I received some interesting mail tonight, and I don’t quite know how to feel about it. For those of you who have read past posts, you know I’ve been seeking publication for a novella I wrote a few months ago. I received a rejection a few weeks back, and have been waiting to hear back from four other publishers. I did hear back from one today – what I received was a letter of acceptance and a contract. However, what I have discovered from further research and from reviewing the contract is that this publishing company (I won’t mention a name) is offering a contributory contract in which I would have to pay a significant portion in order to be published.
First things first, I can’t afford the price they’re offering me. Period. Secondly, I don’t really know how to feel. Should I feel excited that someone said, “yes, we want you,” or should I feel jaded and disappointed because they want my money? It’s hard to know if they want to publish me simply on merit, though they say they do. My husband says I should feel proud – that this business model is simply a means of protecting the company from taking too much of a risk. He say they wouldn’t make me an offer if they were unable to make money off the sales. I’m not sure. I’m trying to figure out how much it would cost to do everything they say they will do (They say the costs I would pay is only a fraction of the overall costs.)
The more I’ve been thinking about it too, the more I’ve become interested in the idea of self-publishing and starting my own small press in order to do so. I love the idea of calling all the shots and being able to potentially do more beyond just my own work. I have friends who have work that deserves to be published, and I like the idea of facilitating that. I’ve been doing tons of research into starting a small press and self-publishing, and my husband is supportive of the idea as long as I know what I am getting into.
But there’s an allure to being traditionally published. Isn’t it the ultimate goal for an author? But I know that getting a novella published by a traditional publisher is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible. Should I use this contract offer as leverage – to tell the other publishers that I have been made an offer to see if anyone else bites?
I have no idea what to do. I have no idea what to feel. I need advice/support/etc. Please!