View Full Version : What makes a publisher small, medium or large?

12-19-2006, 04:15 AM
How does one differentiate between 'big,' 'medium,' and 'small' publishers? (Is there even a 'medium' category, or did I just make that up?) Where are the cut-offs, in terms of sales and/or books published per year?

The reason I'm asking is: I just had a conversation with my agent, and she referred to a particular publisher as 'small.' I was curious about her choice of words, because I'd always considered the company solidly mid-sized (it puts out about 100 books/year and has over a thousand books in print).

Actually, the real reason I'm asking is I'm trying to figure out if, by 'small,' my agent really meant: 'too small for me to want to submit to them.' We were talking about a book I've been working on, and I mentioned how I thought this publisher would be a perfect fit, and that's when she described it as 'small.'

So I'm not sure if it's my conception of size that's skewed, or if my agent was trying to hint at something...

12-19-2006, 06:09 AM
I doubt if there's any objective cut-off points. It's small, because your agent thinks it is, compared to what she has in mind.

Mind you, if there are any industry-accepted criteria out there, I'd be interested in hearing about them. But I rather I doubt it.

12-19-2006, 06:39 AM
IMO, it's not about how many books/authors or even print runs (although they may all be related) but revenue. Generally, revenue more than $1 million would be considered midsize; anything under would be considered small. And of course, really big houses have revenues in the millions.

Christine N.
12-19-2006, 06:46 AM
Ray, that post has less than three sentences. You better go back and beef it up! :D

Simon Woodhouse
12-19-2006, 08:44 AM
I'm not sure what makes a publisher medium or large, but if I'm with them it means they're small.