Small Publishers and Independent Authors


Small Publishers and Independent Authors

For writers focused on the entreprenuerial side of the writing industry to share innovations, pitfalls and business models.

Location: publishing
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Discussion Forum

Twitter Roll Call! Please share your twitter handle with us!

Started by Jan Fischer Wade. Last reply by Elaine Ambrose Mar 16. 148 Replies

Please share your twitter handle as a comment so we can find each other!…Continue

Why did you decide to work with a small or independent press?

Started by Stephanie Bird. Last reply by Birdie Newborn Dec 15, 2014. 6 Replies

In this conversation it would be interesting if you also answered any one of the following questions:Did you have an agent or did you represent your own work to these publishers?What is the most…Continue

Tags: literary, agents, publishing, presses, small

Book Clubs

Started by Kayann Short, Ph.D.. Last reply by Michael E. Henderson Jul 29, 2014. 7 Replies

Does anyone have suggestions for connecting with book club or library organizations that recommend books to their member clubs? Can anyone share book club contacts to whom an author or publisher…Continue

Tags: library, organizations, clubs, book

How many distribution channels do people use?

Started by JF Garrard. Last reply by Shelley Buck Mar 30, 2014. 12 Replies

Hi everyone, I'm new and will be publishing 3 books in 2014.Looking at distribution channels: Amazon Kindle, Amazone Createspace, Ingram Spark and Smashwords.Can I use all of them and will I get into…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Deborah Hollins on March 8, 2012 at 10:21am
Comment by Julija Sukys on March 8, 2012 at 9:48am

As some of you know, my book Epistolophilia recently came out. It's based on a collection of thousands of letters and scores of diaries written by a Holocaust rescuer. Recently, a writer asked me how she should tackle her own collection of letters for the book she's writing. After mulling over this for a few days, I drafted an answer. Come read: "On Chrnology and Necessary Abandonment: Working with Letters and Diaries" at

Comment by Lynne Favreau on March 7, 2012 at 10:19am

Lorraine—oooh, I love it when anyone here agrees with me or tells me I'm right! Better than a shot of whiskey.

I'd never been to site before. How long have you been on there and do you find it worthwhile? I'm developing a website and blog and found that site very attractive.

Comment by Lorraine Duffy Merkl on March 6, 2012 at 6:46pm
Comment by Regina Y. Swint on March 4, 2012 at 10:47am

Hi, Celine,

I'm in upstate New York at Fort Drum.  Not sure how close that is to Pleasantville, but I'll Google it.  If it's nearby and I can swing it, I'd love to join you and connect in real life.  Thanks!

Comment by Celine Keating on March 4, 2012 at 10:39am

Hi everyone,

I'd love to connect in "real" life with any She Writers who might live in the Pleasantville, NY area next weekend. I'm going to be reading with short story writer Alethea Black at the Mount Pleasant library on March 11, at 2:00. Our theme is Music & Nostalgia, and there's even going to be a little live music and home-baked cookies to share. Please join us if you're around!

Comment by Shawn Lamb on March 1, 2012 at 5:26am

Louisa, I'm both, traditional with book 1 of my fantasy series and self for the rest. And I write genre fiction - YA fantasy and historical, so the statement it does better isn't total accurate. I actually sell better at events than online, so for me paperback is my bread & butter not e-books. Kindle and Nook are something I offer for others, not depend upon for sales.

I agree about the 99 cents, which only gets 30 cents royalty. I thought to try it during the holidays to help highlight my new historical fiction line. However, with seemingly every author on the Amazon Planet hawking their books, only a few can break through to capture readers' attention. It was just a blimp on the radar, despite an aggressive promotional campaign.

Which leads to my point of 'devaluing'. By constantly running sales, freebies or deep discount, readers will come to expect it and wait. Also, I've been told point blank by readers how they view certain pricing, and it is opposite what you said about the 40% discount at B&N and the book being a steal.  Yes, they are looking for lower prices, but many, many equate cheap( $2.99 or less) or free with low quality writing and indie authors. Also, the desperation I mentioned earlier is another term readers used to describe 'freebies'. This perception is one reason traditional publisher gave for raising their price of e-books, to show quality of their authors over indie. (I'll have to look for the article link.)

With 6 books out and a 7th awaiting release, I'm already established, so that desperation move isn't helpful for me, and my experiment in December proved it.

If an author solely relies on Amazon for sales - as they are obligated to when joining Select - then yes, they must utilize the 5 free days to their advantage. But limiting oneself to a single outlet is foolish. Sorry, if that sounds harsh, but any marketing guru or sales team will advise an author to get onto as many sites, book outlets, distributors as possible, NOT place all their hopes on 1 site, even for 3 months.

Granted, I don't sell as many Nook as Kindle, but I've heard many complaints from those on Nook who feel short-changed and I have gained sales when Amazon pushes it programs and more authors jumped on-board Select. What does that say to readers who don't own a Kindle? They are worth an author's time and effort?

So, I look at the whole market and plan my strategy accordingly, not a sole outlet.

Comment by M. Louisa Locke on February 29, 2012 at 5:58pm

Dear all,

I am not saying that all books will benefit from free promotions, but that authors shouldn't feel that it somehow devalues their work to offer it for free if it is a way of finding the audience for that book. My books, based on my doctoral research, are over 120,000 words, and while they are light reads-yes there is romance and mystery (no sex), it would be hard to read the book quickly and as another old lady,  the older women in the books are some of my favorites.

But Joanne Barney is correct that genre fiction does better, but I think that this is in part because literary fiction/and or contemporary fiction are huge categories on Amazon that are hard to compete in. Hard to find your book when there are 20,000 or more other ebooks in a category. But that is why offering a book for free is a useful strategy, it gives it a better chance of becoming visible. When a bestseller is discounted 40% at a Barnes and Noble, do you say, "oh, I won't buy that book, it mustn't be very good?" No, you say, "what a steal, I had been meaning to check it out, I think I will give it a try." Same goes for a free ebook. 

As for price, if you are traditionally published, probably your royalty percentage makes making the price too low problematic, besides the fact that traditional publishers are reluctant to lower prices. But if you are an independent author, I can't see why you wouldn't give free a try.

Although this post does deal with genre books, it reveals real differences between traditional and self-published books, but it also shows different patterns between two different genres.

Publishing is in such transition, that I all I am suggesting is that if you have ebooks, and the majority of your sales are on Amazon (or you are simply not selling much any where), that thinking about making your book less than $5 (I don't advocate 99 cents for full length books-you lose to much in revenue by losing the 70 royalty), and offering it as a free promotion may actually widen your audience which could give a boost to your sales. 

If you are selling very few books a day-what do you lose from putting the book out as free? If you are selling lots of books, and are satisfied by the money you are making, then maybe you don't need it.

M. Louisa Locke

Comment by Regina Y. Swint on February 29, 2012 at 5:53pm

I love all of the opinions on this thread, and I'm taking them all in.  I can see the very good points about why some do not wish to sell or promote books that are low-priced or free; but I also see the potential benefit of having more visibility by offering books for low prices and for free.  I agree that we all have to try and see what works for us.  I don't think that giving books away or selling them for a low price is a indicator of the book's value or quality, but I guess many of us instinctively  subscribe to the "get what you pay for" theory.  I happen not to subscribe to that theory.  As an indie-pubbed author, and soon-to-be new publisher on the block, I plan/hope to build my audience by exposing myself and my work as much as I can, and if low-priced or free copies helps with that, then all the better.  I'm confident in the quality of my writing, and I hope that readers will see past the low price to give it a chance.  We've seen some examples where it works, and some where it doesn't. 

But of course, to each his/her own.  Happy writing, publishing, and selling (or giving away) to everyone.  :)  And thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences and ideas.  It's very helpful.

Comment by Joanne Barney on February 29, 2012 at 5:34pm

Seems to me that the kind of book one writes is the determinant on whether to offer it free or at 99 cents.  From what I've seen, the successful low-priced books are fiction (for the most part), written for an audience that has the capacity and desire to read a book a day (maybe an exaggeration) and loves romance/mystery/ quick reads.  A non-fiction book with a thoughtful cover and a thoughtful message, or a literary novel with old ladies and not much sex might not sell even at 99 cents without a solid marketing plan.  Since I write about old ladies (now that I am one), and I write with solemn themes rippling through the many pages, I don't think that free/cheap books will work for my books.  Not sure what will, but I"ll keep trying to find out. As we all will, with our various hope-filled offerings.


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