Small Press vs Self-Pub: A reflection

This post is about “Viridian” and specifically some reflections on the process of being published through Mythic Delirium, a.k.a. Mike Allen, a.k.a. a friend who has visited my house more than once. I include that last description so that you know my biases.

I’ve posted about some of the trials and tribulations of being a self-published author. The echo chamber effect is one — you’re largely reliant on reviews to know how something is received, and reviews can vary drastically depending on the author of the review, and usually don’t come from other professionals. I’ve rarely, if ever, had a self-published book garner the blog and writer attention that has been directed at “Viridian” and I want to be clear that while this story is part of an anthology with three other more well-known writers than myself, it’s also part of an anthology from a tiny press. It’s been sort of humbling to realize just how little I know about this whole publishing thing during this process, and if I never again traditionally publish I will have at least recognized that I am still growing and learning when it comes to this whole publishing thing.

This is not to say that I will never again traditionally publish, mind. I really enjoyed my experience working with Mythic Delirium, and I hope to find other great presses, small and large, to work with as I continue to develop this side of my writing career. I recognize that “Viridian”‘s process of coming into the world is probably very different from what a novel published in a larger house would go through and I imagine that I have even more to learn as I keep going down this path.

But I’m digressing a bit. How was publishing with a micro-press different, besides the reach? Well, for one, I didn’t pay any money into this process. In fact, I got paid for my first printing rights, and I will receive royalties when the book earns out. While the percentage of royalties I will receive is pretty small compared to what you typically get as a self-published author, I’m by no means complaining about not having to take on that financial risk.

I also found this project a lot more collaborative, in a way that actually helped with some of the isolation of writing — I received extensive developmental edits on “Viridian” which really helped me to make it into a better story. While receiving edits can be a bit of an ego check sometimes, I do think that I grew as a writer during the process and learned more about my blind spots. I’m excited to apply that knowledge in the future.

In short, I really enjoyed working with a small press and I hope to have more opportunities to collaborate with publishing houses in the future. While I’m sure each house and each work will be different, this has been a good first experience for my longer fiction.


If you’d like to read “Viridian,” and the other stories in A Sinister Quartet, head on over to Mythic Delirium’s website and snag a book!

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