From this blog entry about whether one should self-pub or not, the following comment interested me:
I always find it interesting that Konrath refuses to discuss the existence of small publishers like Samhain, Double Dragon and Loose Id - small but popular publishers that offer another option between self-pubbing and going after the NYC publishers. You may not get rich going with a small publisher but you'll save yourself a lot of time and money than if you go self-publish.
Hmmm, maybe (and OT, but I'm not sure I'd blame Konrath for not paying much attention to small e-presses; it seems like most of them focus on romance, and he's a thriller/horror/mystery writer). Let me say up front that I loved working with Samhain. Love my covers, loved my editor. However, at the time I was writing for them, there was no Kindle, and so indie publishing wasn't much of an option.
Now that there's an option, I'm still muddling with the thought of submitting something to them later this year, but I hesitated when I saw their last call for anthology submissions, which was at the end of 2010, for an anthology due in November 2011. A year wait... well, that isn't that long when you're used to thinking in traditional publishing terms, but it's a long time in indie terms.
So submitting to a small press means I get a cover (Samhain has good covers, but I can get one of more or less equal quality for about $125, I think), editing (depending on the editor, this can be good or bad), and exposure to their established fanbase. On the flip side, it means I wait a long time to get published, and that I get a lesser percentage in royalties. It's also possible I might not enjoy working with a new editor (the old one's no longer there) and might find myself having to edit stuff I'd rather not edit.
It's a tough call, and I may yet submit to them again. But I think I'll publish my next Ellen Fisher book as an indie, and see how it goes. I don't know that I'd discourage anyone from going the small press route, though, so long as it's a GOOD small press. There are plusses and minuses either way, I think.