Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pros and Cons of Writing for a Small Publisher

with guest blogger Kimberly Rose Johnson.

When I first began my research on the pros and cons of writing for a small publisher I thought I knew what I would find, after all, I write for a small press. But what I discovered is that my experience was not necessarily the norm for all writers.

I have written for both a large and a small publisher. I wrote for Love Inspired Heartsong Presents, which I thoroughly enjoyed before Harlequin dissolved the line. I now write for Mountain Brook Ink, a new small publisher. I love writing for them too, but there are definitely pros and cons. 

Let’s take a look at some of the pros of writing for a small publisher.

  • Contract to publication is faster. On average the time from signing the contract to publication is six months. 
  • More input regarding the cover art. This isn’t true of all small publishers, but most of the writers I spoke with felt like they had a good deal of say in their cover art. My publisher, Mountain Brook Ink, gives me a huge amount of say regarding my cover design.
  • Higher royalties. On average, the writers I polled earned 45%. Keep in mind this is the average. I spoke with one whose royalty rate is in the 15-25% range, depending on the number of copies a book has sold.
  • No agent is needed. In most cases, you do not need an agent to submit to a small publisher. Depending on your perspective, this can be a positive or a negative. Clearly, the biggest benefit here is that you don’t share your royalties.
  • A stepping-stone to get started in the business. You will certainly learn a lot about publishing when you work with a small publisher. So much goes on behind the scenes that I never realized until I signed with one. 
  • Often times a small press is more flexible with word count and/or content. For example, I like to write in the 40,000 to 50,000-word count range. There is a limited market for that word count with large publishers, but mine is fine with it. 
  • Consider more genres than large publishers. It has been my experience that smaller houses have more wiggle room with what they publish. That being said, this is not always the case.

As you can see there are several pros to publishing with a small press. I’m sure there are more that I may not have thought of. Feel free to list them in the comments if you think of one.  

Now for the cons.

  • Little or no advance. However, keep in mind the royalty rate is substantially higher than a large publisher will pay.
  • Smaller distribution. It is uncommon to find a book from a small press on a bookstore shelf. That being said, most small publishers have good online distribution.
  • Little marketing provided. I list this since it was something that came up with the authors I interviewed. However, based on my experience I feel like my small publisher has actually helped market my book quite a lot. 
In fact most authors, regardless of who they write for, generally complain about the lack of marketing their publisher does for their book. Today’s authors must embrace marketing their own books regardless of who their publisher is. That being said, when I wrote for a large house my first book was in the CBD catalog and the book completely sold out of print on all venues. 
  • Only one or two people often run a small press. When something goes wrong in that person’s life it in all likelihood will have a direct impact on you and your book. I was at a writer’s conference this past year talking with an author who writes for a small press. She was frustrated because the book had not yet been released and it was past the release date. To make matters worse, she hadn’t been able to reach her publisher. I’m sure that would frustrate most of us.

The thing that struck me the strongest as I was interviewing authors for this post is how much difference there is between the various small presses. Some do everything in regards to publishing, while another requires the author provide a completely edited and formatted book ready to publish. My publisher does everything, except the substantive edit.

For years I’ve heard that writers should avoid small presses. But things are changing. As more large houses are closing their fiction lines, small presses are picking up the slack. Publishing with a small press is now more acceptable and in many cases preferred.

I would caution you to do your research before submitting to any publisher. 

  • Talk to someone who writes for that press and ask about their experience with that publisher. 
  • Find out if royalties are paid on time.
  • Is there an advance?
  • Do they follow through with their agreements?
  • What is the publisher like to work with? 

Not all publishers are created equal. Some will be dream publishers and others will be a nightmare. Do your homework.

If you are published what are some things you would add to help others who are seeking publication? If you are not yet published, are you open to a small publisher, or are you aiming for a large house?

Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child, Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing.She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance the warms the heart and feeds the soul.Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.You can connect with Kimberly via her website at:http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/index.html
Links: Amazon http://amzn.to/1TqmarI
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1566138407009549/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimberlyrosejoh

A Love To Treasure
School teacher Nicole Davis is on summer break, but this vacation is unlike any other. Her beloved Grandmother’s final wish has landed Nicole smack in the middle of her favorite destination—Sunriver, Oregon, following Grams’s clues on a mysterious scavenger hunt. Unexpectedly, Nicole finds more than just a fellow sleuth in a handsome police officer, Mark Stone. But Mark must return to his job in Portland at summer’s end, and Nicole must guard her heart.

Mark is hoping for a quiet summer in Sunriver as he contemplates his future in law enforcement, but a string of burglaries draws him from his self-imposed break from detective work and thrusts him into the middle of the investigation. To complicate matters, Nicole is in jeopardy, and he knows his growing feelings for her could cloud his judgment. Will their differing career goals be the end of their summer romance—or just the beginning of forever after? 

Seekerville is giving away a Kindle copy of A Love To Treasure in honor of Kimberly's visit. Leave a comment and we'll put your name in the puppy dish. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. I'm excited to be here will all of you today. I live in the pacific NW, so am headed to bed now. I see you in the morning.

  2. Good post today Kimberly! I know there are pros and cons to every publisher, whether big or small, so your advice to do your homework makes a whole lot of sense. As a reader, I like learning about authors more especially the background stuff. And I think your advice can pertain to a lot of things in life :-) Thanks for sharing your insight and I'm very happy you found a publisher after the Heartsong Presents line debunked. I pray God gives you many more published books in the future!

    Thanks for the chance to own an ecopy of A Love to Treasure, sounds like a good one :-) I live on the Oregon coast, so anything set in the Pacific Northwest is of particular interest to me!

  3. Welcome to Seekerville, Kimberly Rose!

    Delighted to have you.

    What could be better than some fresh goodies from Pike Place Market and lots of fresh coffee. All ready for the morning crew

    Pike Place Market Bakeries

  4. Very interesting thank you. As a reader I had not considered all of this before.

  5. Very interesting information Kimberly.It sounds like a small publisher that doesn't require the author to have an agent would be a good starting point for a new author trying to break into print. Thank you for the advice.

    I would love to have my name tossed in for an ebook copy of your book. Thank you for the chance.

    Many blessings to everyone today!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  6. Welcome, Kimberly! This is great advice. I particularly agree with talking with someone who writes for that press to get their take on the publisher. Please toss my name in the hat.

  7. Hi Kimberly, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks so much for sharing your research. I can't wait to stop by after work and read all the comments.

    I love your book cover. One thing I look at when studying small presses is the book covers. If they are unattractive, I go to the next press. I'd love to be in the drawing, and I'll see you all at the end of the day! Have a great one!

  8. Good morning, Kimberly!! It is great to see you here. Love this post! I had not thought of all the pros and cons regarding a small publisher. As an unpublished writer I would consider one once I'm ready. Great post!

  9. Good morning, Kimberly! Love the cover of your latest release--so that's something your small publisher is definitely doing right! So many small publishers popping up these days--some legit and others not -- how many small publishers & their authors did you check out before selecting this one? What made this one stand out from the crowd?

  10. KIMBERLY, welcome to Seekerville! Your post highlights the changing world of publication. I'm delighted writers have many avenues to get their books read! Interesting to see your list of pros and cons of working with a small publisher.

    Your cover is lovely and the story sounds suspenseful.


  11. wow. this is a great post. I hadn't really thought about small presses, other than finding the occasional really cool book for a good price (especially before I got a Kindle). I really appreciate the research/interviews you did for this. It is extremely helpful.

    would love to be in the draw for your book. The blurb is cool.

  12. Great information, Kimberly. Thanks for sharing. I'll return later to catch up on comments.

  13. Thanks for this great post. It will help when I get something to the point of being ready for publication.

    I'd love to be in the drawing for your book.

  14. Good morning! I'm back with my cup of coffee and enjoying a pastry from Pikes Place Market Bakery, Tina.:) Thanks!

    I'm tickled to see several comments about my cover. It is one of my favorites, but I've loved all my covers with Mountain Brook Ink. I am given a LOT of say in the cover, and I have final say on the cover art as well. At first that was difficult for me to get used to. I wanted to write not think about the cover details, but after seven books with this publisher I am loving being able to have so much control over the final product. In fact when I was sent a mockup of the cover for A Christmas Homecoming, the next book in the series, I did not love it and my very kind publisher allowed me to come up with something different. Now I'm thrilled with that cover, which incidentally went up for pre-order on Amazon yesterday.

    Glynna, you asked "how many small publishers & their authors did you check out before selecting this one?" I looked at two or three other small publishers before I was approached by the owner of my current publisher. I have known her for at least ten years and she was just starting out with a small press. Besides publishing her own re-prints, I was her first acquisition. Normally I wouldn't recommend doing what I did, but I felt strongly it was something I was supposed to do, so I withdrew my submission to the other small press I had ended up submitting to and signed a contract for a series with Mountain Brook Ink.

  15. Kimberly, as a reader I think your post is fascinating. I have wondered how writers choose their publisher and what some of the differences are. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Hi Sally, It's great to see you here! What genre do you write? That's another thing to consider when choosing a publisher as some only publish certain genres. I guess it goes back to doing your research when you're ready to put your baby out there.

    Trixi, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :) It's funny how certain principles can be applied to many things in life. I enjoyed reading your comment. Thanks for stopping in. Side note, I love the Oregon coast! I wrote a never published romantic suspense that is set in Lincoln City. My hubby, our yellow lab, and I spent a couple of days over there while I was writing. I find it helpful to visit the places where my stories are set. :)

  17. Good morning, Kimberly. Thank you for sharing your experience with Mountain Brook Ink. Do you think your previous publishing experience and marketing exposure with Heart Song helped fuel your success with this new small publisher?

    I love the cover and blurb of your latest release. Please throw my name into the hat for your giveaway. Thank you for posting today.

  18. Absolutely, Renee! I already knew how things were done and what to expect. Granted every publisher has their own way of doing things so there was some adjusting on my part, but my experience with Heartsong was invaluable!
    The other thing that has helped, is that I educate myself by keeping up to date on the business of writing. It's my opinion that writers should know the in's and out's of the business, so I do my best to keep current with the industry.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the cover and blurb. :)

  19. Do you think that all the marketing and publicity you received from Love Inspired helped you gather a following before you switched to the smaller press?

  20. A few years ago I would not have looked at a book not published by a large, well known publisher because the books were sure to be second rate. I am glad that has changed, though that is probably because the authors do more of their own editing. I love your novels, Kimberly and am looking forward to this one! Thanks for being in Seekerville today!

  21. Kimberly, I write contemporary romance, and I have three or four short stories (about 25 pages) of middle grade stories that are a mix between RL Stine and Nancy Drew lol.

  22. As of yet I have only published my books indie style, which if you think you get leniency on the size of your book and genre you choose with small publishing companies...

    I have been wanting to look into getting other series that I plan on writing traditionally published, and if that were the case I'm not exactly sure if I would choose big or small publishing companies. I guess I would just go with whoever wants my books and will offer me the best deal. Also I don't have an agent at the present moment so that might level the playing field a bit...

    By the way I would LOVE to have my name entered into the... uh, doggy dish. Kimberly, your book looks really interesting and I'm not just saying that because I am biased about the name of your character, what with it being my name as well.

  23. Hi Kimberly Welcome to Seekerville and thank you for such an informative post on small publishers. You are so right in saying the world of publishing has changed. I think its great, even though the growing pains can sometimes be painful.

    Love the sound of your book, esp since I'm in SunRiver now and have been all summer. This is one of my favorite places to spend the summer.

    Thanks again for sharing. Have fun today.

  24. Good question Glynna It is important to research the small publishers because some are not really legit.

    I like your comment Kimberly that it is important to stay current with the industry. The writing business is changing so rapidly, it is tough to keep up, but now more than ever it is critical to do so.

  25. How fun, Sandra! I've always wanted to have an extended stay in Sunriver. I hope you are having a wonderful summer.

    I agree growing pains can be painful and I really dislike change, but I've learned that life is constantly changing whether I like it or not. :)

  26. Sandra Leesmith, I agree, some publishers are not legit. It's so important to look into publishers before signing a contract.

  27. Renee McBride you asked "Do you think that all the marketing and publicity you received from Love Inspired helped you gather a following before you switched to the smaller press?"

    I wish I could say yes, but I can't. When I wrote for Heartsong I was helping to build their brand not my own. In many ways I had to start from scratch when I moved to a new publisher.
    Yes, I had a handful of fans from my time with Heartsong, but in reality people who read those books purchased them because they were Heartsong Presents books, not because I wrote a particular book.

    I had to become known for who I am, not who I write for and build my own brand.

  28. KIMBERLY, thank you for sharing this. Small publishers are the way to go. I don't have the stomach for indie publishing and I am aware of the odds of getting into a large traditional publisher, but small publishers have given me hope. Two of my best writer friends are with Pelican/White Rose and Mountainview, and it was a good move for them.
    If nothing else, it gets the "newbie" a title under their belt and gets them off Seekerville's famous island.
    The marketing part doesn't scare me that much, everyone does their own marketing these days.
    It's all about Who we write for, isn't it? And getting His word out.
    Kathy Bailey
    Mulling it all in NH

  29. Nicky, I think most writers would jump at the chance to be published traditionally and not worry about who the publisher is. I was like that in the beginning too. In fact I had signed a contract with a publisher who shall remain nameless. Fortunately I had an agent who stepped in a got me out of it as it was not what we thought we were getting ourselves into--it wasn't clear in the contract, but later became clear after emails were exchanged. No money was involved at that point, so it wasn't a big deal to nullify the contract.
    Wishing you the best with your future writing!

  30. Welcome, Kimberly! This is a great list of pros and cons concerning small publishers, and especially good advice for authors to do their homework before making a publishing decision.

    I relate to your statements about Heartsong Presents, which published six of my earliest novels. It was good for building some exposure and publishing experience, but the hardest part was lack of availability when loyal readers went looking for them.

  31. Thanks for the post, Kimberly. Good advice to check out the small publishers. I don't know if I have thought about it much but I am writing my first book so have a lot to think about when the time comes.

    Your book looks very interesting. Please enter me in the drawing.

  32. Thanks for the welcome, Myra. Lack of shelf space was an issue with Heartsong Presents. I have the same problem with my current publishers since my books are not in any stores. I had someone from church tell me they searched Walmart for my books, but couldn't fine them. If only! :)

  33. Kaybee, I am very thankful for small publishers. They fill a much needed place in the industry.
    Wishing you much success with your writing.

  34. Did anyone check out the RWA RITA? Many small publishers were RITA finalists and winners this year and last.

    Anymore just publishing your book and putting it up on Amazon is not cutting it. It can be worth it to consider a small press that is getting a lot of exposure to give you some exposure.

    Everyone's situation is different, but the beauty of this is how many options there are.

  35. Do talk to other authors and find out what their experience. Agent or not, don't sign any contract without having a legal professional look it over. Always helpful to have a lawyer in the family, right Ruthy??

  36. A small press can also be a great foundation for learning how to write on deadline and work with an editor.

  37. What are you working on now, Kimberly?

    And we always like to ask, pantser or plotter. Do you write at a desktop or a roving laptop or tablet? Or..LONGHAND???

  38. I forgot to mention. I'm married to a northwestern fella. Kirkland, Washington. So we get to visit on occasion.

  39. Tina, I'm currently writing Designing Love, the third book in my Sunriver Dreams series.

    When I wrote for Heartsong I was a plotter because I had no choice. I had to turn in a detailed outline of the story before I wrote it.
    Now I don't have to do that and I'm back to my pantser ways. :) Although I'm kind of a combo of both. I have a good idea of the story, but I don't outline it, and I go with the flow. This is definitely a longer process than writing from an outline, but I prefer it to writing from an outline as it gives me more freedom to change directions if needed.

  40. How cool, Tina! I love Kirkland. It's a little congested for me, but it is so beautiful. When I attended college there my dorm faced Lake Washington and Mt. Rainer. I had a million dollar view and LOVED it.

  41. Welcome, Kimberly! Thanks for the insightful post. I made my first sale (a short story) to a small publisher and had a great experience.

    Jackie, that's great advice to check out the publisher's covers!

  42. You sure did have a million dollar view. Wow. These days when we visit we stay with friends on Whidbey Island. A real treat.

  43. Thanks for the welcome, Missy. I'm glad you had a positive experience. :)
    Your comment reminded me that my very first sale was to a small publisher of sorts. I wrote a short suspense for a mystery magazine back in 2006. Six years after that I signed my contract with Heartsong Presents. :)

  44. Kimberly said...
    When I wrote for Heartsong I was helping to build their brand not my own. In many ways I had to start from scratch when I moved to a new publisher . . . I had to become known for who I am, not who I write for and build my own brand.

    Thank you for that answer in the comments, Kimberly, and for today's post. Many of the books I read are published by small presses, so I would have no problem publishing with one.

    I love the way the dog on the book cover is looking back at the viewer ... a very inviting touch.

    Nancy C

  45. Tina, I missed answering part of your question. I write on a roving laptop. It's uncomfortable to sit in one place for too long. I've been know to stand at the kitchen counter with my laptop propped on a thick book. When I do this I attach a separate keyboard to it.
    My favorite place to write is in an old recliner in my living room.


    Go to Preditors and Editors Preditors and Editors

    and Writer Beware Writer Beware

  47. There are so many choices now that it can be overwhelming. Thank you, Kimberly, for your list. So helpful!

  48. I felt the same way, Marianne. I was very cautious of books by publishers I wasn't familiar with. I'm so pleased that you enjoy my books! Thank you for reading them. :) Blessings.

    Sally, how fun that you write in two genres. Have you tried to publish any of your short stories in magazines? Or maybe you could put together a compilation of all your short stories. :)

    I should have known you write contemporary romance. :) Actually I probably did and it slipped my mind.

    Happy writing!

  49. TINA, great advice and helpful links for writers who are seeking publication. Am I right in saying authors shouldn't pay to see books in print unless they're self-pubbing?


  50. Does anyone in Seekerville write their stories in longhand? I can't read the revision notes I take on hard copy.


  51. Janet, you are absolutely correct in saying "Am I right in saying authors shouldn't pay to see books in print unless they're self-pubbing?"

    In my case I must turn in a book that is ready for the copy editor. But my publisher doesn't charge me a dime.

    I agree, thanks for posting those links, Tina. :)

  52. Thank you, Kimberly for the informative post. I need to educate myself on the inside and outs of this industry-it's all so overwhelming!

    At this point, having written my inspirational romance and revising, rewriting and reworking my manuscript, I am at a loss as to whether I should self-publish via Amazon, work towards getting an agent or try sending it directly to publishers who don't require an agent.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

  53. Janet, I sometimes write longhand, if I am traveling in the car or at school while I am writing. Especially if writing in a hurry, it can be tricky sometimes to read what I wrote!

  54. Josee, the best advice I can give you is something a writer friend once told me. She said, "the Lord is my manager." My advice is to pray and ask Him what you should do. I've learned a lot from those ahead of me in the writing business and this was the BEST piece of advice I've ever received. I took it to heart and He has not failed in guiding me when I take the time to listen and obey.

  55. Thank you for this informational post Kimberly!

    I've often wondered how it would be writing for a small press. Were you able to talk w/authors who had written for a small publisher and indie? How did those compare? (I realize that's not the topic, but you got me to thinking.)

    One of the things that attact me to LI and Heartsong type of books is that people buy the publisher, not always the author. Should make the sales better for a newbie. Did you find this to be the case?

  56. This is so timely as always. I just submitted to Entangled Teen and so far what I found seems like their growing and really proactive. I've seen some of their books on the bestsellers lists, so I felt good about it. I'm just hoping and praying it works out and select me, but if I not that the right one will present itself its all in HIS timing.

    Thanks you

  57. Jeri, I hope you get great news on your submission!

  58. Yes, Connie. I did talk to a few authors who are both indie and traditionally published by small presses. They much preferred to be indie published as they get all the profits from those sales and had complete control. I think those are the biggest benefits of indie publishing.
    One of those authors had a nightmare experience with her publisher and in my opinion is why she has gone completely indie. Another writer I interviewed still publishes with a small press because it helps with exposure.

    I can not state strongly enough, do your homework. Research a publisher before signing. Talk to people who are published with them, check editors and predators. A bad contract or publisher is worse than no contract.

    As far as writing for a book club type book I would say yes. People buy the books because of the publisher and not because of the author. However, because of this, it does not translate into sales when you write books not published by that publisher.

  59. Exactly, Jeri! I love your attitude. In fact when I finally gave my career over the Lord is when I received my first contract.
    Wishing you the best in your writing!

  60. Thanks for the great and informative post, Kimberly! My debut novel was released by a new, small publisher no one had ever heard of at the time. I referred to that book (Awakening) as "The Little Engine That Could." It took a long time for my novel to be discovered by readers and to start selling. Now, just six years--and 19 books later--the way books are published and marketed has changed dramatically, as we both well know. The advent of increased social media and advertising opportunities has certainly helped in many ways, I believe. My subsequent five books with a smaller but well-established publisher, including a four-book Christmas series spread over four years as well as a book in one of their specific lines, were all fun to write and a good experience overall. Your advice is solid to check out a potential publisher thoroughly before committing to a publishing contract. I've learned lessons along the way, but I don't regret any of it for the Lord paved my path every step of the way. I always say the key for writers is to KEEP WRITING. Blessings to you, my friend. Great to see you on Seekerville today!

  61. JoAnn, the industry has indeed changed a LOT in the past six years. Congratulations on all of you books. 19 books in six years is huge!

  62. Many of you have mentioned liking my cover. I think my publisher does an excellent job producing covers that are appropriate for each books genre. :)
    You can check out more of their covers here if you're interested. http://mountainbrookink.com/mbi-books/

  63. Great advice Kimberly. All makes perfect sense.

  64. I'm glad to hear it, Connie. Thanks!

  65. Some other small publishers I know of where writers have had good reports:

    Serenade Books
    Lighthouse of the Carolinas
    Desert Breeze
    Tule -now has an inspy line
    Entangled has a clean romance line

    Anyone have any to add, besides Mountain Brook, our guest's publisher of course.

  66. Is Prism Book Group considered a small publisher? Kimberly, I have not tried submitting my short stories. I wouldn't know where to start. And I haven't looked at them since the kids were small. I've learned so much since then. They'd need to be reworked before I submitted them anywhere. I don't even know if they are any good or not. I'm not sure of you knew what I write or not. I don't think we've had that conversation. Im anxiously awaiting feedback on a contest I entered.

  67. Loved the blog post ,very insightful.

  68. Welcome to Seekerville, Linda Rainey. Reader, Writer or both?


  69. Thank you! Missy Tippens and Kimberly

  70. Kimberly, welcome to Seekerville! So nice to have you here!!!

    I'm not a small press person. If no one is paying me an advance, I like to have my own finger on the buttons of my career, so I went hybrid on my own, but I do love seeing others' opinions on this!

    And I brought sweet tea for the evening.

    Gotta love sweet tea in summer.

  71. Thanks for the welcome, Ruth. It's been such a fun day. Sweet tea sounds wonderful. :)

    Isn't it great that we have so many publishing options now?

  72. Kimberly, these are truly golden days of publishing because of those options and I don't expect anyone knows how the future will twist and turn... but yes! We are surrounded with choices and opportunities our parents would have dreamed of. And they're ours for the asking!

    Amazing times!

  73. Hello KIMBERLY! Thank you for a great post!

    Please put my name in the puppy dish for a Kindle copy of A Love To Treasure.

  74. I thought of another excellent small press--Ashberry Lane Publishing.

    Hi Caryl, it's great to see you here. :)

  75. KIMBERLY!! Welcome to Seekerville, girl, and WOW, what a great post -- detailed, thorough, well-researched, AND a comparison that I, for one, have been wanting to see, so THANK YOU!!

    I had NO idea that the royalties for a small press could be as high as 45 % -- WOW!! I do realize there is little or no advance, but even so, that's a pretty good percentage.

    I've been spoiled by a larger traditional publisher, who was absolutely fabulous to work with, but authors there are part of a large stable of authors, so it's not like a small intimate group at a small press, I imagine, which would be nice too. I kind of get that intimate feel from Gilead Publishing, who I just signed with. It's a new, smaller traditional publisher on the scene that will obviously grow, but right now it's a nice family feel.

    Fascinating blog, Kimberly -- thanks for bringing it to Seekerville.


  76. Julie Lessman--SO good to see your name pop up here. I wasn't going to chime in, but I just had to say hi to you....I'm the owner of Kimberly's publisher, Mountain Brook Ink, and I so appreciate her post. We love Kimberly, as we value each of our

    We do give our authors a high royalty %, a very small advance, and a lot of input on cover design and back cover copy. We have other things in the works that I can't talk about yet, dealing with the movie industry. We're waiting on more details, but if it happens, it could put our little company on the map.

    We consider all genres in the Christian market (and even secular, as long as it's clean, with strong values) except children's fiction, Middle-Grade, and short stories. A book has to be at least 45K words for us to take it...we don't do novellas, as the cost is as high for a novella (as to cover, formatting, etc) as a full-length book. You don't need an agent to submit to us, but we do ask that work be edited, strong, with a compelling story line--and yes, we do consider speculative fiction, as well. This has been a very interesting discussion!

  77. Miralee! Welcome to Seekerville and wonderful that you have exciting news in the works!!

  78. Thank you for adding to the list, Kimberly.

    I am jotting down all these small publishers!!

  79. Thank you for the welcome, Julie! I'm so glad you liked the post. :)
    I think all publishing routes have positives and negatives.

    Congratulations on your latest contract! I'd love to hear about Gilead Publishing. I read that they only take submissions via agents, but I'm curious what word count they require. Are you able to share?

  80. Thank you, KIMBERLY, for such an interesting post! You've answered so many questions for me, and, as usual, the comments here have been helpful as well. Thanks everyone!

  81. I've been trying different small publishing companies for over a year now in attempt to get one of my stories published, and I've found some of the things you said true. As for the rest, maybe I'll find out when I finally get to the other side. How do you like writing for Mountain Brook, Inc.?

    Also, please throw my name in the puppy dish for A Love to Treasure.

  82. You're very welcome Laura. :) I'm glad you found it helpful.

    Boo, I enjoy writing for Mountain Brook Ink and recommend them. :)

  83. MIRALEE, seriously??? Mountain Brook Inc. is YOU??? Well, that makes it all the better, in my opinion, my friend. Goodness, you've been busy, girl! And I will never forget how you sat me down in the lobby of the ACFW conference hotel in Denver(?) to help me sign up for Facebook, so you are the reason I even have a presence on FB today, my friend -- THANK YOU!! ;) Hope you are going to ACFW because I would love to give you a hug. :)

    KIMBERLY, thanks for the congrats -- it was a blessing to sign on with Gilead and happened kind of by accident, so I consider myself truly blessed.

    Yes, Gilead only accepts queries, manuscripts, and proposals through literary agents OR when requested for review by Gilead editors at conferences. And I do know Gilead will be at ACFW, so that's a good opportunity for anyone going.

    As far as word count, here is what I got off of Gilead's website, along with some other info:

    2016 Priorities:

    Well-written inspirational novels in the 80-100k word count
    Established authors in the inspirational market.
    Less overt, subtle Christian fiction in a more literary in style or up-market women’s contemporary fiction
    New voices with fresh ideas that might appeal to twenty-somethings
    Authors publishing in the “sweet spot” of Christian fiction.

    Gilead Publishing is a fiction-only imprint. We are not looking for non-fiction, children’s or Young Adult at this time. Please check back on this submission guidelines page for updates.


  84. What kind of books does Mountain Brook, Inc. publish. I mean, obviously inspirational romance, but anything else? I'm having a trouble with my story because it's rather unique and hard to pigeonhole into a specific genre.

  85. Julie, it's great to hear from you!! Yes, I started Mountain Brook Ink almost two-and-a-half years ago, and I'm loving it, even if I am crazy busy and barely have time to write my own books. :-) I remember our time together well--loved getting you acquainted with social media. That was fun! And you're such a cool person to hang out with, no matter what we're doing.

    Unfortunately, I'm not attending ACFW this year. I was invited to attend a large Oregon conference, OcW as an acquisitions editor and it ends a few days before ACFW starts, so it was more traveling than I wanted to pack into my busy schedule. Maybe I can collect on that hug next year!

    Boo Smelser, so nice to meet you! We don't take non-fiction, children's fiction or middle-grade. I'm open to YA, but it's not my top choice. I love historical, suspense, romance, women's fiction or speculative, and will take a serious look at any of those. I will tell you that if you are having a hard time picking a category, then you may be trying to fit too many different elements in your book. Can you give me a little more info?

  86. Thanks for the info, Julie. :)

    Boo, here is the link to their website. You can peruse it and see if it would be a fit or not. http://mountainbrookink.com/

  87. Thank you, Kimnberly. That would be best--we make it very clear on our submissions page what we take and what we don't, as well as info about a separate line we have, Finding Love In.

  88. Thanks so much for spending the day with us Kimberly! It was great to have you and thanks Miralee for stopping by!

  89. I loved this post and all the helpful comments. I'm taking notes. Thanks to everybody for sharing!

  90. Jackie, I'm glad you found the post helpful! Happy writing. :)

    You're welcome, Tina. Thanks for having me. I had a great time.

  91. Such interesting information. Congratulations on your book.
    Becky B.
    PS please put me in the drawing.

  92. Thanks, Becky B. I'm glad you found it interesting.:)

  93. The story I'm trying to get published is like speculative in a historic setting- or, rather, werewolves in the nineteen twenties. After obsessing about someone coming up with a superhero story that might become too much like my Ninja and Hunter series before I had a chance to get it published, I guess I went too unique. But there's not too much going on- my stories are quirky, not chaos. I'm way too OCP (obsessive compulsive personality) for that.

  94. Boo, that would still be speculative fantasy or paranormal fantasy, even with the historic setting...the setting isn't a big deal. But to interest a publisher, you do need a high degree of adventure and even danger, along with the quirky feature. :-) Especially for fantasy.

  95. Action adventure is what I do, and that book especially has a lot of danger. I also always have comedy and romance and secrets because what's an interesting book without those?