Multiple Publishers -- Is That a Good Thing? Guest blog by short story author Wanda DeGolier.
When Alain suggested I blog about having multiple publishers, I hung my head. I felt as if I’d been caught cheating. Where is my loyalty—what kind of heathen am I? Then I thought about it, and I decided my side of the story should be told.
I imagined myself in front of a support group, “Yes, I’ve been playing the field,” then to gasps, “I don’t intend to stop.” The extent of my problem? I currently have seven stories out with three different publishers and four more under contract with these same publishers.
Do I play one publisher against the other hoping for the best contract? Never. Not my style. Am I a philandering writer with my eye on the next cute guy, er, I mean publisher. No! Then why can’t I be happy with just one?
I have a few reasons:
1. The industry is volatile: diversify.
That’s my kind way of saying, no publisher is safe. I know every company opens its doors with the intention of staying in business, but the harsh reality is ninety-five percent of businesses fail in the first five years. Case in point, three publishers I sold short stories to less than five years ago gone. Too many friends have lost money and/or their stories have been held captive when a publisher went out of business.
2. Growth as a writer.
Having worked with six different publishers and eight different editors over the years, I’ve learned every publisher and every editor is different. Each one of them will teach you something. For example, one editor cited the Chicago Manual of Style when she changed some grammar. I have since adopted the manual as my grammar bible. Besides, seeing how each work is fascinating.
3. Marketing and Publicity.
Because I have multiple publishers and each has their own focus, my work can be purchased in thirteen different places on the web. Among the usual suspects like Amazon, my stories can be found in the Apple iBookstore, the Android Phone Marketplace, and more. Plus, each publisher has relationships with different reviewers thus spreading my products, however thinly, across a broader spectrum.
If a reader likes one of my stories well enough to visit my website, this model this is a win-win for everyone involved. This way I am actually driving readers to my publishers’ sites.
4. Publish where it make sense.
Publishers are different, really. What sells well at one doesn’t necessary sell well at another. Most publishers know what sells for them, and they focus their marketing efforts toward that market. However, many will publish a great story even if it isn’t their forte.
Yes, it’s great to be published, but having a sweet romance at a publisher known for erotica doesn’t do your work justice.
Do I grow weary from publisher dating and long to settle down? Sure. It would make my life easier. But for now, I’m playing the field and trying to make the most of my products. I think that decision is good for the publishers too.
Find Wanda's published works:
Available from BooksToGoNow: New Year's Resolution, Christmas Delivery, Philosophical Fling, and A Little Bit Cocky Coming Soon: Day Dreamer and The Great Toilet Adventure