1. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    self publishing vs company publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by afrodite7, Jun 26, 2011.

    -i was wondering,which is the best route for publishing? self publishing or going through a company? i've been digging through the net and i have been strongly leaning towards self publishing for several reasons.
    1) i highly doubt many publishers will want to publish my work
    2) i really think me being a black female will significantly make things more difficult ,especially since my novels are 'science fantasy' and are drama/character driven.it will make them question its ability to sell.

    a lot of publishing houses are run by white people and from my experience being black,i am not so sure other people are cool with reading/seeing a story about muilti-ethnic ,gun toting ,space alien battle mages .the story itself has substance,but i have a fear of being 'white washed' , (people like them to stay white,no offense to white people.black people don't write stuff like that)
    3)the cost.i may wind up doing an e-book first and possibly doing print on demand,as i have a fear of having thousands of books stacked up and not selling.
    4)how does publishing work across the world? say if it isn't a hit in the USA but they love it in the uk? how does that work?

    please help me out.i would particularly like a word from those with published work,though i welcome all advice.
    -thank you
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Self-publishing is largely a vanity press industry. The author needs not meet anyone else's standards for quality writing. The author also need not have any understanding of what the market will bear, and will not benefit from the marketing and sales network of an established publisher.

    I think you are selling the publishing houses short by considering them all whitebread conglomerates. All corporations who wish to survive in today's world must embrace ethocultural diversity.

    If your goal is to publish, accept nothing less than a traditioinal publishing house. You will face rejections, but they will be based on tour writing, not on your ethicity. You will be forced to become the best writer you can be.
     
  3. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    -so if i were to publish it through a publishing house,would i still have all the rights to my work? characters,settings, books,ect? what if i left after the first book,could i still do a second one or something? having the rights to my work is a very important aspect for me
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your rights remain intact, unless you sign them away. No legitimate publisher would try to take your rights away from you.

    But you should always consult a literary attorney before signing any contract.

    You'll run across far more scammers in yjhe pursuit of self-publishing.
    '
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A publisher considering your work won't know if you're male or female (unless your name clearly denotes one or the other--some authors avoid this by using initials), they won't know your age, race, religious beliefs or your favorite color unless you tell them. Almost everything is done in an impersonal way (online/via email or rarely the USPS these days), unless your work is accepted. Then you may get a phone call.

    And really, a publisher won't care. They're in the business to sell books and make money--if they don't, they won't remain in business very long. If the editors and marketing deptarment believe your novel will sell/have an audience, they'll sign you.

    While many major publishers of fantasy and SF in the USA accept slush (unsolicited submissions), obtaining an agent to represent your work (including negotiating the contract should your novel attract a publisher's attention) is a path many writers take.

    It doesn't matter who you are, the competition is very stiff. There are a lot of writers out there attempting to break in as first time authors, let alone established authors working to sell their next novel.

    Self publishing is a route that some writers take, but it's one you really should look into before you go that direction. There are plenty of threads on this forum that discuss it.

    Good luck!
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  7. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you haven't already, I'd recommend you read Kindred by Octavia Butler, and also read up on her career. She is a great role model of determination and persistence, and her stories composed of social commentaries/explorations wrapped within the sci-fi genre might be pretty inspirational for you.
     
  8. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    When I was researching publishers I came across a few that catered to black audiences and writers. This was for romance but I'm sure there is a niche publisher out there for you if you do a bit of research, particularly of e-publishers.
     
  9. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    -i am somewhat doubtful of that.as much as i would like my novel to be for and by people of color,i'm pretty sure my audience will not have as large of a margin of black readers as i would want.being black and being around black people tells me this: i've read some of octavia butlers work (it was very good,very talented writer), but my style of story telling is more focused on the characters and just happens to be in a sci-fi like background.also,i'm very sure most of octavia butler's (god bless her soul) were not black.a large majority of us read romance and street novels,or just plain old don't read much.i go to libraries enough to know this (at least in my age range,i'm only like 19).

    -however,i just watched a tv series when its the end of the world and for once they didn't wipe out everyone except white people(not that thats really relevent,i'm quite sure a majority of its viewers are white as are the people on this site)its called falling skies,its a good blend of sci fi and drama.so i am feeling a bit more hopeful :)
     
  10. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    If this is your rationale for self-publishing, it's best not to attempt to publish at all.
     
  11. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    You do realize that there are markets for pretty much everything? Last week, I was in a book store, and stumbled across "African-American Erotica." I'm sure there's a market for African-American gun-toting space battle mages, you just need to look deep enough.
     
  12. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Please understand that I mean absolutely no disrespect, but the person making the largest (and most) assumptions about your race and it's impact on your career is you. You seem to be adamant that this is the single most important thing to be considered and that's simply not true. I'm not saying that because I'm white, or because I'm being politically correct, or for any other reason than that it's true. Your writing will speak for itself. It will either be good enough or it won't and that result will have nothing to do with the color of your skin or your being a woman. If you are worried about the female aspect and have a distinctly female name you can use a pen name, but the fact remains that the publisher will know your real name. If they think you need a pen name to sell, they'll tell you that.

    All they will care about is what you've written and if they can sell it. I assure you that if you are rejected (which you will be even if you do eventually make it) it will be because of the quality of your writing, the market, etc. Not because of your color or sex.

    Also, the only place where those things are holding you back from a writing career is in your own head. I'm sorry, but someone had to say it.
     
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  13. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I agree with this.
     
  14. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    maybe you're right.i'm jumping to conclusions...i have decided to take a step back and do more 'research' on the market and publishing in general.

    -i'm just so use to my gender and race influencing every aspect of my life that i get hyper paranoid about it.then there's the constant discouragement and lack of encouragement or interest on the part of people around me . i guess i'll just have to go for it and not worry myself into a heart attack.i really do wish i could find someone proffessional to edit it though.i want an unbiased opinion about my work.
     
  15. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    All opinions here are unbiased. There are no critiques on your gender, sexual orientation, religion, or race. The only thing that is reviewed are the words you put onto the page.
     
  16. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Exactly this.

    Also, while there are times where professional editing can be helpful, learning to edit your own work is a HUGE part of being a writer.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, you really do need to be able to edit your own work... however, if you want an unbiased professional assessment of the quality of your writing, you can send me the synopsis and first chapter and i'll let you know if it's ready to be submitted...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  18. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    thank you so much.i'm actually editing it now as we speak...i began writing this book at age seventeen and its been about a year and a half....most of this time is spent editing
     

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