1. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life

    Am I moving too fast?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Ulramar, May 10, 2014.

    So my manuscript is just about done. I've done all the editing possible for the writer (the writer can only pick up so much about the faults) to do and multiple people are reading bits of it for me to edit.

    On monday I'm calling a representative of Author Solutions LLC (owned by Penguin) to have a talk about self publishing and whether or not that's the best option for me.

    So here's the problem: I want to write more. My current manuscript is part of a series of 6 books. The original, a prequel, and four sequels. I've polished of the manuscript as far as I think I can take it, but I still feel like it's not done. But I want to write more. I want to get moving on the other stories.

    And I'm split too. I have friends and family saying a whole mix of things. Some are saying that I should move on the other books so I have more to add and faster. Others say I should re-read and re-read and polish as much as I can.

    So, from a writer's perspective, what should I do?
     
  2. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Make the first book as best as it be, both grammar-wise and story-wise, and make sure it can stand alone as a novel. Get some honest feedback on the quality of your ms. That's the only thing you need to do right now. Don't get ahead of yourself.

    I've seen a few self-published writers start series and not finish them because the feedback wasn't all that encouraging. Some even have half-finished sequels that they have no intention of finishing because the feedback has put them off writing all together. Don't rush it.
     
  3. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia
    I think that you should move to the next book, when you think there's nothing more you can do to improve the book you're currently writing. That doesn't mean to stop listening others, of course. If people offer you advices on final version (even though you think of it as finished) with which you agree and think that are justified, edit the book a little bit more. But don't transform editing into an excuse for not publishing (in case if you are scared a bit). :)
     
  4. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    I'm not scared at all. I've asked people, "Would you buy this in a store?" And 5/6 said that they would. That one that said no said it wasn't her genre, so I understand that. They all love the premise and think I have a unique voice and style. So I'm fairly confident. I'm taking everyone's ideas into consideration.

    But of course, until I can get a real editor or someone who's confident in editing, I'm done with it. I won't publish until I hit that step of course. So I'll move on. Thank you for the responses.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  5. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Ulrmar,
    As an additional data point, Author Solutions is embroiled in a class action lawsuit , the allegations include breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violation of state statutes in California, New York, and Colorado.

    Since at times links are frowned upon here, you can Google search the name of the publisher and class action lawsuit. One of the early links would be the Writer Beware blog, which is considered pretty reputable. Of course, they are allegations. I don't know what the fees are for going with Author Solutions, but it might be better to consider hiring an editor and cover artist and such if you intend to self-publish. On average you might do far better with cost and the amount in royalties you'd earn from sales of your work.

    As far as what you intend to do (move on to another novel or not), you've decided so I won't chime in on that.

    Good luck as you move forward.
     
    Ulramar likes this.
  6. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Yeah, I'd run, not walk, away from Author Solutions. A lot of companies are pretending to be self-publishing "service" companies, but are just re-dressed vanity publishers. They charge you to do the things you could either do yourself for little or no money and many times never end up doing those things anyway. There are legitimate companies to self-publish through (Createspace, Lulu, etc) but you really need to investigate any company before you sign anything.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Frowned on links would be those directly to the sight with the main purpose of driving business there. Links to relevant news sources or things we should know about publishers is another animal.

    Here's the actual complaint, keep in mind this is one sided, it's not the court's findings, only the accusation. But it sounds like they are calling the entity a vanity publisher.

    http://www.victoriastrauss.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AuthorSolutionsFirst-Amended-Complaint_7.19.2013.pdf

    I can't copy paste it so people will have to read for themselves.

    Forbe's report on the suit.

    Looks like some pretty important stuff to know:
    Publisher's Weekly's article on it.

    There's some additional information here.
     
  8. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    1,063
    Location:
    England
    Regarding moving on to the next story, if there's something in your head to do with the next bit and you need to get it out, then get it out and put it to one side, that way you will be able to go back to working on the publication (sp or tp) aspect of the finished one, giving it your full attention and the bit you got out of your head will still be there waiting for you.

    Of course, all the ideas above are good too but only you can decide which way forward is the best for you.

    Good luck with it all xx
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    that's their listing on p&e... always check preditors & editors and writer beware first...

    from a writer's perspective, if you want to be a professional novelist, i don't see why you'd want to self-publish... my best advice is to see if your first [must be] 'stand alone' book can interest an agent and a traditional [paying] publisher...

    if it does and it sells well, the publisher will be up for the sequels/series... if not, you'll have saved a lot of wasted time over writing them all before you know if anyone will buy them...

    self-publishing novels, despite what many want to believe, will still brand you an amateur whose work isn't good enough to interest agents and paying publishers... so why settle for starting at the bottom, instead of reaching for the top?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    matwoolf likes this.
  10. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    1,063
    Location:
    England
    Good points but I don't think all readers look at self-publishing as amateur. In fact, with the advent of Kindle and other ereaders that allow writers to self publish easily, I doubt if all readers out there would even have sp/tp on their list of considerations when choosing their next book.

    I do know a handful that do, I also know more than a handful that don't.
     
  11. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    ^ Have to agree - I don't think readers, for the most part, even understand the difference between self and trade publishing. They check out a book and if they like it, they look for more by that author, regardless of how it's published. Now, as there are more and more articles about self-publishing in mainstream media and as more readers maybe get burned by those writers who really shouldn't publish at all, that may change, but I really don't think most readers care at this point.
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  12. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Wow, this thread blew up when I wasn't here but thanks for all the responses.

    On the Author Solutions running not walking away thing, I'll call just to hear him out. The guy may not be helpful in practice but I'm sure I can leach info out of him about self-publishing. I won't work with them, but info is great.

    On the self-publishing over traditional-publishing: I'm 16 years old. This is my first real work. I'm planning to pitch to real publishers, but will they take me seriously given my age? Will agents take me? I'm looking at crazy college tuition in my near future so ANY money I can get is great and I don't have years to wait for an agent/publisher. "

    I am an amateur writer. I won't pretend that I'm a professional. I'd love to be a professional novelist and stay at home and write all day and go to book signings and travel around marketing and stuff like that, but that's all in my dreams. That probably won't happen (although I'll welcome it). That's why I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll probably self-publish most likely.

    And I write my work for fun (I'm hoping money will flow from it). It's a hobby that might sprout some money. So if I end up writing these fruitless sequels, I'm fine with that. Because I can still say that I've written multiple books, published or not. So I'll polish and spit shine, but I do want to move on. I've got not much else to do with my time, so back to writing is the only direction I have.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  13. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Ulramar,

    No one will know your age unless you reveal it to them. Whether your work is accepted for representation by an agent and/or accepted by an editor will be based upon its quality and potential to garner a large readership. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will find a quality agent to represent your work or a publisher, even if you do find an agent. And if you go for a publisher, directly there is no guarantee of finding a publisher. And even if your work is published, no promise of success and/or further contracts. But, back to the point, until it comes time for contracts, that is the only time you age may become an issue, and that can be worked around. It may be that the publisher/agent feel your youth is an advantage. In any case, it's the novel you write and your professionalism that will determine the path.

    If you intend to self-publish and just 'get your work out there' with no plan to market and promote, and, beyond that, don't intend to continue to write and improve while doing this, and publish more works, your chances of success, other than garnering several handfuls of readers beyond family and friends, is slim...very slim.

    When your work is published (either by a publisher or self) it is one of thousands and thousands and thousands, each vying for readership and attention. A publisher can help with this (they're invested in the project).

    In truth, for most individuals, the time put into writing, if spent on a minimum wage job, would earn more money. And if that's one of the main motivations (college tuition), while it may work out, it's not something to count on.
     
    minstrel, Ulramar and sunsplash like this.
  14. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    I don't intend to just 'get my work out there'. I'd fight for it. I've got a reach of about 20,000 people that I can market to, all across the country. I could put the word out.

    And of course I want a traditional publisher. That's the whole goal here. Because they can help market too and that's important. But I don't know, from what I'm seeing from those links posted above, all of the publishers are out for themselves and are willing to push around the writers. That doesn't sound fun.

    And hopefully age won't matter, but won't an agent ask when in negotiations?

    I'm willing to wait years to put my work out there. I'll wait however long it takes. But I am antsy and I'm worried.

    I'm not sure how the whole publishing process works (I mean I do but it's so messy), and self-publishing is so defined.
     
  15. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Reputable publishers are not out to push around writers. Those links are sites which warn writers about disreputable companies.

    Publishers want successful writers, and want those successful writers to stay with them and not go to some other publisher. But publishing is a business and deals with contracts - and anybody dealing with contracts needs to know how to read them, how to understand them, and how to negotiate them. Which is why it's advisable to have an agent. Most writers I see complaining about their contracts are those who didn't read, understand, and/or negotiate.

    Also - do not self-publish because you don't understand trade publishing. You aren't going to earn enough to deal with your school costs anyway, so take the time to learn about both methods before making any decision.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  16. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Trade publishing is scary. That's why I'm pushing towards self.
     
  17. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Job interwievs are also scary, but if you succeed on one, it was worth trying, right? :)
     
    Ulramar likes this.
  18. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    "
    1. The first three chapters of your book, prepared in standard manuscript format on white paper. (If your chapters are really short or really long, or you don't use chapter breaks, you may send the first 40-60 pages of your book, provided you stay under 10,000 words.) The submitted text must be made up of consecutive pages and should end at the end of a paragraph, not in mid-sentence. Standard manuscript format means margins of at least 1 inch all the way around; indented paragraphs; double-spaced text; and Courier or Times Roman in 10 or 12 pitch. Please use one side of the page only and do not justify the text. Do not bind the manuscript in any way. Make sure the header of the ms. includes either your name or the title of the book and the page number (on every page).
    2. A synopsis of the entire book. The synopsis should include all important plot elements, especially the end of the story, as well as aspects of character development for your main characters. The synopsis should run between three and ten pages in standard manuscript format.
    3. A dated cover letter that includes your name and contact information and the title of the submitted work. Briefly tell us what genre or subgenre the submission falls into and mention any qualifications you have that pertain to the work. Please list any previous publications in paying markets.
    4. A self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope for our reply letter. Unfortunately, it's no longer possible for us to return submissions due to a change in postal service policy that requires packages weighing more than a pound be mailed at a post office. Since we use a company mailroom rather than a post office, when we try to return submissions, they are sent back to us by the postal service or disappear in transit. We recycle your proposals. (That's not a euphemism for being tossed in a wastebasket--we recycle all white paper.) If you live outside the United States, please go to http://www.usps.com/onlinepostage to see internet postage options. If you do not include an SASE, you will not receive a reply at all."

      Pulled right from MacMillan's website on how to submit writing. That's the scariest thing I've ever read in my life.

      HINT: I'm a socially awkward person so any contact with people is scary.
     
  19. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    You're going to be going to college. Your professors will give you the parameters for any/all papers submitted to them. If you can't handle the above publisher's requirements (which, if looked at step by step, are not that difficult), how on earth are you going to make it through college?
     
  20. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Many people who really are trying in college make it. They can pass and graduate. I don't want to throw a number out, but those who try and make it through the first year will graduate. That's almost an absolute.

    But with writing, you can try your hardest and be serious and stick it out all the way into finishing the work, and still get rejected. That's what's so scary about those parameters. Not what's actually there. I can handle that.
     
  21. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Then the publisher's guidelines have nothing to do with anything. What you're worried about is rejection - and every single writer who's been published has been rejected, whether it's from agents or publishers - or readers.
     
  22. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,970
    Likes Received:
    5,494
    I consider self publishing to be far, far more scary than trade publishing. And vanity publishing is absolutely terrifying.

    Remember that if you self publish your book, you are pretty much eliminating any chance that that book has to ever be traditionally published. You are using up the first publication rights, and those rights are important to a publisher.

    If you're willing to wait, wait. Polish the book. And when it's polished, start submitting it to agents.

    If you insist on self-publishing it, at least make it true self-publishing, where you own the rights, the copyright, everything. If you allow a vanity publisher to publish it, you may as well throw it away. It will be ruined for traditional publishers, and you won't have clear rights over it to republish it yourself. You might not even have full rights to subsequent works with the same setting and characters. Make absolutely sure that whoever you are considering is not a vanity publisher.

    A salesman is unlikely to tell you how to do the services that he's trying to tell you, for yourself.
     
  23. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Not to mention that, unless you want to throw away your book, you then have to spend time and money on being the publisher. If you aren't willing to do this, and doing it right, you might just as well post it online on a blog.
     
  24. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Alright, I'll polish then bring it to a publisher. How many rejections do I take before turning to self publishing? Or just don't self publish if I'm serious?
     
  25. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    You can go either route, if you're serious. Self-publishing will require out of pocket expenses (cover/editing, maybe formatting), so you'll be in the hole, and if you're really seeking money for college funds, then you'll have to really hustle to have a chance to earn it back. If you go with a subsidy/vanity publisher, you'll really be in the hole for the fees they charge. The more traditional route won't cost you anything (unless postage is required), but it will take time to properly research and submit and the process can be long with no promise of success. You'll have to research to find artists/editors and such via self-publishing, so there's not a net loss in time there.

    In truth, there is no 'easy' way to be a successful author. All ways require skill, hard work, talent, time, persistence, and a little bit of luck.
     

Share This Page