Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, July 6, 2012

Writing for a Small Publisher

Hotels to Remember: A snapshot in time of 20 Classic US HotelsSeveral years ago, my small publisher and I worked together to create an ambitious project that resulted in a hard cover coffee table book, Hotels to Remember. Not only was the writing in this book my own, but I also took all the photographs and created all of the paintings--one for each of the 20 hotels featured in this book.


Hotels to Remember
"St. Louis Union Station" Painting by MM Sikes Hotels to Remember
My publisher, Billie Johnson, was located in California at the time. On several occasions, my husband and I flew from Virginia to the John Wayne Airport in Orange County and met with Billie. I brought with me hundreds of slides and photographs, and we spread them out on one of the large breakfast tables at a La Quinta where we were staying. It was on that table that many of the choices for the final version of my book were made.

This was in the early days of Oak Tree. I was learning as a writer, and Billie was learning as a publisher. We've had interesting experiences and challenges along the way. It has been rewarding to work directly with my publisher on projects. We've met other times and places--in Denver when my first novel, Hearts Across Forever was released, in New Orleans where we were working together on another project, and in Las Vegas at the Public Safety Writers Conference where several of my later books were released. These include:  Secrets by the Sea, Night Watch, and Jungle Jeopardy. Because my books are with a small publisher who is concerned with every one of her published books, the earlier books are still available. Books with large publishing houses often are no longer available after several months, sometimes after only one month.

After Oak Tree moved to Taylorville, Illinois, Billie had a writers conference that I attended. While there I discussed my hotels book with another author. I lamented that hotels are always changing and updating. One in my book almost doubled in size right before publication. He told me my book was a snapshot in time. I mentioned that to Billie, and last year she created "A Snapshot in Time" books for some of my hotels.
The Homestead: A Snapshot in TimeI loved the idea because I could use much of the material from Hotels to Remember and update it as well. Would this have happened with a larger publisher? Perhaps.


The publishing industry has changed drastically over the past several years. E-books have gained prominence. They are outselling print books and will become an even bigger market. Although I love to hold a book in my hand, I thought when I left on a trip recently that the two large paperbacks would be much nicer to take in an e-reading device.

I'm excited about writing for a small publisher. I'm excited to have a marketing team to help me. I'm excited about all the potential for growth and opportunity writers now have.

Do you write for a small publisher? What are your experiences?

9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You really got to work close with Billie. I like being with a small publisher because I feel like I'm part of the process. Not really, but I feel that way!

Monti said...

Thanks, Alex for commenting. I've enjoyed that aspect of being with a small publisher! You do as well,so that's good!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I think you know that I am quite happy to be with Oak Tree Press for all the same reasons you've mentioned.

Monti said...

Thanks, Marilyn for commenting. Yes, I'm so glad you are happy!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Small publishers can jump in and change things right away while bigger publishers can't. And often won't bother.

Monti said...

That's another good reason for enjoying a small publisher, Diane! Good comment. Thanks!

Inger said...

If I were a writer, I would prefer working with a small publisher. I have met so many writers online and it's interesting to learn how books are published now and were published earlier when there were fewer choices. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day.

Monti said...

Thanks, Inger, for commenting. A few people with the big publishers might become bestsellers, but many will languish and fade away. Those with small publishers have the potential of doing well or at least keep plodding along and learning along the way. You're welcome!

Last Minute Hotel Bookings said...

Sound's like your preparing for yourself into a company. Keep it up Monti! GOD BLESS...