- Why didn't you hold out for an agent?
- What's it like working with a small press (Etopia Press)? Are the real or just an indie/vanity thing?
#1: We all know the importance in making the publishing choice that's best for us and our book at the time. Be it an agent, self-publishing or working with a small pub, choosing takes research.
I started research two years ago, looking into small presses as a way to get my foot in the door, so to speak. It started with Ellora's Cave and Samhain Press. They'd put out calls for submissions frequently and I thought, "I can do that! I can write something for a press like this!" I was already elbows deep into my novel and future submission to a small press was always in the plan.
When I received two offers from different small presses, I immediately asked authors whom I admire, who are published by small presses, about their experiences. I heard only GOOD THINGS. Two of the authors are now NYT Bestsellers via their respective small presses! You simply can't skip the value found in the opinions and experiences of authors already walking in the shoes you want for yourself.
My CPs encouraged me to query agents too and boy am I glad they did! Not only did I get an incredible amount of interest in the book, I also received good feedback, two offers for revise and resubmit and really valuable querying experience.
Ultimately, because I have two other book series already in the works, I was ready to let Heat Rising run it's course and move into the 'published' vs. 'waiting' world. A small press offered me that chance and it felt right.
#2: First, Etopia Press is not a vanity press (PLUS, have you seen their book covers? Wowza!). They are a legit publisher of both online and print fiction. I'd say the same is true of the top six small publishers whom you see frequent releases from.
Now that I have my foot in the door (both feet, I suppose), here's how the process has gone so far:
- I received the first editorial letter yesterday. My editor made suggestions that are spot on, for adding to and clarifying the storyline. I'm lucky in that my letter was slightly less than two pages (I've heard of 10-page editorial letters and that scared the shit out of me!) We expect my book to go through 3 rounds of edits before it is ready for publication.
- I have about a month to complete this first round of edits.
- We're considering a title name change. This is also something I expected.
I don't have a release date or any other information quite yet. I have a direct line of communication with my editor, who is not only professional but friendly and incredibly personable, too. It's nice that we can crack a dirty joke on Twitter and then get back to edits.
Was I afraid of stuffy, completely serious editors? YES I WAS! Having nothing to compare this process to, I had no idea what to expect.
Was I afraid it would take days/weeks/months to get the editing process started? Hell yes, I was. I'm still amazed that it only took days to get the ball rolling.
All-in-all, I'm very satisfied with how things are going so far. Now it is up to me to hold up my end of the bargain and knock these revisions out of the park!
Hand me a couple bottles of wine and I'll be all set. :)
Do you know someone considering working with a small press? I'm happy to help anyway I can. I'll be sure to post more about my small-press experience as I go.