Small Press Friday: Highlights

When I began the Small Press Friday series on the second Friday of June, I'd planned to run it for a month. But so many wonderful writers asked to contribute, so one month turned into three. I'm taking a hiatus from Small Press Friday to meet a few writing deadlines and spend some time with my incredibly supportive husband. We'll celebrated both our birthdays, our anniversary, and the release of my nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story. Small Press Friday will resume in October with a new focus. Until then, I'll leave you with a summary of all who contributed. Oh, one more thing. I've printed this post and tacked it above my desk.

1.  "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." Marilyn Meredith (6/8/12) 

2.  "The world has changed. Publishing has changed. It’s no longer a matter of if you can find a publisher for your book. You can, right now, choose from numerous independent publishers, or you can go with Inscribe, Authorlink and any number of companies that will format and distribute your e-book."  Bonnie Hearn Hill (6/15/12)

3.  “What most authors fail to realize is that they are expected to don the hat of promoter once the ink has dried on the paper. The job's not finished when THE END is typed on the last page of the novel. In fact, the hard work has just begun.” Sunny Frazier (6/22/12)

4.  “I understand the need for agents, and have a pretty good idea of how they work and the value they bring, but the process (and odds) of getting out of the slush pile and into publication is often beyond the reach of an aspiring novelist. My experience taught me that independent publishers are approachable and are much more willing to work with unpublished writers. That’s why I chose the indie route and recommend it to anyone." G. Thomas Gill (6/29/12)

5. “We check an author’s visibility on the Internet, the social networking sites. Is there a blog? Contributions to someone else’s blog? A website? A newsletter?” Billie Johnson (7/6/12)

6. “There are a great many delightful choices with the explosion of Indie books. Not only do we have the great fortune of more available books but we can also get to know the authors in ways never before possible.” Theresa Varela (7/13/12)

7.  “Shop around.  This is not a one-size-fits-all industry. If a publisher asks you for money up front, run away. If the publisher tells you they’ll take care of the marketing for you, either run away or have another drink, because in reality, that doesn’t happen. You’re going to be doing the bulk of your own marketing anyway, so get to work. If you want to go it alone and self-publish, make sure you know what you’re doing. Because if you need even the slightest bit of hand-holding, you might be in trouble.” William Doonan (7/20/12)

8. “Small presses vary in any of the above aspects. Some provide good publicity and promotion support, others less. Writers should carefully research a press and be honest with themselves about what they are looking for.” Lesley A. Diehl (7/27/12)

9.  “So if you’re looking for a publisher, give the small houses a try. Research and see which one makes you feel comfortable. Find out not only what they can do for you, but how much they expect from you. It’s definitely a two-sided coin. Like it or not, you can’t write a book and then sit back to wait while everyone does the work for you. If you want to write as a career, expect to be busy marketing and promoting.”  Marja McGraw (8/10/12)

10.  “The best small presses look for authors with interesting stories to tell. They edit, correct, and format so readers aren’t taken out of those stories by mistakes. They often specialize in specific sub-genres, so readers who like one of their books find others they like as well. For authors, small presses are a gift. Publishers like mine (LL-Publications and Five Star Publishing) offer the chance to write what I love.” Peg Herring (8/13/12)

11.  “Our books are like surrogate babies.  We create them, and then after birth we pass them on to our publishers and editors to ‘raise’ them, and bring them to market. Indie publishers see the writer/publisher relationship as a partnership.  I always keep in mind that the Indie publisher is putting his/her own money into the production of my book.  She is taking a risk on me.” Melodie Campbell (8/24/12)

12. And finally, Patricia Gligor (8/ 31/12) has learned these 5 lessons in publishing: the importance of developing an online presence; if you’re shy, you better get over it—fast; it isn’t all about you; join a critique group; and not all of the advice you get will be good advice.”

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