Small Presses vs. Big Publishers by Diana Rubino

Many authors wonder if writing for small presses versus the big traditional publishing houses holds any benefits. Diana Rubino dropped by this morning to talk about this and also to tell us about one of her books.

Diana Rubino, In Her Own Words

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, Fakin' It, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society, and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

Find Diana Online: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

Small Presses vs. the “Big Houses” – Something for Everybody
by Diana Rubino

Writing for a small press can be a stepping stone to a career leap—or it can be your entire career. Since no author can plan on a best-selling career with a big house, pitching to the small presses can be your ticket to publication.

The independent “indie” publishers are much more willing to take chances on new writers and cultivate their talents. Sure, their bottom line is important, as it is to any for-profit business, but they don’t have the time constraints the big houses have.

Benefits

This gives their editors the luxury of taking more time to work with authors, and spend much more one-on-one time with them on technical details such as point of view, character consistency, and basic grammatical and style issues. Small presses also accept unagented material, so authors can avoid the Catch-22 of not being able to land an agent because they’ve not yet established a track record.

POD and Local Bookstores

Most likely, your small press book will be POD (print on demand) which means a copy will be printed only when a customer orders one. It’s up to the author to visit his/her local bookstores to get to know the manager and staff. This kind of networking will result in some stores ordering a few dozen copies of the author's book, arrange for a signing, and give your books a valuable promotional push.

Author As Promotions Director

Most small presses run on tight budgets, and the author must take the necessary time and funds to finance a promotion; i.e., costs of designing a website and keeping it current, ads on internet sites such as BTS Book Reviews  and BookDaily, business cards, bookmarks and other giveaways, travel expenses to signings and conventions, etc.

My Backstory

I always like to inspire aspiring authors by telling my unique story: I received my first publishing contract 18 years after writing my first novel. I believe it was my ninth written novel that became my first novel–the first that got published, with British publisher Domhan Books, a small press.

At the time I signed my first contract, it was the fastest-growing publisher in the U.S. Unfortunately, the owner suffered health problems and could no longer actively run the company, but my five-year tenure there earned me many rave reviews and a Romantic Times Top Pick award.

I never gave up on my dream of that big house contract, but continued submitting to small presses, eventually landing contracts with Dreams Unlimited, Stardust Press, Eternal Press, The Wild Rose Press, Solstice Publishing, and Sarah Publishing. Although my agent is currently submitting my most recent works to the big houses, the small presses have been very good to me.

I’ve had my backlist republished with Solstice Publishing and The Wild Rose Press, and I do promotional offers such as offering my Ebooks at discounted prices on significant dates, i.e., the anniversary of the Lincoln assassination or the end of Prohibition. The promo I do with Twitter, Goodreads and the author/reader groups on Yahoo have brought me reviews and sales that I’m happy with.

My editors at The Wild Rose Press and Solstice Publishing are among the best editors I’ve ever worked with. They make my work sparkle. There’s a lot of talent out there in the small press world, and I advise any aspiring author to submit to them, because they offer great opportunities to start your writing career on the right path.

Choose Wisely

A few caveats to look out for are the vanity presses, which require that authors pay to have their books published. Some writers decide to go this route and self-publish. Of course some of these books have become best sellers. But make sure you choose a royalty-paying publisher if you don’t wish to go the self-published route.

Small presses have always been around, but with the miracle of the internet, many more are thriving, and authors have the choice of a great variety of outlets for their work. Some specialize in certain genres. You need to do your research to find the best fit for your work. But never before have authors had such a wide range of publishers; something for every taste.

Now that the Kindle and other E-book readers have come down in price and their sales are increasing, E-book sales have exploded. E-books have been around since the 90s, but never before have they been so popular. With the outlets that small presses have to offer, so many more writers than ever before can now share their talents with the world, which shrinks more and more every day!

From Here to Fourteenth Street, Diana's Latest Book

It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. As Vita and Tom work together against time and prejudice to clear her brother and father of a murder they didn't commit, they know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption.

Giveaway

Diana is giving away 1 Kindle edition of From Here to Fourteenth Street to anyone who can name the bridge in the book cover art. Winner chosen randomly by Diana. Post your answer here because we'd all like to know. Then to be entered to win, email your answer to: Diana @ DianaRubino.com.

Add From Here to Fourteenth Street to Your Library: The Wild Rose Press * Amazon Kindle
* Amazon Paperback

Takeaway Truth

Thanks, Diana, for sharing this information. Readers, below is a free LIVE preview from Amazon of From Here to Fourteenth Street. Just scroll down and click Read Preview.

4 comments:

  1. Looks fantastic, Joan. Thanks so much for hosting me! As always, you're welcome to guest on my blog anytime. Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Diana. I'll take you up on that offer.

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  2. Thanks, me too...if you're in NYC, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on Orchard is a must-visit---it was once a real tenement building, and it's restored to look like it did then. I got a lot of inspiration from that place. --Diana

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