1. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Does self-publishing hurt your chances for commercial publishing?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Thomas Kitchen, Nov 19, 2012.

    Hello all,

    This is the first post I've written on here and is probably the most dominant thought constantly entering my mind.

    I am nigh on completing my first novel and I am wanting to get it published commercially, if that would be at all possible. However, if about a year passes and I have no luck in this endeavour, I would almost definitely consider self-publishing, although I would be willing to spend money to bring the book up to a high standard. But what I'm asking is this: If I go on self-publishing these books (I'm planning a trilogy) and then try again commercially in the future with a different novel, would publishers mind that I self-published before that? Would it hurt my chances in any way? (and I do mean any way!)

    Hopefully I have explained myself well enough for everyone to understand; any help would be very much appreciated. :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Self-publishing in and of itself won't hurt you. It won't necessarily help, but it won't hurt. Now, having said that, if the book(s) you self-publish sell abysmally (or not at all), or are full of editing problems - that might be a red flag for publishers. But from all I've read (from authors, agents, editors, and others connected with publishers) they look at what's in front of them.

    ETA: Your book should be edited to the highest quality before you send it out to publishers, not after.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Thanks so much for your input - it's the answer that I needed to put my mind to rest! :D
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just don't mention that you've self-pubbed when querying agents... for some, that's tantamount to telling them to toss your query and add your name to their 'return all mail unopened' list...

    and, to be on the safe side, use a nom de plume for your s/b stuff, in case they routinely google supplicants...
     
  5. singphantom7
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    singphantom7 Banned

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    I have struggled with the same question. I am currently working on my second YA novel (the first one having never seen the light of publication, and for good reason). I've written about it on my blog, and I'm determined to see this second novel published, whether I find a small publishing house that wants to take a risk on me or whether I do it myself. Honestly, I won't be picky. If I believe in my work I'll stand behind it and put it out there if no one else will.

    I've researched all over the placed and I've found a few places that look great when it comes to self-publishing. There are big places that allow digital e-book publishing for little or no cost, like Amazon or lulu.com. That's not to say I wouldn't want to pay an editer to look at my work first, because it is always important to have a pair of eyes go over your work that aren't too close to it.

    Listen to me. I could go on and on. I should just get around to finishing my novel, right? Good luck to you!

    Holly
     
  6. DDNeal
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    DDNeal Member

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    It's good to get a interested and dedicated audiance first. I've started a blog site for story writing. I'm using a story line and universe that isn't my #1 idea for a book series, but I want to start building a following. If you have a couple thousand people already following your writing and you approach a publisher they'll be a little warmer to signing you.
     
  7. johann77
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    johann77 Member

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    I know with some fiction short story contests, they dont care if you all ready published on the web.
     
  8. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    I agree that self-publishing would not help gain consideration, and mentioning it in a query would be bad form.

    But, mammamaia, is there a logical reason that having self-published should be held against someone? It seems like it should logically be irrelevant. The agent should evaluate what is before them. Why would they go researching your background for speeding tickets, self-published works, and other minor indiscretions?

    This assumes, of course, that one is not offering the agent the work that has previously been self-published.
     
  9. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I envy you your ethusiasm guys. Not that there is no novel in my drawer, but I soon realized how incredibly much one has to
    learn - not for a novel to be published - but rather for a reasonable writing style to be developed. Piling up 350 pages is not what makes for a good novel...
    I don't want to rain on your parade, but see what you find on this forum. You'll **** bricks.
     

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