No, not you.
Small press publishers. What is the point of you?
I was trying to discover the benefits of going with a small press publishing company as opposed to self publishing. The response I got? You get a professional edit, and a professional cover, you are distinguishable from all the garbage out there because someone who is in the business thinks your work is worth reading. Ok, well what about help with marketing? Nope. Basically they take my royalties and let me do the work. What. The. Fuck?
I am an independent author. I have paid for professional editing, I have paid for and bartered for professional covers, and I have bartered for swag. If I need to market (and I do), I pay for that shit myself. Every review I have on Amazon is the direct result of my hard work (with the help of incomparable indies who united with me to help me get more reviews). So what do I need a small press publishing house for? To take a bit of my royalties just so I can have an unknown name on my book? If I wanted an unknown publisher on my book I could set myself up as a publishing company! I know plenty of Indie authors who have decided to create their own publishing company and have that name on their books. Successful indies. Indies who do their own hard work and it pays off.
So I ask again. What is the point of you, Small Press Publishers?
If I have to do all the work anyway, and you take my royalties and give me a piece of them, what do you do for me in return that I can’t do for myself and keep all my royalties? I know some wonderful indie authors, who make a decent living as authors, who don’t have their own editors. They rely on a team of beta readers to get their book shiny. Beta readers are not paid. They are volunteers. So these writers have gotten professional proofreading through a series of beta readers, and the books are utterly fantastic! So, certainly some of us pay for professional editing, but some of us have enough fans to replace those professional editors.
And about covers. Cover artists can been as cheap as fivvr, and you get what you pay for, or as expensive as a grand for a cover and you might not get what you pay for. And then there are plenty of indies who can do for themselves with Photoshop or Corel or whatever. Personally, I have a cover artist who does fan-fucking-tastic work, and I barter with her for the covers she makes for me. The barter system is a thing that is happening in the indie world, and it works. So, an independent author can actually write and publish a professional quality book without paying for anything with money, and work their marketing strategy, and become successful in their genre. So why, why would they want to share their royalties, the result of their hard work, with anyone?
Look, I choose who screws me over. Amazon gets 65 cents for every dollar I sell. That is a choice I have made as an indie author. I don’t get to pick and choose the royalty rate of my distributors. Either I price it at Amazon’s 70% royalty rate, or I price it at their 35% royalty rate. I have chosen to sell my books at 99c and $1.99 and that is in their 35% royalty rate. It was my choice, and I made it. I could have done without Amazon, built a website and only sold my books through my own website, and that probably would have failed harder than any fail I have ever had, but I could have done it and it would have been my choice. I don’t have to choose to be screwed over for a name.
Ok, I’m grumpy. Proceed to tell me all the benefits of being with a small press.