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European author looking for feedback about whether to self-publish


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#1 mwsinclair

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 10:12 AM

I am posting this in a couple spots (already up in the nonfiction forum) for a European author who's unable to register for the site due to the persistent Captcha problems.
 
This is from Helder. Any feedback would be appreciated.
 
 
I have a non-fiction book published by a publisher in my country (in Europe) in our native non-english language. We have a contract that lasts for 3 years more that states that, if a foreign publisher gets interested in publishing my work (translated into english), then my local publisher has to negotiate with it. I was debating whether I self-publish (I can do that, as that does not violate my contract), or whether I send the manuscript to Literary Agents in the US to try to publish traditionally with a publisher. But the thing is that I think most agents would not be interested, once they know that I still have a contract with my local publisher, and so it wouldn't be so comercially appealing for the parties involved (namely the american publisher and the agent). Am I correct in this assertion?
 
In the meantime I am leaning towards self-publishing anyway because of this, but I still would be very grateful to hear people's feedback, especially if anyone had experience publishing their translated work in the US or the UK.


#2 lnloft

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 08:35 PM

I mean, I am absolutely no expert, but if you've had any sort of moderate success in sales, then I don't know that it would be unappealing for the American agents. If an agent looks at me (never published), they taking a complete gamble on whether things will sell. But if they know you've already had sales with this other publisher, then it might be worth the hassle to negotiate because they can extrapolate that sales will continue and you're a safer bet. I know quite a few agents and publishers take care of the international sales, though, often already having established overseas partners. Have you checked with your publisher if they do something of the sort as well? Save yourself the hassle if it's available.

 

Other than that, though, I have to ask, what do you have to lose by at least trying to query American agents for at least a little while? If you set yourself a time frame or a certain number of queries to send out, you could try it for a time and see if anyone bites, and if at the end of your period no one has offered, you could go self-publishing. Other than time and sanity (and I would argue that most of us don't have much of the latter, anyway), it won't cost you anything to try.


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#3 mwsinclair

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 02:30 PM

Helder replied through my email:
 

I thought it was quite good advice and that I might do just that. I'll give it some months to see if agents could indeed be interested. I have never seen it from that perspective actually but she might be right!






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