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.