Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Small Press Debate

Recently there's been a lot of conversation in the blogosphere on the validity of small presses in the publishing world. It's gotten so heated that pub peeps are arguing all over Twitter--and making interesting points on both sides. Because I'm both an agented writer aiming for publication, and an editor for a small press, both sides of the argument have drawn my attention. In case you've missed the conversation, I wanted to post links to some of the main points to get you caught up.

SFWA published this comprehensive post in their Writer Beware section a couple months back on evaluating the validity of a small press:
Small Presses

It started some conversation, but the most heated part of the debate began with this post from Beth Revis on Reddit listing the red flags for small presses that may not be on the up-and-up:
Some Small Presses Aren't Worth it

Beth's post caused riled-up small press publishers (and even some authors) to start defending themselves on Twitter. I won't name names, but you can read a slew of tweets from publishing world players and see some venom flying. Almost immediately, bestselling small press author Jennifer L. Armentrout put up this post on her blog:
My Name is JLA and I'm Published with a Small Press

Soon after, agents involved in the discussion began posting lists of specific small presses whose validity they could confirm, a useful addition to unpublished authors who were following the no-press-named debate online. For example, agency Foreword Literary, a new conglomerate of experienced agents, listed their favorites here:
Small Presses and the Interwebz

I think the moral of everyone's story is that there are some crappy small presses out there, and there are some great ones too, and each writer must do exhaustive research (starting by reading all of the links above) to figure out the best path for her particular manuscript.