Small and Independent Publishing Companies

Not all small and independent publishing are made equal.

Today I want to present the story of how I almost got robbed as a precautionary tale and in the hopes of potentially saving others from falling in this trap. Like most people, when I started this writing journey, it was with the full intention of landing a deal with a big publishing house. To be honest, I was more than a little ignorant on the process. Only when I was close to the end of my final draft, I looked into submitting my manuscript, and I was a little shocked to find out that big publishing companies do not accept unsolicited work.

So naturally, the next step for me was to find an agent. I compiled a list of agencies. A week before my son was born I had sent out my manuscript to two places the first was what I thought was a big publishing company that didn’t require representation and the second was a literary agency. Then my son came along and bonding with him, and being a mom became my number one priority, everything else got put on the back burner.

A few weeks later, I received a package in the mail, to my surprise and overwhelming joy it was an acceptance letter the publishing company (who I will not name) liked my work. They wanted to work with me. It was a dream come true all I had to do was to sign the contract and send it back to them in the mail with a check. My husband, who was home that day read part of the contract, and he didn’t like the terms. I have to say it wasn’t just about having to dish out money because a lot of legitimate indie companies will charge for services and if rumors are to be believed I have heard it said some big publishing, companies are moving in that direction.

That night and for the next few days, we researched and read reviews. It turned out they are a legitimate small publishing house who wanted to give me a measly 25% royalties. According to the reviews I read, and there were many from different sites, they barely did any editing or marketing. They claim to put your book in stores, but all they do is put it on a list so the store could order your book if they so wished. Some reviewers said this company pursues legal action against authors who speak out against them. I decided not to pursue my career with them, and yes, finding out all that negative information broke my heart.

I am grateful for the experience because it taught me how important research is and helped me stumble onto an important organization, Alliance of Independent Authors. There is a link to their website in the resources. They are an amazing non-profit group who vet services offered to indie and self-publishing authors. Through their site, I found the amazing independent publishing company I am proud to work with, DartFrog Books., book one is presently in publication under their banner.

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