Why Go with a Small Press?

by Brad Whittington

(Originally published 8/27/13)

I happened across a discussion of publishing options, big publisher vs small press vs indie. I am biased toward going indie, but I was surprised to see such a long list of the advantages of a small press offered by Jeff GerkeNicole O’Dell, and Kerry Nietz.

The advantages of a good small press include:

  1. The author isn’t paying anything for her book and it is more blessed to be paid than to pay.
  2. The book will get a professional edit that the author didn’t have to arrange or pay for.
  3. The book will get a terrific cover that the author didn’t have to arrange or pay for.
  4. The author will get the benefit of a publishing partner rather than going it alone, which appeals to some but not to everyone.
  5. The book will get some distribution and exposure, which in many cases is more than what will happen to an indie book.
  6. A small press is more likely to allow a book to be written as it ought to be written without worrying about pleasing the masses. This is a huge benefit of small presses.
  7. The author will be eligible for contest and reviews that won’t look at self-published books.
  8. The author will be eligible for more media opportunities. Many radio hosts don’t interview indies because they don’t have time to do the research it requires.
  9. Not everyone is a DIY’er no matter how much others try to convince them to be.
  10. Sales numbers may be smaller in most cases than with a large house, but the royalty split is often higher. And sales numbers aren’t as crucial a concern for those who are deciding between a small house or self-publishing. They have often let go of the idea of a big house, especially as the big guys restructure, combine, shut lines, close doors.
  11. Small publishers have little to no marketing budget, but they’re often creative and willing to think outside the box, which is often not the case with big houses who are still doing things that don’t work.
  12. Often a small press is the only way to have niche work considered by a partner/publisher.
  13. The author, if she’s lucky, will get advice from an editor who lives inside their chosen genre.
  14. There is an advantage in being associated with other brilliant authors in the same genre instead of being a lone wolf.

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