If you’re an unknown or little known (for the time being!) writer then it could be worthwhile trying to get your book published with an independent or ‘indy’ publisher.
Any publisher that isn’t part of a national or international publishing house can be considered an indy publisher. However, they’re very often small publishers where the owners actually work in the business themselves.
Here are the advantages of publishing with indy publishers:
* Independent publishers are often looking to expand their lists quickly, especially if they are fairly new.
* They’re often more receptive to new ideas.
* They’re often willing to consider more unusual ideas, sometimes even quite quirky ones.
* They often have more empathy with writers, especially new writers.
* You usually get to work more closely with them, often even with the owners themselves.
Here are the main disadvantages of publishing with indy publishers:
* It can be more risky. Indy publishers might not have much of a track record in business or publishing.
* Book sales even for a successful title might be lower.
What sort of books are good for independent publishing houses?
There’s no hard and fast rule and independent publishers publish all kinds of books, but they’re often most interested in more niche titles which large publishers houses wouldn’t be interested in. They’re not, for example, normally interested in mass market fiction.
Tips for working with indy publishers:
* Choose them because they are likely to be better for your book idea, not because the large publishing houses aren’t interested in it.
* Study their existing list very carefully to make sure that your idea fits in.
* Think about how you could modify your idea so that it fits in with their list even better. You might, for example, make it more niche – or give it a different slant.
* Prepare a great book proposal, the same as with every book. Here’s a useful article to help with that: What To Include In Your Book Proposal
* Aim to make direct contact. Try to speak to someone directly at the publishing house. Indy publishers aren’t usually impersonal corporations where book proposals are decided by a committee. The editors are often the owners, and vice versa. By speaking directly with them you’ll be able to get a much better idea of what they’re looking for, and maybe some great feedback on your idea too.