More often these days, authors are turning to small traditional publishers rather than waiting and hoping a large one will take notice of them. Both varieties can and do produce quality books. And as long as you don’t take for granted that size is the only difference, you can benefit in many ways by selecting a good small publisher.
But how can you recognize one that will meet your needs? Are red shoes a clue? Maybe.
Look for signs that demonstrate a desire to get her small press and its authors noticed. Some of these indicators are the very actions that agents, editors, and publishers stress for their authors to perform–all the time.
Does the publisher regularly tweet and retweet her authors’ book news? Does she share information about her authors’ accomplishments, events, and blog posts on Facebook? This is basic stuff important to the success of everyone involved, and something you can check out before querying.
Organized team-building by the publisher and friendly cooperation among its authors are other features to seek. With a small publisher, you will likely have a close relationship with the owner or executive editor because the staff will be small (perhaps one person). Does the publisher maintain and participate in a special Facebook group in which its authors communicate easily as a team? Does the publisher encourage authors to promote one another or ask team members to select from specific marketing duties? Do you see cross-promotion by its authors on Twitter?
Small publishers usually have little to no budget for marketing, but many owners attend writers conferences and do public speaking to promote their presses. You should ask if copies of your book would accompany her to such events.
Each time I read a book, I look for the name of the publisher. If you’re a writer, I’d bet you do too. If the publisher is small, research it online to see if it might be right for you. I hope you find that gem of a small publisher like I did in Write Integrity Press.
What do you write? What is on your particular wish list for a small publisher?