Who's My Publisher?
Updated: Feb 11, 2022
In case you missed it, my first novel is being published (yay!). This, of course, begs the question: who is my publisher? Before I started looking into the publishing world, I had no idea there are several types of traditional publishing routes. The first is what we all generally think of when talking about publishing: The Big Five Publishing Houses. I’m talking about Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan. Although, the Big Five may soon become the Big Four if Penguin Random House successfully consolidates with Simon & Schuster. These are the big names with which every author dreams of cutting a deal—and none of them is my publisher. . .this time anyway. These are considered the big names of traditional publishing. In fact, to qualify for the New York Times Best Seller list, you must be published by one of the Big Five. These high-profile names, however, are not the only traditional publishing path. Other publishing houses across the United States work in the same manner as the Big Five. These are also large publishing houses and pose just as much of a challenge to get your foot into the door. 4,000 books are being published in the United States per day, so to say the market is flooded is an understatement. These publishing houses, along with the Big Five, often look for authors who are marketable and already have a large following. One piece of advice for new authors that I’ve come across repeatedly over the years is to write a blog, write for magazines, and gain an audience. This is the best way to have a chance to get accepted into a big traditional publishing house like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, Workman, Sourcebooks, John Wiley & Sons, W.W. Norton, Kensington, Chronicle, Tyndale. These publishers look for books and authors that will sell. And none of them is my publisher. . .yet. The third type of traditional publisher is the small press. While small press can mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people, Jane Friedman defines it as “publishers that avoid advances and print runs. Thus, they take on less financial risk.” This means the publisher can give new authors a chance and accept books based on merit rather than solely on marketability. These small presses often do not offer advances but operate the same as bigger traditional presses in every other way—still signing a contract and paying authors royalties. These publishers take a chance on unknown authors, and I’m thankful once such small press, Wipf & Stock Publishers, took a chance on me. I am being published through their imprint, Resource Publications. Here is the link for anyone interested in learning more: https://wipfandstock.com/search-results/?imprint=resource-publications The publishing world is a hard place to break into, but small steps can take you to some big places. For anyone who is trying to get published, thinking of authoring a book, or taking on any big task, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is this: “[t]he difference between good writers and bad writers has little to do with skill. It has to do with perseverance. Bad writers quit. Good writers keep going. That's all there is to it” (Jeff Goins). I’ve threatened to quit with every rejection letter, every unanswered email, and every episode of writer's block that came my way, but I’m so thankful my husband, family, and friends encouraged me to keep going and not give up. I’ve taken a lot of small steps, and now I’ve landed a publishing contract with a small press. I’m so excited to see where the next step will take me.