Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest Post: Michelle Davidson Argyle

 I'm thrilled to be part of Michelle's blog tour for her new book BONDED! I just love her. I've followed her blog for a very very long time. She's a beautiful writer and great friend. Anyway, here's Michelle! I asked her to talk a little about her decision to go with a small press. :)


One of the wonderful things about publishing these days is authors have the opportunity to choose from a variety of paths. There is self-publishing, small publishers, and the traditional big publisher route via agent. The “big” publisher route can also include mid-size presses who work with agents only. I think one of the hardest things an author faces is deciding what is best for them and the book they want to sell. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way in my publishing career so far.  

No matter how you publish, it will most likely be a difficult road. I’ve self-published a novel and am now with a small publisher. Since I’ve done both, and also have many friends with agents and big publishers, I’ve seen the ups and downs and pros and cons with each type of path. And, quite honestly, I haven’t seen happiness or success come with a bigger publisher and more sales vs. a smaller publisher and less sales. In short, every single book and experience is different. It is not the path you take, but your attitude about where you are that makes all the difference.

I happen to write fiction that seems commercial on the surface, but it’s something else underneath, something almost always just off the mark of what people expect. This doesn’t mean my writing is wrong or bad, but it’s one of the reasons I haven’t tried to get an agent so far in my career. The few instances where I’ve had agent feedback, it has always been the same thing: great writing, but not sure it could sell this in today’s market. I’ve kept my eyes open to what sells, where it sells, and how. I know my work fits with a smaller publisher … for now. My publisher is a perfect fit for the books I’m writing. In the future, I may move on to something else as my writing and career changes.

It’s important to take a step back and objectively look at your work and where it might best fit. I’ve known countless authors who have tried to sell big and ended up going the small publisher route after realizing their work fit better there. Going with a small publisher is NOT settling. Many authors get their start going small at first.

I know some authors who could never be happy with anything less than a huge publishing deal and all the bells and whistles. But I also know some authors who could never be happy with anything less than self-publishing, where they maintain control over as many aspects of the publishing process as possible. It truly depends on your personality and what fits you. For some, a small publisher is a very happy medium. It is certainly a space I am happy with at the moment. As a good friend of mine said to me before I signed my first contract: “It’s a great way to get your feet wet!” And as I’ve realized over the course of the past year, it’s also only the beginning. Choosing one path only means you have taken the first step in an exciting career.

For more information about small presses, feel free to browse two series I’ve done on my site:

Should You Consider a Small Publisher?

Publishing Traditionally Without an Agent

Buy BONDED on Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Thank you so much for being here today, Michelle!



Angela Brown said...

This is absolutely wonderful information. Sometimes, starting small is the best way to go. And I agree, a small press is NOT settling, it is going for what fits you best.

Wishing you the very best with this latest publication. Thanks, Chantele, for having Michelle here today.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Thank you so much for hosting me!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm glad it wasn't just me...I heard a whole lot of, writing is good, but not sure if it will sell. I too went with a small publisher, and so far so good.
Great post. Thanks for the introduction Chantele!

Jessie Humphries said...

I think it is very healthy to have an educated perspective on publishing. There are so many paths to take, and every part of the journey requires more and more choices. Thanks for the insights into your choices. So cool.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

@Elizabeth Seckman I'm happy you are having a good experience with your small publisher!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

@Jessie Humphries I'm happy for my perspective because it has allowed me a lot more freedom than I'd have otherwise. Thank you for stopping by!

Patti said...

It's always interesting hearing people's opinions or perspective on publishing. I've been going over the pros and cons and have seriously been thinking about trying a small publisher. I'm headed over to look at your posts.

Candice said...

I love Michelle and her books! So true that happiness depends on the attitude of the author.

Anonymous said...

Great insights-- thanks for sharing. There are, as you said, pros and cons to each path.