Troy Cook, here, filling in while Simon goes under the knife for a little nip/tuck, or so I’ve heard. <grin> Or maybe he’s off promoting his new book. Either way, I’ll be filling in next week as well.
Have you ever fallen for someone mysterious? Someone with a smoldering intensity?
As you got to know them better, you found out that they were hard working, unique, and full of passion—but at the same time broke. Before I make this too confusing, I’m not talking about the opposite sex, I’m talking about my recent love affair with the magnificent Independent Press. We all love the big NY publishers and want to be published by them, so why does Indy get me excited?
It probably starts with my background in independent filmmaking. In the film business 80% of all films are produced by the independents. Yes, a lot of them are crap, including plenty of the eighty films I made in my career. But it’s also where you discover the next great filmmakers of our time: Quentin Tarantino, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola, among others. These guys, with their crazy ideas about filmmaking, explored and created works of art in the independent world before being snatched up by the big guys.
I think it’s the same with big publishers as it is for the studios. Big publishers are defined by their stockholder value, which makes it next to impossible for them to take too many risks. And every new author is a risk. That’s where the sexy Indy comes in. They can take a chance on a new author because they don’t need huge sales numbers to be profitable. They can grow an author from scratch all the way to big sales.
Of course, then the NY pubs swoop in and lead the author to bigger and better distribution and sales. Which is pretty cool.
Will this happen to me? To you? It remains to be seen, but it is possible to make a splash even when you’re with a small press. My debut mystery picked up rave national reviews and won multiple awards, garnering interest from a big NY pub and landing me a film deal. So I think it’s plausible.
A couple of examples of the small press rags to riches story are Sean Doolittle and Victor Gischler. Well…rags to riches might be a stretch since very few authors get to the riches stage. But these guys were with a cool small press called Uglytown, with good sales, and eventually got snatched up by Bantam/Dell. One day, I hope to follow in their footsteps.
And I think you can, too.
This post is about the “why” of going with a small press. Do you agree or disagree? Next week I’ll write about the “how”—the positives and negatives of going with a small press. You definitely want to avoid some of the pitfalls.
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