1. thomas12345
    Offline

    thomas12345 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Self-publishing then looking for a publisher?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by thomas12345, Feb 26, 2012.

    I have a book I'm interested in publishing. Is it a bad idea to self-publish then seek out a 3rd party publisher? I just want to get something out there while I pitch my book to publishing agencies.

    Register to remove this ad

  2. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Senior Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I'm not an expert but I don't know if anyone would pay you to be able to publish it if it's already published and available for a lot less than a traditionally published book would cost, unless it was a huge success and selling enormously.
  3. TheWritingWriter
    Offline

    TheWritingWriter New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    A little to the left
    From what I understand, publishers don't want to touch your stuff even if you post it on a website or something, but it's not like I'm hearing this at tea time from publishers. I'm just getting that from hear-say.
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    18,902
    Likes Received:
    710
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    the only time a paying publisher would be interested in taking on an already self-published book, is if it's selling off the charts and still has huge untapped sales market potential... that hardly ever happens with fiction, not that often with non-fiction, either...

    so, if you want to submit it to traditional [paying] presses, for heaven's sake, don't put it 'out there'!... plus, it's almost always best to get an agent and let the agent do the submitting, instead of approaching publishers directily... the best ones don't even look at unagented queries and don't allow unagented submissions...
  5. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    16,268
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Simply put, that will not work.

    The default position is that a traditional publisher will not touch something which has been self-published. It will be cursed, marked. The only exception would be where a self-published book has made a lot of money and already has a very proven following and track record (G.P. Taylor's Shadowmancer comes to mind, or Paolini's dreadful fantasy books).

    The problem with SP is there is no quality filter. With traditional publishing, a manuscript has to go through a submissions process, an editing process, and heavy marketing. There's none of that with SP, so it's all on you. You have to be quality control (which, when you're so close to a piece, is not easy), and marketing (which is a lot of hard work). If you're willing to put the effort in to make it a success, then there is a chance that SP can work. But from what you've said, you see it simply as a short cut to traditional publishing. Which, I'm afraid, isn't going to happen.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    399
    From what I understand and hear around this forum, publishers don't wanna know about anything that's already been published in whatever form. They want first publishing rights, to have the latest, most exciting stuff - why would they market something that's already "old"? And if it's been "out there", then it's old, because people have seen it, been able to read it for free, so why oh why would the readers wanna pay £8.99 for the same book when they could get it on their kindles for 99p? Wouldn't make sense for the publisher to touch your book, unless it's selling off the charts, as previous users have said, but then, you wouldn't want a publisher at that point because then they take some of your profit and you will have no need to have a publisher who'd only take money from you.

    If you really want to "get something out there" - write some short stories or something and submit to writing competitions and literary magazines and the likes. You'll get your stuff out there, but it wouldn't be your novel, which means no harm or risk would come to it.
  7. Nakhti
    Offline

    Nakhti Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    16
    Self publish or approach a traditional publishing house. Not both.
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    18,902
    Likes Received:
    710
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    if it's fiction, i'd change that to: self-publish, or get an agent...

    approaching publishers on your own greatly limits your chances, since most of the best ones won't accept submissions from unagented writers...
  9. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Senior Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,971
    Likes Received:
    95
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    What is the goal or purpose for 'getting something out there'? As has been stated, with fiction it'll be even more difficult to attract an agent/publisher for a self-published venture unless it sells big and shows no sign of dropping off.

    See, if nothing else the 'easy' sales--to friends, family, associates, and their first line of contacts will have already been made. Maybe that equals 25 or 50 sales or 100 to 400? What then? Flat or no sales or word of mouth to build from.

    Nothing moves fast in publishing--unless you self-publish, and even then, doing it right tales time--getting a piece properly edited, obtaining/preparing cover art and titlework, getting reviews lined up and so much more takes time. And then marketing a self-pubbed work is time consuming too. It takes time to build readership, while writing that next piece.

    The odds of simply publishing a piece and putting it out on Amazon (print and/or electronci) and Smashwords and B&N (print and/or electronic) itunes Kobo, etc., and it attracting readers all on it's own is near impossible.

    If you're looking to find a publisher...write the best novel you can, present it professionally, exactly as the agent/publisher requests, and while you're waiting and submitting it, write something new.

    Good luck!
  10. RyanBushell
    Offline

    RyanBushell New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's interesting. To tarnish or not to tarnish that is the question. I think the stagnant slush pile is dead. The future, for me, is a symbiotic relationship. You self-publish a few things to drum up some interest in your future work. When the agents/publishers inevitably pick you up for being super talented you release a few books with them, taking you further mainstream. Once you have the popularity in place you can intermittently self-publish your own work again - If you sell on your own website with say 'sellfy' your looking at say 95% of the royalty (or smashwords and amazon about 70%). We will hold the cards not the publishers, in fact I can see it coming to a point where having to traditionally publish would be detrimental to your bank balance. Publishers will be no more than an expensive middle man and who cares if a middle man thinks you're tarnished.
  11. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    What I have heard is that self-published novels are not that big of a deal to a publisher. Most post to treat self-published novels like a generic manuscript.
    It is the writers choice to post what we want of our own work.
    When in doubt, just give it a shot. If they are interested you can easily remove it from all self-publishing websites with a couple clicks.
  12. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    283
    But again, the problem is getting publishers interested in something that has already been published. It doesn't matter if you can remove the book or not - you've published it.
  13. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    18,902
    Likes Received:
    710
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    huh?
  14. shiva777
    Offline

    shiva777 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm finishing up my first novel and leaning heavily towards self publishing. I'm wondering what a small publisher would do for me that I can't do on my own? I have two excellent editors/copywriters/readers, I know how to market on the Internet, how to format the book (for createspace), created my own cover (I'm a graphic designer). Given that it might take a year or longer to even get recognized by a publisher, then another year or two to get published, then I have to give them a large cut, it seems to make more sense to me to self publish. Anything I'm missing?
  15. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Senior Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I have always been thinking that I want to be published the traditional way or not at all, but these last days I have actually given this some thought. Many people where I live start their own publishing company, print their own books and sell them to bookstores and through their websites, and after considering some parts- and obligations- of traditional publishing I might even consider it one day, if I don't get them published the normal way. For the first time I'm starting to see the positive sides of it.
  16. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    283
    Upfront costs to you rather than the publisher. Time spent being the publisher versus being the writer. No advance. No presence in brick/mortar stores (possible exception - local stores). No hardcover/paperback without additional costs.
  17. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    88
    Traditional publishers may well not publish you bricks and mortar in print either. I've been offered more than one epub contract which I turned down for a variety of reasons. Some review sites are becoming more receptive, and getting on Amazon isn't rocket science.

    To do it properly it needs a decent cover, formatting, editing etc, but it is possible to make some sort of income from self epublishing and I know a number of authors who do. Createspace can give people a cheap print on demand option.

    I've noticed a massive change and shift in the two years since I started writing. Whilst this book may not do a huge amount it is easy enough to put it under a pen name, and never mentions the figures again unless it does well. Get writing another story you can submit to agents. If it does well then it indicates you have a following like if you have a large blog following.

    My husband does very little with his, he has done 0 marketing, but has serialised a sci-fi story at 99c with later installments at a slightly higher price. It isn't Amanda Hocking or Beatrix Potter, but it brings him in pocket money every month. (more than some royalty checks ;) )

    As a reader I now specifically search out self published books (and I have noticed more people on, online forums expressing the same), it isn't that much more difficult to find a good self pub than a good trad pub and they show what happens when the author has full creative control. They also tend to be more innovative and I can get the kind of diversity of characters that don't appear in traditional published works in great numbers.
  18. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Senior Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    A place with no future
    there sure are both pros and cons with both ways of getting your work published. I'm just saying my eyes have opened for the advantages, and I'm aware of the cost, extra work etc as well.
  19. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    88
    For me the biggest advantage is being able to write what I want without the need to write to a specific brand and use a ton of pen names.
  20. godsandgenerals4ever
    Offline

    godsandgenerals4ever Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having struggled for years to get a short story into magazines, I finally decided to take the self-publish route; the result can be found in my signature.

    Personally, I think self-publishing is where new writers should go to at least get their start if not go for the gusto entirely from that publishing medium alone. Frankly, I believe the magazines and publishing houses seem only to be interested in authors they know nowadays like Dan Brown, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, etc.

    Also, while places like Lulu.com (where I currently publish) take a spiff of the price, you also get quite a bit back, especially if it is an e-version of your book or story, so the "middle management" of agents and the spiffs they take are of no concern when self-publishing, at least at places like Lulu, again, in my opinion.
  21. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    283
    Well, obviously if you're looking at e-publishers they won't be doing print (although a few do). But self-publishing in ebook format has become popular because of the prohibitive price of print and the difficulty in getting books into brick and mortar bookstores.

    Unfortunately, I haven't had the same luck as you in finding decent self-published books. As a consequence, I tend to pass over them for commercially published ones.
  22. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3,311
    Likes Received:
    976
    They can lend you their reputation. If they have a good reputation, and they take on your book, then that's proof to potential readers that your book is decent. There is, on the other hand, absolutely no guarantee that a self-published book is worth the price.

    You may ask, if the book looks professional, without the obvious amateur signs that self-published works often have, then what reader would go so far as to check the publisher? Well, me, for one. I used to merrily order books that sounded interesting without caring about the publisher, got several self-published books, and found every one of them to be consistently dreadful. Now, if it's not an author that I've seen before, I'm going to check who it's published by.

    ChickenFreak
  23. Gonissa
    Offline

    Gonissa New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Ghost Tower
    If you want to self-publish, a good way to get publicity is to be an employee of Barnes and Noble. You could get the company to advertise it as a book by one of their own. I'm not sure how well that would work, but hey, it's an idea. I work for the Books A Million chain, and I know for a fact that if I published they'd be pretty likely to support me. The only trouble with them is that BAM is generally in the eastern states, and not as big.
  24. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    88
    Umm have you read some of the books by very small presses ? They can be worse than the average self published.
  25. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3,311
    Likes Received:
    976
    That's where the "if they have a good reputation" part of my post comes in.

Share This Page