Friday, April 6, 2012

A Way to Grow Your Indie-Small Press

You heard that saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day."

Well it's true about ANY business and most businesses take about 3 years to show what their true potential is. Three years to know it's market, to fine-tune it's product and to be comfortable with who they are.


When we started our small independent press I was super excited. But my partner made it clear that we would take it slow. Create a business milestone for each year. Our goals for our first year are different than many small presses or indies are that you see around on the internet who start off as mainly small or indie ebook publishers. We had big dreams of breaking into the 'trade' and establishing ourselves as a small press that had books in bookstores, libraries, and other outlets.

How did we do that? Well we joined Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and started networking, learning how to build in that direction. We had to give our business a presence of its own and Phenomenal One Press was beginning to gain that. In addition we decided to wait before presenting our company's product to the trade via Publishers Marketplace and Foreign Rights fairs because we wanted to have more products available for presentation when bringing up our publishing page on Publishers Marketplace, PubMatch, and pursuing subsidiary rights or Foreign rights sales.

Another friend of ours started theirs small indie publishing company focused on the end consumer (reader) market and started publishing their content or books in only ebook formats since that format was cheaper for publishing. Then they waited until their books gained popularity before offering Paperbook formats. Since then she now offers her book in hardcover formats and audio books. But she added a format each year.


Most serious businesses start with a business plan - or goal sheet for what they hope to accomplish. Ours was initially a tall order for our first year. Produce 2 books in non-competing genre, promote them and become known in our regional area as a small press. You know what ... we did it. Not only that, we did more. But the great part was, independent book publishers were becoming more visible and there was a realization that they all weren't bad.

Also, with being a member of IBPA, Maryland Writers Association and Mid Atlantic Book Publishers Association I began meeting people who owned small independent presses like mine or that 'self-published' like we were doing and they found considerable success and acceptance within their markets by doing so. That was the support that our small independent press needed.


This year we are starting our two-year establishment plan. We finally think we are ready to present our products more seriously to the trade. Now we are on Publishers Marketplace. And this year will be pursuing sales of our books for Subsidiary Rights and Foreign Rights. Which we've been studying up on for the last year.

Also, now I am the Vice President of MBPA (Mid Atlantic Book Publishers) and I believe whole-heartedly in sharing the knowledge. And am working with our board members to have a Subsidiary Rights Fair we are planning for June 2nd the weekend before BEA to prepare our members for the coming Foreign Rights Fairs coming up later this year. Our president, Mary Shafer did an amazing feet and invited some very knowledgeable people to our meeting to teach us about pursuing these exciting avenues towards sales.

Now we are walking taller. We've come a long way. In the next year we are hoping to add additional authors to the fold. 2013 proves to be exciting. But we still have some growth.

SO, if you SELF-PUBLISH, start a SMALL PRESS or want to,

Goals on how you are going to grow your business? If you don't join others that can help you, mentor you, and encourage your business. And remember, a PUBLISHER is someone that edits, prepares, and presents items for sale.


Kelly Hashway said...

LM, it sounds like you are doing wonderfully! You are such an inspiration to others. :)

Catherine Stine said...

You are an inspiration. Foreign rights fairs, eh? Sounds like something I should look into.

Sarah Negovetich said...

Congrats, LM. You guys are well on your way!

LM Preston said...

Thank you so much. Hard work and vision makes a big difference.

randi lee said...

VERY informative and inspirational post- thanks for posting and will definitely be back to read more.


Melissa Pearl said...

Great post! Thanks so much for sharing. You guys have done such a great job. I wish you the best of luck for this year too :)

Thanks for the advice.

cleemckenzie said...

What a great undertaking. I'm so pleased it's growing and thriving, LM. Super post BTW

Loved your comment on my blog. I like the word, "Fudge" myself!

Michelle said...

LM, I am so grateful for all the knowledge that you share.

Pk Hrezo said...

Yes, you're a true inspiration with this LM. I've been considering it for a long time... but still hesitant. I love that you've accomplished so much tho. Really really cool!