Small Press or Not! By Linda S. Glaz

The Reason for our Hope by Jim Hart
April 15, 2016
Bread on the Waters by Andy Scheer
April 19, 2016
Show all

Small Press or Not! By Linda S. Glaz

Everyone wants a giant contract (how wonderful), obscene advance (how nice), and well known editor (woohoo) for their work. Who wouldn’t?

But the climate has been a tad chilly for new authors recently. One needs a million-dollar platform, celebrity endorsement, and marketing background to navigate the murky waters and come up with a contract.

Is it impossible? No. Authors get contracts every day. But is it the norm for a new author who spends his or her day writing instead of scanning social media? No, also. My heart breaks to see so many amazing people with great stories to tell without homes for their work.

The dilemma is this: many of these folks would like to go to smaller presses where they can learn the process, work with many wonderful editors, and have a chance to get their stories out. Chances are they will have to work their backsides off marketing, but many are willing. They understand they probably will NOT make a lot of money initially. So why do they want this chance? That’s the answer. A chance. They want to learn the ins and outs of working with editors, publishers, publicists. They want to move forward.

Many say to forget it if there aren’t advances in the works. If there isn’t a ton of money to spread around. If there isn’t a huge marketing machine behind them.

I know. I’m probably wrong, but I say why not? Give the author the opportunity they might not get anywhere else. There are a few smaller and/or emerging publishers who are doing more than merely a decent job, they are killing it working with new authors. Granted, there are plenty who could care less: bad covers, bad editing, bad promotion, and bad contracts. But some are really in it to get authors out there who might not otherwise stand a chance.

So, what do you do? Research the smaller presses. Talk to their authors. See who is editing the work. Check out their reviews and numbers on Amazon. Are they rarely or readily in the top 100 in their categories? Are their reviews strong? Numerous? Do they have winners in literary contests? How do they stand out in positive ways? What are readers saying? Other well-established authors? There ARE times when it seems appropriate. Don’t judge a book…er…publisher by its cover. Wait! Sometimes that IS a good place to judge it. Are they killin’ it with their covers?

In the end, it’s up to the author. Are they willing to take a chance at a smaller house?


  1. My authors are VERY happy with the services I provide. Some have dropped their agents and write exclusively for me. There are many ways for your story to be told. Don’t turn your nose up at any of them.

  2. Great advice for new authors like me. Thanks!

  3. I’ve not been adverse to small publishers and yes – figured marketing would be done more by me than the publisher – even big houses are demanding more from their authors -Haven’t expected an advance in a very long time, and I’m open to small presses/publishers – in fact – IF GOD CHOOSES THAT ROUTE FOR ME _ I AM REALLY EXCITED TO DO THAT SINCE HE ONLY WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR ME – besides, I’d like to have more one-on-one time with an acquisition editor/line edits and know the book is the best it can possibly be – THANKS, LINDA FOR THIS!

  4. When I read a post like this, I would love to see some names of small publishes to consider.
    For those new to writing and publishing, that would be so helpful.

  5. I’ve definitely enjoyed working with small presses. My philosophy is, creativity is limitless. So I can always write another novel to try with a big press while I’m enjoying the small press experience.

  6. Linda, my Road’s End series was picked up by Write Integrity Press (when Terry was still my agent) and is doing a wonderful job for me! As you know, it was initially picked up by another press, but they failed to act within the two-year contract period, and Terry got my rights back and sold the series right away. I wouldn’t hesitate to go with a small press, because they’re easier to work with and are invested in the success of their writers!


  7. jim says:

    The sliver lining is that it’s opened up the talent pool for smaller publishers. Really good writers who are getting passed over by the larger publishers are now available to smaller publishers. The result is that now small houses can release quality products. Especially if they produce great covers. Covers are still so important!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *