1. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    Controversial publishers

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by General Daedalus, Aug 26, 2015.

    I'm about a third of the way through my novel, over 160000 characters (yay) and I'm starting to think about publishers. My issue is that I'm only 16, so people generally don't take me seriously when I talk about my writing, but I strongly believe that I will be able to get published. My book is entertaining, insightful, and deals with multiple social issues. But it is very offensive. There is quite some use of profanity, relatively detailed sex scenes and the MC is a racist, alcoholic, gambling-addicted degenerate who womanises his way through the plot.

    I definitely don't want to go down the self-publishing route because of my past experience with it. I have already published a small guide book, maybe around 20000 pages long, on Kindle, yet failed to sell many copies of it. I didn't market it, truthfully, and it was a very specific niche, but either way I just want to avoid it. I also like the notion of having an agent, even if it's just so my family take me seriously.

    I realise that you also have to market your book when going down the traditional publishing method, but it's the advance which is reeling me in- I desperately need a car since I'm starting sixth form next week, and my plan is to finance one with the publisher's advance- provided that my work if accepted, of course.

    Anyhow, my question is a matter of agents and publishers- does anyone know of any who would accept controversial work? I am writing for an adult demographic of mixed gender, probably more suited for men, and I need a publisher who isn't afraid to share work which may be deemed offensive. The purpose of my novel is to show how easily racism and sexism can spread through society by utilising humour- my MC gets stuck in dodgy sexual encounters, drunk bar fights, etc. which all contribute to these themes of social issues. But I present it in a funny way, so you side with the MC, even though he is generally in the wrong. It's a way of showing why we fall into the trap of not speaking out and overlooking such matters.

    But I digress, if anyone knows of any such publishers, then please let me know. Thanks,

    -Josh.
     
  2. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    What country are you in? I'm definitely no expert on how publishers work, but I would imagine in the United States it would be difficult to promote a book with detailed sex scenes that were written by a minor. I could be very wrong on that, so don't take my word as the gospel.
     
  3. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    I'm in the UK actually, you're probably right about the US though.
     
  4. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Ah okay, see then I am completely oblivious to how it would be done over there. Again, even here may answer could be wrong. It's just a guess on my part.
     
  5. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    If you have serious expectation of financing a car with novel publishing, particularly on timescales smaller than a couple of years, you're in for a bit of a dream-busting. Publishing takes a LONG time, even if you're writing the best novels ever written, and you'd better be doing exactly that of you're after an advance as a debut author.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The publishing industry is continually evolving, so the advice you get today could well be obsolete tomorrow. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn all of the aspects of the publishing industry. It's no longer a matter of either traditional or self. There are publishers here in the US who will handle production, distribution and promotion of the book but the author bears some of the costs. They call it partnership publishing, and I recently met a couple of newly published writers who had gone that route. In some cases, the author pays his/her share up front, and in others a share of the author's royalties is deducted.

    If you plan on going the traditional route - finding an agent who will then find you a publisher - I think you're biggest problem will be fighting the perception of a teen trying to write a novel for and about adults. If they know your age, they may automatically assume that your work is or should be YA or NA. I can tell you from experience that battling that perception can be difficult. Agents and editors love to target specific market niches, so genre is important. However, there are agents out there who specifically are looking for genre-bending material. I'd start with those.

    Good luck.
     

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