Monday, 15 November 2010

Why I believe small presses are a blessing for debut authors ...

My experience so far with Lucky Press has been phenomenal. I sent my query on the 26th September, so it's been a good month and a half of communication between Janice (publisher) and me. Which isn't much when you think about it, right? It usually takes months to even get a response on a query, let alone an answer to your prayers. I am SO honoured and lucky to be a 'lucky' author. And here's why:


I never thought I would ever be treated with so much genuine care, respect and interest by a publisher in my life. When I began seeking agents and publishers for my novel almost a year ago, I expected that they would just do what they 'have' to with their acquisitions, whether big or small. And that opinion has generally stuck with me. Until now. Because Janice turned my view around full circle.


When I submitted my query to her, I got a response thanking me for it and saying that she received it within the week. A week later, I got an extremely friendly request for a partial. She'd read my blog and my website before contacting me and then made the utmost effort to get to know 'me' a little as well as my book, because I had sparked her interest.


After she'd read my partial submission, about one or two weeks later, she sent me another email, explaining to me where her head was at. It was a letter balanced with positivity about my book, concerns about my book and concerns about working with an author long distance. But she didn't let her concerns define her general view of the project. She asked me concise questions for me to respond to in order to get a better picture of where my head was at, and how I perceived my writing career to evolve. To cut a long story short, she basically showed interest in me, not just my book. She took the time to get every inkling of information out of me before making a decision. And before too long, we started developing a 'friendship', which made me think, "Wow. Even if she doesn't publish my book. I have made an excellent friend, who I would definitely like to stay in touch with no matter what."


So my point here is, if you're looking to get published, think twice before you disregard the idea of submitting to a small press, because I truly believe, even though they may not have the mega resources to market your book like the big shot publishers, they do have the passion and determination to kick start your career, and the TIME to TAKE CARE OF YOU, the way you deserve. If a big publisher was to offer me a contract at the same time as Lucky Press, I would have said no without hesitation. Seriously. Because people like Janice, and publishers like Lucky Press, are needles in a haystack. We are LUCKY to find them. And WE are LUCKY to have them. And I am HONOURED to be a part of their GREAT BIG HEART.
If you'd like to show your support, take a gander at their website, blog and facebook page. Even have a look at the books they sell. And even better, buy one to show your appreciation. They are not just any old books, produced for mass market - they are books that are produced with a view of giving an author a chance at a career, with love and dedication, passion and heart, and a determination to make dreams come true.


Note: If you're thinking of submitting to a small press, the key is to find out which one will be suitable for your work. Read everything you possibly can about them first. Become familiar with the types of books they've acquired. Because they are 'small', they more often than not specialize in limited genres. So do your research, and reach out where you think you'll fit like a glove, and follow their submission guidelines to a 'T' so that they have no fault to find.


Lucky Press Links:

35 comments:

  1. Hi Jessica,

    I'm thrilled you're having such a fantastic experience with your publisher! But I do have to say, not all small presses are as communicative and helpful as it sounds yours is. I've heard stories of frustration from authors working with small presses, just as I've heard frustrations with authors working with bigger ones.

    My publisher is a larger house, but I can honestly say, I've had a wonderful experience with them. My editor contacted me right away after I got my contract in order to get to know me--we had a nice, long phone call. And then my publisher flew me up to visit them a few months later, among other great experiences over the past year.

    I'm wondering if it has to do more with the staff than the size?

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  2. I'm glad that things are working out so well with your publisher!

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  3. Congratulations and well deserved, I am sure. Maybe not expecting is part of the trick?

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  4. Great and heartfelt post, Jess. As you know, I'm just about at 'that' stage...reading this answered some of my questions and definitely gave me a warmer view. Having a publisher interested in, not only my work, but in me as a writer and person is very important. You said it concisely and poignantly. I'm happy that your experience is so positive. You truly deserve it.

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  5. @Jody: It probably does have A LOT to do with the staff. And the fact that I'm dealing with the 'owner' and not just an employee is sure to make a big difference too. I hope you didn't think I was trying to trash the bigger publishers. That was not what I intended at all! Thanks so much for your input!

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  6. I had my book puublished by a small press and was highly satisfied, they treated me as though I was an established poetry writer. Good luck with yours will certainly buy it when published.

    Yvonne.

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  7. This is wonderful! It eases your publishing pains to have such a supportive publisher.

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  8. How wonderful that you have found such a great home for your book. So happy for you!

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  9. I love that you're having such an amazing experience with Lucky, I think they are very lucky to have you and I hope the process continues to be enjoyable as the beginning!

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  10. Thank you for telling your story. There are so much hearsay about small pressses, it is good to hear it from someone with firsthand experience!

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  11. Congratulations on landing a contract with such a fabulous publisher!

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  12. Sounds like you got lucky indeed! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)

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  13. This is so cool that I don't even know for sure how to fully express it. I'm SO happy for you Jessica! I can't wait until I can buy a copy - shoot, now I can't remember what you changed the name to.

    Oh yeah, String Bridge (I had to look it up). Yay!

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  14. oh that is nice I am glad you are having a wonderful experience i too shall check them out.

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  15. I look forward to buying several titles from Lucky -- and I can't wait to get my hands on yours!! So glad you're first published novel experience is so rewarding. You deserve it!!

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  16. I wish I'd known about small presses when I began my querying process in 2006. I am so happy you are having such a wonderful experience with Lucky Press.
    Karen

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  17. Sounds like you're both lucky :-) Thank you for sharing this awesome experience with us. <3

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  18. this is so awesome, and so happy for you! I agree that having someone who'll take a personal interest in helping your career grow and working with you through the process is so important. It's something I'm looking for! So glad you found it and you're a lucky author~ :o) <3

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  19. Wow! That is amazing. It sounds like you found a really wonderful place to be!

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  20. Very well said! I'm so happy for you, and I am such a fan of the small press. This one sounds really good, too.

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  21. Lucky Press popped over to my blog from yours and I spent an hour or so last week researching them a bit. I'm so glad you're having such a positive experience with them because they represent what I write and I think that working with a small press sounds like such a great experience.
    I'm really looking forward to hearing about your process with them. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. I am glad you have had such a great experience. That's really exciting! Thanks for sharing your insights. I think I will be seeking a small press myself.

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  23. Thanks for all the information. It’s great to hear such wonderful stories.

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  24. Its always nice to hear that new writers are getting published, and its even better when they have a good experience with publishers! congrats on working with lucky press!

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  25. Great post. And I'm still thrilled that your book is going to be published. It's very much deserved!

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  26. Thanks for shedding some light on a small publisher! That's so great you are having an awesome experience with them!

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  27. I'm so pleased you are having a great experience with a small press publisher and I agree with what you say - they are blessing.

    I've only had short stories accepted for anthologies by small press so far. But they have been exceptionally professional and prompt in responding to any queries. One editor even took the time to tell me why she was rejecting a story and after following her advice, I had it accepted elsewhere.

    I guess with all things in life, you need to do your homework first. Check to make sure they are reputable before you submit.

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  28. Lots of good advice. One of things I would look into with a small publisher is how long they've been in business since many of them crop up and then disappear quickly.
    Glad your experience was terrific. I've also had good experience with my small publishers.

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  29. I've actually done a bit of half-assed researching of small publishers lately and it's good to come across such a glowing review of one. I'll give it a look.

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  30. Congrats...now spread some of that lucky new publish dust you got on the rest of us.

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  31. Great post! I think you just did a great service to a lot of writers (and small publishing houses). I'm incredibly happy for you - all success you experience is so well deserved.

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  32. Congrats. This sounds like something to really think about. I like that they actually care so much about their authors and are taking real time to work with you personally.

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  33. I recently got a Blogger glitch and had to trash my old blog and do a new one, almost the same title. I was supposed to have been following you, but somewhere I've missed out. So thanks to Karen Gowen's blog today (the 17th), I'm back and re-following.

    So happy for your acceptance with what sounds like a WONDERFUL small press. I do think, as Jody Hedlund says, that it does depend on the staff involved; I think a small staff doesn't necessarily mean quality. But it does sound like you've found a perfect fit. I'm happy for you and look forward to reading your book. And I'm going to check out your links. Thanks for posting them!
    Ann

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  34. By the sounds of it, you've struck gold there! I think there needs to be a lot more support given to smaller publishers, since they've a lot more heart to offer. Here's to you and Lucky rocking the writing scene for a while to come :)

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