Aside from self-publishing, the arrival of the independent (indie) publishing press has opened doors that didn’t otherwise exist. I honestly shouldn’t even say “arrival” since they’ve actually been around a good while. I should actually say since the “popularity is growing.”
These little gems are now getting more exposure than ever due to authors becoming increasingly tired of the traditional publishing conglomerates.
How do they differ from the traditional power houses? I’m going to list what I perceive as the good and bad of both as let’s face it, it’s all relative. Let’s discuss.
Some of them pick up where our traditional folks left off. Some authors are unable to get their foot in the door of a traditional publisher. As a result, a growing number of agents are suggesting they submit their work to the indies. Is it because indies will print subpar work? Not at all. Some traditionals will not even consider an unknown author’s work. They want to know that one, the work will sell and two, the author can market. In comes the indie. An indie publishing house can one, get the book in print and two, prove that the book will actually sell. This will give the author a foothold in the market place and give him/her a greater chance of a traditional publisher possibly accepting future work.
Traditional publishing houses are known for taking a long while to actually get a book in print and into distribution. In some cases the process can take up to two years. Not so with indie publishers. They generally get a book printed and into distribution within a much shorter time; sometimes within a matter of a few short months.
Indie publishing houses do run on a MUCH smaller budget, having less capital (if any really) to play with. As a result, a lot of indies won’t pay authors any type of an advance. If you are looking for a check BEFORE your book hits the market, it’s probably best to continue your search for an agent and a traditional publisher.
The agent I just mentioned in the previous paragraph brings me to my next point. Most traditional publishers will not accept submissions directly from an author and must instead come from an agent. Not so with most indie publishers. Typically an author can skip the agent step altogether and submit their work on their own. If an author chooses to go the traditional route, he or she must be able to obtain an agent.
Authors can sometimes get larger royalties with indies. They have less people (think corporations here) to pay and as a result, a bit more reserved for the author.
Traditional publishers also have a bit more money to play with as far as helping the author to market his/her work. Notice I used the word “helping.” I’ve done this because if you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it 100 times that a BULK of the marketing falls to the author. This is true whether you are picked up by a traditional publishing house, an indie publishing house or you choose to self-publish. I reiterate the marketing aspect because at least once a week I get an author that gets upset with me because I tell them I will HELP with the marketing, but I expect a certain amount from him/her as well. They want a publisher that will do ALL of the marketing when this is just not going to happen. I don’t care who you use.
Okay, now that I’m off the marketing rant *clears throat*, a traditional has a bigger budget and might help a bit more than an indie publishing house. Not to mention the fact that the bigger houses have a much larger distribution. That being said, just because your book might actually get into stores such as Barnes and Noble does not mean it won’t sit on a shelf gathering dust. Word has to get out or customers will not know your book exists.
Whew. This post was a mouthful but I think I’ve shared the info I meant to share.
Let’s see your comments on the subject. (Evin – www.mrgurupublishing.com – an INDIE publishing house!)