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Thread: Small Presses

  1. #1
    Last of a Dying Breed popmuze's Avatar
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    Small Presses

    Anyone out there have a list handy of the most reputable small presses (no agent required) for a non-genre, non-mainstream, sort of quirky, semi-literary novel (100,000 words)?

    I know there are lots of websites listing every single imprint, but has somebody already sorted out the best from the rest?

  2. #2
    Hi popmuze,

    AgentQuery has a nice list: http://www.agentquery.com Link is at the top of the screen. Might still check with P&E, though.

    Hope this helps.

    Sharon
    http://www.saaustin.net

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW
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    I wrote to Robert Morgan, a favorite author of mine, and he suggested small press as an alternative to the larger publishing houses. His books were by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, he has become quite famous and they had to issue out a reprint of his novel "Gap Creek" when Oprah made it big news on her book club! Algonquin was small and sent it out to their publishing house (not sure where) for them to make a larger number of copies to supply the "demand" of his work. I'm guessing they would be a good start, check out their website for submissions on what they accept. http://www.algonquin.com/

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Buy a copy of Writer's Market.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    Or go by a local bookstore/college store and see the names of book publishers they have there...my college had many from small presses as well as large.

  6. #6
    New kid, be gentle! Shiraz's Avatar
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    Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants is an Algonquin published book. Small press, but the book is now in its 6th printing.
    Shiraz


    If we are honest, faithful, constructive and disciplined in our behavior, we will ultimately reap blessings for the good crops we have sown.

  7. #7
    Last of a Dying Breed popmuze's Avatar
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    Thanks to all. From the Agent Query list I was able to cull ten places that seemed to accept the kind of fiction I'm writing:
    Akashic Books
    Algonquin Press
    Arcade Publishing
    Coffee House Press
    Graywolf Press
    MacAdam Cage Publishing
    Mid-List Press
    Soho Press
    Soft Skull Press
    Unbridled Books

    Akashic stated on their web site they weren't looking at new submissions right now. And Unbridle's web site didn't seem to have any links to submission guidelines.
    Anyone out there with information on some of these presses? For instance, do any of them pay advances?

  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    There's a huge difference between Coffee House Press (very very small) and MacAdam/Cage (which has had a couple of bestsellers).

    I've heard that Akashic has a terrible contract.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Send an SASE for guidelines.


    Quote Originally Posted by popmuze
    Thanks to all. From the Agent Query list I was able to cull ten places that seemed to accept the kind of fiction I'm writing:
    Akashic Books
    Algonquin Press
    Arcade Publishing
    Coffee House Press
    Graywolf Press
    MacAdam Cage Publishing
    Mid-List Press
    Soho Press
    Soft Skull Press
    Unbridled Books

    Akashic stated on their web site they weren't looking at new submissions right now. And Unbridle's web site didn't seem to have any links to submission guidelines.
    Anyone out there with information on some of these presses? For instance, do any of them pay advances?
    MacAdam Cage
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17689

    For the rest, please start individual threads by publisher name.

  10. #10
    Last of a Dying Breed popmuze's Avatar
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    Not sure I understand how to do this.

  11. #11
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popmuze
    Not sure I understand how to do this.
    I think what Uncle Jim is saying is just start a new thread for those small presses you're interested in (since you listed a whole bunch of 'em).

    Let's say it's Graywolf Press - that would be the name of the thread. I'd include the website url and whatever questions you have, so people know what you're looking for.

    But before doing that, you also should check the Index and do a search of the entire Watercooler, just so nothing's repeated.

    I hope that makes sense. Good luck!

    ~Nancy
    Screw the new blog, I've resurrected my old blog: Writerly Stuff.

    I twit, therefore I am?

    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison

    It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~Robert Benchley

  12. #12
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Scott
    I wrote to Robert Morgan, a favorite author of mine, and he suggested small press as an alternative to the larger publishing houses. His books were by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, he has become quite famous and they had to issue out a reprint of his novel "Gap Creek" when Oprah made it big news on her book club! Algonquin was small and sent it out to their publishing house (not sure where) for them to make a larger number of copies to supply the "demand" of his work. I'm guessing they would be a good start, check out their website for submissions on what they accept. http://www.algonquin.com/
    Algonquin was bought by the conglomerate Bertlesman a while back. It really isn't an actual "small" press anymore. (I got a rejection from them ten years ago.) I think they now require submissions to be agented, but I could be wrong.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    Hey, popmuze--I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to market--non-genre, non-mainstream, sort of quirky, semi-literary? Sheesh!--but I do know something about some of these presses, so here's a few pointers:

    Graywolf: ultra-literary and very selective. Not many titles per year. Great rep, but generally not what you'd call 'quirky.' Don't need an agent, but a pile of publications in literary mags would help. Semi-literary probably won't fly.

    Soft Skull: really edgy. Small. Weird and cool. Don't need agent.

    Akashic: edgy, plus mystery. Some folks love them, some don't care for them, but in any case they have been closed to subs for quite a while, agent or no.

    MacAdam/Cage: A really big small press with great distribution and massive support of their backlist. Literary, but including quirky, offbeat, and mystery. Check out "Time Traveller's Wife" or "The Rabbit Factory." These guys are gradually turning into an alternative to the 212 area-code conglomerates, and may save thereby Western Civilization. Don't have to have an agent but it sure helps--they have interns read their slush piles, and some of said interns are idiots. (Including the infamous Logan Rapp.)

    Soho: Great small press. Literary and mysteries (though they claim their mysteries are all literary. Uh-huh.) Don't need an agent.

    Mid-list: hard to get published there unless you've already been published elsewhere.

    As far as I know these folks all pay advances, but I've never seen their contracts. Most small presses pay advances, but they are often nominal.

    Good luck--and I look forward to reading your book just to find out what non-genre non-mainstream is!

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