Dear Miss Snark:
I got a contract offer from a small print publisher the other day. I should be thrilled right? I was for a day or two. Then I got the contract in the mail. Is it crazy to not accept a contract from a publisher just because
1. they only publish 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 size books? They sell for a much higher price than "normal" paperbacks.
2. The publisher sells the books through Amazon, and B&N online, but they are not in the brick and mortar stores yet. This doesn't sit will with me. It just makes me nervous. They recently hired a distributor though.
I sent my manuscript because a friend of mine was accepted by them, and she was raving about how nice they were and how much they do for their authors. Then I started doing a bit of research and found out they haven't been in business very long. My friend's cover is beautiful. The quality of the book is fine. Am I being silly?
It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want a lovely book with a lovely cover, go for it. If you want people who are "nice to you", go for it. If you want to have your books in bookstores, you'll need to rethink this.
There are LOTS of reasons you can have a very successful published book without being in a bricks and mortar store. Specialty sales, back of the room sales, very niche markets sales...all those kinds of books can do well without being stocked in the corner Bookasaurus.
If you write fiction, none of that applies.
And I'm a great believer in a low price point for first time novelists. The easier it is to get books into the hands of future fans the better. A high price on a book is the kiss of death, and, more than "not in stores", that makes me wonder if these guys know what they're doing.
And the trim size sounds like a trade paperback. You can actually see trim size for books at Amazon, and I looked up two that are here on my desk and that size looks right to me.
And publishers don't "hire distributors" anymore than you "hire an agent". Distributors are very selective about who they take on, so it's a good sign for this publisher that a distributor wanted them.
And why did you query a publisher you didn't know much about?