Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing Interview with Terri Bruce Part III

Monday started a five part interview on the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing with Terri.
Part II of the interview is here.
Today is Part III
E. M. LaBonte's Realms of a Fantastical Mind has more on publishers today in Part 3 of Terri's fantastic interview.

More from Terri:

I am thrilled to be here today to talk about navigating the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of publishing. Many, many wonderful people helped me on my road to publication—sharing information, resources, and their experience—and I jumped at the chance to do the same when Emily and Dean offered me the opportunity.

With so many indie presses, conflicting information, and scam artists out there, Dean and Emily asked me to stop by and talk about what I learned while I was searching for a publisher and why I made the decision to work with a small press with a questionable (internet) reputation.

I've heard that small presses don't give marketing support/that authors have to do all their own marketing. Is that true?

It’s impossible to make sweeping statements about “traditional publishing” or “self-publishing” as a whole—“traditional publishing means book store placement” or “small presses don’t pay advances.” Publishing houses—and when you self-publish YOU, the author, are the publishing house and need to think of yourself as such—are all as different as individual people. Just as you can’t say “all Asian people” or “all Italian cuisine,” you can’t make broad, stereotypical statements about different publishing models. Evaluate every opportunity—every agent, every publisher—individually.

Now, having said that, it’s time for some painful truths about the publishing world. A contract with a large publishing house doesn’t guarantee your book will ever end up in print and definitely doesn’t guarantee that it’ll end up on bookstore shelves (for two (of many) such tales of woe check out here and here). Publishers evaluate the books and authors in their lists as individually as authors should be evaluating publishing houses. Or, to say it another way: not every book is going to be a breakaway best seller. And until you reach Stephen King or J.K. Rowling status, you aren’t going to have the undivided attention of a big publishing house’s publicist—the publicist will be working on multiple authors’ books at any given time—and, unless the publisher thinks your book is the next big thing, you are only going to get some minimal marketing support. Lissa Warren’s “The Savvy Author’s Guide to Book Marketing” provides a fabulous insider’s view of how marketing and publicity work at large publishers. I suggest that every author read that book before they send out a single query letter to ensure realistic expectations.

The truth of the matter is that regardless of publisher’s size, the author will have to do some degree of marketing his- or herself. This is where knowing your goals, your values, and being able to evaluate individual opportunities is critical. Know up front what you are and are not willing to do to promote your book. There’s a pretty standard list of things to be done to promote a book—interviews, blog tours, press releases, giveaways; look at the list and for every publishing opportunity you are considering figure out which of the items they will cover and which you will be expected to cover. And then decide if that’s a good deal for you or not.

One of the reasons I chose Eternal Press is that they do have a dedicated marketing person who writes press releases, submits books for reviews, monitors social media for mentions of EP’s books, and helps coordinates interviews and blog tours. Does that mean I won’t have to do any of those things? Absolutely not! But the same would hold true for a large publishing house as well.


Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at

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Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press

Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

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