Hi there. I have been querying for a while and my manuscript has gotten some interest by a couple of indie publishers. I have researched them thoroughly. I wanted to know what types of questions I should ask if I'm ever confronted with a offer. I'm not sure if this would ever happen, but I just wanted to know if this were to ever happen.
Is there an advance? What kind of promotion do/will they do for your book? Will it be print or just ebook and if print do they have contacts to get it into books stores (most don't). What is the editing process like (how many rounds etc)? Do you have a say in the cover at all? Then contracts things that are too complicated to into here, like royalties, and if they're on net or gross, option clauses etc.
Then talk to some of their authors. Look at their books and their sales.
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2017 19:09:48 GMT -5 by trombolii
Post by Lora Palmer on Jan 31, 2017 11:24:28 GMT -5
Another question is distribution. If you don't already have the information, for example you'll want to know where the book will be made available (e.g., Amazon, ITunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo), and if in print, through what company. Will it be made available through Overdrive Media so that libraries can purchase it?
Post by derekmurphy on Feb 2, 2017 17:40:19 GMT -5
One of the most important things is cover design - a lot of small or indie presses don't have an in-house designer (or one that is versatile enough to handle all genres). And giving the cover right is crucial; even if you get a good deal, if they don't get the cover right it can tank your book sales.
Also, they might be at a disadvantage when it comes to offline bookstores if they can't afford a huge first run and lower printing costs; but most small presses don't actually know that much about selling books online or book marketing either. So they can help with the editing, design and production but may not be able to get the visibility or exposure you need.
YA fantasy based on myth and literature. Over 600 reviews on Amazon.
Post by Suzanne Warr on Feb 2, 2017 20:12:55 GMT -5
You've gotten great advice in all of the above! A couple things I'd like to add. First up, are they asking for just the rights to this book, or first right of refusal on additional books? Personally, I would not give any small publisher any claim to a future book. Second, what are their terms and contingency plan if the publisher is forced to close their doors? How quickly will authors get their rights back? And do they carry debt/have creditors? One challenge with distribution from small publishers is that it is expensive and often requires them to have backers who will potentially hang on to the rights for author's books should the publisher go under. Since it's all too common for small pubs to experience stress and fold, having a clear understanding of what that process would look like is essential, imho. And finally, I recommend that if you possibly can, you do as much research on the indie publisher prior to the phone call in which they offer contract as you can. For example, if you've taken a good look at their covers you'll be able to ask more specific questions. That will both make you look informed and invested in the conversation, and help you ask your most pressing questions.
Most of all, good luck and happy contract-hunting!