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From Self-Published to Agented with a Book Deal


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#41 C. Taylor

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 07:21 AM

I'm glad to see she's getting the royal treatment, since this was a book neither agent nor publisher was willing to take a chance on, and she proved them wrong. Is it the norm? Most certainly not, in part due to the fact that most of the self pub'd stuff out there are rubbish with all sorts of issues (bad grammar, spelling, info dumps, plot holes, pacing, etc). However, if it's well written and would otherwise be collecting dust due to the fact that major pubs seldom take risks these days, then it could be a good strategy (like Peter said) to build up your following while trying to get other ms's agented and pub'd. You could throw it on Amazon for free for a few weeks to try and get a few sales and reviews, and then bump the price to .99.

There was that other girl, too, that was selling her poorly written Twilight-like books for .99- 6.99 and had a huge amount of sales (esp. given the quality). She started the first in the series at .99 to hook people, and then the subsequent books went up in price.

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#42 JoeB

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:45 PM

I have a question about Ebooks. I have put together a marketing concept (not proposed yet) to an International Agency that will get people to look at my idea of a story by telling the true hard facts of how the concept works. They will have 20 minutes or longer to read facts about my concept and then a short paragraph about the title and story. There will be NO cost to me. In your opinion, if they like the idea of what I am writing, would that induce a publisher to print out a hard copy of my story? Or would I be better off letting it stay online without an agent or publisher? Just curious while I'm rewriting some of the chapters.
Thanks for the help. It is very much appreciated!!!
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#43 RC Lewis

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:04 PM

I have a question about Ebooks. I have put together a marketing concept (not proposed yet) to an International Agency that will get people to look at my idea of a story by telling the true hard facts of how the concept works. They will have 20 minutes or longer to read facts about my concept and then a short paragraph about the title and story. There will be NO cost to me. In your opinion, if they like the idea of what I am writing, would that induce a publisher to print out a hard copy of my story? Or would I be better off letting it stay online without an agent or publisher? Just curious while I'm rewriting some of the chapters.


I'd love to offer advice, Joe, but I'm really not sure what you're describing. Could you elaborate a little more? What "people" will look at your idea, and spend 20 minutes reading facts about your "concept"? (What do you mean by your concept?) How will this international agency "get" people to look at your idea?
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#44 RSMellette

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:20 PM

I have a question about Ebooks. I have put together a marketing concept (not proposed yet) to an International Agency that will get people to look at my idea of a story by telling the true hard facts of how the concept works. They will have 20 minutes or longer to read facts about my concept and then a short paragraph about the title and story. There will be NO cost to me. In your opinion, if they like the idea of what I am writing, would that induce a publisher to print out a hard copy of my story? Or would I be better off letting it stay online without an agent or publisher? Just curious while I'm rewriting some of the chapters.


First, if you're re-writing some of the chapters, you should do nothing until you're done.

Second, agents aren't interested in "marketing concepts," so don't bother.

Third, if you can't clarify who "they" are better in a posting, and what whoever these "they" are what they are supposed to be doing, then you don't stand a chance even if agents did look at marketing concepts.

No one will read 20 minutes of anything unsolicited.

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#45 JoeB

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:28 PM

My story is about blood donors and how saying prayer while giving blood has made physical changes to the blood, actually by putting oxygen into the molecules so they work for the recipient better. A handout that the donor can read while they spend 15+ minutes sitting in a seat. I have a regional blood bank waiting for the last year to start implementing it. The marketing in the brochure shows the facts and my story available. The regional blood bank may not be big enough. I know people at Red Cross that I haven't talked to yet. I think it's a win-win for the blood distributor (whoever it becomes). They increase donor interest and get interest in my book.
Thanks for the help. It is very much appreciated!!!
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#46 RC Lewis

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:58 PM

My story is about blood donors and how saying prayer while giving blood has made physical changes to the blood, actually by putting oxygen into the molecules so they work for the recipient better. A handout that the donor can read while they spend 15+ minutes sitting in a seat. I have a regional blood bank waiting for the last year to start implementing it. The marketing in the brochure shows the facts and my story available. The regional blood bank may not be big enough. I know people at Red Cross that I haven't talked to yet. I think it's a win-win for the blood distributor (whoever it becomes). They increase donor interest and get interest in my book.


Okay, I see what your concept is now, but I'm not sure what your question is, or how it relates to e-books.

Are you asking whether this plan could lead to being picked up by a publisher? If so, it's the same as with every other self-publishing venture. There's always a chance of getting a publisher's attention, IF it catches on like wildfire. But the chances of that are fairly slim and depend on a lot of factors.

It sounds like you have a non-fiction concept you want to spread the word about, but are doing it through a mix of a "fact sheet" and a fictional story. From my own perspective, I'm not sure how effective blurring the separation between non-fiction and fiction will be. If you came at it from a purely non-fiction angle, you are more or less expected to establish a platform for yourself--an online presence, and otherwise establishing yourself as an authority. Merging the fiction in with that is where I start drawing question marks.
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#47 C. Taylor

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:05 AM

This international company that'll be conducting this research still sounds a bit "off" to me. As for a publisher picking up your book and signing it because people happened to like the idea in a group poll? Highly doubtful, especially if it's fiction.

You can still self pub it though, and certainly don't need a company to poll people in order to get it done.

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#48 Litgal

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    In the meantime I am one of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which releases November 4, 2014 and tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:54 PM

Just wanted to make sure that this discussion on self-publishing by our AQ special-guest, Kristen Webber, came to the attention of everyone thinking about or discussing self-publishing:

http://agentquerycon...7009#entry27009

Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#49 Godsmotive

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 12:18 AM

Either way I'm keeping my day job.

#50 Linton Robinson

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 11:13 PM

It's actually the "almost 100% chance only friends and family will see the self published book" that sort of demands citations or figures.
Or perhaps disclaimer on what year it was written in.

One factor I thought I'd mention: self pubished authors are crazy to even think about trying to get into bookstores. That's a loser's game and a money-losing game. It doesn't work that way.

I think there's plenty of cites (even on this site, which is dedicated to agent-driven approaches to publication) to make it clear that in fact are self-published authors making a living at it and coverting to major pubisher contracts. And that there is a growing number of authors jumping ship from traditional publishers to go it on their own.

But it has to be played the indie way. If you're the Viet Cong, you don't sit around dreaming of having funding to buy gunships and AWACS planes.
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#51 MzBuzz

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 02:27 PM

One factor I thought I'd mention: self pubished authors are crazy to even think about trying to get into bookstores. That's a loser's game and a money-losing game. It doesn't work that way.

One of the small publishers in my area (I think there are three :tongue: ) does a good job of placing their authors in the local Borders and indie bookstores here. That may be something to look at when choosing a self-pub. I personally wouldn't recommend this particular printer as they haven't paid me for two projects I did for them. I guess you have to take the goob with the bad and decide where you draw the line.

#52 Linton Robinson

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:08 PM

Small publisher is very different thing from a self-publisher.

There is not such thing, if I may point out, as "choosing a self-publisher".

A small local outfit doing local stories is a good thing, but generally if they're amenable, the author can do it himself.

Trying to distribute to chains is a huge mistake.
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#53 T Larae

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:36 PM

I came across this and found it interesting and insightful.

http://www.guidetoli...ted Author.aspx

This Rocks. That's what I envision for my own stories. I just want to be sure I have the right formula before I venture out. One heck of a story in itself.




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