I am thrilled to have Guilie Castillo Oriard here
today to discuss:
The landscape of the book business is nothing like it was even a decade ago. We have so many options now, as authors. So much freedom.
And with freedom comes risk.
The DIY route has advantages far beyond 100% royalties (hard to beat): no gatekeepers, no Victorian tastes or mainstream genre guidelines, total control over your manuscript, book cover, artwork, font size, formatting, marketing, distribution—everything. On the other hand, total control also means it’s totally on you: your dime, your time. You’re a one-wo/man marketing strategist publicist accountant legal professional customer service distributor show. And you need to write the next book.
Besides, it’s impossible to edit oneself beyond a certain point. Feedback from critique partners, beta readers, even independent editors is only useful if the author takes it. Even if s/he does, nothing says professional like the slasher red pen of an third party who’s emotionally and financially invested in a book’s success. A publisher, in other words.
But traditional publishing is hardly an improvement. Big-house editors are invested in their salaries, not your manuscript. At a Big Four house, any new(ish) author is a minnow. You’re expected to stay invisible—i.e., out of the way. And contracts are tricky. Advances and royalties have plummeted. Add the fracas of even getting in, and—really, what’s not to dislike?
Independent presses come with their own problems. They might go out of business, they might be scams (especially those “subsidy” ones), they lack the reach of the bigger houses, they’re understaffed. But their advantages might just make up for all that:
— No agents, no gatekeepers. Response times are way faster.
— Budgets might be limited, but they’re investing in you. That makes you a priority.
— A small staff means you’re expected to become involved: you’ll be consulted on everything from cover design to publicity.
— Perhaps best of all, their editors—often authors themselves and in love with the craft—may have the highest standards in the industry. That manuscript is going to shine. While big houses might skimp on anything above a spellcheck, smaller presses are more willing to work with an author/manuscript they feel has potential.
Seems to me independent publishing houses are today what big ones like Simon & Schuster were back in Hemingway’s day. They’re mentors and partners to authors, they’re fans of innovative voices, and of narratives that push boundaries. And they’re in it not for money but for quality. For literature.
For me, that seals the deal.
Have you worked with small presses? What has your experience been like? What do you feel are the greatest advantages or disadvantages to indie publishing? Which route will you go for your next publishing venture?
Yolanda, thank you so much for having me over today. It’s a privilege and a pleasure, and I’m very much looking to your and your audience’s feedback.
Thank you Guilie, great points! The world of writing, publishing, and marketing is exactly as you described - A World of Opportunities & Pitfalls. I hope you discover only the opportunities!
THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS
A Novel in 13 Stories
Mexican tax lawyer Luis Villalobos is lured to the tiny island of Curaçao anticipating a fast track to the cusp of an already stellar career. But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find.
The author, Guilie Castillo Oriard, is a Mexican export herself; she transferred to Curaçao “for six months” — and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies, such as Pure Slush’s 2014 A Year In Stories and gorge. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book.
The book was released in paperback this past August via the Lulu.com platform, and has received enthusiastic feedback:
“The combination of money and sex always creates an irresistible dynamic. Add more than a few dogs to the mix, and Guilie Castillo Oriard has created a tale as beguiling as the seductive ambiance of Curaçao itself.” ~ Peggy Vincent, author of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife
“Curaçao is lovingly rendered, past and present, as a character itself — post-colonial, starkly beautiful, and captivating. You cannot read this book without checking airfares to Curaçao.” ~ John Wentworth Chapin, author of Alexandrite and founder of 52|250 A Year of Flash
“A richly enchanting story of lives and loves unfolding against the backdrop of the Caribbean.” ~ Silvia Villalobos, author of Stranger or Friend
Read more feedback at the publisher’s website, or read a full-length review by Lynne Hinkey at the Internet Review of Books.
Come join us. Come meet Curaçao.
But come as Luis Villalobos should have come to the island:
prepared for a drastic readjustment of the things you value most.
A Mexican writer and dog rescuer who moved to Curaçao “for six months”—and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book. Find Guilie on Facebook and Twitter, at Quiet Laughter where she blogs about life and writing, and at Life in Dogs where she blogs about life and… well, dogs.
H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G !