Denise Verrico talks about Publishing
Katie, thanks for hosting me today. I’d like to offer your readers an opportunity to enter my Twilight of the Gods launch giveaway.
They can win both of my books, two posters and a t-shirt. Simply follow the link here to enter: (Insert link) I’ll offer an extra entry to anyone who comments on this blog post as well. The drawing ends at midnight. Good luck!
When we discussed my appearance on this blog, Katie suggested to me that I share my experience of working with a small, traditional publisher. I’m published with L&L Dreamspell out of Texas, and my experience with a growing publisher has been positive. My publisher pays advances and royalties. I have no financial investment or risk in the publishing. They edit and format the books to send to the printer and e-book outlets. The books look beautiful and are printed on good quality paper. With my small publisher, I have more say on my cover and content. They know my name. Our authors have their own Yahoo group where we exchange info and shout-outs. When I contact Lisa Smith and Linda Houle, the owners, I receive a prompt and professional reply.
I’d like to offer a plug for L&L Dreamspell’s Linda Houle, who has a great book called The Naked Truth About the Book Publishing Industry. She explains in great detail the pros and cons of all of the publishing models. It’s a must-read for aspiring authors.
A small publisher was a good fit for me. I had a series that crossed the line between science fiction and urban fantasy. Cross-genre books are often difficult for larger publishers to market. I did a search for small publishers actively seeking new vampire series. Once I narrowed the list down to those who did both print and e-books, I researched the reputation of the company.
All publishers have slightly different guidelines for submissions. It’s important to read the guidelines and follow them to the letter. Develop a good query letter and synopsis of the appropriate length. Make sure your manuscript is edited, properly formatted and ready to go if requested. Just because a publisher is small is no reason to think that they accept everything they receive. Most small publishers I’ve researched said they reject around 90% of queries they receive. There are lots of excellent sources on the web and in books for help in developing your pitch. Also, be aware of genre. Don’t submit an erotica book to a religious press or a work of fiction to a press that only publishes non-fiction titles.
There are some realities of being published with a small press that some authors may not find acceptable. Your books might not receive the distribution that a large publisher offers. Even if your books are distributed and returnable through Ingram, you will have to work with the small press department of big box retailers to get your book in their stores. It’s a lot of jumping through hoops. Indie bookstores are usually willing to work with a small press author, but they may only take the books on a consignment basis. The good news is that e-book sales are increasing every year and if your books are available through online outlets in both print and e-book you can reach people all over the world.
Professional organizations may not offer full membership to a small-published author. They usually require advances in the thousands for you to meet qualification. But some organizations like Broad Universe accept writers at all stages of development and offer a great support network. Don’t count out the ones who want those big advances to qualify. Local chapters are often very supportive to small press authors.
A lot of small publishers use print on demand technology. This is a dirty word in some circles, even though large publishers also use the technology. Instead of a large print run, POD books are printed as ordered. This is very eco-friendly. Big publishers are under a lot of pressure for books to sell-through in brick and mortar bookstores. The bookseller reserves the right to tear off the cover of unsold books and return them to the publisher for a full refund. This book can’t be re-sold. The smaller publisher might accept returns, but they are at financial risk if thousands of unsold books are returned. If getting into brick and mortar stores is important for you, make sure you find a publisher who works with Ingram and accepts returns.
With any size publisher, the author is expected to promote their books. They will ask for your marketing plan. Guest blogging is one way that I like to promote mine. I also attend sci fi and fantasy cons, book events, offer drawings, sponsor other authors on my own blog, and do book signings at non-traditional venues. Social networking sites are a great place to meet potential readers. The newest thing I’ve learned of is offering free reads. I’m currently offering a few chapters of my third novel, My Fearful Symmetry on my website. Enjoy! The book will be out in May.
Katie, thanks for having me today. I hope I was able to enlighten your readers to the small-publishing experience. If any readers have questions or would like to chat, you can friend me and send messages through my Facebook page.
I’m always willing to share information and tips from my experience.
My Immortyl Revolution books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Fictionwise, Omni Lit and other sites in trade paperback and multi-format e-book.
My website is www.deniseverricowriter.webs.com
My blog is www.ImmortylRevolution.blogspot.com
You can find me on Facebook at my Immortyl Revolution fan page, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon.com. blogs., Booktown and in The Blood Bank at Bitten By Books.