L&L Dreamspell 376 West Quarry Road, London, Texas 76854
For more about the publishing business, please read this short handbook:
Want some help understanding the business of writing? Check out this handy guidebook co-authored by Pauline Baird Jones and Jamie Engle - available as both a print book and an ebook
Contact us with questions: Publishing@lldreamspell.com
Welcome to the L&L Dreamspell Publishing Reality Check
If you don't like to hear the "Naked Truth" then click away from this page and continue searching for an agent or another publisher. Sorry to say, the world of publishing is changing, bookstores are closing, and "traditional" publishing opportunities with mega advances are shrinking. L&L Dreamspell is a small, traditional press, not a subsidy company - we do not charge authors to publish their work.
If you’ve arrived here as an author, then you probably have questions about the small, independent press experience. If you’ve done a lot of research then you’ll already know most of what we’re about to tell you.
Our company is like a large, New York publisher in many ways:
We pay royalties to our authors.
Small press advances are a fraction of what big publishers pay. Also the total sales for each book average in the hundreds rather than the thousands. Another big reality check for new authors is how difficult it is to earn money through writing and publishing books. It’s rare for any author, even those with a big press, to earn a lot of money, let alone make a living at it. Especially if they write fiction.
We publish books that we believe in and that we believe will sell. We are in the business of publishing. We are looking for books that tell entertaining stories or share important information, that are ready to submit – i.e. not a first or second draft that you need us to “fix”, and books that have the potential to be of interest to a lot of readers. A book can be well written and entertaining, and only be of interest to a few dozen people. We can’t afford to publish that type of book because we won’t recoup our costs of publishing it – and yes, it does cost us money to publish a book.
As the author, you need to know about and be able to tap into the possible readers for your book for it to be successful. Best case, you have a marketing plan ready before you submit to any publisher.
Our job is to make sure you have a well-edited book in a well designed and attractive package, that readers can find and purchase without too much difficulty. Anything we do beyond that is a bonus and will be done at our discretion and based on the economic bottom line of our business.
Understand that we reject ninety percent of the material submitted to us because it doesn’t meet the above criteria. We do offer suggestions and hopefully help new authors improve their manuscript so we’ll consider it at a later date. But please be professional if you are rejected – complaining about our decision directly to us or on public forums only further reinforces the wisdom of rejecting your work. Cultivating a professional attitude about this business is at least as important as writing well, if you desire publication. We are not the only publishing company that is reluctant to work with someone who has no understanding of the basics of this business and demonstrates an unwillingness to learn.
Expecting us to change our business model to meet your needs is unrealistic and won’t change how we run our business. If you prefer more control, you should check out self-publishing. If you’ve tried self-publishing and aren’t happy, that’s not our fault. You still have to promote your book whether you self-publish or if it was published through a small or large press.
Common misconceptions about small presses:
Misconception: I want to submit to a small, independent press because they can get me into every bookstore in the country and into some in other countries.
Reality: Brick and mortar bookstores have become increasing hostile to shelving small, independent press books. There are many reasons for this, the main one being that their largest clients (New York publishers) don’t like the competition of small press books. Since they pay for shelf space, they are able to apply pressure on bookstores.
Misconception: I want to submit to a small, independent press because my book will release sooner than a New York published book.
Reality: When a book releases depends on a variety of factors, including edits and publishing schedules – dates are always subject to change.
Misconception: I want to submit/don’t want to submit to a small, independent press because my book is perfect and they won’t edit it.
Reality: We vigorously edit the books we accept for publication. If we reject a book, it usually means it requires too much editing to make it publication ready. You are, of course, at liberty to disagree with us and submit elsewhere.
Misconception: I want to submit to a small, independent press because they will promote my book and pay for me to go on a signing tour.
Reality: We are a small press because we are small. Even large publishers save their promotion/advertising dollars for authors with a known track record.
Misconception: I want to submit to a small, independent press because I won’t have to promote at all. They’ll do that for me, while I stay at home and write.
Reality: If you don’t promote, you won’t sell books or make money.
Misconception: I’ll submit here, because a small, independent will publish anything.
Reality: We only accept a small percentage of the books submitted to us. Authors don’t pay us to be published. They have to meet our publishing criteria.
If we sound harsh it’s because book publishing is a tough business. And it’s changing all the time. Bookstores are going out of business at an alarming rate and they have to focus on making money. Small press authors don’t bring in large crowds and generate bulk sales so the big chain stores now exclude nearly all small press and self-published books. It didn’t used to be this tough, and maybe things will change again, but for now, bookstore placement for small press titles is possible but highly unlikely. If you have your heart set on seeing your book in the major chain bookstores then you’ll need to pursue an agent and a large New York publisher for your manuscript. This is a huge and unwelcome reality check for most new authors – but that’s life in the publishing business!
If you’ve survived the reality check and want to be on the L&L Dreamspell author team, please visit our publishing pages for complete submission guidelines: www.lldreamspell.com/Publishing.htm
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