8 October 2016

Mainsteam, Indie, Small Press, or Hybrid #Publishing?

When Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) first opened its doors to the wider world back in 2010, there was an inevitable furore, everything from world domination to trash writing. To self-publish – the ultimate dirty word – was to tar yourself for life in the eyes of mainstream publishing. Self-publish, and no agent or publishing house would touch your other works.

Did authors cower? Of course not. Even mainstream published authors took possession of their backlists, long ignored by their publishers, and their older works found new readers where it had been insisted no, or not enough, new readers existed.

Slowly this industry stance has faded. Agents view hybrid authors – those who have a publishing contract and also independently (self) publish – as writers with drive. Indie authors with drive and whose sales prove they also possess business acumen, have been offered contracts by mainstream publishers who realised such authors brought a supply of willing readers with them. Almost in the same breath Amazon opened a print-publishing arm to do the same. Quietly, almost in the background, small press publishing began a resurgence.

Attending my first FantasyCon recently - see post HERE - I was surprised to learn how mainstream and small press publishers work in easy tandem, with both emerging and big-name authors contributing short and novelette length fiction to the latter to be published in magazines and anthologies.

Is it a good way into print/digital? It can be. Small press publishing offers editing, just as mainstream publishing does. I used such to my advantage early in my career. By marking my submitted fiction to match the published version, I honed my own editing skills. The less editing a publisher needs to do the more likely a work is to be accepted.

With the rise in POD (print-on-demand), anthologies in particular, now abound. Search for variations on “anthology submissions” plus your chosen genre/sub-genre. If you want to gather writing credentials, this could be a good step. After all, it may take up to a year to research, write and polish a novel. It may take less than a week to do the same with a short story. Keep up the momentum and you could be looking at fifty submissions against one for a novel. If they all fall within a specific genre, there's a collection.

Give yourself a head start. Check out: Reading A Writer's Mind: Exploring Short Fiction


  1. Sensible and wise words, Linda. Thanks for this post.

    1. Thanks for giving it a read, Stuart, and your response.