After the press release from YA Interrobang, I received a rather, well, insulting anon on Tumblr who basically told me I was cheating myself by going with a small press–and a new one at that. I will admit upfront that I did take a chance knowing they were new. Oftentimes experts will tell you to wait a year or two to see how the press does before submitting to it, but there were so many factors involved in my decision to submit to them that it would take too long to list them all, but one factor was that I was tired of holding my book back, not submitting it because I was afraid it wasn’t ready enough, and I just wanted to take a chance. I was at that point in my life where I realized I needed to take chances, and I was very happy that I did.
In any case, not only did they insult AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. and call them a vanity press because you don’t receive advances (but the royalties we receive can more than make up for the advances), but they insulted me by saying ‘you SEEM like you want to be an author, so why did you cheat yourself?’
Apparently I’m not an author, even though I have a book published with good reviews (only 23, I think, but still, that’s good enough, and they’ll keep growing, I know), with a publishing house that is a small press and not a vanity publisher, a book with a beautiful cover, a book that received great editing, and a book that received amazing exposure, a lot from me, but my publishing house is so flexible that they were/are willing to listen to advice to make them better, even though I think they’re great already because they produce great books in the first place. Plus, I do need to speak up more about what I want. And even though they don’t offer advances, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a legitimate house.
Some authors will tell you that you deserve an advance and shouldn’t settle for less, but if the house offers great royalties, I say, go for it. It doesn’t make them less legitimate than a house that does offer advances, but pitiful royalties. I even had this discussion with indie authors on Twitter. Some houses have you pay for a few things for your book, but the money DOESN’T GO TO THEM. IT GOES TO THE PEOPLE WHO PROVIDED THE SERVICES. And these indie authors agreed that that was still a legitimate house.Doesn’t mean your royalties will make up for the average advance (which, on average, can be anywhere from 500-1000), but I care more about readers reading my book, and even at a big house, the average book only sells 500 copies. Ever.
I’m tired of this attitude that you’re not an author if you go with a vanity publisher or self-publish. You are an author, ESPECIALLY if you took the time to make your book into a product that deserves sales. I would never ever recommend a vanity publisher, as you can do it much cheaper yourself, but if you can find a good, honest vanity publisher, know what you’re getting into, know the ins-and-outs of publishing from an author’s perspective, then I will not judge you for choosing this path. You are an author, regardless. A published book means you are an author.
***Repeat after me: A published book means you are an author.***
A published anything means you are an author. Ky Grabowski has a short story published, but she is still an author, even if it’s just one thing. I have been an author since I was in high school, although, admittedly, I didn’t feel like a real author until When Stars Die was published, but, you know, that’s my own personal insecurity that I eventually got over.
Overall, I did not cheat myself. I don’t feel like I cheated myself. Does this mean I won’t consider an agent in the future? No. I MIGHT, but I will still publish with AEC Stellar. You cannot tell me I cheated myself when you have no idea what the process was like for me, and that you have no idea what was in my contract, which I am not allowed to speak of.
My next post is going to be an interview that Mariah Wilson did of Writers AMuse Me Publishing, as they are now accepting playwrights.