#MentionMonday How Indie is too Indie?

I made a book blogger directory, and that’s what got me asking this question. After reading approximately 434 review policies from 434 book bloggers, I have to know, how Indie is too Indie?

Most of the review policies clearly state that they do not take self published books. That’s fine, I’m not entirely self published, but here’s my story.

Back in 2010 I self published my first book, Integrated Intuition. I didn’t promote it much, and I sold around the 100 books that everyone expects a self pubbed book to sell.

What’s amusing is that Integrated Intuition became a #1 bestselling book on Amazon and it’s still in the top 100 in the Astrology and Chakras categories. Not too shabby for a self published book.

In 2011 I was picked up by a small press. This is what most people consider “Indie” but the thing is . . . a publishing house is a publishing house. Some are just more popular than others.

Let me give you the break down on publishing houses as I understand it. (Can someone make a pyramid of this?)

Tier 1: The Big Six

Includes: Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, Harper Collins and Hachette Book Group
*also includes several imprints, smaller publishing houses that fall under their umbrella.
Examples of Imprints: Margaret K. McElderberry Books, Tor, Galley Books, Razorbill, Viking Books, HarperTeen, etc. etc.

Tier 2: As Big as The Big Six

Includes: Scholastic, Hyperion, Harlequin, Houghton Milton Court, Egmont, Sterling Books
*I don’t know if these houses have imprints or not.

Tier 3: Established Small Press

Includes: Angry Robot, Llewellyn’s Flux, Coscom Entertainment (which is where I was picked up), Entangled Pub, Black Zombie Publishing, Dark Side Publishing, Samhain Press, Spencer Hill Press (home of Jennifer Armentrout), Tanglewood Press (home of Mike Mullin), Quirk Books (home of Random Riggs), Rhemalda Publishing (home of Amber Argyle)
*I’m sure I missed a few really good small presses out there, and these places usually don’t have imprints.
*They publish books in harcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Their distribution usually includes bookstore catalogues, but they do not actively stock the shelves.

Tier 4: Ebook Presses

Includes: Here’s a link to all of them: http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/epublishers.html
*They only publish books in ebook formats.

What does this mean?

Basically it means that being part of the Big Six is no longer contingent upon having a bestselling book or a long term career as an author. Examples like Colleen Houck and Amanda Hocking should be a testament to that. The only real difference between the first two tiers and the third one is that those publishing houses will spend thousands of dollars to have the books in the stores and will take a financial hit when/if books get returned unsold.

How does this factor into my present publishing reality? I don’t know. I like Coscom Entertainment because through them my book is a paperback, ebook, and audiobook (coming March 2012). I’ve had a lot of flexibility with cover, marketing, and promotions. My book IS available in every Chapters / Indigo in Canada and every Barnes & Noble in the US. It’s available on every bookstore site online, not just Amazon.

And the successes that Coscom Entertainment has had in the publishing world since opening in 2004 have been nothing short of amazing. They have a mass market division, a foreign rights division, a film optioning division and they recently opened their audiobook division. In the past two years they’ve sold seven titles to publishing houses in Germany and Russia, plus two titles to Simon & Schuster.

These days the chances of a book making it in the market depends on the book, the marketing and the advertising. It’s not necessarily about the publishing house anymore.

And that’s why I’d like to just say I’m published, not Indie, not Self Pubbed, not Traditionally pubbed, just published.

Have a nice day.

Comments ( 8 )

  • Bob says:

    Actually Tor is part of Macmillan.<br />I&#39;m really not sure we should worry about this– reviews are okay, people who buy books are so much more important and they don&#39;t care who published it, they care if it&#39;s good.

  • Adriana Ryan says:

    Great post! It&#39;s funny how many different ways the publishing pie can be divided up nowadays. I&#39;m with Bob–most readers don&#39;t look at who&#39;s publishing a book before they pick it up. I wish more reviewers would see that.

  • Guy Harrison says:

    Great post, Rhi. At the end of the day, a book is a book. There are crappy self-pubbed books but there are some crappy traditionally pubbed books, too. Thankfully, there are reviewers who specifically look for indie books.

  • Lori Oster says:

    Very interesting! I&#39;m an avid reader, and I never look to see who published a book before I buy. However, I&#39;m far more likely to have the book in my hand in the first place if it&#39;s published by a publishing house that stocks my local bookstores. So, I suppose the publisher matters in terms of getting the books out and into potential readers&#39; hands.<br /><br />The only time I care

  • S.N.Hijaab says:

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  • Mari Stroud says:

    I recently read a comment from a reader who says that she only buys books from certain publishing houses now because she&#39;s so used to self-pubbed books being hidden under an individual publishing imprint. Yet–that&#39;s the first time I&#39;ve ever heard of someone doing that. Everyone else reads the sample and reviews and looks at the cover. Publishing houses aren&#39;t like Coke, they

  • RhiannonPaille says:

    Hey Bob, awesome to see you commenting on my blog! I fixed the error with Tor, I wasn&#39;t aware they were MacMillan. <br /><br />Adriana – I&#39;m glad that people don&#39;t care who published a book, only that it&#39;s good. <br /><br />Guy – Okay I could rant and rant about traditionally published books that I thought were bad that were given big bucks by big publishing houses. But we&#39;ll

  • Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books says:

    I have to say at first I did not read self pub or indie books, but after some time of reviewing books and blogging about books I was approached by both time and again and honestly I have found some amazing stories out there that I might have missed out on. So I&#39;m a BIG believer in giving any book a chance if the synopsis grabs you. Just because a book is not published by one of the big six

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