Otober is an exciting month since it brings the long-awaited release of The Apocalypse Gene by Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark. On a more personal note, it’s exciting for me because I am rewriting my own novel, On a Wing and a Dare, for Briona Glen Publishing. My publisher wants to release my book by March 2012, so I watch the release of The Apocalypse Gene carefully.
These days it seems the traditional big publishing houses only want to work with authors who can sell upwards of 20,000 copies of a book. They pay big advances, but actually signing a contract with them is difficult to accomplish. Once you do, you may be left to market your book pretty much on your own.
Smaller independent publishers may not have the range of the big houses as far as distribution goes, but they often work more closely with new authors and offer more marketing support. Indie presses attract authors who haven’t achieved the big sales numbers with their first book, but hit reasonable sales around 10,000 copies.
Authors who want to be published by the big publishers almost always require an agent. Smaller publishers will take direct queries, but many of them also prefer to work with agents. One of an aspiring author’s decisions is whether or not to land an agent. I have a full time job that is not writing, so I initially assumed an agent would sell my book to a publisher and market it for me, allowing me to use what time I had to write. Apparently I am not alone in this line of thought, and querying agents brought no success.
Another option is for authors to self-publish their books. I have done so with two anthologies of student work, Novel Central and Novel Central 2, and find the process to be relatively easy. With these books, I have total control (and responsibility) for editing, cover, and distribution channels. Unfortunately, bookstores do not want to stock self-published books because they cannot return them to the publisher. If I order a stack of books that are not sold, then I am stuck with a book of books in the garage gathering dust. Plus, 100% of the marketing must be done by the author. I do not have the time or the range to make that effective.
My publisher, Briona Glen, is a small independent house, as is Parker Publishing, home to Apocalypse Gene. As October unfolds, watch my reading blog for a chance to win a copy of Apocalypse Gene, or a free Kindle and other prizes. Read my review of the book on October 7. In the meantime, comment here about small publishers, big publishers, or marketing books. Where do you hear about new books that you want to read?
On my Kindle: Alanna (The Song of the Lionness) by Tamora Pierce