My novella is coming out December 31st (check it out!)... And here's the story so far:
The process was strikingly similar to going through multiple rounds of beta feedback. To be honest, I was expecting more conversation and some sort of comment on the changes I made, the new bits that I wrote. In general I agree with "no news is good news" but the process did leave me a bit uncertain about the final story.
I had to explain my story to the blurb department and they wrote based on that. Guess I should have known they weren't going to actually read it? Either way, they sent it to me for feedback and it was pretty good.
I had to explain my story to the cover artist. This, I can understand more why they might not read the book. I gave a couple rounds of feedback and I'm happy with the result.
I realized this a couple weeks ago and double-checked my correspondence with Dreamspinner... Aside from some generic compliments they gave me, I have no idea why they wanted to publish Hawks & Rams. I assume somebody enjoyed the story, liked the characters, found the sex steamy or something, but I have no direct evidence of that.
I suppose I could ask, of course, but that seems odd as well.
So overall, working with a small press publisher been similar to self publishing but I haven't had to pay anybody. There's the release and promotions yet to come, though. Stay tuned!