Deciding which publishing route that you want to take is a hard decision with each option having their own pros and cons. While traditional, big-name publishers provide an opportunity to reach a large audience, getting your foot in the door is hard. Even if you are able to get signed on, you may not have the final say over your story. The publisher is typically the one who decides how best to portray your story to sell to their audience. There are several benefits to working with a small or independent publisher compared to a traditional publisher or self-publication.
Working Closely With You
One of the big benefits of working with a small/independent publisher is that there is a direct line of communication between you and the publishing team. Depending on what type of independent publisher you are working with, many will work closely with you, guiding you through each step of the process to make sure that you have all the tools and resources that you need. Regardless, they are not onboarding or currently working with dozens of authors at a time and will work more closely with you.
Working with Professionals
One of the biggest downsides of self-publishing is that you have to assemble a writing team that will help you get the first draft of your manuscript to a completed book. A writing team could consist of different people performing different functions. For example, editors, cover designers, proofreaders, project managers, etc. You may feel you don’t need some of these team members. Or you may believe you could fulfill most of these tasks yourself. However, professional publishers divide up these tasks for a reason, so that the writer can focus on what they do best: write. To have your book appear professionally published, you are typically going to need professional help.
In addition to the small/independent publisher working more closely with you, they will have a team of professionals that they rely on to help bring your story to life. The team that the publisher has assembled is also one that they put their trust in, and you don’t have to do the leg work of vetting people for your publishing team.
You Have the Final Say
In working with a traditional publisher, you typically have to sign a contract that gives them the rights to your book. Yes, your name is on it, but the edits that are made and the direction that your book is taken lies in the hands of the publisher. This means that they will make any edits that they deem necessary to better sell your book to their audience. Working with a small/independent publisher, they will work with you to make sure that your book is written and presented in the way that you want to see it for the final outcome.
Easier For First Time Authors
For big-time publishers, getting them to take on your book idea is a difficult task for first-time authors or those authors who don’t have any writing background or experience. An agent is usually needed in order to bring the publisher to the table to hear your book idea. Small publishing houses are more willing and open to take on new authors if the book topic or idea fits within their scope of publishing. For example, Publish Your Purpose (PYP) primarily works with non-fiction, purpose-driven authors who have a story to tell. Fiction books are out of our scope of expertise but there are other fiction-centered small publishers in the industry.