Zinnia Hope, author of multi-genres and erotic romances; also writing as J. Emberglass
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Thursday, August 9
Big Publisher? Little Publisher?
My dad, who is the stereotypical proud papa, loaned a copy of my novel, The Red Storm, to their long-time neighbor. A couple weeks later, he drove over there to retrieve it.
(Bear in mind that my mother is babbling this to me over the telephone.)
The neighbor went to get the book and return it to my dad, but discovered her adult daughter reading it. She asked for the book, a mother-daughter argument ensued. The daughter wasn't giving up the book until she'd finished it. She'd picked it up, started reading, and couldn't put it down.
This tickled my father to no end, so he allowed her to keep it a couple more days and said he'd be back to get his copy then. However, he made sure that my mother called me to relay the story.
Okay, I have to admit that this little bit of news was a great ego booster. However, the disconcerting part of this is that so many people thumb their noses at small press releases, but yet, this woman wasn't about to give up my novel. I'm not saying I'm the most wonderful writer in the world. Oh, no. What I am stating is that there is this ugly smudge that seems to land on small presses and their authors because they don't have the fame, the glory, the big bucks to flaunt that says, "Look! I'm a big name in the publishing world!"
Let me tell you folks, there is a virtual cornucopia of beautiful, riveting fiction offered to the world through small presses. Personally, I'll read a small press book before I will something from a well-known name on the cover. Much of today's fiction churned out of NYC makes me groan and toss the book into the yard-sale pile.
Last weekend, I took a couple of my kids shopping for school clothes. I stopped in at a store that sells some things on consignment and spoke to the owner about possibly putting my books on display in her shop. The moment she found out that my two print books were currently with small presses, she snarled--yes, snarled--her nose up at me and stated that she wanted nothing to do with those kind of books.
Now let me tell you something, I normally have a quick comeback and most things don't bother me in the publishing business; I've been writing professionally far too long to worry about smartassed comments and nasty criticism. However, this woman's attitude really offended me.
The Red Storm is the novel that inspired a phone call to me one sunny afternoon from my new literary agent, an agent who is ascending the sales ladder with lightning speed. The Red Storm caused an argument between a mother and daughter because the daughter wanted to finish the book before relinquishing it. The Red Storm also caused another person to set her college studies aside because she, too, had to finish it.
Conspiracy of Angels is another of my novels that has garnered similar results. One of which is a review from a Kensington Books author who read it. This book and its publisher, Freya's Bower, has netted me an Internet radio interview that will go out to...gulp...millions of listeners.
So why do people diss small presses? I have to say that I feel it's because of the lack of big bucks involved.
I actually had an acquaintence ask me who I am published with, and when I told him, he frowned and said, "Never heard of them. Let me know when you're with a big publisher like Daw or Tor and I'll buy your book."
Whoops! Sorry, buddy! You just pushed Z's hot button!
Look, any small press author or aspiring writer can tell you the time, blood, sweat, and soulful tears that goes into their prose. Just because a big New York City publisher doesn't have its name and ensigna on the cover or inside pages does not mean that the work doesn't have merit or doesn't suck the reader into an incredible new world.
E-books are dissed even more than small press, but times are changing, trees are an issue nowadays, and everything is slowly turning electronic.
One day, I'll be with a big, traditional publisher, but it doesn't make any difference whether one of my novels sells only ten copies or ten million, I put just as much time, imagination, know-how, knowledge, dedication, and love into every frickin' word regardless.
Why not take a chance on something great to read? It doesn't even have to be mine. There are thousands of wonderful writers out there.
The Red Storm
Conspiracy of Angels or at AMAZON
And here are a few recommendations for fellow small press authors' work.
Pervalism...an utterly frightening read.
Ironhorse Rider...unique and a nice taste of biker fiction.
Dreams of Forever...pure romance