Publishers of books that change lives

In Praise of Small Presses by Laura Boon

What I love about working at Finch Publishing is how close-knit the team is and the broad range of tasks a person is exposed to. In a big publishing house, you stick to your department, in my case, publicity. At a small publisher, you’re exposed to everything. Your input is requested on cover design, editorial, submissions, sales and marketing. It’s an in-depth exposure to the publishing process.

My experience at Finch meant that when I went shopping for a publisher for my book, I was more than willing to consider a small press. What they lack in size they make up for in passion, humanity, and the willingness to publish a book that might not meet a big publisher’s sales criteria but nonetheless deserves to make it into the public arena. The quality of editorial input and production is just as good. Small presses don’t have the sales clout of larger publishers but having worked in publicity and marketing most of my adult life, I know a few tricks to get around that.

Could Finch have published my book? No. They’re a niche non-fiction publishing house whereas I have written a romance. I love romance, in life and fiction. It’s a sub-plot in almost every fiction genre. However, I like my romance straight up, undiluted, like a good Scotch.

Romance can be defined as fiction by women about women for women. And that’s true, although the genre has expanded to include romance between two (or more) people regardless of their sexual persuasion. I think it’s sad men feel intimidated about reading romance. I reckon they’d enjoy it, the same way they enjoy a good romantic comedy at the movies – even if they claim to see it only as part of a negotiation with their wife or girlfriend regarding the next action flick. Some romances are better than others, but that’s true for every genre. The more familiar you become with the genre, the easier it is to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Romance is a genre that’s always on the cutting edge of publishing, trying new technologies, creating new sub-genres, debating social mores. The #metoo movement was a highly debated discussion before Harvey Weinstein hit the press. Likewise, questions around cultural diversity and cultural appropriation are constantly raised in blogs, chat rooms and on Twitter.

So, when The Wild Rose Press in America made me an offer for The Millionaire Mountain Climber, I was thrilled. Not only was I going to be published, I was going to be published by a romance specialist. The author care has been fantastic, my editor a delight who has made my book far better than I could have done on my own and I LOVE my cover. It’s going to be available in paperback as well as ebook. What more could an author ask for? Multiple sales, of course, but I’ve been in the business all my life, so I take that with a pinch of salt. You do what you can do, then you send out your book with love (as both author and publisher) and hope for the best.

The Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon is scheduled for publication by The Wild Rose Press later in the year. It features two Australians, Hailey and Matt, in the French Alps, some humour, a little drama and a lot of heart.

Link for The Wild Rose Press: