On Starting a Small Press with Monique Mulligan

I recently spoke to fellow author and former small press director, Monique Mulligan about what it’s like to run your own indie pub house… Here’s a snippet of what I had to say…

If we rewind five years back or so, you would have found me at my desk writing and submitting literary fiction to publishers all over the world. Before that, you would have found me at Wollongong University, or the University of East Anglia (UK) studying the classics and all manner of “serious” books.

It wasn’t until much later; after starting an online lit mag and completing a masters of publishing did I realise that I wanted (and needed) to do things differently. For me, the book industry was behind the ball, it needed a good shake up, it needed to be disrupted.

I was frustrated by the prolonged submissions process that was seen as the norm, I was frustrated by the lack of control authors had over their own books, and frankly, I was confused at how none of the larger publishers seemed to be adapting to the times.

While I was pondering all this, I wrote. And for the first time in my life, I wrote what I loved reading, wrote what I wanted to write rather than what I’d been steered towards.

That book turned out to be Heart of Mist, the first instalment in my young adult fantasy trilogy: The Oremere Chronicles. It was during the writing of this book that I started to consider starting my own small press. A publishing company that would, at that stage, solely publish my books.

As I came to the end of the drafting process, which I’d been documenting on my blog and on social media, I was approached by some established publishers. As someone who had dreamed of being published by one of the big five my whole life, it was tempting.

But in the end, I knew this: no one was going to work harder than me to produce the best possible version of my book, nor was anyone else going to put in the insane hours needed to get an unknown author and title in front of new readers…

Click here to read the rest of my guest post.

Big thanks to Monique for hosting me on her blog!

Until next time,

Helen

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