You may have noticed that the publisher of our novels, and many of the anthologies in which we appear, is a single publisher:
Now, that’s beginning to not be the case. We’ve got some stuff with Knotted Road press, and a story coming out with WordFire, but the vast majority of what we’ve published to date is with Sky Warrior.
I’m not going to comment directly on the situation outlined by the anonymous complaints over on Writer Beware. I don’t know anything about that situation, I don’t know the details, and I’m not here to speak on whatever happened there.
But after reading that post, I feel like I need to talk about my experience with Sky Warrior has been.
Let me start with this: Sky Warrior Books is a name, but the person behind it is one Maggie Bonham. Her and her husband wrangle a stable of authors together from their home in the backwoods of Montana. It is a small press. It does not have a marketing budget. Occasionally, the royalty payments come slowly, but they do always come. Granted, this is a small press, so our royalty payment isn’t the sort of thing to make us quit our day jobs, but they still come, and they are what we should be getting.
So is it perfect? Nope.
But here’s the thing: We would be nothing without Maggie Bonham.
If Maggie Bonham hadn’t noticed us lurking about at a Spocon and convinced us to submit a short story to a zombie anthology, we don’t become professional authors at all. She took us from nothing–nothing— and made us what we are. Our marketing abilities? Maggie. The quality of the product we release? Well…Sue Bolich did that, but we only got Sue as an editor because of Maggie. The fact that we can simply knock and a convention puts us on the pro schedule? Maggie.
We simply do not exist if Maggie Bonham doesn’t run Sky Warrior Books.
She has been nothing but up-front with us about everything we have going on. If there’s a problem with the royalties, we are told what the problem is and when it will be fixed by. If there’s a problem with a book, we are told what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it. And if we need something from her, she is there.
No. The royalties don’t come quickly. They just don’t. But as neither of us need that fifty bucks right now in order to eat, that’s secondary from our perspective. And Maggie has never been anything but up-front with everyone about her payment schedule. She informs everyone at the get-go that marketing is the author’s responsibility. We knew exactly what we were getting into when we signed on with Sky Warrior, and it has worked as expected since.
I have never known Maggie Bonham to act dishonestly with me in any of the five years she has been my publisher.
So, again; this article isn’t here to take sides in any ongoing drama. That drama’s got nothing to do with me. And there are some things that should make you consider whether Sky Warrior is going to be a good fit. If you are the kind of person that needs your royalties right now or you will starve, then this isn’t the right place.
For us, it was. What we were looking for was someone to help us learn the ropes of the business and provide us a platform through which we could build a fan base. And Maggie did exactly that. Now we have fans, and we have other publishers asking after us. We’re getting to be a hot commodity. From our perspective, that’s more important than having our royalties every month.
I have nothing but love for Maggie Bonham, and she has treated Esther and I with nothing but respect and courtesy. So there’s my two cents on Sky Warrior Books as a publisher.