Friday, January 27, 2012

Multiple Publishers – Good or Bad?

I was recently asked why I chose to place work with so many different publishers, and what was the advantage of having multiple publishers. It got me thinking about that precise question. Many authors like to have more than one publisher listed on their sites and credits, and I suppose everyone has their own reasons for it. For me, it’s really a question of finding what works for certain stories and expanding readership.

As with all things, everyone has loyalties and favourites. I suspect it’s no different with publishing than any other area of life. If readers find books they like with one publisher, they are more inclined to stay with that house and go back often to select books and test the waters with the new authors who join the house. So, for someone who likes to write a lot and is prolific, multiple houses is a great option to get your name and work on front of as many new readers as realistically possible.

There are pros and cons to every choice we make. This one is no different than any other. For some people, having work spread out in too many markets simply makes it hard to find what is new. For others, it’s a matter of common sense. Not all publishers are open to all genres, and even when/if they are, they might not always be the best fit for certain types of stories. For me, again, it’s a matter of attempting to find where the story fits best for the market I want. You can’t really expect a publisher known primarily for erotica to be a great fit for your Young Adult fiction. Nor can you expect a mainstream publisher to be overjoyed with your erotic romance submissions. If you want to write in many genres, or mix them up, you have to research your publishers the same way you do your books.

Financially, because let’s be real, this IS a business and we all want to make money, you are again faced with options and choices that you need to consider carefully. It isn’t always the top-line publisher that will be your best option if you have a story you really care about and want to see treated with the care you’ve given it. ALL publishers are good to their authors, it makes good business sense and it’s in everyone’s best interests to make a solid, amiable working relationship. That said, if the small publisher is more likely to invest attention and care into a work that means a lot to you, then sometimes it’s better to risk smaller royalty cheques and be happier with the published product, than to have it get lost in the crowd of other titles with a bigger house where everyone has to be given equal time.

So, at this time I have nine publishers. Some I work with often, others seldom. I’m always looking for new houses, and that is in part why I have those nine publishers at the moment. I write all over the place, style wise and “heat range” are as varied as my mood. For me, this is about reaching as many readers as possible and finding new ways to tell good stories.

By the way, as of last night, I have signed with a new house, too, so we’ll see how that adventure goes! Stay tuned for more information about a sexy new short story called RETURN TO LOVE, coming soon from Eirelander Publishing.

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