Why to go with a small publisher

Of course I wanted a well-known publisher to grab my book and offer me a huge advance. I sent proposals and samples to agents and many houses. This is a terrible time to break into the publishing biz. Over the past 10 years, they have let go of up to 70% of their staffs. They aren’t picking up unknown authors.
They also aren’t offering editing or marketing. First question they ask: “What’s your marketing plan?”

I didn’t want to self-publish. After all the years I’ve put into From Hurt to Joy: how to transform self-defeating patterns with Energy Dynamics, I didn’t want it to look half-baked or not be properly put out there. I arranged for several rounds of editing.

The reasons I went with a small publisher are these:

  • I retain much more control over content, design, cover, and future use. Since I plan to make CDs of the exercises in the book, so people can listen to the instructions while practicing, this was important.
  • They do all the same things big houses do: arrange for printing, get the ISBN#, set it up with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
  • They design both the inside and outside much better than you can do yourself, or than the vanity presses, such as xlibris, do.
  • You can have a real relationship with them.
  • They give some ideas and have connections to help start the marketing process.
  • They can arrange for editing, illustrations, etc.
  • Large firms look for books from small publishers with an following, i.e. have sold well. THEN they offer a deal and pick them up. That’s the main way to get in with a major house these days. It means you have to make your own reputation by doing all the work, and then maybe hit the big-time.

My publisher is awesome: Distinction Press, in Vermont. Ask for Kitty Werner.


About Sarah Gillen

Sarah Gillen, MA, PCC, LMFT, is a credentialed leadership coach, and a marriage and family therapist with 30 years experience. Her own book, The Path Beyond Pain: Using your Energy Dynamics to create the life you want is due out in 2010. She developed a protocol for releasing trauma and pain synergizing Energy Medicine, Oriental Medicine, and Buddhist and Western psychology. As well as coaching leaders to achieve more and be more fulfilled, Sarah now teaches hundreds of people to heal and protect themselves and to manifest their potential by learning skills that enhance their energy systems. Sarah also coaches parents. Due to her unique perceptual abilities, she has discovered solutions for challenging childhood problems such as abandonment terror, sleep and eating issues in small children, hypersensitivity, and teen angst. Sarah is writing another book proposing a new child developmental phase called peri-adolescence, as a result of examining the causes and effects of eight-to-eleven-year-olds' accelerated development. Her website is: SarahGillen.com  
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