Some publishing houses might provide you with a marketing team while others will expect you to do the majority of your book’s promoting on your own. Distribution is something that varies with each publisher as well. Some companies publish e-book only, some offer a print-on-demand service, and others provide a more traditional method of circulation through third party distributors. Then, if you do receive an offer of publication, there are things like creative control, royalty rates, subsidiary rights, and much more you’ll have to consider.
That’s where an agent would come in handy, they would know the “standard” and have your back. However, just like with querying, a little research can take you a long way. When interested in a publisher, check out some of their books. Do you like the covers? How are the amazon sales ranks in your genres by this publisher? Search the forums on Absolute Write, there are pages of information available (some are personal opinions, but there are often facts by the publishers themselves). You can always reach out to an author of the publishing house that you’re considering, many of them have contact information on their websites.
If you haven’t run screaming for your list of agents yet, you might be ready for indie publishing. I can start you off by providing a list of independent presses, many of which I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. They all differ on the services they offer so be sure to browse their sites extensively to make sure their business model matches with your vision.
Also, I would not recommend querying agents and publishers at the same time. If an agent picks up your script, they’ll most likely have their own list of publishers that they’d want to submit to.
- Month9Books – I cannot say enough good things about this company. Everyone I’ve dealt with has been wonderful and they have a very personal yet professional approach to publishing. They’re a part of the Georgia McBride Media Group, which houses two other imprints covering a wide range of categories from middle grade to adult.
- Entangled Publishing – The editors are very friendly. They have quite a few imprints and accept all genres with romantic elements.
- Curiosity Quills – I have a few friends with this publisher (amazing authors) and they love it there. They offer great royalty rates and seem to market their titles well.
- Skyhorse Publishing – They have many imprints that span all genres. I’ve heard they are highly reputable and have distribution in place.
- Reuts – They've published some incredible novels, have a great staff, and also has distribution in place.
- Quirk Books – This company has grown quite a bit in the last few years. They keep their publishing list moderately sized so they can offer a more hands-on approach.
- Pandamoon Publishing – A company on the rise. Their staff is very friendly and they have an eye for talent.
- Evernight Teen – They have some great authors on their roster, and beautiful covers.
- Anaiah Press – Delightful editors who have a passion for quality literature. Note: they are a faith-based company for works of a Christian nature.
- Clean Teen Publishing – They have a great business model and some pretty popular titles. This company has made some waves this year.
- World Weaver Press – A press that publishes mostly SF/F titles, they have some great authors, distribution in place, and a publicist.
- Full Fathom Five – They offer a new approach to publishing and have done some major deals for their authors.
The choice to sign with a small press can be a scary one but like everything on the roller coaster that is the publishing world, you have to keep a level head and do your research.