I was talking to Mark Davis yesterday and he said that he thought it was the growth phase that was the difficult phase for an independent publisher. The common view is that it is hard to start, but Mark's view is that it is harder to sustain.
Then an independent publisher starts needing Capital with a capital C - in business terms a relatively small amount but it comes with a comparatively high ratio of risk. Success has been the end of many a small publisher - not being prepared to take the risk on the funding the print bills. The barriers to entry are comparatively low in publishing - it is making it work again and again that's hard, and watching those print bills accumulate as the list speeds up.
It's been a nice year for black dog which means we're on the steep and slippery part of the growth curve so interesting and exciting times lie ahead.