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Being a first-time author is both exciting and stressful. It can be hard to build a profile, navigate the submissions process, and find an agent—in addition to all the work it takes simply to write your book. It can also often feel like a catch-22: first-time authors have to publish to be known, but they also have to be known to publish. They frequently need help, and that’s why working with a small independent press like Bowen is truly the best option for a first-time writer.

After spending fifteen years working with big-name publishers, I have learned to value the service that small presses can provide. Here is what I’ve discovered about how places like Bowen build a lasting foundation for first-time writers:

Small presses will take a risk. When new writers approach an agent or a large publisher, they often have to prove that they are worth the risk. Small presses assess risk differently. When a book is good, we partner with a writer to make it better, to produce a high-quality final product, and to help them build their profile step by step.

Small presses will guide you through the process. Publishing a book is complicated. It’s common not to understand exactly how one gets from a great idea to an elegant paperback. Not only do small presses know how to navigate this process well, they know how to guide you through it. At Bowen, we recognize that first-time authors need help, and we are happy to provide it.

Small presses will get you off the ground. Publishing a first book with a press shows that someone was willing to take a risk on you and that it paid off. You will have a distinguished, well-edited, professional product to show to any future publishers or agents.

Small presses offer high-quality products. The publishing process can be so daunting and complex that many first-time writers turn to self-publishing. It is easy to produce a book these days, but it’s still difficult to produce a top-quality one. Small presses like Bowen use professional editors and established designers to make sure that our books are of the highest quality. We build your reputation by making sure that your first book is the best it can be.

Small presses offer individualized attention. Small presses like Bowen work with a smaller number of writers and only accept submissions that they know are worthwhile. As a Bowen author, you won’t get lost in the crowd. We’re in this business because we love books and the people who write them. We know what makes a good story and we know what makes an attractive book. We bring that knowledge directly to you as your partner in the process.