I suppose my curiosity on this arises because I am considering my own path, considering the future from a point far removed from that would-be point. Are certain novels more fitting for small presses than the big ones? How does one see that in a novel? And do writers who select small presses first ever consider whether it would have been better to go with one of the big boys? Or is that so far removed from an author's mind because, hey, they're published, even if it is by a press that will only print a thousand copies of their book?
I don't know. It seems to me that if you could define a small press novel as a particular brand, then you could easily say "this would be good for them." But novels don't seem to be so easily defined, and I find it difficult to believe that the many authors snatched up by small presses went there as a last resort.
What about all of you? What would you say to all of this? How would you decide to choose a small press?
P.S.: This is not meant as a slight to small presses in any way. I have read many great works from small presses and believe them to be a valuable asset in a difficult field to break into. I do, however, recognize that many authors do not have the sort of relationship I do with small presses, a relationship that recognizes their value and has seen the quality of work they produce. Some still perceive the small press as too close to self-publishing for comfort. It's an unfortunate stigma, but one that small presses must combat, day in and day out.