Guest Blogger Author C.B. Cole

Posted by on Jul 23, 2011 in Writing | 1 comment

I was having a moment yesterday. No, really, I was. I was freaking out a bit about the state of affairs as I saw them in the publishing world and I needed to vent. I mean really, really vent.

So as an author who do you call? Well, I suppose you could call your agent. But I don’t have one of those. You see, I like my money right where it is. There is no need to give someone a cut if I am capable of doing everything all by myself.

So who do you call? Who understands you? Your mother? Ghostbusters? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

But I did have someone I could talk to. I had several someones, in fact.

My editor for one, though calling her my editor is somewhat misleading. That would imply that she and I have a professional relationship only. That wouldn’t tell you that she knows how many kids I have, and how many seconds they have shaved off their time at the Conference Swim meet.  That doesn’t accurately convey the fact that I consider her my friend and that we can talk shop and how to treat a variety of common childhood illnesses in the same late night conversation. And calling her my editor surely wouldn’t be enough words to explain how she tracked me for almost three years, continuing to pursue me even though I turned her original offer of publication down because of where I was in my life at the time. She fought for me and you better believe I haven’t forgotten that. It is a great feeling.

No, editor doesn’t seem right. Maybe Madame Wonder Woman Extraordinaire. But it would be hard to fit on a standard business card.

And then there is CEO Tracey, the big boss who cares enough about my opinions to have spent two hours on the phone with me yesterday. She is easily another one of those someones.

No, I wasn’t complaining to her yesterday by the way. (I know that is what you are probably thinking, though I am sure that if I wanted to, she would listen for two hours or more). She called me because she values my opinions and experience in certain fields. But that is another story.

Oh yeah and that is awesome that she does that.

So imagine how great I feel when I get an email from CEO Tracey this morning saying simply “This is why we all work so hard ladies!” with a Publisher’s Weekly book review attached.

Now before you ask, no it wasn’t my book, it was another author’s. My book isn’t due to be released until next year.

The point is she was excited and it is hard not to be excited with her. And I know next year when my book rolls out and is ready for reviews and its own time to shine, she will be there emailing everyone and just as excited.

These things, Madame Wonder Woman and CEO Tracey, are just two of the reasons I am so glad I went with a small press publisher. Can I text Madame Wonder Woman at 2 am and get a response? You bet.

Do I have the CEO’s phone number in my contacts and know if I call her, she will answer. Absolutely.

Do I think other authors have that kind of connection or pull within the bigger publishing houses or the freedom to stand up for particularly dear to their heart issues with people within the company who are in a position to do something about it? Not a chance.

All I am saying is that I feel like choosing to go with a small press publisher to see my work hit the shelves is already one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I have another strange, wonderful family that I never knew existed until I signed that contract.

So if you are reading this, there is a pretty darn good chance you are considering signing your precious book baby away to a company that isn’t huge or able to write big fat advance checks. Well, if my opinion matters, small press has been great to me. I have learned – boy have I learned – things that are so crucial to publishing that I may not have ever been privy to in another situation. These guys have been patient and kind and made me feel genuinely valuable to the success of the company.

You see, not all small pubs are the same. Some only do ebooks, or others may only make your work available to purchase online or won’t put any money into marketing and promoting your book.

I am lucky. Tracey works hard and enjoys torturing herself. She wants perfection and doesn’t buy into the saying “Nobody is perfect.” So is everyone’s experience with small press going to be like mine. I doubt it.

Do your research people! Make sure that the small pub you are looking at is a good fit for you. And if you decide that Small Press is the way for you, jump in and get your hands dirty with them. The experience and education in the industry is amazing.

And that is something no big fat advance check could ever buy.

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