1. Dauracul
    Offline

    Dauracul Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0

    Self Publishing - First Publication Rights

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Dauracul, Nov 19, 2010.

    Greetings, everyone.

    I've lately been struggling with a decision on my work. I am at a crossroads between pursuing self-publishing, or going through the standard publishing route.

    Self-publishing seems to fit my intentions, for the most part. I don't intend to make money off of my work, I just want to get it out there. The cons of this option keep eating at me, though:

    1. I get the impression self-publishing is viewed as the "easy way out". The author doesn't want to deal with the hassle and time needed to get a manuscript through the obstacle course, so to speak, so they turn to something more readily capable to get the work into print. Is this the case?

    2. The title of the thread, self-publication rights. I keep reading numerous, contradictory articles on this. Sometimes they say don't self-publish, because then you will ruin your chances of ever getting signed onto a major publisher. Other ones say it's possibly a better way in the door than the standard query letter / manuscript submission process, because the book is out there getting reviews already and is less of a risk to the publisher, since they have something to go off of. A self-published novel with a lot of buzz can be picked up by a publisher and signed onto a contract, or something along those lines. I believe a similar success story in this vein was Paolini's Eragon, but I'm not too sure on the subject, and I of course realize we're not all going to be unique snowflakes like that.

    3. I have a feeling it will make me "less" of a writer. Avoiding the constant rejection and rewriting that goes into the process of getting a novel published the standard way seems to me like being spoiled, a little. As if I won't be able to truly write a good novel unless I've overcome the hardships that are thrown at me during the regular publishing process.

    With all this in mind, is the self-publishing route really as bad as I'm letting myself make it sound?
     
  2. FrankABlissett
    Offline

    FrankABlissett Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Sault, Michigan
    1) No - self-publishing is the HARD way out. The difference is that it can be quicker and more flexible. The downside is that you have to do everything yourself (or manage and pay for someone else to do it).

    2) If you self-publish, I wouldn't treat it being a way to get your book in front of publishers, but as a way of getting your name in front of publishers. If you can build up a fan-base, and show you are willing and able to promote your work, then that's always a plus when agents recommend you to publishers.

    3) I wouldn't say that. I don't believe early rejection is needed for creative development. One pitfall, however, is time. Every hour you spend interviewing potential editors, working out deals with printers, talking to bookstore managers etc it time not spent writing.

    Take this with the grain of salt that I am not in the publishing industry.

    -Frank
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ...it may be seen as 'easy' to those who consider that path, but it's really not easy at all, since first of all, it will cost a lot of money to get the books in print and sold [and usually, few to none will be sold to any but friends and family]... it will also take a lot of time and effort to promote, market and distribute the books, which most folks can't do well enough to get anywhere... generally, the books will be poorly printed with all your goofs intact, for all to see... and it won't make you a 'published author'...

    finally, most agents and publishers consider vanity-published writers not worth bothering with, if you want to try going the paying route next time...

    ...true, but that doesn't have anything to do with 'rights'... only with the fact that unless the book has sold like hotcakes, no publisher is going to want to take it on as a reprint... and as noted above, you won't be of interest to them with any future work...

    ...self-deluding nonsense, since the instances of a self-published work becoming a bestseller and being taken on by a paying press are so rare you'd have a far better chance of winning 2 powerball lotteries in a row...

    ...probably true... you don't have to try so hard to write well, if paying to have it printed, compared to needing to compete against the mountains of other submissions to agents and publishers...

    ...again, probably true... it's wise of you to realize that...

    ...i'd say yes... and most likely even worse... the only exception is if you have a non-fiction book on a subject in which you're an acknowledged authority and have a built-in market among your peers, so you'll have it sold before it's written...

    hope this helps... love and hugs, maia
     
  4. Dauracul
    Offline

    Dauracul Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input. Since I've posted this I've been leaning more towards standard publishing, since I think overall it is an experience I want to have under my belt, no matter how difficult it is.
     
  5. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    It is certainly not an easy route and to make it a success if anything you have to be a better writer, more comptetent at editing etc.

    Having said that if you are willing to graft and learn the market there have been self published successes. Especially with childrens books (Princess Poppy and Pinkie come to mind).
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    that's much easier to pull off in the uk, i suspect, than in the us...
     
  7. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I honestly don't know - but surely the ideas for marketing and selling your book would be similar. The biggest difference will be the amount you need to sell to convince a traditional publisher. Here I think the threshold is one thousand that naturally will be higher in the US (it is the amount the publisher needs to sell in order to make a profit so it might not be different). However the tradeoff will be a much bigger market - the same event I could get 45-80 here for would be doubled or tripled in the US with the same amount of effort.

    Organising events, negotiating with bookshops, getting interviews, press releases, posters, putting together websites, story times at libraries, school visits etc is similar no matter what country. I believe Princess Poppy sold something like 40,000 copies which is impressive - especially for such a bland story (my daughter loves it along with the other bubblegum books).

    The most famous self published writer would probably be Beatrix Potter but in a very different market.

    The same principles apply in any country, learn the market and work hard. If anything the larger population centres would make it easier in the US. The advantage the UK especially Scotland has is the willingness of people to support local artists and writers.

    Basically a writer just needs to do what their agent and publisher would do. I am seriously contemplating it for my current book because it is a good story, I have an editor friend willing to edit it for me (worked for a major publishing house) - however the Adult fantasy with young adult elements is going to be difficult to sell to a traditional publisher or agent. I will give it a go traditionally but have looked in to the work required to sell it self published.
     
  8. The Tall Man
    Offline

    The Tall Man New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of my favorite authors, Rhiannon Frater, self published and was recently picked up by Tor to rerelease a trilogy she wrote. However, I think she is the exception and not the rule.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    never emulate exceptions, since your chances of being one are next to nonexistent...
     

Share This Page