Skip to main content

Small Press Compared to Big Publisher and why I need "to Agent, to Agent, to get a fat Contract"

I wasn't going to go with an agent for my novel and here are the reasons why:

And I did all that. And I submitted my novel, "The Precious Quest" to three of the biggest fantasy publishers who accept submissions from authors. 

A year and a half later, and three rejections later, I have run out of big publishers who accept high fantasy and who accept from unagented authors. Still confident, I felt I could get my 90,000 word, high fantasy that took six years to write, published by a small press. 

Did I say "six years"?
Did I say "90,000 words"?

"The Precious Quest" will probably be the most difficult novel I will ever write. I will never again invest the time and effort and research into a manuscript with such single-minded devotion. I wanted to write an quest and I did, right down to world-building, maps, language development, drawing on ancient texts and customs and mythologies, and creating the most riveting characters and complex plot I could imagine. 

And so the real question is, "Do I really want to send this manuscript to a small press"? 
The answer is no. 

So, being an unpublished novelist, I started cranking out a second book that could be submitted first and thereby get me those "published author" credits. This one is an New Adult/Urban Fantasy--The Fergus She. It's deliciously Gothic, full of the wrong kind of man, has a bitchy, neurotic protagonist and is  peppered with feminist and new adult 

The plan was to finish and then, submit "The Fergus She" to a small press and use it as a stepping stone to get "The Precious Quest" to a large publisher. Only, I ran out of large  publishers who accept new author submission options for the PQ and the FS isn't edited yet. 

I'm not getting any younger, and Laywren (my protagonist) is begging for a platform. 

When I am in doubt, I always make a T-Chart. I took a good look at the benefits of small press versus big publisher and here is what I found.

Obviously the above comparison of publishers is based on generalized research and there will be small presses and big publishers who do not fit these generalizations. More importantly, the number of listed benefits is not what should influence our decisions. It's the listed items that should sway our submission choice.

For "The Precious Quest", I am looking for a publisher that has a proven track record with Epic Fantasy, a large distribution and marketing reach, and quicker turnaround for press time. 

Big publisher is my choice and to get my manuscript to a big publisher, I need an agent. My original decision not to have an agent has to change. Flexibility is obviously just one more trait writers need to succeed. 

The little fear bubble in my brain is whispering, "What if you get an agent, give up 15% of sales, and they get you a contract with a small press?" 

I currently don't have the answer to that question, but in my next blog, I'll write more about agents and how my search is going. 

Popular posts from this blog

How to Use MS OneNote to Organize Writing Research and Novel Outlines for Writers

Let’s Get Organized 
Writers take a gazillion notes.I don’t have to tell you this, because you know all about it. You also know how difficult it is to organize notes, search through paper notes, and sometimes even find all the notes you've written. 

In this day and age, going digital is the best way to keep track of your notes. If organized properly, digital notes are sortable, searchable, editable, accessible from anywhere, and light as a feather to carry around.

In this blog, I'm going to show you how to be note-efficient.

The following is an excerpt from "Technology #WritingTips for Writers". First 100 subscribers athttp://www.cherylcowtan.comget a free copy at book launch. _____________________________________________________
The first step in getting note-efficient is finding the right software. For writers, finding a software that will meet all of our needs is like trying to pick a toothpick from a sea urchin... …

Evocative Author Interviews - 40 Authors were asked "If your best friend left her diary at your house, would you snoop for writing ideas?" And they answered...

Where do authors get their ideas? Do you have an author friend? Do you ever feel like a science experiment around him/her? Well there might be a reason for that. Most authors are very in tune with people. They might not like them much, but they spend a lot of time observing them. This helps authors come up with characterization for their novels. 

But how far would an author really go? Over 40 writers participated in this question: If your best friend left her diary at your house, would you snoop for writing ideas? The result... Be careful where you leave your diary!

Guess how many would do it... and gladly - anything in the name of idea gathering. Some would just do it for fun!
Author Name If your best friend left her diary at your house, would you snoop for writing ideas?Which of these authors’ novels/writings should you start with?Cheryl R Cowtan

Carmen Madison TL Travis Sheri-Lynn Marean Liz Iavorschi-Brain Vic Watts S.M. Carrière

Celeste Hollister

How to Design an eBook Cover that Hooks Readers

The number one rule to remember in designing e-book covers is readability. If people cannot see the images and text on the e-book cover, then they are not going purchase the novel.

Readability is affected by three things:
placement of elementsresolution of imagesize of imagePlacement of Elements

Your design is going to be made up of some or all of the following:
background colour, texture or imagelayered symbol or other imagetitle textseries textauthor textdescription text Too many elements can make for crowded design, which is a "no, no", but if you search cover designs online, you'll find some that incorporate all of the above six items well. Why would you? Well Amazon will not allow text in the "title" section of your book posting that is not on your cover. Think about that in terms of targeting keywords potential readers may be searching.

According to DigitalPublishing101's article The importance of ebook covers, an e-book cover has a different job to d…