questions to ask and indie publisher

What to ask indie publishers who want your book

So you’ve sent your book out all over the place and that includes independent publishers and small presses.

For the sake of this article I’m not talking about smaller factions of one of the bigger publishers, I’m talking about presses which are totally their own brand.

I wanted to share my experience of an indie press because they are not all created equally.

Yes- it is incredibly exciting to have someone get in touch who loves your book and wants to publish it for you. I get it. I’ve been there.

Your stomach flips, finally someone gets it!

There are some crucial things to consider on entering into any contractual relationship and I want to share these factors within the indie press realm. There are four main areas;

  • The Book
  • The Deal
  • Value Added
  • Their Reputation

Lets start with the book. Your book, the one you’ve worked on for years.

Things you need to know are;

  • How much editing does it need?
  • Who is doing the editing?
  • What changes do they want to make?
  • The cover, title and design? Again who is doing it and who has final say?
  • When would they like to publish?

Then there’s the book deal.

Things to think about;

  • Is there any cost to you, the writer?
  • How long is the contract?
  • How many books it it for?
  • How and when will you be paid?
  • Is there an advance?
  • What distribution set up do they use?
  • What rights are they buying?
  • What is the royalty spilt?
  • How do they plan to market the book?


This is crucial and the answer is different for everyone.

  • What value are they adding?
  • What are they offering that you cant do yourself? (Imagine you were self publishing)

Their reputation and accountability.

You need to do due diligence here, this is a big deal. This is your book!

  • Who are they?
  • Can you find the names of the people behind the publishing house?
  • What is their track record like?
  • Can you talk to other authors that have been published by them?

These are broad brushstrokes of the things you should be thinking about before signing your book away to an indie press.

I would also take the time to check out Writer Beware as part of your due diligence.

I would love your input

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