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What is co-op publishing? (A note for querying authors)

We’ve noticed a bit of confusion recently about what co-op publishing is, so we wanted to take the opportunity to explain it a bit more thoroughly. As we say in our About Us section, “Co-op publishing is a unique publishing experience that marries the best parts of indie and traditional publishing.” That basically is what it is in a nutshell: indie publishing along with the support and marketing expertise of a traditional publisher.

Self-publishing is transforming the publishing landscape, and in our opinions, for the better. The advent of indie has allowed more voices to be heard than ever before, without the barriers of traditional publishing gatekeepers. Books that publishers might be reluctant to take a chance on—many from new voices and diverse, traditionally underrepresented backgrounds—have a chance to reach readers and succeed in ways that the old-guard industry never believed they could. A great many authors have discovered that self-publishing is a better deal for them than traditional publishing; it gives them creative control, the largest possible royalty share, and a number of other benefits that traditional publishing cannot.

However, indie publishing can be a daunting experience, particularly for the uninitiated. There are literally thousands of other voices out there clamoring to be heard. If you don’t know what you’re doing, but you want to succeed in this industry, it can be really scary to go it alone. That’s how Snowy Wings Publishing came to be. We were founded by a group of veteran indie authors who came together to help our friends who had previously been traditionally published self-publish with confidence; to bring together our combined audiences of fans and readers to introduce them to new books that we know they’ll love; and to support one another every step of the way. We’re navigating the ever-changing waters of the publishing industry together as indie authors under one imprint name. That’s who we are.

We want to make very clear the difference between a co-op and a vanity press. Vanity presses ask you to pay them large amounts of money that you will not see a return on. Authors at Snowy Wings Publishing do not pay us anything. We are member-run and we do not take any profit whatsoever. You keep all your rights and all your royalties. However, you are responsible for contracting your own editor, cover designer, and formatter… just like you do when you self-publish. Because this is self-publishing.

As successful self-published authors, we believe in the indie path. We know that having our pick of the best editor and the best cover designer for our projects, and supporting other independent artists whose expertise help us thrive, is absolutely worth it. We chose indie, whether for one of our projects or for all. We want to help other indie authors succeed, whether they’re first-time authors, traditionally published authors looking to break into self-publishing, or veteran indies tired of going it alone. However, we want to make absolutely sure that when you query, you understand what we are. If you don’t feel that self-publishing is the route for you, we wish you the best of luck on your journey. But if you think indie might be the path you want to take, please feel free to send us a query. We hope Snowy Wings might be a good home for you.

One thought on “What is co-op publishing? (A note for querying authors)

  1. This is very helpful info for writers looking to self-publish. As an editor who works with self-published authors, you clarify the ‘co-publishing’ experience well. Thank you!

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