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Should I strive to be traditionally published or should I go the indie and/or e-publishing route?


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#21 mwsinclair

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:35 PM

Yes, RC, a very good point that hadn't crossed my mind.

#22 AQCrew

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:25 AM

One thing to keep in mind if you go for the Both route:

If you get to the point of signing a traditional publishing contract and still intend to self-publish other (unrelated) works, you need to make sure your agent negotiates the contract with the proper wording to allow that. There's often a non-competition clause that would need to be taken out or carefully modified. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a sticky mess.


Yes, any publishing contract that you are offered will always be skewed in a way that's most beneficial to the publisher and they will try to "own you" in all ways possible.

Unless you -- or your agent -- is savvy enough to re-negotiate it, and all the other various "we own you" angles.

Definitely one of the perils of signing a boiler-plate publishing contract offered by a major or mid-sized publisher without GOOD agent representation (and yes, you can actually get these deals without an agent if you network directly with editors at conferences, through referrals, direct submissions, etc.), and/or even choosing to go the small indie publisher route unless you've been around the block and understand rights and non-competes and even the benefits of using LLCs to control and manage your intellectual property, so that it's not "you" but your company entering into a business contract.

#23 patskywriter

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:35 AM

Excellent advice given for those of us who would like to try both routes! The main reason I decided to move my hyperlocal book to the front of the line is because I would like to see firsthand what it's like to publish my own book. I honestly can't imagine a big publisher being interested in marketing a locally focused book in a small city. (And for kids yet!) I would consider this book a natural outgrowth of my community paper, radio show, freelance photography, and local DJ work.

However, my nonfiction book is another story. Because the subject matter is pretty universal: "regular" folks caring for Alzheimer's patients at home, I'm definitely going to need some help getting it to the thousands of people around the country who need this information. My success in publishing and selling a book locally might even show a bigtime agent or publisher that I'm a go-getter and not someone who expects "someone else" to get the word out about my book. Maybe, just maybe. We'll see. …
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#24 Peter Burton

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:38 AM

Also it wouldn't hurt to remind ourselves that publishing by either route is much harder today than it used to be.

There is far more work on the author's part today, if they want an even chance to succeed. Traditional publishers do not promote, or advertise as hard as they use to for a new property. The money simply isn't there to justify the risk. It's even harder in the self-publishing arena. Either, way it is going to be up to the writer to gather their audience.

Lit just put up an excellent blog about rushing to publish that all AQCers should read.

Writing has turned into a self-employed business, no matter which route you take. And, just like any business owner, you are going to have to wear many hats to make a go of it.

"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

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#25 drm

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

I'm new to this site so I hope I'm posting correctly. I've completed my first novel after working on it for 8 years, the last year pretty concentrated. A writer/teacher who mentored me gave me the name of a publisher. He was very interested so upon completion I sent it to him. In a pretty fast turn-around, he rejected it. But he said I was a beautiful writer. okay then. So here I am, wanting to know how to even find an agent. Someone here said something about agent blogs? How do I find them? Where are agent submission guidelines posted? I'm also looking into e-pub., but am willing to put in the work to try for traditional pub. I'd appreciate a go-to source reference to find out about getting agent info. Thanks.

#26 minkypinky

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

I am planning to publish my own book as well. And by going through all the post you guys gave me some superb idea. There are so many effective points. It is an honor to get advised from the experienced people like you all.
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#27 Joey

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

Great thread and fascinating food for thought.

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#28 Edge

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:58 PM

I recently published my first book, "Racing the Reaper" on through Createspace.com and also on Amazon.com. Self publishing was a good fit for me personally. I like the fact that I control everything about my book, including the pricing. I was a little leery about how good the book would look in paperback, but I was pleasantly surprised when I received the first copy. They nice thing also, it was all done for free. They get 30% royalty but they were extremely helpful and made the process as easy as possible. Just my two cents worth.

 

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#29 shawnrohrbach

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:51 PM

I've always wanted to traditionally publish because I thought that was the way to get famous, by joining one of the Big 6 and getting my books on the New York Times Bestselling List. But now I keep hearing about indie publishing and e-publishing and how its so much better. Can someone take the time out to help explain what all of this is about to a hapless hopeful writer?

Vince Flynn, who recently passed away at 47, self published his first novel, a thriller, and he subsequently sold over 12 million books world wide after getting a multi book deal following the sales of the self published first.  Don't rule anything out.


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#30 ericthomas810

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 11:07 PM

Self publishing is REALLY good for your first couple. If you've written a best seller, they'll find you.

Self publishing is a great way to get honest feedback from people who aren't your friends. The act of writing itself is good, but hearing criticism from customers makes you better

#31 RC Lewis

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:22 AM

That's one route, and it definitely works for some.

 

Myself, I'm glad I didn't self-publish my first couple, though I seriously considered it for a long while. The thing is, once you publish (whether yourself or through a publisher), you have a track record and are building a reputation. If I'd done that with my not-quite-as-ready-as-I-thought-they-were early efforts, I'm not sure that track record would be one I want. Then I'd have choices to make. I could suck it up and live with that track record. I could take those early books down and pretend it never happened ... but the internet has a long memory, and I couldn't do anything about reviews posted on people's blogs. Or I could start from scratch with a new pen name.

 

Viable options, and nothing saying any of them would be the end of the world. But I'm glad I took the time to improve my skills out of the public eye.

 

My personal philosophy (and no one has to share it) is that readers aren't critique partners, and reader reviews aren't for me—they're for other readers to help them decide whether they want to read that book. Reader reviews are often full of things they liked and didn't like, which isn't actually the same as whether I did something well or poorly. I would be wary of letting them steer me very far.

 

It's my job to work hard with CPs and even professional editors before readers set eyes on my writing. A good CP will give you honest feedback ... even if you consider that CP your friend.


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#32 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:46 PM

Thank you so much for pinning this! Last I heard publishers and agents wanted nothing to do with people who self published. So this is very exciting news! It's really helped me decide what road to take. I'll be trying for the "Big 6" at first. I've always wanted to see the Del Rey name on my books, but if it's not to be that's ok.

If I get a bunch of rejections letters, then it will be self publish for me in the hopes to build an audience and get recognized that way. My thoughts anyway. :happy:


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#33 AMK

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:06 PM

I'm just popping in to say WOW. One doesn't find such immediate, precise, kind, open-minded help in every industry. This thread makes me so proud to be an AQCer. *clapping*



#34 Andrea Lambert

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 03:53 PM

Much like they say in AA, there is "an easier, softer way," than just top 6 agented publication or self-publishing. The magic words are small press. Small presses are usually run by individuals or small collectives, and they take much more fringe, edgy stuff. Really the best stuff out there is being published on small presses right now. And there's like a billion of them. The issue is finding out about them (usually they have a website), or a resource like getting the Small Press Distribution emails can familiarize you with them.

 

Small presses don't require agents they take direct submissions, an you don't have to pay them to publish your book. They will usually take care of cover art and editing too. The big caveat is, they rarely pay you, and if they do it's not very much. But it will get your book out there on Amazon and available to the world with ll of the subsequent prestige except you didn't have to bother to get an agent. Personally, I love them. Published my first two books that way.

 

Also, it's not unheard of for a small press author after laboring in the trenches for years to finally get a big book deal and have the big publisher buy up and release your back catalog. That's my dream.


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