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Is it worth the trouble of trying to get published with a small press instead of just self publishing?

This was an interesting exchange on the topic.

Opinions?

Wow. I think Al Stevens is a member here, isn't he? If he is, and if he wants to come by, I'd be happy to clear up a few misconceptions he seems to have picked up and put in list format in that first post!

I've worked with... six? maybe? different small publishers. All in romance, which is a factor I'm sure, but still... For me, 3, 4, 7, and 9 are reasonably accurate. (3 isn't completely accurate, but I think reviews are LESS likely from major publications; 4 is inaccurate with Samhain, I think, and therefore probably others).

It's a weird list. I wonder how he got these ideas.
 

Old Hack

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Wow.

I see quite a few problems with Al's list. If I were to rewrite it based on my own experience, this is what it would look like:



Many small presses sell books in large quantities, just as big publishers sell books in small quantities.

Many small presses promote the books they publish.

Books from small presses are often reviewed in major publications and sold in physical bookshops.

All good small presses edit the books they publish.

No good small presses charge their authors for promotion or distribution.

Many small presses use offset printing.

Small presses might well give feedback on submissions, just as any other press might or might not. It depends on how busy they are, and how close you came to acceptance.

Small presses have been known to pay large advances.


Much depends on which small presses you're talking about: if they're run by people who know what they're talking about then my list is probably true; if they're run by people who don't have a clue about publishing then Al's is closer to the truth. It's a shame he hasn't made that clear.

ETA: I note that Al's post was made in February 2011. It's a bit late for us to discuss it now, I think.
 

BlackBriar

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How a tech design geek self published his book

Shawn Blanc is a well known Apple blogger. He provides a good luck at digital self publishing on all the major platforms from a technical point of view. Not that I know how this compares to the traditional self-publishing guides as practiced by folk here, but I'm guessing his ways are technically superior (and should be replicable on Windows).

http://shawnblanc.net/2013/08/how-i-self-published-my-book/
 

robjvargas

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Characterizing Self-Publishing

I debated whether to put this here or in P&CE. I do not defend this, nor do I offer an opinion. But if someone brings this up, then at least you'll see what they're saying.

In Florida, a man named Derek Medina shot his wife, posted a picture of her body, and confessed, on Facebook.

The LA Times has highlighted his self-pub efforts.

<LINK>

Seems like an odd story to run, to me. But I thought you all would want to know about it.
 

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Dan Holloway, who I'm lucky enough to consider a friend, has announced his next book: Self-publish With Integrity.

He's a lovely man and a very thoughtful self-publisher, as is shown by his book's subtitle: Define Success in Your Own Terms and then Achieve It. I found his discussion of this very persuasive, and I thought some of the people here might enjoy it too.
 

SunshineonMe

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Thanks for sharing, Old Hack- if you recommend it, the book has to be good!
 

Old Hack

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I've not read the book, but I have read a part of it, and it's full of Dan's usual stuff: an interesting perspective, a strong knowledge-base, thoughtfully told.

He's an inspirational self-publisher and is a huge success. And he's a lot of fun, and very kind, too, which is always good.
 

SunshineonMe

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nice! I saved it under my favorites to check out later.
 

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Interesting article about a friend of mine

Russell Blake is a self-published author and a friend of mine. For a few months now he's been telling me that he had a big surprise coming in the new year. A few days ago the story broke:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303640604579298604044404682

I've been having a lot of fun, teasing him about being a self-published turncoat since his co-novel with Clive will be trade published.

In reality, the man has earned it. He's not only prolific, but his books are great. He sells them by the truckload.
 
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I must confess that, having read the article, I'm not entirely clear on who is being hobnobbed with in it. Your term is certainly an odd one to apply to anyone described there.

In any case, I can see that he's found a way to earn a good deal of money, and more power to him. It doesn't sound like a sustainable lifestyle to me, but people vary enormously with regard to what gives them energy and what tires them out. I hope he's having a great time.

I am a little anxious about his decision to move into romance. In my experience, people who haven't read a lot of the genre have very odd ideas about what makes for an enjoyable romance novel. I suppose we'll see.
 

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I must confess that, having read the article, I'm not entirely clear on who is being hobnobbed with in it. Your term is certainly an odd one to apply to anyone described there.

I used the term in duplicity, meaning Russell was rubbing elbows with Mr. Cussler as well as my friendship with someone who appears on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
 

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I used the term in duplicity, meaning Russell was rubbing elbows with Mr. Cussler as well as my friendship with someone who appears on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

That's not what duplicity means. It means you were lying, which, I'm sure, is not what you're trying to say.

(The original term is also a pretty rude one to use in general. We don't have nanny filters on AW, but we do hope people use words precisely, appropriately and with care. You give an impression with the vocabulary you choose. I'm not sure you want the one that I, at least, got.)
 
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Old Hack

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(The original term is also a pretty rude one to use in general. We don't have nanny filters on AW, but we do hope people use words precisely, appropriately and with care. You give an impression with the vocabulary you choose. I'm not sure you want the one that I, at least, got.)

Jeepers.

Yes. I just looked it up. Nasty.
 

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Jeepers.

Yes. I just looked it up. Nasty.

Sigh.

hob·nob
ˈhäbˌnäb/verbinformal
gerund or present participle: hobnobbing
1. mix socially, esp. with those of higher social status.
"a select few who hobnob with the biggest celebrities the country has to offer"

http://www.definition-of.com/goober smoocher

Full Definition of DUPLICITY
1. contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action;

The word duplicity was used intentionally as sarcasm. My association with Mr. Blake has nothing to do with his association with Mr. Cussler, and it is silly to even imply such a thing. Humor. Fun. Lightheartedness.

As far as the hobknobbing or goobersmoocher, I see nothing wrong, nasty or offensive with either word.
 

amergina

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That's not the definition I found. Top Google result.

I was just going to post this link. Perhaps the word has taken on a different primary meaning than the one you meant.

And it's worth noting that is does have a derogatory meaning, even in the link you posted (fourth result).
 

Joe_Nobody

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That's not the definition I found. Top Google result.

The urban dictionary? I now understand your comment on the incorrect use of the word duplicity. I never thought to look it up in the urban dictionary. There is all kinds of interesting stuff in here. Check out "author," second meaning.

So, because I'm new here, let me make sure I understand the rules: Dropping F-bombs like candy is acceptable. Foul language is cool. But, I should double-check some obscure, poorly written, contradictive, user-defined meaning to make sure it isn't offensive.

Got it. My apologies for any offense - none was intended.
 

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It wasn't that it was Urban Dictionary that was relevant, so much as that UD was the top Google result. That indicates that the UD definition is the more common one. If you Google "author", for instance, the top link is Wikipedia, and the first dictionary site is thefreedictionary.com. UD is not present on the front page of links at all. That's because its definition of the word is not the one people link to.

Likewise, the first definition of duplicity in Merriam-Webster (again, the top dictionary result) is "dishonest behavior that is meant to trick someone". That's the common use of "duplicity" that I'm familiar with as well. I've never run across yours without contextual clues to cause me to discount that primary definition.

It's always possible to pick and choose one's dictionaries. But again -- you're writing for an audience here. That audience not going to necessarily select the dictionary (internal or external) you want them to, particularly if there's a more common usage that takes precedence in their experience.

And given comments like this, you'll forgive me if I'm reading your conversation with a certain amount of skeptical attention.
 
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Medievalist

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The urban dictionary? I now understand your comment on the incorrect use of the word duplicity. I never thought to look it up in the urban dictionary. There is all kinds of interesting stuff in here. Check out "author," second meaning.

So, because I'm new here, let me make sure I understand the rules: Dropping F-bombs like candy is acceptable. Foul language is cool. But, I should double-check some obscure, poorly written, contradictive, user-defined meaning to make sure it isn't offensive.

Joe

The word goobersmoocher has a long history of being a term that is roughly equivalent to calling someone a faggot.

It's specifically a reference to fellatio.

When it's not being used as a homosexual slur, it's a reference to someone not fellating a partner to orgasm.

Goobersmoocher derives from goober (peanut) kisser and goes back to the nineteenth century in terms of references to fellatio, specifically in the context of a homosexual slur; you'll find it it listed in any number of slang dictionaries—I know; I checked.

Granted, you may not be aware of the meaning, but you could have looked—instead of sneering at people who did in fact look.

Regarding the "f-bomb"—no one's used it in this thread.

I'll also refer you to The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write specifically this portion:

[
Getting Along on Absolute Write:


So there's only one real rule here: Respect your fellow writers.

If that seems sort of vague, it translates more plainly this way: Don't be a jerk.

Respect your fellow writers covers a lot of territory: It's also why we generally don't allow a user to have multiple accounts. If someone sneaks under our radar, creates multiple accounts for the purposes of arguing with himself, or posting from multiple accounts to make it appear multiple members are supporting a particular point of view in a discussion with other posters, that's called sock-puppeting. It has an old and well-established history on the Web, and it's not good netiquette. It's also grounds for immediate banning from AW. Don't do it, even if you do get carried away and it seems like a great way to get your point across, 'kay? It's extraordinarily disrespectful to your fellow community members.

We're not a wild-n-wooly sort of a message board. Flame wars just don't fly, here. Personal attacks on other members are right out. Just don't do it.

We do have a lot of heated conversations about everything under the sun. Writers can get into knock-down-drag-outs over something so obvious as the serial comma being Always Correct.

That brings us to language.

ON LANGUAGE - You might notice that this board doesn't currently **** out curse words. That's deliberate. This is a writer's board; we certainly should each have the minimal control necessary over our own language to know how civilized adults speak in public. We strongly urge you to use that knowledge and control.

Different rooms may have a different tolerance level for salty language. If in doubt, choose a different word. Otherwise, prepare yourself to have your post deleted, or to be asked to edit your post.

Our intention in turning off the profanity censor was never to make profanity more widely exploited. Quite the opposite: the intention was to throw the onus of responsibility for your language back into your very own laps.

When and if you choose to curse, please consider your words and choose them deliberately and with great care. Excruciating care, in fact. There may well be that rare occasion when a carefully chosen curse word is both effective and appropriate.

Please don't attempt to exploit that.

I'm not sure why you have a chip on your shoulder, but you certainly seem to have one.

Please attempt to assume good will, rather than ill.
 

Old Hack

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The urban dictionary? I now understand your comment on the incorrect use of the word duplicity. I never thought to look it up in the urban dictionary. There is all kinds of interesting stuff in here. Check out "author," second meaning.

So, because I'm new here, let me make sure I understand the rules: Dropping F-bombs like candy is acceptable. Foul language is cool. But, I should double-check some obscure, poorly written, contradictive, user-defined meaning to make sure it isn't offensive.

Got it. My apologies for any offense - none was intended.

Swearing? Fine, in context.

Sneering at people because they find offensive things offensive? Not acceptable.

Using words which are offensive, dismissive, sexist, racist? Being disingenuous? Making insincere apologies? Nope. Not remotely acceptable.

Joe, if you don't like the standards we set at AW no one is forcing you to spend time here. But if you do want to continue to hang out on AW's bandwidth then you will treat us all with respect.
 

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shaldna

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