Today over at Nerds Feather, I talk about the growing relevancy of small, hybrid presses that focus on ebooks and have less distribution of hardcopies as their lager cousins, but make up for it with larger royalties.
A hot topic lately has been advances, should they be offered, how much, etc. I don’t have a firm stance on this- there are a lot of factors that can enter into it- but I think some advance should at least be offered. The SFWA minimum is $2,000 and if a press doesn’t have $2,000 to buy the product they plan to produce, how, exactly, are they going to fund producing it? It also shouldn’t take long to earn back- even at the lowest price on Amazon, you only have to move about 1,000 copies. If they can’t do that, well, not much of a publisher, are they?
But there are many other things to be wary of, with publishers both small and large. I can’t really top Chuck Wendig’s list o’ things to beware of, so I won’t try. One other point I want to hammer on, though, is $7 on that list: Anyone who asks for money. Things cost money, obviously. But that’s why they exist– so you don’t have to scrimp and save or sell your house or kids or resort to loan sharks in order to cover editing, cover art, formatting, printing, distribution, advertising, blah blah blah. If they are asking you to cover any of those costs, go do it yourself. There are great editors and artists out there. You can reach a decent readership with minimal investment with Facebook and Goodreads ads alone. That money is much better spent- and you will have control over how it’s used. If they are asking you to pay for the privilege of publishing your book, they’re full of crap.