About HD Media Press


Before deciding to work with HD Media Press or any small house, take into consideration the following:


     1. How long has the press been in business?

In today’s publishing industry, there’s a high turnover of new, small publishers. A publisher that goes bankrupt can tie up your rights. Sudden failure is a possibility with any small press because finances are often precarious, so if you sign with a publisher that’s  been in business only a few months, you’re taking a risk. HD Media Press has been around since 2011, having acquired an even smaller press along with its three titles that had been active since 2008. We keep our list deliberately small, in order to control costs and remain solvent. Our business model is unique in that we promote the titles we do have, giving them their best chance for success, rather than acquiring more and more titles that we can’t support. So, if you and your agent are considering a  small publisher, be sure to look at when they were established. 

As for us, if the number of titles HD Media Press has seems minor to you, bear in mind that we purposely keep our list small so that we can promote a title for a minimum of five years in order to give it every chance of success. Because we retain a tight list, we’re more than financially capable of taking our publications all the way through the production process with crucial factors  such as quality editing, design, distribution, presentation to review and awards sources, and marketing.

    2. How does the small press publish their acquired titles?

HD Media Press utilizes both print-on-demand, ebook, and offset printing. Each title is accessed on how best to produce and market it. A title that has niche appeal may only be produced as print-on-demand and ebook. A title that we deem has mass market appeal may also be pre-printed and sent to our distributors. In some cases we utilize both print-on-demand and offset options.  In terms of ebooks, in 2016, we voted to work with Kindle exclusively, since it’s shown itself to offer the best sales opportunities for our authors. However,  we do consider exceptions to Kindle exclusives.

What you will also find unusual is that HD Media Press publishes a paperback version of each work at the same time we publish a hardback version and ebook. We do this to make the title available in all formats immediately, adding to the opportunities for sales. Our ebook prices are lower than the industry standard, also giving you the opportunity to reach more readers, and at this writing, we notice that some of the larger publishers have begun to follow our innovative pricing and publishing model. 

      3.   What sort of distribution does the small press offer?

Distribution is vital to the success of any debut author. HD Media Press ships directly to Baker & Taylor for our offset printed titles, we work with Ingram for print-on-demand, and we utilize Amazon Advantage and KDP. We also direct distribute to retail outlets, offering them generous discounts and terms above and beyond the industry standard to entice them to place HD Media titles in their stores. All of our titles have made it into brick-and-mortar retail bookshops, both independents and chains, as well as libraries, gift shops and other unique outlets. Bookshops and other retail outlets like working with us because we make the sale of our titles convenient and lucrative for them.  But bear in mind that retail outlets do not purchase our titles in large quantities because we are a small press and do not have an on-the-ground sales force as do the Big Five publishers. 

Our board members continually evaluate the market changes and keep up to date on all new distribution possibilities and opportunities for small presses. We’re not a press who will park your title on amazon or with a POD printer and call it “distribution.” We don’t use aggregators solely and hope for the best  We actively pursue new and better distribution channels, and as the industry slowly evolves, beginning to offer more opportunities to independent presses, HD Media is ahead of the curve in assessing their pros and cons and taking advantage of them.  However, some distributors, such as Overdrive, will only work directly with houses that have a minimum number of publications. So when considering a small press, bear in mind that it has its limits in terms of what choices are available. Unlike some other small presses who do no distribution whatsoever, HD Media Press utilizes the best avenues available to us, and we work hard to operate as much like a big press as the market will allow. But as of yet, we cannot offer massive distribution in the same way a large publisher might. 

     3.  What is the small press’s staff?

Our staff includes our acquisitions editor and publications coordinator who works on submissions and the process of publication, a contract lawyer who is also one of our main investors, a certified public account who handles our taxes and licensing, our bookkeeper who handle our royalties, orders and accounts receivable, our content editors and copy editors, our graphic artist, our web designer, and our publicist. Most are independent contractors who are paid the market rate for their services, and some are volunteers who have been working with HD Media Press since its inception. The volunteers also make up our board, but we are not a non-profit. With the exception of content and copy editors who change over, we have maintained the same staff and the same dedicated, passionate volunteers since our inception. We are professionals in a variety of fields, dedicated to the promotion of new artists,  who work in this endeavor under the collective business name of the John Galvis Agency

If you’re signed with HD Media Press, you’ll find yourself in email communication with our acquisitions editor and publications coordinator and our publicist who will offer you suggestions on marketing and promotion, help you brainstorm  unique and fun book events, and send out press releases.  We are in contact with our artists as often as they need us, but we all have other professions outside of the press. While this may tick on the “drawback” column, those who have been in the publishing industry know how challenging it can be to get responses from agents and publishers, and you won’t find that problem with us. However, we keep our business life and our personal lives separate, and for that reason we prefer our artists to communicate with us via email. All emails are answered within twelve hours, at the latest. Should you desire, there will always be trained, knowledgeable HD Media personnel who will offer you phone or Skype assistance in marketing.  You’re not charged for any marketing advice from us. It’s part of the deal when you work with HD Media Press.  And while we don’t make demands on our artists on how they should promote their work, when it comes time to publish and distribute, our financial investment in your work takes into consideration how much time each artist is willing to put into that aspect of the publishing process.  No matter what suggestions your publicist offers, at the end of the day, your sales rankings will reflect two things: How well your title is being received by readers, and how much work you’re doing to get your title into those readers’ hands. 

     4. Further things to consider:

a) Do not confuse an excellent small press with a “self-publishing” service. Because we are small, we need to put our best foot forward with stellar publications, covers, editing, and design. We cannot overemphasize how important this is. Do not expect that we will put your favorite photo of your mother on the cover of your book, or that you will have final say in cover design or the final title of your work. When you’re signed to HD Media Press, you become aligned with a genuine partner who hires and pays for professionals to design your book and edit your content. Your input will always be welcome, but the final decisions are left to those who are paid by us for their professional services in their field. Ask yourself this: Would you want a graphic artist to edit your work? No? Then why would any author expect to do book design?  You’ll find these same policies hold true with any legitimate publisher, large or small, so if this is a problem for you, you’ll probably need to self-publish.  

b) We have created proprietary methods to market and sell, some of which are the result of savvy research by our staff and authors. We are continually innovating based on what we learn, so for this reason, we ask all artists to sign a non-disclosure agreement along with their contracts. 

c) We do not ordinarily work with expensive review outlets such as Netgalley.  However, we do run Goodreads giveaways and amazon giveaways. We offer 25 review copies to professional reviewers, and each author receives an additional ten free copies from us, as well as five copies to their literary agent.  This is what our budget allows for each title, and this is what has given us the most marketing bang for our buck. We submit all our titles for review to: Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and other professional review outlets, but we do not pay for reviews, ever, and we frown upon the practice.  It should be noted that as many times as we have offered our titles for review to these established review sites, they have not been chosen for review, and we hope the prevalent attitude of ignoring small press titles will one day change. 

d) We submit titles for relevant, legitimate awards and prizes such as Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Book Critics Circle, etc. We do not submit to award mills. Most legitimate awards are not offered to self-published authors, but again, a small press author, while not as ostracized as  self-published authors are as to what awards are available to them, there are still constraints. Edgar, for example, has not made its award available to small press authors. 

e) We offer pre-order on all ebooks, and on some of our publications for print. This distinction depends on whether or not we have decided to set the title up for offset printing, a differentiation that’s explained during artist orientation. We do not have a “backlist.” We have a list. Your title always remains important to us. 

f) Artist orientation is a three-hour long conference where the entire publishing process from pre-publication to publication is outlined for our signed authors, and they have the opportunity to ask as many questions as they like about the process. This is a unique service we’re able to include because of our limited number of signed artists. 

g) At HD Media Press, there is no charge to you for review copies, submissions to review outlets or awards, for marketing advice, for orientation, or for assistance in getting your title into retail shops.  Any press that charges its authors for such things is not a legitimate press. 

h) When it comes to speaking engagements or other promotion opportunities, we were surprised to hear from one of our authors that she was once turned down for a speaking engagement because her publisher was “too small.”  Ironically, that author is a well-paid speaker in her professional life.  But the hierarchy of “who’s your publisher?” is still alive and well within the industry. Though your readers are only concerned with whether or not they found value in your work, some of your colleagues will look down on you for being a small press author, not taking into consideration the number of bestselling authors who started out that way. If this sort of snobbery bothers you, it’s best to seek out a bigger publishing house.  We’re proud of who we are and what we do, and we want our authors to be proud of us, too. 

i) HD Media Press continues to experiment with other avenues of revenue streams, such as producing conferences, indie films, and multiple authors in-person events. We are innovative and bold, which is why we’ve held onto our core volunteers for so long, who enjoy what we do, and love being able to offer opportunities to new artists.  If you lean toward the more time-honored methodologies of traditional publishing, more than likely, we’re not the press for you.  

     5.  What about the contract?

Our contract is a standard publishing contract, written with our best interests in mind. A good agent negotiates contracts, and we’re open to negotiations, within reason.