Monday, August 15, 2011

The Advantages of a "Small" Press

Despite being woefully behind in reading the various writing journals to which I subscribe (I eventually read each one from cover to cover, I promise!), my interest was piqued by the offerings on the cover of the latest issue of The Writer: 
"Small Press, Big Reward"
"Make a Splash with a Literary Press"
"10 Canadian Publishers Worth a Look"
"100+ Publishers and Self-Publishers Looking for Submissions"

As a writer of multiple genres, I'm always looking for new markets. And, I currently have contracts with two publishers that would be deemed "small" by virtue of not being one of the "big boys". It amazes me that some readers still feel  an author not published by a "big boy" isn't really a published author! Anyway, though I feel I know well the benefits of being associated with a "small" press", I took a quick look at the Editor's Notes (Jeff Reich) "Bigger isn't always better" and found he'd hit the nail squarely on the head.

I hope I'm not violating fair use by quoting a single sentence from among many: Smaller presses are frequently easier to submit to--and to work with--and their focus tends to be on qualilty, not quantity.

My own experience with a small press has been positive:
  • personalized rejections which tend to encourage more submissions
  • straight-forward contracts
  • knowledgeable editors who have a personal interest in working with authors to bring out the best possible product
  • fellow authors who mentor newbies and support/share with their peers
  • sponsored retreats bringing together staff and authors, creating a we're all in this together atmosphere
  • regular communication between administrators, editors, and authors via message boards and chat rooms
  • business decisions made in the best interests of the authors as well as the publisher
Granted, not all small presses get all these kudos, so it's important to do one's homework before submitting.

This issue of The Writer belongs in your files--after you've read it, of course. Don't forget to read all the way to the back where you'll find 7 pages of small presses, as well as a few self-publishers and some upcoming writing conferences.

Here's a link to more complete information about the September 2011 issue of The Writer. Check it out, then get to the newsstand for your own copy--or better still, subscribe. And if the FCC needs a disclaimer, here it is--nobody paid me anything for touting this magazine! (Writers share with other writers.)


K9friend said...

You're absolutely right, Judy. Several of my friends have been very happy working with small publishers. And these days, a writer shouldn't automatically rule out anything!


Lynne Marshall said...

Great information. Thanks so much, and I agree with your list of kudos for small presses. Now, off to follow that link. I want to know who all of these small presses are!

Lynne Marshall