Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Marketing as a Small Press Writer by Christine Lindsay

Are you with a small publisher or thinking about signing a contract with one? Author Christine Lindsay gives a couple of the pros and cons you might want to consider. -- Sandy

Christine: Being published by two small presses over the past 6 years, I live in the in-between world with the perks of a traditional royalty paying publisher while carrying the sole cost of marketing the same as self-published authors.

Marketing has been tough to be sure, but now that I’m currently releasing my 6th novel Sofi’s Bridge, and my first non-fiction book Finding Sarah, Finding Me coming out this August, I find that the small presses have given me time to grow as a writer. It’s been a backwards blessing.

The Marketing Perks of a Small Press

It’s hard to break into the market by targeting large well-known publishing houses, and just as hard to get an agent. After I’d won the ACFW Genesis for my first manuscript, and I had a big agent all set to sign me, and then having to tell her that my previous small-time agent had already been turned down by the larger houses, she was forced to withdraw her offer. But…a few months later a small press WhiteFire Publishing was eager to publish my debut novel with its unusual setting (India). WhiteFire was specifically looking for novels that were willing to take a risk on an exotic setting in order to tell a deeper story.

  • Having a smaller catalogue, small presses often keep their book in print longer than larger houses, giving me more opportunities to advertise when I can afford too.
  • They carry the entire cost of editing your book, create a professional cover, and all the legalities of actually publishing you. I have been delighted with the covers by WhiteFire and from Pelican Book Group. The sweetest part is that they not only wanted but appreciated my input in my covers. For my first two books I even got to have my two daughters as the models on the covers.
  • Due to catching the eye of small presses through submission calls, I have not needed an agent and therefore do not have to share in my royalties with them. 

The Downside of a Small Press

  • You do not make as much money as you would with a larger house with their larger distribution to bookstores.
  • By the time you pay for your own advertising you’re lucky to break even. But 6 years after my debut novel was published I am starting to see a rise in my royalties.

So how can all these pros and cons work for you as an author?

  • My journey with small presses has allowed me to build the number of my titles, and to develop a readership. Now that I have 7 titles out with small presses, and am currently starting to write my 8th, I believe I am in a better position to catch the eye of that big fish agent, and a larger publishing house.
  • Writing for small presses has forced me to keep on striving for quality writing. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t insist on excellence. The slightly more easy-going nature of small presses has given me the time I needed to develop my writing and find my voice. I think I’m in a better spot now to write that breakout novel. And here is where I whisper, “From my laptop to your ears, please dear Lord.”

The lack of marketing from my two small press has hindered my career in some ways, but when I look back I am thankful for the time that has allowed me slow growth. I’m still here, holding my own in a sea of fabulous books, and my career has forward momentum. No small thing to sneeze over.

Have you had experience with small presses? Do you have any more pros and cons to add?


Sofi's Bridge

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from
shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

Read the first chapter of all Christine’s book on her website, including the first chapter of Sofi’s Bridge HERE.

Pelican Book Group (Paper and Ebook)

Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.

Christine’s Irish wit and her use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and her newest release Sofi’s Bridge.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine and her husband live on the west coast of Canada. Coming August 2016 is the release of Christine’s non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.

Please drop by Christine’s website or follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and  Goodreads