Self-publish vs small press for queer romance

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moonpigeon

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Hello. I'm writing a book series that I had intended to self-publish, but two beta readers recently advised me to aim to get it published with Dreamspinner or Carina Press.

Can anyone with publishing experience kindly offer me more insight? I am familiar with both of the processes, the expenses involved in self-pubbing, etc. I'm more interested in concrete information about whether it's worth receiving a smaller percentage of the royalties in exchange for an increase in sales or particular marketing expertise.

If you published with either of these presses, what was your experience with their marketing? Their subsidiary rights? If you both self-pubbed and worked with one of these presses, did you need to market less yourself when you opted for Dreamspinner/Carina?

Thank you!
 

veinglory

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Well obvious a smaller cut from a larger number of sales can amount to more money than a larger cut from fewer sales.

I would suggest starting with a broader question: what publisher's might want to publish your book? From this list, which one would best meet your aspirations?

Queer romance includes books with commercial potential right to the large trade pub end of the spectrum.

FWIW I have published small and self, small made more per title--but my experience is one little example and not a general truth.
 

moonpigeon

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I don't want to give too much info, but I could submit to them if I wanted to.
 

Fallen

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This is the breakpoint that most authors face. But, to be honest, if you're a new writer, there'll be legwork involved no matter which way you go. I edit with DSP, but I'm not published with them. They're mainstream, I'm niche MM. It really does depend on what's in between the pages and how well you know the market in general, then ultimately how that market knows you when you start off. I'm not an aggressive promoter, and I don't know self-publishing: it's a skill I don't have. A small press was the best place for me on that score. But my experience is only one in a million more. Now I'd prefer to self-pub, but that's only because I have a niche readership. What's your sense telling you?
 
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aspirit

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Hi, moonpigeon,

Did you make a decision? It's a tough question. You're writing a book series, which works well for either form of publishing assuming publishing rights revert quickly back to you if the press decides not to continue the series. On the other hand, it's a good idea to trust your beta readers. They likely read books from those two publishers, which means your readers represent those markets. However, factors like where you live, what events you attend, how familiar you are with distributor's algorithms, etc. can sway the answer about what's best.

My preference is to go with a small press that offers a decent option. Free editing, a chance at an advance, tapping into an existing audience with a press can make a difference in initial marketing. They also (should) help with recommending your titles for awards.

My long fiction falls outside of what Dreamspinner and a few other presses market, so I've stopped paying attention to them. The more encompassing updates to Carina's list of "What the Editors Want" are promising. Take a look if you haven't.

https://carinapress.com/blog/2018/05/what-the-editors-want-spring-2018-edition/
 

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