The world of marketing and distribution looms before me, and I feel like a fly about to be shmucked by a fly-swatter, only perhaps less confident in my ability to emerge unscathed. While the fly only needs to avoid the swatter long enough to be forgotten, I, on the other hand, must wrest the swatter from the hands of the bearer and turn it back on them in significant enough form to drive then from the room.
But I am just a fly. There is no way I am going to beat the giants at their own game. I can afford to do less than winning, because winning implies that they have lost, and that is just not going to happen. I can afford to do less than win because I am a fly. I am more versatile, agile, and maneuverable. I can fly. They can not fly, and by virtue of this, I can go places they can’t. Soon they’ll get tired of waving the swatter around uselessly, and sooth themselves by pretending I am gone. They may own the floor and walls, cluttered as they are, but I own the ceiling.
There is significant symbolism to that truth, and that is the key to small press distribution. There are many outlets out of reach to the large publishers that are just waiting to be discovered. It’s also important to remember that places are only one aspect of marketing and distribution; methods too must be discovered and exploited. We flies will be successful so long as we continue to think like flies, and not giants.
We are writers because we have an innate ability to consider possibilities, and find successful stories in unlikely places. Use that gift as you face the distribution monsters.