A Big Break with a Small Publisher
Do you have a story idea that is for the niche market?
Do you want personal attention and have some say in the publication of your book?
Are you an unpublished writer waiting to be discovered?
Then small publishers may be for you.
In this interview, Donna will share her publishing journey with us, which started with a Pitch Party on Twitter that resulted in an unexpected surprise.
After the interview, I've included a resource of small presses you may be interested in, along with some helpful information to help you decide whether small presses are for you.
You don't want to miss this! So sit back, relax, and get inspired with Donna!
Tell me about your book and the inspiration for your story idea.
My debut picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, is about a little girl's struggle to make the wiggly words of her favorite book sit still long enough for her to be able to catch them and read a story. I tutored a young girl a few years ago who had a learning disability and was unable to read on her grade level. After working with her for the entire school year, she was finally able to read on her own. That experience of a child struggling with a learning disability was the basis of this story.
Do you have an agent? If not, what made you decide to submit on your own?
No, I don't have an agent at this time but I am looking for one. After two years of searching for one, I found out about a Twitter Pitch Party where picture book manuscripts were allowed and just took a chance. It was supposed to be mainly agents so I really didn't think about an editor requesting my book.
How did you learn of Anaiah Press and what drew you to them?
I had never heard of Anaiah Press before the pitch party. I decided to go with them because I was so impressed with my editor, Jessica Schmeidler. She had an open communication style that matched mine and I could tell she was really passionate about her author's works. I knew I could trust her with the future of my story.
What benefits do you see publishing with a small press?
Small presses with small catalog lines might have easier submission guidelines and be more willing to take on an untried writer. Small presses have smaller staff numbers so authors have a better chance of connecting with high level individuals who are responsible for the decision making.
Does Anaiah help with the marketing of your book?
Anaiah offers a number of marketing support to their authors including blog posts, book cover reveals, book trailers, and blog tours.
What have you done to promote your book?
Book marks, business cards, car magnets, school visits, author visits to Barnes & Noble, contests and giveaways, blog tours, book reviews, book submissions to book awards, book submissions to my local library acquisitions committee, future participation in my city's annual Children's Festival of Reading where up to 15,000 people will be able to sign up for my STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB.
What are you working on now? Any new stories in the works?
Currently I have 11 completed picture books, 2 completed early reader chapter books (one martial arts based fiction and one creative nonfiction), and two young adult works in progress (one mystery and one fantasy), along with research on my next creative nonfiction story.
When did you write the first draft of STORY CATCHER: 2013
Number of months before you felt STORY CATCHER was submission-ready: 6 months
How many months was it from the time of submission to acceptance with Anaiah Press: 1 day
Number of months from the time of contract to publication with Anaiah Press: 11 months
The number of publishing houses you submitted to prior to your contract with Anaiah Press: ZERO
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Donna! For more on THE STORY CATCHER, check out this fabulous video:
Donna would love to hear from you! Check out her Facebook fan page, drop her an email, join her STORY CATCHER fan club or find out what interests Donna on Twitter or Pinterest:
For more on the pros and cons of small press publishing, check out the links below:
Robert Brewer of Writer's Digest goes into detail with a three-part assessment: Submissions Process, Publishing Process, and Career Building. He interviews authors about their experiences working with small presses and with publishers about what they expect from authors and what they offer.
Agent Rachelle Gardner of Books and Such Literary Agency invites guest blogger and author, Jessica Knauss, to discuss the pros and cons of small presses. Jessica's post is based on her personal experiences and gets to the meat of the topic with bullet points, which makes it a quick and easy read.
Literary Agent, Carly Watters gives us her personal opinion on the disadvantages of seeking an agent and a publisher simultaneously with a focus on small presses.
For a list of small publishers, check out my personal link here.
If there are any small publishers you've had experiences with, have submitted to, or know of that I've missed on my list, please share them with me in the comments below. Thank you!