The New Book Review

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Friday, April 10, 2020

Diane C. Donovan Reviews Important Resource for Writers

The Big Book of Small Presses and Independent Publishers
Author: Marylee MacDonald
Grand Canyon Press
$20.99 pbk
$9.99 Kindle

Diane C. Donovan Reviewer, originally for Midwest Book Review

The Big Book of Small Presses & Independent Publishers is packed with listings of small presses, contests where book publication is one of the prizes, university presses, and others accepting works from authors. It should be the reference of choice for would-be authors who don't want to self-publish, but who find themselves stymied by the lack of an agent.

Marylee MacDonald avoids the pitfall of listing vanity publishers (those who publish for a fee) and features a wide range of presses who publish in all genres of fiction and nonfiction.

It should be noted that these listings are alphabetical, not segregated into genre. But lest an author think they have to read every description to arrive at a list of, say, romance publishers, it should be noted that the 'find' search approach in the e-manuscript works fine for skipping through the listings to locate publishers accepting work in a specific genre.

Each listing includes an assessment of the submission process, contact information, a web link for writer's guidelines, and special notes about what a cover letter should ideally hold to attract them. Listings also include company history (where available) and any special notes about the publisher's philosophy, backlist, and interactions with authors.

This isn't the only book to provide lists of publishers (Writer's Market is the most extensive such reference, for one example), but it's been well-researched to include publishers especially open to new authors and manuscripts, who have a reputation of doing good work.

As a basic reference of publisher contacts in the small-to-medium press world, The Big Book of Small Presses & Independent Publishers can't be beat. It holds all the basics necessary to appeal to authors who eschew self-publishing and agents, and who want to approach that segment of the publishing industry particularly willing to work with new authors.

Diane C. Donovan Reviews Important Resource for Writers


 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically ( ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

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