oak Tree Press, and Bears With Us, published by Mundania Press.