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If you click the 'Books' tag on the Hunt Press site you'll be taken to a Lulu Author Spotlight Page. Most of HP's books (twelve, to be precise) are by founder Angela N Hunt, who is certainly not lacking in the self-confidence department:
Unfortunately Hunt doesn't mention exactly what her unique skill set is or who she knows (or knows of).Why Us?
Actually, why me?
I’ve been asked this question a few times and it has allowed me to crystallize a lot of my thought around publishing, POD, micropress, and just in general, the madness that is publishing.
The questions seem to devolve into two camps: why micropublishing? and why not go with a big publishing house/agent/the traditional model?
Madam Editor suggests though that the root of the question actually is, can a micro house make as much money as publishing with a big house?
Ah, but that's not what people ask me. And frankly, I'm not looking to make *as much* money, I'm looking to make *sustainable* money. Because the blunt fact is, you can't sustain a blockbuster mentality. At a certain point, you just fall over from exhaustion: the exhaustion of frantically searching for the next blockbuster and the exhaustion of recovering when you inevitably fail.
That's not a life worth living.
So that leaves the camps of thought.
The first camp: why not? Seriously. It’s the Everest response. Because it’s there. Because I can. And because I watched several other small presses doing things in ways that frankly, I just wouldn’t and couldn’t understand. Struggling because they didn’t have the unique skill set that I possess or struggling because they didn’t know the incredibly talented people that I know or know of.
There's a reason why at least 90% of those manuscripts don't get past the gatekeepers: they aren't readable, let alone publishable. And why confine yourself to the Big Six (or Five)? There are plenty of reputable small presses.I was also getting more and more of a sense that my own work, which I wanted to see out in the world, was either too specialized, too niche, or just plain getting lost in the shuffle of the hundreds of thousands of manuscripts trying to get past the gatekeepers of the pitifully few large publishing houses that still exist. It’s like *being* the needle and wondering why no one can find you in the haystack.
Jim Baen had years of experience at Ace and Tor before he started his own publishing house, and Baen Books enjoyed good distribution from the very beginning. Del Rey Books was the SF division of Ballantine Books, where Lester del Rey worked as an editor.But hey. There’s this tool. It’s called POD. And I’m smarter than the average bear, so…
...I found out I had a talent for this strange beast. I found that I longed for the spirit of Jim Baen and Lester Del Rey who ran their houses with a personal touch, not by a spreadsheet and corporate fiat.
Neither Baen nor Del Rey started small in the way that Hunt Press is starting small. Hunt is comparing apples and oranges.Incidentally, they all started small. Small grows to big. It's the enterprenurial [sic] spirit in publishing...
Let me guess: Ms Hunt couldn't find either a commercial publisher or an agent.Yeah. Sure. Find an agent. Let me know when you’ve got one.
*looks at watch*
Oh, it’s going to take you one to five years, if at all to get one?
Oh. I’m sorry. While you’re still looking, I’m going to be publishing books. Y’know. While you’re still looking for an agent.
I hope HP's core values include using better spelling and grammar in their books they they do on their website.Frankly, I doubt Hunt Press will *remain* small. But the core values I mean to keep, no matter our external changes.
You know what's coming next, don't you?
I am large, I contain multitudes.The old model is a dinosaur. It cannot compete with me. I am small. I am nimble.
I don't know what this lady's on but I want some of it.I have the weight of momentum and dynamism behind me. I turn on a dime. They fall on their faces. They cannot compete with me.
Yes, an individual may or may not be there in six months. So what? The marketing/PR department itself will still be there. And the brutal truth is that most small publishers are not in it for the long haul.The indie bookstores love me, because they have a relationship with *me*, not someone at a marketing/PR department who may or may not be there in six months. I'm in it for the long haul, and so have a vested interest in building these relationships. Small can be replaced with personal. People are tired of the impersonal and the faceless. And I'm certainly not that.
Taking your authors with you.Can I roll out a powerhouse? I don’t know. But I’ll go down fighting.
Ah, the old 'publishing is a lottery' and 'newcomers don't stand a chance' myths! At least Hunt is honest about the fact that a POD publisher isn't going to sell millions of books, but most novice authors will expect to sell a decent number. I don't know how many indie bookshops stock HP's output, but on the Amazon/Barnes and Noble websites they'll be fighting for the tiny market share occupied by umpteen other PODs and self-publishers.What makes you think that you’re going to win the lottery? I’d rather take that magical thinking to the 7-11 and buy a lottery ticket. I have just as much chance as striking it big with a blockbuster.
...You want to be discovered? I suggest standing on the corner of Hollywood & Vine with all the other little hopefuls, holding their disappointment in their hats and trying not to show it.
Oh, FFS! Reading HP's 'About Us' page is like being harangued by a televangelist. This alone would put me off submitting to them.To quote James Owen: We’re not IN publishing. We’re at war. And I don’t intend to lose.
At war against whom?
Against entropy. Against the long night. Against obscurity. We'll all eventually fail against those titans. But while we last, while the battle rages, oh, yes, we will be glorious.
Let it not be said that we did not at least *attempt* to leave our mark on the world.
Last edited by aliceshortcake; 01-09-2013 at 11:50 PM.
"There is only one thing worse than being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass, and that is being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass near an ant colony"
Oscar Wilde (citation needed)
Angela Hunt says on her website:
The "old model" consists of quality editing, good cover art, excellent distribution, and marketing and promotion. Size is immaterial, however, working capital is all-important.The old model is a dinosaur. It cannot compete with me. I am small. I am nimble.
Bookstores don't care who they order from. It could be the cleaning woman if it meant getting their hands on a title they know will sell. Marketing and sales guys are worth their weight in platinum because they know how to speak bookstore-ease, they've established relationships with store buyers, and they how to push a title into the marketplace. The faceless, impersonal mantra is a straw man argument that really needs to be put to rest.The indie bookstores love me, because they have a relationship with *me*, not someone at a marketing/PR department who may or may not be there in six months. I'm in it for the long haul, and so have a vested interest in building these relationships. Small can be replaced with personal. People are tired of the impersonal and the faceless. And I'm certainly not that.
Furthermore, one person can't possibly establish relationships with all the indie bookstores. Besides, it's not about relationships, but whether the store buyer believes a title will sell. They are inundated with requests from small, unrepresented publishers all the time, and unless a publisher can show that a particular title has huge wings, then they'll ignore it.
Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat
II 2015: 2016: