NY Big Boys Pros & Cons

Thus far in the series, I’ve covered the Four Basic Publishing choices, the NY Big Boys, and Literary Agents. Before we go on to Basic Choice #2: Independent Publisher, let’s recap with a Pro/Con list for the Big Boy publishing avenue.


  • Huge publishing name behind you
  • Possible marketing budget & in-house publicist
  • Industry connections
  • Media connections
  • Prestige
  • Best shot at NY Times/USA Today Best Seller List
  • Likely decent-t0-good bookstore placement
  • Wide distribution
  • Possible hefty advance


  • Landing an agent and NYBB publisher are about as likely as winning the lottery
  • You get a very, very small percentage (2-7%)
  • It’s still up to you to market your book, and you see less return per book
  • It will take 3-5+ years to see your book in print
  • They give your book 90 days to make a splash, then they go on to the next one
  • The publishing industry is in a great state of flux at the moment. Things are changing, but the NYBB aren’t changing with them. They’re still working off a century-old business model
  • After all the research and querying you may still not get an agent
  • After getting an agent, you may still not get a publisher… now you’re 2-3 years into this process, so what’s next?
  • It’s, as you can see from the above two, very risky. However, the reward can be great.

Tomorrow we’ll start in on the little guys; i.e. Independent Publishers.


Can you think of any other pros and/or cons?

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Richard Rezek says:

    Thanks Christine. I am not an author or even and aspiring author, but this is a good series. I was asked by a friend to read and advance version of her book. She just gave up on getting it published.

    1. Christine says:

      Why did she give up on getting it published?

  2. Simon Haynes says:

    I can think of a con: If you’re planning an ongoing series and the first book doesn’t sell up a huge storm, forget the rest and write something else.
    Otherwise by the time book three or four comes around stores won’t order enough copies to make the publisher bother, and even if it does come out buyers won’t be able to find the earlier titles anywhere on the shelves.

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