As many of you may know, Brass Legionnaire recently won the EPIC eBook Award for Best Action Adventure Novel. And I get an awesome new little award thingie to put on my blog and my book website! Yay! What I didn’t add earlier is that while at the conference, I was approached by an editor at a small independent publisher. She was very interested in my book, and the award made the series more attractive. She asked me to email her when I got home, so I did. She recently got back to me, and was very interested to read more, so I sent her the entirely finished first and second books of the Steam Empire Chronicles, plus Roma Aeronautica, the short story that I’ve been working on.
I’ll admit, I’m feeling a tad bit nervous. One of the best things that self-published authors have is control. Control over editing, cover art, interior illustrations, when to publish, even deadlines. With a publisher, any publisher, you lose that. I was also worried because of my Kickstarter. Companies don’t like it when you give their stuff away for free (although in this case, the people have ‘technically’ paid for it, and saved the publishing house money as they won’t need to spend as much time editing or revising the novel – theoretically). I’ve also been looking at some of their writer’s work on the computer, and while it has some good reviews, they don’t seem to have a ton of downloads, which worries me to another degree.
The end result is what to do? I’m not sure. I’m going to hold off posting this until I hear some feedback from her. Here’s what I’d love to ‘get’ out of this situation.
- I want to keep my cover artist and interior artist because I believe consistency is CRITICAL with a series.
- I want flexible deadlines because I’m a teacher and can’t crank sh…er… stuff… out at a ridiculously fast pace.
- Money! (duh, but really, a healthy percentage cut or something…)
- Marketing assistance – I can do some, more in the summer, but not a lot due to my day job. I’d love some help.
What I don’t want
- Going back into edits on both novels
- Arguments over illustrations or cover (MY BOOK = MY COVER)
- For someone to get me to sign it over then sit on it.
- Changing the character/nature of the novel
- Being hung out to dry
- Watching my sales stagnate.
Let me add some caveats – I’m not a control freak, not am I a crazy person to work with. Just ask my editor, cover artist, formatter, etc. I’ve very low maintenance, but I do want to be listened to and included in the conversation. I don’t want to be talked down to, but I am willing to listen to constructive criticism. I know that Self-Published authors get a lot of flak for being difficult to work with or unprofessional, but I think that publishers often think that their work is superior in all ways, and that they don’t have to listen to people. I’ve found plenty of typos in major publishing house’s work before, so that’s not an issue with just one publisher. I also don’t think the stereotypes about either side are true, as I met absolutely wonderful people at EPICon who would fit either of those categories. I’ve also been looking up and doing my research, and I noticed that this particular publisher was relatively low on the Alexa score rankings, (type in Alexa Rankings and you can type in any website and see their traffic information). So I’m still torn.
Of course, nothing has been offered and therefore this could all be moot!
Lots to think about I suppose.
One thought on “To sign or not to sign with a small publishing house”
I think personally, if you are doing well, and getting what you want out of self-publishing now, there’s no reason to change things around. I’ve considered sending my books in for publication too, but always decided against it mostly because of the same concerns you have. I love indie writing, because I have the freedom to write a book that might not be exactly what markets are looking for right now and without having an editor tell me I have to put in more romance or stuff like that. I love my beta readers to give me feedback that I know will be helpful, but I’m always wary about what editors in the business might say.
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