That’s not a question I can answer for you since I can only answer for myself, based off what I want as a writer, based on my drives, expectations and experience. I see this topic come up a lot and usually don’t pay much attention because all the hating publishers who don’t deserve it is childish and it gets old. Not that there aren’t bad publishers out there, with self-publishing there are more presses(?) popping up than ever before. I know you’ll want to figure out which direction is the right one for you, or perhaps a little of both.
Here’s what helped make up my mind to go with Delirium Books instead of trying to be a self-publishing superstar (good luck with that if it’s your dream!)
1. I have a professional editor’s opinion, and I know the little bigot in us says that a professional opinion doesn’t matter (until we label ourselves professionals, then our opinion better matter! Please.) It’s important for me to have someone tell me when I’m coasting by, which I can do sometimes. I want that push to make something better than I’d do on my own. It’s why part of my writing time is caught up in trying to impress my first readers.
2. I get money up front for hardcover editions, money up front for paperback editions, plus I get royalties.
3. I get more royalties from ebooks, too. And I know my publisher pays me a great royalty because I did my research. I would actually make less per copy if I self-published them because I’d be dumping my money from a regular job into cover design, layout, marketing, copy editing, etc. I’d rather make the more royalties from my publisher handling all that other crap instead of it coming out of my pocket and out of my time.
4. I get original book covers that I don’t have to pay a dime for (because my publisher pays for it.)
5. I get a copy editor with sharp eyes who picks up things me and my first readers and everybody else involved missed (because my publisher pays for the copy-editing, too.)
6. I get author copies of hardcovers and paperbacks that I can give to my first readers because I appreciate how much they always, always help me.
7. I get physical books I can take to conventions and book fairs, and with those physical books can do readings and signings and sell them in person.
8. I get to fill up my bookshelf with my work (or my bed, it happens.) Here’s what’s been published in the last year or so.
9. I get a marketing director (Dave Thomas, not of Wendy’s fame) who does a fabulous job.
10. I get to have physical copies for interviews with the local papers and surrounding areas.
And that’s why I went with Delirium Books instead of self-publishing. I don’t have the mind for the self-publishing route, I’d rather be creating and reading. Getting to the point where I was good enough to sell my work wasn’t easy (I’ve been stupid most of my life) but it’s paying off, and I know it’s the right thing for me. Go think about what’s right for you. Weigh the pros and cons, not just the idea of freedom. Freedom doesn’t exist. You’re bound in an unspoken contract with every reader who picks up your book and you want to give them the best product you can, right? Go on, get out of here (but tell your writing friends to check out my Writing Advice essays, and come back yourself.)
A big thanks to those who came to the live event and asked questions, participated in the polls, and won some great prizes! You all made it a wonderful night! And thanks to my publisher Shane Ryan Staley and his marketing director Dave Thomas for putting the event together!
All right, the fourth chapter of COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION is going live today on my publisher’s website. Give it a read, leave me some feedback, check out Delirium’s novella club, go buy your wife flowers, give your kid a hug and listen to them, etc. As always, a huge thanks to my readers Shaun Ryan, Kevin Wallis, and Jen. And again to my publisher for putting so much faith in me and my work.
I also got the press release for my live event on Delirium/Darkfuse’s website. I’m super pumped about it since it’ll be my first time and I appreciate any who can spread the word and hope to see some of you there! Some of you are editors who have encouraged and helped me, some are writers who have been there and shared the struggle, some of you are readers and the reason I write, but we’re all in the same boat. We all love stories.
So check it out and spread the word! A big thanks to those who have already shared: K. E. Bergdoll, Peter Schwotzer, Jennifer @ Book Den, Douglas E. Wright, Dave Thomas, Dark Eva, Gregory Fisher, Jim Mcleod, Rich Gott, Amy Grech, Scott Tyson, and Scary Ass Books! Plus anybody I’m not aware of who shared!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DELIRIUM TO HOST LIVE ONLINE EVENT WITH AUTHOR LEE THOMPSON ON THURSDAY, MARCH 29 AT 9 P.M.
NORTH WEBSTER, INDIANA – DarkFuse Publications will be hosting a live online event with author Lee Thompson on Thursday, March 29 from 9 to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public and participants will be entered to win a one-year subscription to the Delirium Kindle Book Club—24 novellas total—as well as signed limited edition hardcover copies of Lee’s novella IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST.
Lee will be answering questions from readers and discussing his influences, creative process, future projects, and his Division mythos.
About the author: Lee Thompson started selling work in early 2010. His novels NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN and THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING, along with his novellas IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST and DOWN HERE IN THE DARK have all been published by Delirium Books. His free serial web novel COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION is currently being published in a weekly format.
You can find his short stories in Dark Discoveries, Sideshow Press, Shock Totem, Apex’s Zombie Feed anthology, Tasmaniac Publications, and other neat places. He’s worked a lot, sweated a lot, and continues to take up space the best he can. He interacts with his readers at his website.
About the publisher: Delirium Books is one of the leading specialty presses in the horror genre. Operating in the Midwest (Northern Indiana), Delirium Books has quickly gained the reputation of bringing to print and eBook formats the best new voices in horror fiction, including bestselling author Brian Keene. Delirium has also published established genre authors such as Brian Lumley, Greg F. Gifune, Douglas Clegg, Ramsey Campbell and Jack Ketchum.
In the last year and a couple months I’ve sold five books to Delirium/Darkfuse, and it still blows my mind. Dave Thomas just interviewed me on their website, which was a lot of fun, and I reveal some secrets. Have a gander.
Also neat to see that Goodreads has a feature that lets me list the Division mythos on my author page. It’s going to be pretty amazing to watch that fill up with all 13 books in the next few years.
Glad I stumbled across that. I learn something new every day.
Tons of things going on here and all of them rocking. I’ve got the signature sheets for DOWN HERE IN THE DARK in front of me. The digital is out now, the signed/limited hardcover coming mid-April. It’s a hell of a story and picks up right after the end of IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST. It’s dark, twisted, cryptic and stunning. Alfred Hitchcock (my pet monkey) said it’s a tour de force.
Like everything else, I think it stands alone, but it’s a sliver of the Division mythos and I think it’s going to be badass when every book and short story is complete so everybody (including me) can read them in order and experience the full effects of these character’ trials and successes.
It also ties in directly to THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING which is out early as a Kindle Exclusive. The signed/limited hardcovers are coming out on Valentine’s Day!
I did an interview on Literary Mayhem. Also just turned one in for Darkfuse that was a lot of fun and should be live soon. Working with Dave Thomas on some promotional stuff that should be a blast for everybody! I think I’ll be playing guitar and reading some opening chapters.
NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN is in production as an audio book and so far I’ve heard the first 13 chapters (my lucky number!) and it is so cool to hear somebody else read my work.
I’ve also been interviewing some of my heroes lately. So far I’ve sat down and sipped absinthe with Robert Dunbar, Tom Piccirilli, and Lee Thomas. All amazingly talented bad boys. Up next I’ll be interviewing Greg Gifune. Working on his questions now. It’s been a lot of fun talking to those guys and picking their brains. They’ve been surprisingly candid and I love ‘em for it.
I finished the rewrite on the second Red Piccirilli book WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING. I’d submitted it to Chizine but since I’ve written one novel and three novellas while waiting to hear back from them I figured it a good idea to use what I’d learned while waiting to make the book stronger. It’s the sequel to the first book BEFORE LEONORA WAKES, a simple but interesting YA story. I’m very proud of both of them since they set the foundation in what comes in the adult novels and novellas. You can read the opening of the second book on the lovely Book Den.
Another Division story, THE RIVER, is under consideration with Apex’s Dark Faith 2 antho. It’s the only short story I have unpublished right now and I love it.
Two short stories (Daddy Screamed With Us and Crooked Stick Figures) will be in the anthology American Horror Stories, vol. 1 from Delirium Books later this year, too.
I’m working out the threads of the third Red Piccirill novel COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION. So not ready to write this one yet. It’s going to be incredibly dark for Red. It’s going to break my heart to write. But I know I have to get to it at some point because this is the book that mostly shapes who Red is in the Division novels Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children, The Dampness of Mourning, and The Patron Saint of Infinite Sorrow.
Also working on the threads of a very touching, yet very disturbing, YA novel called A Monster of Many Faces. It’s going to tackle issues that have bothered me my whole life and people are going to die (one of them is already dead.)
I’m anxious (somewhat) for when reviews start coming in for all four books coming out this year. I enjoy feedback, and especially enjoy it when people tackle the challenge each story presents. I know not everybody will get them, and not everybody is going to like my work, but I’m grateful some do (some who I have a ton of respect for.)
I’ve heard news that my Thunderstorm novella is on the fast track and look forward to seeing the finished product. It’s going to be a beauty.
I’m very excited that some people are loving the Division story line and characters. I see it all so clearly and its such a massive story it takes my breath away knowing that it came out of my wee little imagination. Crazy.
Feeling very relaxed. No pressure here. But expect some great things.
“Gossamer” is a mythical, almost philosophical book that strips the reader naked and forces us to challenge our assumptions about love with passages that will touch you in places inside yourself you forgot exist. - Anita Siraki/HellNotes
Lee takes the unlovely parts of real life and sets it in a setting so deliciously bizarre that you think you’re simply reading a story, when in fact you’re listening to a man sitting across from you and telling you all about pain. - Mercedes Yardley/Shock Totem
"10 out of 10 Stars... GOSSAMER: A STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY will blow you away my friends. It is that good." -- Peter Schwotzer/Famous Monsters of Filmland.
"WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL is as crazy as its tormented protagonist. Hard as nails." -- Jack Ketchum, author of The Woman.
"Lee Thompson knows his horror-noir. He fuses both genres together in the turmoil of terror, tragedy, blood, guilt, and lost chances at redemption."--Tom Piccirilli, author of THE LAST KIND WORDS
"The Dampness Of Mourning is taut, tough, and terrifying..." -- Brian Hodge, author of Picking The Bones
“The Dampness of Mourning is a riveting thriller." --Midwest Book Review
"Thompson’s voice is his own — strong, hypnotic, and unsettling--grabs you by the balls and rips them right off, breaking your heart and your psyche in the process.” -- Brian Keene, author of Ghoul, Dark Hollow and The Rising
"Brooding, soulful, haunted." -- Robert Dunbar, author of Willy and Martyrs & Monsters