Small Press Friday: Finding a Small Press That Fits

Today is the first day for my Small Press Friday blog series. For the next several Fridays we'll hear from authors, editors, and publishers about small presses and what they have to offer in this fast-changing world of publishing. 
Welcome, Marilyn, and thanks for kicking of the Small Press Friday series.

Love, Love, Love Working with Small Presses
by Marilyn Meredith
Believe me, I’ve worked with many. Some not as good as others, in fact way back, I worked with a few that were baddies. (One was an actual crook who went to jail and another who didn’t pay royalties owed.) I’ve been with two small presses where the publishers died, and two who decided they didn’t want to be in the publishing business any longer. Today things are much better.
My Deputy Tempe Crabtree series is published by Mundania Press. I’d met the publisher at several Epicons (the conference for e-published writers and publishers) and when my series became an orphan I was fortunate that they accepted me as an author. Mundania has a great website  and they sell books directly from there as well as all the other online sites for trade paperback and e-books. Royalties are paid quarterly and are itemized which lets me know which books are selling best and where. This gives me an idea of whether my different promotions worked. They send out books for review. They have a listserve for authors and one for fans. The house is innovative and tries new ideas. I recently signed a contract for all my books to also be audio. I’ve been happy with all my covers and have input through a very detailed questionnaire. They have in-house cover artists and editors.
Oak Tree Press publishes my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. I met the publisher on several occasions and I even presented at a writers’ conference she put on. My Rocky Bluff P.D. series has been with two other publishers and when it became an orphan and I’d already written two more books, I thought Oak Tree might be a good fit for the Dark Oak mystery line. OTP prints trade paperbacks as well as e-books too. The house is smaller but is growing. A beautiful print catalog is available. A publicity person puts out great promo on events the author has arranged. And OTP has a blog where the publisher and authors can promote and also a listserve for the authors. Royalties are also quarterly and itemized as to what sold where. I like both houses. I like being able to fire off an email to the publisher and getting a personal answer back.

And to avoid some of the problems I’ve had in the past, if you’re looking for a small press, check with other authors to see how they like the house who publishes them. Because these small presses are so different, one size does not fit all. Be sure and check them out, make sure they publish the kind of books you write and follow their guidelines exactly when submitting.
No matter who publishes you these days, you must get out there and promote. In fact, many of the small presses want a marketing plan along with your submission.
There are many choices out there, do your homework and find a small press that will work for you.
Bio: Marilyn Meredith also known as F.M. Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels—and a few that will never see print. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells. Rocky Bluff P.D. is a fictional beach community between Ventura and Santa Barbara and F. M. once lived in a similar beach area. F. M./Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.

No Bells Blurb:

Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.

Bears With Us Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree has her hands full when bears turn up in and around Bear Creek, a young teen commits suicide and his parents’ actions are suspicious, a prominent woman files a complaint against Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch, a love affair from long ago comes to light, and a woman suffering from dementia disappears.

Thank for being my guest, Marilyn.
Next Friday we'll hear from writer, speaker, and teacher Bonnie Hearn Hill. Join us then!