The fiction of Jessica A. Weiss comes in all forms-horror, suspense, fantasy, and erotica.

Please leave a comment or send an email


Home of "Fire Your Muse- Writing Prompts"

Speculative fiction writer and editor. You can find links to her published work and current projects on the left side of the page.
Also check out the open calls of other small press' here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Small Pres vs. Established Publishing House

Do you feel jaded against small press publications because they are new? Or maybe they haven't released many, if any, titles? As a writer, do you cringe at the idea of trusting someone new with your work?

Most writers dream of having lucrative contracts with the giant publishing houses. Let's face it, who wouldn't? Even established publishers had to start small in the beginning. Authors had to take a leap of faith with such places as Doubleday, Penguin, and Harper Collins.

Using a small press is a chance. And unless you are Anne Rice, Clive Cussler, or Nora Roberts; that small press is taking a chance on you, too. Is that such a terrible thing? They give you a shot and you return the compliment.

It's like seeing a classified ad 'Must have at least five years of experience.' No one is born with experience and if no one takes a chance on the unknown, how can anyone earn their experience?

If you're an unknown (at this time) author, such as myself, can it really hurt to build your portfolio with new presses? They can always say 'I knew him/her when...' once you become the next top selling, in demand author. And visa-versa, your small press could become the next big publisher and you were one of their first authors. It's a group project, each participant brings their talents to the mix and see if it blooms.

Working with a small press allows for more interaction with the editors and the opportunity to build a lasting relationship. Large houses are short on time, dealing with many authors, books, and deadlines. It could take them months or even a year to return any correspondence. Getting to know the business along side of your small press editor, is a lifelong lesson that any writer can benefit from.

Take a look, give someone small or unknown a try. I'd enjoy hearing from any one using a small press or who runs one.

My current small press chance: Jessy, editor at Pill Hill Press.


  1. I'm using one for my upcoming book, a memoir about Leroy Hog Cooper (Ray Charles' bandleader). Not only is he not a big enough name except among blues/jazz to get attention from trad pub'g houses but the return isn't worth it. I would still have to do marketing and royalties are tiny.I know my market.I have control this way. Go small press! Using Blue Note Books in Florida.

  2. Well, I'm glad you gave us a chance :)

  3. Susan,
    Best of luck with Blue Note Books. I think small presses are great, as long as the editor has a good head on their shoulders, and some heart. (To me you have to have a heart to write/publish- goes with the territory.)

  4. Pill Hill,
    I look forward to the experience of working on this project with you. And maybe even some others.