Last post, I pretty much gave you a brief overview and told you things to watch out for in an Independent Publisher. Actually, most of those things from yesterday showed you how to see through a scam. “Publishers” who do those things aren’t traditional publishers.
(BTW, if they go out of their way to assert they’re a “traditional publisher,” then they’re probably not)
An actual Independent Publisher might be perfect for you.
- You get the benefit of traditional publishing:
- someone sharing the risk and the reward
- distribution in all major retail outlets
- a team behind you in your journey
- the validation and prestige of being a published author, which means, someone other than you believed enough in you/your book to invest in it
- You don’t have the stigma of being “self-published.” Granted, this stigma is lessening, but it is still there.
An independent publisher should be your partner in this journey. One of the greatest reasons to go Indie is the relationship one can have with their publisher and editor.
Indie publishers aren’t running a multi-billion dollar corporation. They’re generally more about the author.
- You, as an author, might get more say in your cover art (something that almost never happens with a NY Big Boy).
- You will likely get a higher percentage than with a NYBB. With an Independent Publisher, your percentage will be between 10%-20%.
Before signing with any publisher, ask around. Ask their other authors (note: plural) what doing business with them is like. Because, bottom line, this is a business.
Do they pay royalties on time?
Do they keep the author in the loop?
Do they assist in any marketing efforts?
Are they reasonable to work with or is it one drama after another?
Do they support the authors marketing efforts?
Have they ever fallen behind in keeping up with the demand of a book?
Don’t be so over-the-moon about someone wanting to publish your work that you don’t protect yourself legally and financially. This is still YOUR work. Your baby. Your book.
And you should benefit from it at least as much as the other “middle men,” i.e. publisher, distributor, wholesaler, etc.
Again, if they’re giving you at least a few thousand dollar advance, they’ll be more committed to your success than if they give you nothing.
Don’t kid yourself. It’s all about the money to any business.
If they invest in your book with an advance, you better believe they’re going to work their ass off to get a return on that investment.
Many Independent Publisher are also authors who publish their own books as well as others’ books. This is totally fine! Some Indie Publishers started publishing companies so they could publish their own books, but you must ensure that your book’s success is more important to them than their own book’s success.
As a publisher, if they have more than 3 different authors, they’ve gained a level of validity in the industry. The Library of Congress won’t allow a publisher to get In-Publication-Data unless they’ve published at least 3 different authors.
10 different authors reaches a different level of validity. Ingrams, the largest book wholesaler in the US, won’t look at a publisher until they’ve published 10 different authors. (There is a way to go through Ingrams without this, but I’ll save this for a future post about “self publishing.”)
Just ensure they’re not using your book to validate their publishing business… so they can publish more of their own books.
Basically, are they an author first or a publisher first?
Has an independent publisher worked for you? Tell us your story. Tell us about your book!