I’m going to postulate for a few minutes, because that’s what I’m good at (and because I don’t feel like outlining Paint it Black right now). I came to a realization this morning when I read round two of my notes from my editor blowing up pieces of my book and adding in better chunks – editors don’t buy a book from a new author. They buy a voice they like and think has potential, then they spend a year or so teaching that person how to write a novel.
At least that’s what it feels like from here. The more I figure out, the more I realize that I know friggin’ nothing about putting a book together, and I can see how it could get overwhelming if you let it. And if you didn’t have an ego the size of Cleveland, which I do. I’m excited about all these notes, because it really does feel like school again, and I enjoy learning new stuff when I can see the value of it. In this case, the point is to make me a better writer, to make me more marketable, and to sell more books. That was the whole point behind signing with a traditional publisher in the first place – to elevate my craft and make us both money. Then I can take what I learn and move it across to my self-pubbed products and be more profitable everywhere.
So do I think everyone needs to sign with a traditional publisher to learn how to craft a novel? No. Do I think I found a good place for me to hone my craft while making money? Yes. I’m not a flag-waver. I don’t care how you choose to manage your career. For me, the hybrid career seems to be the best plan. I’ll sell some stuff to small press, some stuff self-pubbed, and if I get a NY deal, that’s cool, too. For me, right now, the point is to hone my craft and keep putting food on the table. And the best place for me to be to do that is with Bell Bridge Books. So my advice to new writers is this – check out the small press world. They aren’t going to give you buy a Ferrari advances, but they will give you personal attention and work with you to help develop your career.
Here are a few that I can personally vouch for –
If you’ve worked with, or know of a good small press, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll try to update the post.