About Piñon Valley Press
Piñon Valley Press is a small company that does not currently accept submissions from other authors. While we are not in a position to publish other authors' work, we are happy to offer pointers to those who wish to publish independently. Because Maria Weber looked at a lot of small press websites when she was seeking a publisher, and often felt confused about the purposes of those companies, she thought it was important to define the purpose and scope of Piñon Valley Press.
After ten years of writing I'll Be There to Write the Story, creating a book proposal and a query letter, and thinking that she might find a traditional publisher, Maria was ready to consider self publishing. Her first query letter was attractive to a New York agent, but after six months, she received a rejection letter. She knew that she couldn't afford to wait possibly another year, or two, or more to find the right agent, the right publisher, or no publisher. Maria decided to self publish.
She researched many different self-publishing companies, starting with Author House, where a friend had published several books. She also researched several smaller houses. (There are more than 100 of these). They take a manuscript and turn out a book for the author, charging a fee for every service. This seemed attractive at first.
There is nothing wrong with signing on with a "subsidy" publishing company. The author needs to do the research to find the best one for her needs. But then Weber discovered a difference between "self-publishing" and "independent publishing". The woman who did the final edit of Maria's manuscript, and who had independently published her own book, said, "Maria, if I can do this, so can you. It's not that difficult, and you'll make more money from your books." That was when Weber decided to choose the independent publishing route.
Self-publishing means going to a company that takes your manuscript, possibly edits it for an extra fee, obtains your ISBN number, creates the book design, and manages the printing and some of the marketing. You pay for these services. As an independent publisher, you do all these things yourself and you pay no one a fee for their services. You pay only the cost of the printer, if you can edit, design and lay out your own book. If you cannot, then you pay someone to do these tasks for you.
As an independent publisher, authors can either (1) set up their own small company with the name of a small press for the purpose of publishing their own books, (2) publish their own books under their own name without obtaining a trade name, or (3) set up a company trade name to publish their own books and allow other authors to publish under the company imprint (company name). Sometimes small independent publishers, run by an author with her own book, take on other authors and shepherd them through the process for a fee. They can offer services such as obtaining ISBN numbers, editing, marketing, web design, and so forth. Often these are micro-companies, owned by a sole proprietor, who farm out some of the tasks to other self-employed contractors. The author pays as she goes.
At this time, Piñon Valley Press has chosen to follow the path defined as Number One in the paragraph above. Please realize that the above description of independent publishing is general. Independent publishers can take many forms and offer services in many ways. It is up to the author to discover which route is best. If an author doesn't want to do this kind of digging, it might be best to start looking at subsidy publishers such as iUniverse or Author House. Those companies will hold the author's hand every step of the way.