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Indie Press vs Self Publishing

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#1 Faltho



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Posted 28 September 2017 - 06:36 AM

So, I'm just now beginning the query process for my second novel, and so far have had a bit of movement request wise. However, due to self-doubt that we all seem to be born with, I'm planning for the eventual rejection of this project by every agent.


That being said, I was curious how agents feel about a history of indie press publishing verses self publishing. Is there a difference to them? Also, for those indie presses which just go through Amazon's KDP (seems to be the majority), is there much of a reason to go through most of them and share the potential profits?

#2 NCruz


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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:10 PM

Keep your chin up. Publishing is a rough road paved with countless rejections. You just need one yes. You might need another project to find it, but it's out there.
Regardless if you self publish or go through a small press, any agent interested in your project will want to know your sales because you are no longer a debut. If you don't have a shiny status, publishers would want you to have an established fanbase that can bring in profit. However, according to Suzie Townsend, if you re-launch under another name, you become a debut again.
If you have terrible sales, you can save yourself in your query with a sentence like "I self-published SO AND SO in 2014, but am willing to re-launch under a new name." I use a similar line in my queries. I don't know if my publishing history has negatively affected my request rate. My shelved project is still getting requests, and my new project is starting off strong. I think I'm okay.

#3 smithgirl



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Posted 21 January 2018 - 08:55 PM

That's interesting about starting with a new name. I didn't know that. Thanks, Nessa.

#4 writeright


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Posted 27 January 2018 - 07:35 AM

I published under a small press too. My NINE series-YA/Sci-Fi, did well, considering my publisher was fairly new and did not have the marketing/promotion resources to do it justice. There are some advantages: Your book comes out much faster, you have more control over the title. cover, etc. One-on-one contact and attention was wonderful too. Disadvantages: Almost EVERY book signing was booked by me. Barnes and Noble would buy way too many books thinking they would sell, then send them back to my publisher when they didn't because they don't have the storage space. This alone created a financial burden on my publisher, who is currently closed to all submissions and revamping his business. Therefore, I am seeking an agent for my new project. The easiest answer to your question? If you want to sell a TON of books, you need an agent and a larger publisher, provided your novel catches on. If you want to sell thousands, a small press will do. Hope that helps. NINE, SOULLESS, and FAITHLESS by D.M. King 

#5 mwsinclair


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Posted 30 January 2018 - 12:40 PM

Nessa makes good points, and this is a good discussion.


Ultimately, each author needs to have in mind what success means. For some, it's simply seeing their name in print or being able to claim "published" status. They don't care about sales. From my perspective as the owner of a small press, I can understand and work with that, but all publishers want to have books that build an audience of eager readers.


I agree with writeright, too, that it's best for those who are aiming high to have an agent to help direct them. Think of agents as the guidance system on a rocket. You can still explode on the launch pad, but you'll get nowhere fast without a proper guidance system.


FWIW, I think independent authors can find value both in the KDP system and by publishing widely. And you can remove books you launch in KDP Select and publish widely after the initial launch. Exclusivity needn't be forever.

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