It’s official. My books are now published by S & H Publishing. If you take a look at the S & H website, you’ll see that they’re a small publisher, so why did I agree to let them publish my books—didn’t I have all that together already? Yes and no.
I had my books out, but I felt I was swimming upstream, trying to sell the damn things. It’s really nice to know that now someone else is trying to help me do it. I never set out to self-publish, and I only did so because after my agent and I parted ways, I’d been waiting for two years and I couldn’t be bothered going through the whole thing again with the smaller publishers—the query letters, the rejection letters, the months waiting, and for what? Maybe for nothing. And I wanted to see how it would go. I’m glad I did publish myself because I learned enough to be able to help others publish their books, but I felt alone in the big bad world of book marketing.
Will I sell more books? I hope so, but even if not, just knowing that I have the support of someone else, someone who has invested in my books and is doing some marketing for me feels great.
And, of course, I’m not self-published anymore. Frankly, the stigma of self-publishing really got me down. I had a big agent. I nearly scored a deal with the major Australia publisher, but when I applied for reviews, or spoke to my local bookstore, I was treated with disdain. The assumption was that my books were as bad as the worst self-published books. It was an insult, and yet, I understood it. There are a lot of terrible self-published books. Why should anyone assume mine are any better? For all the work I do to help others improve their writing, I was still labelled with what to many is a dirty word. No more. I shall be applying to all these review sites that say they don’t review self-published books now.
Why S & H Publishing? Because the lovely lady who runs it, Dixiane Hallaj, approached me with the idea. I’d read some of her books and knew she produced quality, and our paths had crossed already, so I knew she was an ethical, conscientious and trustworthy person. She wanted to expand the number of titles for S & H and offered me a really good deal. So here I am, proudly published by S & H Publishing!
Who is this publisher? It’s one of the new breed of indie publishers, small, but able and willing to be more flexible with authors than the big guns. S & H aims to publish twenty books a year, and run four big promotions that I’ll be part of and won’t have to pay for because S & H never asks for any money from their authors. (Always check if someone offers you a deal; they may be a vanity press—not S & H Publishing; they’re the real deal.)
I wouldn’t have gone out chasing a small publisher, but when Dixiane came to me, I leapt at the chance to throw off the shackles of the self-published author. Yes, shackles; self-publishing is freedom in one sense, but you’re still shackled by prejudice and lack of resources—at least I was. Now, I’m with someone who is actually interested in selling my books. She has a financial investment in them. That’s how much she believes in them, and her belief is good for my soul.