I have been self-employed since 2004. I own a job service, but lately I’ve decided to check into launching a small publishing house. There are numerous small publishing houses that cater to romance writers and readers. One of their big draws is that they accept material from unagented writers. Anyone who has ever attempted to land an agent knows how difficult that is. I often joke that I feel I have a better chance of finding the Loch Ness Monster than finding an agent. And almost everyone knows that you can’t get a big publishing house to look at your manuscript without an agent. It’s a frustrating state of affairs for writers, but it’s certainly a boon for small publishing houses.
The problem is… most small publishing houses are in the romance genre. Not everyone writes romance; and even though romance is in high demand, not everyone reads it either. I mostly read crime, thrillers, suspense, and mysteries, so that is what I would like to publish. I have busied myself with research, and it’s looking more doable every day. It doesn’t require a heavy outlay of capital. I know where to find the editors, illustrators, and print-on-demand companies. I’m checking into contracts and the legal requirements. I know I have quite a bit more research to do, but I’m a talented researcher. And eventually, I’ll be able to turn this dream into a reality.
Big publishing companies have a closed-door policy. The consequence of that is greater competition from small publishing houses — at a time when they can least afford it. Another consequence is that they are losing out. They’re losing out on the honor of discovering and introducing new talent and publishing some great books. These writers and their books are getting picked up by small publishing houses that have an open door policy and a broad welcome mat.
If big publishing houses want readers beating down their doors, maybe they better take down their “No Vacancy” signs for writers. Otherwise, the small publishers are going to continue beating them to the presses.