Small Publishers - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Part 1)
This is the time of year for happiness and good cheer, so today will only cover THE GOOD, leaving THE BAD and THE UGLY for another day.
A Good Small Publisher is the Author's Partner
A good partnership is one in which both partners collaborate to produce a quality product. In publishing, as in any other business, both partners need to contribute.
Contributing does not always mean contributing money! The author has already contributed a great deal of time and work to produce a quality manuscript. The best of the small publishers consider themselves to be the venture capitalist of the partnership. Although, there are good small cost-splitting publishers, authors should be careful before taking that route.
BOTH partners collaborate to edit the manuscript to make it the best it can be. With traditional publishers, the editor gives the author very little (if any) say in how the book is edited. Small publishers are almost always approachable. There is a real person at the other end of the telephone or email, and that person is interested in each and every book he or she publishes.
BOTH partners collaborate to find a cover image and design that suits the book. Even thought this is within the purview of the publisher, the author should always be able to voice his or her opinion and discuss any points of difference between them. However, the publisher usually has ties to graphic designers with experience in cover design that most authors lack,
BOTH partners should collaborate on the release date. Why? because both need to work very hard to make that date as visible as possible, and both the publisher and the author have other things happening in their lives and need to schedule accordingly.
BOTH partners need to work on marketing and promotion of the book. This is true of all publishers--large or small. Of course, small publishers have small budgets, but they also give more personal attention to each campaign and each book.
BOTH partners need to continue to search for new and innovative ways to publicize the book. The number of books being published annually has never been higher, and all of them are jostling for attention.