Monday, September 22, 2014


Deciding whether to pursue publication with a single or multiple publishers is strictly a personal choice. I’ll share my experiences with the caveat that other authors have different circumstances that would require different decisions. Also, this is specific to e-publishers of romance and does not address writing under multiple names.

After I’d written romances for several years, author friends twisted my arm to submit. I sent a paranormal story to one publisher and a historical novel to another. Each offered contracts within a couple of weeks and, based on research and recommendations, I accepted both. I added another the following year and still another a few months ago. I’m happily published with all of them. Although they differ in some aspects, they all provide fair contracts, hire/contract knowledgeable editors, meet their publishing schedules, offer supportive author groups and staff, and  pay on time. Two well-known places to check on publishers include: the Absolute Write Water Cooler or Preditors and Editors.  (Note: Comments are written by authors or others. In one case, I know the assertions were false.) 

Why consider multiple publishers? I write in several romance genres (historical, contemporary, paranormal, and holiday - as well as M/F and M/M), in various lengths (novels and novellas), and various heat levels (mainstream to sizzling). I complete about a half-dozen books each year.
Not every publisher publishes everything. While publishers accept novels and novellas, many don’t publish short novellas (below 25,000 words). Some publishers print/publish a dozen titles each month, while others publish over a hundred. Other publishers focus almost entirely on erotic romance. Finally, some publishers offer special submission calls to “in-house” authors which are not published outside of the community.

Publishers operate a business for profit. They put a lot of effort and money into establishing their brands. They publish what sells for them. They market to  specific readers. Many prefer to deal with authors known to them. Each new author is an unknown quantity.

Authors are in a business also. While writers are often compelled to write stories, the IRS expects authors to work towards selling those stories and making a profit - if you want to take deductions for the cost of writing. Part of the big picture is establishing a brand that readers identify with. Since I haven’t found my writing niche, I submit to publishers by genre which helps my marketing efforts by establishing a brand at the publisher. When I’m scheduling my writing for the year, I plan stories that will develop my brand at each. There is, also, a responsibility to the publisher to maintain professional and ethical standards when dealing with each publisher. More on that next month.

I hope other authors will share their about their publishing decisions.

Next month, THE NaNoWriMo CHALLENGE



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

What you say is true. I don't use other author names, but have found my brand wandering, lost in other genres that tempt.

Having different publishers for each would help in the marketing.

Unknown said...

Interesting, thanks. Still not sure how it's humanly possible to finish so many books, when it takes me about six months just to edit one. I'm far too fussy. I've been known to spend a day on a simgle sentence. :-) But publising with several publishers makes total sense for prolific writers in multiple genres. Thank you.

Rita Bay said...

Thank you for commenting Julie and Carmen. I hope to find my niche someday - but not yet. So, several publishers work for me. As for writing, I don't write for weeks at times while the story builds itself. Then I do a monster writing session that can last days or weeks. I also write short novels and long novellas, so the numbers are inflated.