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What’s the best route to publication?

Choosing between Big 5 publishers and independents 

What works out best for the author – a ‘Big 5’ publisher such as Hachette or Penguin Random House? Or an independent publisher, such as Galley Begger Press, or Granta? We hear from a number of different publishers this week, to help you decide the best option for you when the time comes. 

Webinar: I’m an agent – Ask me anything! (Members only) 

15 April 6.30pm BST. Join Ben Clark from The Soho Agency for this intimate Ask Me Anything webinar. Ben will be on hand to answer questions on writing, submissions, publishing and the market as it stands right now. 



NEW on Jericho Writers 

MASTERCLASS: Commissioning editor panel with Transworld, Granta and Amazon (FREE for members) 

Join Darcy Nicholson from Transworld; Anne Meadows from Granta and Laura Deacon from Amazon Publishing UK for this unique insight into publishing with large and independent presses.  



BLOG: The battle of the eBook formats 

Rather self-publish your book? This new blog reveals the difference between Mobi, ePub and PDF file eBooks – and which is the best option for you.  


WEBINARS: The Writing Process and After You Get an Agent (Free for members) 

We’ll be joined by author Holly Seddon on 22 and 30 April for two webinars, revealing her writing process and the often little-talked-about time after you land a literary agent.  



Content corner: Big vs Small (the pros and Cons)


Bigger isn’t always better. Below are the top-line arguments for publishing with a Big 5 publisher, vs a small independent press.  

BIG 5 (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster) 

- Pros: When it comes to sales reach, these powerhouses dominate. Want to see your book in a bookshop window? These publishers are most likely to make that happen.  

- Cons: Big name publishers attract big name authors, and as a small debut, you could find yourself at the bottom of the pile, with a short marketing window and budget.  


- Pros: When a small press buys a book, they often love it like one of their own. You'll struggle to find an author experience like it anywhere else – there’s a good chance your will be their highest priority.  

- Cons: Budgets are small, advances are smaller and physical sales reach is often limited. However, a good independent press can punch above their weight in terms of marketing, so you never know... 

Which would you prefer to publish with – a small press, or a Big 5? Sign up to the Townhouse and share here. 

Sarah J 

Plus, don’t miss: 

Complete Novel Mentoring (Discounts available for members) 

Work with an expert tutor as you write or edit your book. We have three world-leading authors at your disposal covering everything from children’s books to sci-fi.  

Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 

Self-Edit Your Novel Bursary  

Win a free place on our upcoming June Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course – exclusively for under-represented writers. 


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  • Stephnie's drawing of the man with Mantel's book, is me without the beard. I received it on publication day. I ordered it as it is, like mine, a historical biography and I had heard  of how detailed her research has been (as has mine.) So I decided I should read and learn. After ten pages I gave up. I was so confused. The advice I was given to overcome my problem, was to read the first two volumes of the trilogy and all would become clear! I could be dead by then. Ron

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