A few months back I got some excellent advice from a literary agent about the merits of small, boutique publishers. This agent warned that writers should be careful when considering working with boutiques, remaining wary of contract details and of the limitations that small shops often have. He then went on to mention that some small presses have been responsible for publishing authors that went on to have very successful writing careers, providing a way-to-press for some who might not otherwise have ever seen their books brought to life. I can certainly understand the arguments both for and against the small presses out there, but I really haven’t yet decided where *I* stand on the topic.
Especially when a boutique publisher comes along and likes what they’ve seen of EMERGENCE. Which happened about a week ago. This small publishers clearly has designs on becoming a big (or at least, biggER publisher) based on how they are conducting their business. I sent them the first five or six chapters of EMERGENCE with a query letter and marketing plan back in the Fall. And in response they have requested the full manuscript of the book to consider it for publication.
There are very few moments that are as awesome as those when someone out there in the literary world says “we like your writing!”. Even if it’s just enough of a “like” to ask to read more. But the question quickly becomes – what would I do if a small publisher offered to publish EMERGENCE?
If such an offer were to come along, wouldn’t that indicate that perhaps the book was good enough to be considered for publication with larger publishers? Would working with a small press be a bad idea, adding risk and worry where there might be significantly less with a bigger concern? But on the other hand, isn’t my goal just to GET PUBLISHED! So why on earth would I not go with a smaller group if the opportunity arose and they were a decent, respectable company?
The truth is, I don’t know what I would do. But I am keen on finding out! So I enthusiastically sent my EMERGENCE manuscript to this small press, and I sure hope that they love it! Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, it’s back (finally) to KNIGHTS AND WATCHERS.
Have you looked into self-publishing electronically? There is a growing movement in this direction, and you retain all the rights to your work. Word of mouth sells books, and unless the boutique house has the financial ability to promote your work, you may be better off dong it yourself.
This is fun to watch! Keep it up.
Oh yes, I sure have looked into it! I met some people at a writer’s group here in Cincinnati that swear by e-publishing and selling their work on Amazon… and some even make money doing it! I think I might keep the possibility in mind for the long-term, a way to get the book printed if nothing ever happens with agents and publishers. I’m not sure, but I think I’d rather go with a small publisher that offers a good deal than have to do the work of self-publishing. But I am REALLY not sure about that.