Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why I Chose A Small Publisher by Charity Bradford

Today, I am very pleased to present a guest post by Charity Bradford, the author of The Magic Wakes. Charity shares part of the story of how and why she published with WiDo Publishing.

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There are so many reasons why we make the decisions we do. Sometimes they are clear and logical. Other times…not so much. I tend to fall in the illogical decision making more often than my family would like. Emotions rule me and I go with that. In a way, this is what finally gave me the strength to take hold of my future and sign with a publisher.

For years my plan was get an agent, get published, get a movie deal and be happy that I had left my mark on the world. The funny thing is that money wasn’t the reasoning behind that plan. I just thought that was the only way to do things. Over the years I watched as the publishing industry began to change.

Self publishing still terrified me simply because I’ve never been able to focus on my work as well as other people. That whole emotional thing, you know. But, these smaller publishers started to fascinate me. I could have a team of people help me get my novel into the hands of readers? They would provide an editor, help me focus my marketing plan, take care of all the formatting and distribution? That sounded really good.

But I wasn’t ready to sign up quite yet. What if by signing with a small publisher I was selling myself short? I mean, did signing with a smaller publisher mean I wasn’t good enough for an agent and Big 65 (whatever)? At first I didn’t know, so I continued sending out queries a few at a time.

And then there came a moment when I knew something had to change. My family was suffering because I was so preoccupied with writing my book and trying to get to the next level. I had only sent out 20 queries with not much luck. A few partials had been requested and then rejected with no helpful input to guide my next flurry of improvements.

I was cranky.

I was frustrated.

My family was sick and tired of the whole thing.

It was time to sit down and really think about what was important to me. What would make me happy and help my family survive the crazy obsession I’d been suffering through for the last several years.

There were two publishers that I knew well and would be proud to be a part of, so I sent off two last queries. My plan was to see what happened with them before forking out some cash for a quality editor and self publish. I really didn’t want to self publish! I prayed and prayed for something, anything to help me know what I needed to do.

And I got 2 offers.

I held onto them and waited to feel like I was giving up on the Big Dream. It never came. I picked WiDo and signed the contract. Once again I sat there waiting for that sinking feeling telling me not to mail it.

Nothing. So I slapped on a stamp and mailed it. Once it was out of my hands everything lifted. I felt that joy that I had craved and I stopped worrying.

And you know what? I don’t feel like any less of an author because of my choice. My team and I worked hard to make The Magic Wakes the best it could be. The cover art is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and because I’m with a smaller publisher I can actually talk to everyone involved in the process. It feels like a family and I don’t get lost in the shuffle. Plus, things move a lot faster than that “traditional” route.

Would I do it all over again?


Want to know more about how things played out? Check out these other blog tour posts:

· Why I Chose WiDo Publishing over at Huntress’s blog.

· Working with My Publisher over at Mia Hayson’s blog.

· Working with My Editor over at Laurel Garver’s blog.

Author photoCharity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. She lives in Arkansas with her hubby and children, and firmly believes that a smile can solve most problems. The Magic Wakes is her first novel. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads.
Thank you Charity! That was a great post. I had a lot of the same emotions when I signed with my publisher and it's great to hear I'm not alone. Congratulations on your release!!


  1. I can definitely identify with this. I really wanted my work in print, but I was reluctant to invest a ton of money in self-publishing when I might not ever make it back. Fortunately, I managed to get an offer for my latest book with Curiosity Quills and so far they've been fantastic to work with so I know I've made the right choice! Congratulations on your book! :)

    1. Hi Emma! Welcome to the CQ crew.

    2. Isn't it a wonderful feeling Emma? Congratulations! Last summer I got to work with several editors at CQ and I'm very impressed with all of them.

  2. Do you still want the traditional route for a later book?

    1. Some days the answer to that is YES. Other days, not so much.I guess I'm going to take this day by day and follow my impulses. Who knows where it will lead me?

      *I do still want a movie contract* :)

  3. I have to agree! Go Small Pubs! I couldn't be happier with my decision either. Great post Charity!