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
Members: 790
Latest Activity: Jul 5


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Discussion Forum

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

Started by Jan Fischer Wade. Last reply by Rachele Baker, DVM Jan 8. 158 Replies

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

Working with a publisher

Started by Jean Wilson Murray. Last reply by Marcia Riley Jul 8, 2015. 1 Reply

I have several books - non-fiction (business for writers) and fiction that I want to publish. I have been thinking about a DIY approach, with the help of an author assistant. Then I ran across a…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

Comment Wall


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Comment by Shawn Lamb on March 20, 2012 at 6:29am

Yes, Celine, the Kirkus cost is for indie authors and ranges from $425-$575. As for events, I've done the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA for 2 years, Nashville International Book Festival, and various homeschool conventions across GA, TN & OH since 2010. I give workshops about fiction and the current state of publishing. Yes, I do receive invitations to events. Last year I was the only author at the National Bible Bee and Family Discipleship Conference. I write YA allegorical fantasy and Christian historical fiction, but all my book cross markets. I've written several posts about events, planning and engaging.

Comment by Celine Keating on March 20, 2012 at 6:10am

Shawn, I've never heard that Kirkus charges for a review - is that for self-published books? In any case, I'd love to know about your experience w/booths at events - what kinds of events have worked for you and how have you gotten invited to give workshops? That does sound like a great way to build readership.

Comment by Shawn Lamb on March 20, 2012 at 4:25am

I've heard about Kirkus, but when I looked into it, I was shocked to discover it cost $500 for a review! Sorry, but I have better ways to spend $500 then submitting and hoping for a starred review. I can pay for booth at a 3 day event and know I'm going to sell at least 100 copies, give a workshop and gain readers. That is a hefty price tag most indie authors can't afford to risk on a maybe.

Comment by Julija Sukys on March 20, 2012 at 2:12am

I'm very interested in the discussion about Goodreads below. Have others given review copies to readers there with success? I'd like to try. I see that there's some disappointment with the process. 

Comment by Julija Sukys on March 20, 2012 at 1:48am

Of the publishing industry’s four major trade (the other three includeKirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal) magazines, Adelle Waldman writes at Slate that “Publishers Weekly, or PW, is the biggie—it plays Coke to Kirkus‘ Pepsi.” A “'starred’ review in PW still increases a book’s chance of getting media coverage and showi... These also determine which books Amazon promotes. A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality.

Imagine my pleasure when I came across a starred review of my book. 

Comment by Shawn Lamb on March 19, 2012 at 3:03pm

No, Goodreads does giveaways. I've done them for 4 of my books. People have a month - or whatever time period is determined - to sign-up. One giveaway I had over 900 people sign-up for 3 copies. Afterwards, the winner(s) is selected by random.  Other giveaways I've done required leaving a comment or 'repin' like in Pinterest or a link, not a simple sign-up.

Comment by Karma on March 19, 2012 at 2:52pm

Shawn, perhaps we're using the word "giveaway" differently. A giveaway is a contest, where the prize is the book. Goodreads has an early reviewer program, but as far as I know they don't do giveaways. Thus in theory everyone (at GoodReads) who volunteers to take a copy of the book is obligated to review it. But in reality, you can never guarantee that they will. This isn't always as malicious as it seems. For example, I requested several review copies for a monthly review column I write for a paper in Maine. Shortly after, the paper experienced funding difficulties and decided to only publish seasonally. Now it will take a year before I get through reviewing all those books, despite my best intentions. The good news is that because they have your book you can follow up with them relentlessly without any guilt. It's a bummer that reviewers don't always come through, but how can you get any reviews at all if you don't give the reviewer the book to read?


In any case, thanks for writing back! =) 

Comment by Shawn Lamb on March 19, 2012 at 1:13pm

Karma, I've tried some of those ideas, but with little success. According to Goodreads a review is part of the give away rules. However, not everyone plays by the rules.

Readers seem to want books with no strings attached, as witnessed by the overwhelming response of people downloading free Kindle books during the holidays. I also think authors are somewhat to blame for the current trend by spoiling readers into expecting 'free' more frequently than in the past. Thus, I'm more judicious in giving away my books in contests or for promotion, and without expectations.

Comment by Karma on March 19, 2012 at 1:03pm

Shawn, why not offer a giveaway with stipulations, like a review? Or a giveaway, but in order to win the contestants have to follow you on Twitter and Facebook? 

Comment by Karma on March 19, 2012 at 1:02pm

I also go after blog reviews, but honestly I don't think they're worth as much as print reviews. It's a credibility issue. No publisher is going to put a quote on the back of your second printing with a glowing review from a blog no one has heard of. Harsh but true.

Zoe, I think you'll find the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Big publishers may heap hype and advertising on their star titles, but they also publish hundreds of smaller titles that they give no publicity support to at all. At least with a smaller publisher you can get ahold of the publicist on the phone and talk to them about what you want. I've seen larger publishers that even charge their authors for review copies! The exception is #2: yes, bigger publishers have longer publications schedules and will be more likely to send galleys to trade magazines that won't review a publication after it is in print. Of course all of this depends on the publisher, and how much opportunity they see for publicity for your book. 


I don't at all agree that most reviewers want e-books, in fact I'd say the opposite: if someone only has an e-book to give and no print book, their opportunities for publicity are going to be slim. But if they want an e-book, why not send a PDF?


Finally, yes, reviewers do cover certain genres. That's for the best really as you wouldn't want someone who loves horror to feel forced to read and review a romance novel, or vice-versa. That would be bad for the reviewer and the author. Having the right contacts and knowing which sites review what kinds of books is why authors hire a professional. Which is not to say that you're not capable--you sound like you're doing fine! It's just very time consuming work and most people would rather spend the time writing. 


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