Nothing feels better than holding a finished manuscript in your hand…or on your computer. You feel accomplished, like your life has purpose, and then you remember that no one will ever see your hard work unless it’s published. You try the traditional route or even query agents trying to convince them why your book is so special. You spend hours tirelessly scouring the internet for tips on how to write the perfect query letter tailored lovingly to each individual person or publisher.
To no avail.
Rejections flood your email and you’re not sure why they can’t see your genius, your creativity. All may seem lost, but there is hope, my friend. And I’m here to tell you: Don’t sleep on indie publishers.
While I usually self-publish, others may feel that it’s a lot of work or that they’d rather have it in the hands of a publisher to minimize grammatical or formatting mistakes with their books. Not to mention they have no idea how to make the cover and marketing may seem a little intimidating.
Everyone wants a chance to be the next J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. They were published by traditional publishers who launched their books into the spotlight and have forever been rooted in pop culture. And because of this, most of us assume that traditional publishing is the only way anyone can go.
But there are some very successful indie authors who have published with smaller indie publishing companies that have really worked. Not every indie publisher can offer a full traditional style contract and may incorporate a hybrid publishing style as well. This helps them offset costs with the author, but sometimes, can be beneficial because they’ll offer a higher percentage of royalties.
It’s all about how you perceive the publishing industry. Getting rejected by a traditional publisher is very common and even more common for those who don’t have a literary agent (if the publisher even allows unsolicited material.) Indie publishers are more likely to accept manuscript submissions from those without an agent. And honestly, I think this gives them a bigger range to choose from.
Now, indie publishers don’t just publish anything that crosses their desk. They only select from the best, but I do believe they recognize talent when they see it. Indie publishers are more likely to take a risk than traditional publishers are. They have no issues with publishing new authors and, in fact, invite new authors to submit while traditional publishers tend to stick with authors that are more well-known.
If you’re having trouble with submissions to agents and traditional publishers, try submitting directly to indie publishers in your genre. You never know what could happen!