Monday, June 6, 2016

When the Glass Slipper Runs Small

Forgive us for the archive post. Close to publication dates are crazy times for the authors here.-The Writer's Alley
 
 Okay, forgive me for the obscure title, but I just finished watching Disney’s Cinderella (for the sixth time) and have a wonderful plethora of lizards and pumpkins and glass slippers in my head. However, if the shoe fits…. Why not write about it ;-)

As many of you know, in May my debut novel came out. I’d been pursuing publication for 11 years when ‘the call ‘came from a very different direction than I’d planned. My agent, Julie Gwinn, is fantastic at thinking outside the box, so she decided to market some of my books to smaller houses, since the larger houses didn’t seem to be ‘biting’ for my kind-of-stories.

So, when she met the publisher for Vinspire, who was looking for historical novels, she sent my novel that way. We had a three-book offer within 48 hours. Yep! Shocker! The publisher (who usually didn’t read the submissions) saw the time period for my novel and thought it would be interesting. She read the first chapter and couldn’t stop J

Now, I know people have different ideas about big houses or small houses, so I thought I’d share a little about my experience.

Vinspire has been a wonderful place for me to grow as a writer. The publisher and team have been professional, encouraging, and quick to respond with ideas and support. I have no experience with larger publishing houses (which I hope to have some day), but for my first publishing experience, Vinspire has been perfect fit.

Some positive things I’ve discovered while working with Vinspire:

1.      More individual attention
2.      Focused resources (because of the smaller number of authors, the resources Vinspire has to use can be more focused on their clientele and not as widely dispersed)
3.      Quick responses – I rarely have to wait more than a few days for response to email or text.
4.      Willingness to find new ways for marketing/promotion
5.      Fantastic camaraderie and support
6.      A REALLY pretty cover J

Some limitations I’ve discovered while working with Vinspire:

(Caveat – these limitations are in process of being changed, but it takes longer with a smaller house due to the simple fact that they are smaller J
1.       Smaller initial publication reach (books do not appear in chain bookstores for a while, but have a solid digital outreach)
2.       Smaller funds for marketing/promotion – though, I must say, Vinspire is continuing to grow their outreach, publication opportunities, and marketing strategies. And they continue to make strides to expand publicity opportunities for their authors.
3.       Because Vinspire is a general market publishing house, my books are not in Lifeway Christian Stores. Hopefully, though, as my readership and publications spread, that might change as well.

As the publishing world is changing to include a grand mix of publishing styles, from indie to small and large traditional, there’s plenty of room for authors and publishers to find new ways to invite the whole town to ‘the ball’ for an opportunity of the perfect fit. For me, this journey with Vinspire has been a good one and I’m thankful for the opportunity.


Now…what questions do you have for me about working with a small house? What would you like to add to the discussion?

3 comments:

Mary Vee said...

Great post, Pepper.
You have shown the virtues of a small house. So many writers think of mansions. Our sole drive is to have a mansion. When the small house is inviting us with open arms ready to get our book on the shelf for readers.

So had the prince been the sweet boy next door offering a roof, food on the table, and an escape from the step-family, would she have gone? The answer is in your post.

Great information

Pepper said...

Oh my, it sounds like a story idea, Mary :-)

Patricia Beal said...

Great post. And great story idea. I think there is a Cinderella movie (II or III on Disney Channel) that explores a similar idea. One of the stepsisters falls for a simple boy? A baker? Something like that :)