Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Questions for an Independent Publisher?

I've had my eye drawn to the independent publishing market recently - and by that, I mean the smaller, independent presses, e-book prints, etc. These publishers will offer little or no advance, but neither will they charge you - they're investing in your book.

It's an aspect of publishing I don't know a lot about, so I've been exploring.

A very generous and recently successful independent publisher has agreed to take our questions. Yes, that's right. You can submit any questions you might have in the comments of this post (or email me if blogger is blocking you) and I'll pass them on to the publisher who has agreed to visit Seeking the Write Life with the answers.


Here's the questions I've come up with - what are yours?

1. Does going independent in today's market essentially mean going solely digital?

2. Do independent publishers have access / distribution to bookstore chains?

3. Has the YA market embraced e-books yet? (I get that kids are big on gadgets, but at this point most of them can't afford to buy e-readers for themselves. My perception is it's the adult genres that are really taking off in the e-book markets... am I wrong?)

4. It appears that in many cases a writer still needs an agent to get in the door with any worthwhile independent publisher - yet many agents say the deals with indie's are too small to make it worth their while, so... how does an author gain an indie's attention otherwise?

5. Are we naive to respect the 'we're not accepting unsolicited submissions' guidelines? Do many authors ignore and throw themselves on the slushpile anyway, thereby getting a foot in the back door?

Your Turn: What questions do you have for an independent publisher? (Just in case it's relevant, please note the genre your question is about).


  1. I'd like to know what small, independent publishers can offer in the way of marketing - and what they advise we do for ourselves.

  2. Amy, your questions are so good and thorough, I can only think of one other thing I'd like to ask. Do indie publishers charge for ANYTHING? Are authors ever asked to purchase a certain number of books to be sold, etc?

  3. Hi, since I've been working with a "micro" indi, for a couple of years, I'll throw in a few things I do know. Your publisher should not charge for anything, including editing. He/she should only charge you when you want books to sell hand-to-hand, or in a store.

    As far as bookstores, your book may never be shelved in a brick and morter bookstore, like the trade paperbacks. YOur book will be print-on-demand.

    What you'll want to know is where your books (eBooks) will show up on line--Amazon, and so forth. Small publishers are not going to give you an advance. Some might once you are a proven money maker, but that might be years (and many books down the road).

    You should also wnat to know what your royalties are for each, the book and ebook. You should be able to ask for a contract to look over carefully. A 3-year deal is common, from what I've seen around.

    The smaller publishers are getting more notice, and giving authors who are snubbed by agents and publishers, a real chance to get their work out there.

    Hope this gives your readers food for thought (^; ~ Lorelei Bell

    1. Thank you so much, Lorelei! Great to hear your experience.