Question: Is it better to be published by a small independent (real) publisher with little to no physical distribution (POD/ebook) or remain unpublished, at least for the short term?To most publishers, this is essentially the same thing. Whereas self publishing often counts against a writer (as indicative of a tenuous grasp on reality), this kind of publishing just doesn't count at all.
What makes a difference to trade publishers is activity in the marketplace. How many books are you going to sell POD or as an ebook? Anything under 500 is essentially equivalent to zero.
When it comes to an author/illustrator's dummies, should they be full-sized? I've searched for an answer online and have found several conflicting answers. Some people claim they absolutely have to be full size while others insist they just need to be big enough to be readable. As someone preparing their first complete package to send into the dreaded slush, I'd like to be as accurate as possible. I don't want something as simple as the size of my dummy derailing my chances.There's no rule. Just don't go bigger than 8.5 x 11, or if you're doing spreads 11 x 17. Whatever size the finished book is going to be, making the dummy a size small enough to handle and large enough to read is beneficial at the submission stage.
Suppose a book has not been picked up nationally by Barnes & Noble. But then people start saying that they've seen it on the shelf at their local Barnes & Noble. What does this mean? Has the manager special ordered it, and if so, why? (Reviews? Strong indie sales? or what?)Could be any of the above, or something else-- for instance local interest (local author or topic). Every B&N buyer has a little latitude to stock their store in a location-specific way.
What does one do after making a terminally stupid mistake with a well-known editor, which has most likely resulted in blackballing by the entire industry? Is there any way for the repentant author (and also very talented, I offer, as one of said author's readers) to redeem his- or herself? Does he or she have a chance to be read and loved by an editor, or would it be better to find some other trade...say, fishmongering?Without knowing what sort of transgression you're talking about, I can't say. But let me refer you to How To Get Black Balled.