1. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Fiction previously available on web for free bought by Penguin

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BritInFrance, May 23, 2013.

    So, maybe the trad pub rules are changing.

    Many times people have said don't put stuff on the web if you want a traditional publisher to buy it.

    Apparently, if your work is good enough (or is interesting enough), this may not be the case any more.

    S.U. Pacat has announced that her web serial The Captive Prince has been bought by Penguin (you can read her announcement here: http://freece.livejournal.com/61483.html).

    Apparently, it will be released in paperback form (not just ebooks).

    Is the game changing?
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    How many followers does she have? If she has been quite successful on her own, then I can see traditional publisher wanting to cash in on the act!
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    All I have to say is that the literary agent representing this author is really, really good at negotiating.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not unheard of - same goes for publishers picking up books that have been previously published by another company or self-published. It happens. Not often - that's why it makes the news - but it happens.
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or traditional publishers are realising that their stuck-up, turn everything down, superiority complexes are biting their own asses, that new authors, saving themselves the bother of perfect QLs and MSs and even then a pile of rejection letters, would rather paddle their own canoe.

    Good luck to SU Pacat and everyone else who sticks up a finger or two to traditional publishers.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. Good, bad, or indifferent, the industry has no choice but to make peace with this new venue and its dynamics because it's not going away.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow. Guess we know who you've been listening to... :rolleyes:
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    quoi?
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, either you've been listening to those embittered authors who got their Golden Words of Glory turned down by trade publishers - or you are one of those authors. Because those are basically the only times I hear that kind of vitriol toward trade publishers. It's akin to those who say self-publishers are losers whose work isn't good enough to get a contract. There's plenty of room for both publishing routes without sniping and pettiness.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are exceptions to any 'rule'... in this case, the exceptions are so rare it makes no sense to count on being one and minimizing your chances of being published instead of maximizing them...
     
  11. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually Shadow Walker, my thoughts come from views shared here on this forum towards new writers approaching trad publishers and agents especially when defended to the hilt by published writers.

    For the record, I don't know anybody, or read remarks from, unpublished writers bitter from their experiences with publishing houses so maybe I am allowed my own personal view on the matter without having to rely on others?
     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're certainly entitled to your own view - just as I am entitled to mine. And I can only repeat - There's plenty of room for both publishing routes without sniping and pettiness. Which one chooses shouldn't be based on vitriol or misconceptions, however. It should be based on facts and from there, which route works best for that author and that book.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's hardly unheard of - it's quite common practice. You have to be selling rather well though on your own for a trad publisher to wanna nab you, and by that time you might not want it anymore lol. Although it's true, getting this lucky is like winning the jackpot - I'd still say only self-pub if that's the route you actually wanna take, and see the trad publisher as a bonus, and not the "real thing you were hoping for by self-pubbing first".
     
  14. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK time to tear that statement to shreds

    Indeed I am entitled to my view and no one said you're not.
    I agree there is room for both publishing routes.
    Snipe maybe but pettiness?
    Vitriol and misconceptions, if you are accusing my response has either please give examples.
    I'm all for whatever works best for the individual - the publisher will always do well because the house always wins.
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's definitely becoming more common. My blog was picked up by a trad publisher in 2008 and even then, there were at least 3 others on that platform who also published with the same people. It's just good business sense, '50 Shades" started as free fanfic and went on to sell millions of copies. It just goes to show that if you know how to write, no effort is wasted.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's common practice, why does it make news? Not unheard of, no - but when it stops making news, then it will be common.
     
  17. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    "their stuck-up, turn everything down, superiority complexes are biting their own asses, that new authors, saving themselves the bother of perfect QLs and MSs and even then a pile of rejection letters, would rather paddle their own canoe."

    The first part pretty well satisfies snipe, pettiness, and vitriol - the second implies new authors prefer to self-publish (misconception on two fronts, actually - the second being that trade publishers need all the new authors that want to be published.).
     
  18. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Shadowwalker, when I write something I feel strongly about I don't 'imply' anything - I come straight out and say it, rightly or wrongly and stand by my convictions.

    And if the only thing you can come back with me on is the missing word "some" as in, that some new authors, saving themselves the bother of perfect QLs and MSs and even then a pile of rejection letters, would rather paddle their own canoe, then you should probably recant.

    We had a case here recently where a writer had sent her QL and MS etc to multiple publishers and she wasn't happy when all she got back was the standard thanks but no thanks. She was, in my opinion, quite rightly irked that not one submissions editor could be bothered saying where she went wrong. She doesn't know if she screwed up her QL and her MS or chapter sample was even opened so how does she rectify things?

    This is the case of saving themselves the bother and paddling their own canoe. I am happy that publishing houses are losing that snobbery and are changing with the times, that they are recognising their alienation of a lot of good writers and are starting to bend.
     
  19. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi.

    I think what we're seeing her is an example of not so much the market changing as the entire industry. Yes these days I would expect agents and publishers both to be trawling through the lists of self pubbed works looking for their next author. It's simply good business. Of course that doesn't mean they won't be looking at people who come at them through the traditional channels, i.e. submissions etc. And it doesn't mean that every self pubbed author has any great chance of getting a deal. But look at it this way. If you're an agent / publisher your goal is to make money. Leave all the other BS behind it's about the money. And you want to be able to produce books that will sell. Ignoring the self pubbers would be limiting their potential chance of getting a top seller.

    So what they'll be looking for in my view, would be works / authors who sell reasonably but haven't hit that top tier. Those who don't sell well, i.e. most of us, are on a footing with those who submit through the traditional way. Maybe even a little worse off. We've already got a track record and it isn't lucritive. Although at the same time we've proven we can write a book. Those who have hit that top tier self pubbing also aren't going to get contracts in most cases. The reason being that they probably won't want them anyway and besides there's little extra value an agent / publisher could offer. So the price of buying such an author would be too high for the return. That doesn't mean there won't be exceptions of course and fifty shades is one of them.

    My thought is try the trade route first if that's your dream. If it's not and you think you can turn out a quality product without the need for external auditors, cover designers, marketers etc, then self pub. But don't imagine that either option is necessarily the way it's going to be for the rest of your writing career. That's one of the glorious things about this new digital age of publishing. Things change.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  20. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    It isn't a publisher's job to explain why a ms isn't suitable for their list, but if they think the writer shows promise, it's not unheard of for them to add a note of encouragement to a rejection slip,
    but why should they be expected to trawl through what is probably a large pile of unsuitable manuscripts and then take the time to explain their decision to someone who would most likely reject
    the rejection?
     
  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly. It's like sending in a job application - I know of very few employers any more who even let you know you're not hired. They just don't call you. There's no letter explaining why and what one could do to improve their chances. I don't know why writers should feel they're entitled to anything.
     

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