Big Houses, Good Deals?

July 2001
by Thomas Woll, Cross River Publishing Consultants, I

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What is it about big publishing houses? Independent publishers either hate them or envy them; excoriate them or extol them. They are the bane of the industry and a key to the industry.

There are solid reasons for these strong feelings about larger publishers. Yet independent publishers may sometimes find it useful and profitable to sell books to them or to have them distribute titles. Why? Because larger publishers can provide services that benefit independent publishers if they can tap into the larger publishers’ universe.


Larger publishers can provide:

• Significant market penetration and market share

• Extensive sales forces

• Marketing money

• Special sales and subsidiary rights sales forces and knowledge

• Better pricing on production

•  Cash flow to deal with the books and vendors–and to pay you

•  Shipping and fulfillment departments that can take the headache off your hands

• Accounts receivable clerks who can do that essential work and who have more clout than you do to collect overdue money

• Established accounts and access to accounts you may not have.

But watch out! Just because a larger publisher wants to buy or to distribute your book doesn’t mean that publisher will do any better with it than you can. In fact, many independent publishers and authors who have worked with larger publishers would say that independents actually can do the job better…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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