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Submitting to small publishers?

(12 Posts)
mydogeatsnutstoo Fri 18-Mar-16 14:15:45

Hi, I have a completed novel and have been working up to submitting to agents. I notice there are quite a few small independent publishers around who accept submissions, and just wondered what are the pros and cons of submitting somewhere like this rather than to an agent and if anyone has had any success this way?

schmalex Sun 20-Mar-16 07:51:16

If you're just starting out I would go for an agent first. I would imagine smaller publishers give lower advances and have a bit less clout when it comes to marketing, but it depends on the publisher.
Agents usually work with you to get you book into shape before sending it out and have knowledge of who might want what.
I also have found that agents respond more quickly than publishers with slush piles, so why not work through the agents first and try publishers afterwards?

It's hard to give blanket advice because not all indie publishers are alike! Some will specialise in particular types of book that larger publishers can't make a return from (poetry, short stories), or in particular groups of writers who are under-represented by traditional publishers for whatever reason. Some have very restricted distribution (only through own online stores, choose not to deal with Amazon etc). And some are genuine heavy-hitters whose books make the Kindle Daily Deal, big instore promotions and national award shortlists.

So rather l than base your submissions on who accept unrepresented authors, I'd have a think about whose list your book would fit, and then how you get it in front of them. Best of luck!

MissBattleaxe Mon 21-Mar-16 14:01:31

Beware of publishers too willing to publish your book or who advertise for authors. Some will involve fees further down the line, but present themselves as traditional publishers.

As a debut author, I would recommend an agent. They can protect you and develop you and do the navigation that you need when you are starting out..

mydogeatsnutstoo Fri 08-Apr-16 10:12:17

Thanks for all the advice, sorry did not repost till now. I am not particularly bothered re money/ size of advances, but it is helpful to know about length of waiting times and to watch out for overly keen publishers who want money. I guess I was just considering as the prospect of submitting to an actual person (agent) is a bit more daunting than to a more anonymous company!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 08-Apr-16 13:32:21

I don't think that's a good reason! You would probably be wanting to submit to specific editors even if you went with small publishers, anyway, so it's still a person! And agents (all the ones I have met) are lovely too.
OutrageousFlavour's advice is very good. Look at what you write and work out who publishes that kind of thing.

mydogeatsnutstoo Fri 08-Apr-16 13:36:43

Thanks, working up to sending to some agents now (in between procrastinating......)

ImperialBlether Fri 08-Apr-16 13:37:06

Exactly what The Countess said! The thing is that money relates to readership - if you're not worried about the money that can be interpreted as you don't care how many they sell. Unless you're into vanity publishing, then you have to care how many you sell!

You need someone who 'gets' you. I'd aim for an agent first. If you find the right person, you will find they know which publishers are best for you.

What sort of novel is it? Maybe we could recommend some agents to write to.

mydogeatsnutstoo Fri 08-Apr-16 18:59:57

That's a good point imperial - I guess it is kind of literary fiction not a particular genre.

ImperialBlether Sat 09-Apr-16 11:00:50

There are agents who love literary fiction, but be warned it doesn't sell for much money. I was at the MN Get Publishing Day and the agents there said their lowest advance was for £1,000 and that was for literary fiction. They couldn't stress enough that it doesn't bring in any money and so it has to be done for love. If an agent can only get you that sum, there's no way an independent publisher will pay much.

Was anyone else there on that day? There was a woman asking quite a few questions about literary fiction and I wondered whether she was on this site.

mydogeatsnutstoo Tue 12-Apr-16 02:53:19

That's interesting, most of what I read l would class as literary fiction! I guess there are a few big names that make money and the rest don't. I probably have not thought much about it in commercial terms before, maybe I should have.

Was not me at the publishing day - sounds interesting though!

Naicehamshop Tue 12-Apr-16 16:47:53

I went to a Get Published day but it was last year - May sometime.
Do they run these days quite frequently?

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