Post by Dixianne Hallaj founder of S & H Publishing
I designed S & H Publishing to give authors the best aspects of traditional publishing plus the control enjoyed by self-published authors. The first steps toward publication are the same for both traditional publishers and Indie Publishers. First, start with a quality book, and second, invest in that book.
As every self published author soon learns, publishing is a business. S & H Publishing is a venture capitalist. Each book is a small business, and S & H is an investor in each book it publishes. From the cost of redesigning the cover to include the S&H logo on the spine and the back cover, to the quarterly promotional campaigns, and any necessary editorial costs—it is all part of the investment.
It doesn’t take much research into how the publishing industry works to realize the huge flaw in the model of the traditional publisher. S & H has remembered something that large traditional publishers have long since abandoned—a working steering wheel. We have not forgotten that the author should be driving the car. The author created the book and should be the final arbiter of how it will be displayed. The relationship between author and publisher should always be a partnership.
S & H Publishing is a small press and does not have the resources available to large publishers. Just as a miniature car must omit some important parts that appear in a real car (like the engine), a small publisher must leave out some parts of a commercial publishing business (like a sales force). The other side of that coin is that some of the less desirable parts of the full size version are left out as well, such as the polluting emissions and the growing mounds of rusting hulks that fill junk yards. S & H Publishing eliminates the smelly bits of commercial publishing, such as the publisher making unilateral decisions about the title, cover design, pricing, and editorial changes. It also eliminates the mounds of remaindered books that heap the tables of discount stores. We are here to support the authors for the long journey.
But what if the book turns into a best seller (as we all secretly hope our books do)? What happens if one of the Big Six wants to publish it? The S & H family of editors and authors will all raise a virtual glass of champagne and toast the success. Our contracts all allow the author to cancel the agreement with 30 days notice—and that can be shortened at the discretion of both parties.
Tahlia has graciously offered S & H Publishing a guest blog post because we both believe passionately that there are many indie authors whose talent equals or exceeds that of traditionally published authors, and we both want to do what we can to encourage and move those authors forward in their careers.
Because all books given the Awesome Indies Approval seal have shown that they have that quality, S & H has tailored an agreement that gives AIA authors even more control and higher royalties than their usual terms. Details will appear on the S & H Publishing page of the Awesome Indies website.