1. AoA
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    AoA Member

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    Should I go with TP?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by AoA, Nov 5, 2014.

    Hello everyone!
    I am currently working on my first novel and originally pretty dead set on self-publishing. I was terrified by the thought of an advance because I'm pretty certain (although I could easily be wrong) that if said book doesn't sell I'd wind up having to pay back said advance. It seemed at the time to be very similar in a sense to the music industry and thusforth initially I pretty much viewed traditional publishing as something to avoid unless I had no other choice.
    Fast forward a bit, and my opinion of traditional publishers has been softened by much of what I've read (a lot of it was on this forum actually!) So I am now wondering which is more viable for me at this point as a 17 year old kid (my parents have no problem with me writing and publishing a book BTW, I did think to talk about it with them) with little to no money. My novel itself may also cause issues.
    So the basis of my story is thus: two countries, a pugnacious country lead by a mad king that despises non-humans for the most part, and a very wealthy country that is helping to bankroll said other country in an attempt to cross through a small kingdom to the south in order to reach the lands past them. The main characters are the 20 year old king of the people in the way of said army and Anubis, the god of death (and war in this story). That whole war forms the first half of the book or so (it is not done yet). The next half is said king and Anubis take in a young child (of another species), hoping to raise him to become king of his kind and form a kingdom for his own kind in order to keep the more vicious countries at bay.

    I believe this novel falls into the fantasy genre, but I am uncertain where exactly it is in the genre because the whole second half changes the focus a lot. I'm wondering about that, but my main concern is how much input I will have with a traditional publisher. Will I be able to possibly look over the book or something akin to that so that I don't have to worry about them majorly changing something on me? I might be overly worried about the risk of a publishing house really changing something around on me. But that is why I'm asking here. Should I attempt to go traditional or is it better to just go self-published (and yes I have educated myself on what that entails)? The book will be part of a series of novels and hopefully a series of albums based off the books or vice versa. I thank you men and women who take the time to help me out here in advance. It's challenging enough for me to write novels after switching over from short stories, having a plan in advance will help me out a lot in keeping myself less stressed and productive.
    Thank you guys and girls for any help again, I greatly appreciate it!
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You do NOT have to pay back any advance unless you fail to fulfill your part of the contract (ie, you fail to deliver the book). The risk is taken by the publisher, not the author. Next, you need no money to trade publish - you get money. Last, no reputable trade publisher will change anything without your permission unless you give them that right in the contract. Which is why you should have an agent to not only help find the right publishers for your story but help you negotiate a fair contract.
     
  3. AoA
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    AoA Member

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    Okay, that is a nice thing to know. In the music industry an advance, if not paid back by album sales, you are stuck paying back normally. Next time I come across something like that I won't make the dumb assumption that a given word means the same thing in both industries it appears it :D
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's fairly rare for a serious publisher to accept your book and require significant revisions - if they don't like your book as it is, they just reject it, rather than going through the revision process.

    If they DO ask for revisions, they don't do them for you (I wish!). They send you a letter outlining what they want done, or they mark up your MS with comments, or both. And then YOU make the changes.

    That said - your first novel, and it sounds pretty ambitious - I haven't read a word of it, so I'm not commenting on the quality of your particular work, but just in general... it's unlikely to be at a publishable level. There are certainly exceptions to this generality, and I hope your book is one of them. But, realistically, this is probably a practice book. So it wouldn't hurt to practice the submissions process, but it also wouldn't hurt to practice the self-pubbing process. You could use it for both, of course - submit to agents, see if you get interest, and then if you don't, go ahead with the self-publishing. But self-publishing RIGHT is expensive (you should pay for a professional editor, probably a professional cover designer, maybe even a professional formatter) so you may not want to go to the expense of putting out a book that, in the opinion of the industry professionals who've already seen it (agents/editors), is unlikely to sell well.

    Sorry if that last paragraph is discouraging. As I said, there are certainly exceptions to this generality, and I hope your book is one of them. But in general... first books aren't all that good.

    ETA: And if you self-publish a book that's been rejected by agents as being not worthy of publication, you may want to use a pseudonym. If you keep writing, your later books will probably be a lot better than this one, and it might be nice to be able to leave it behind, if you want to. (a comment which is, of course, even more discouraging than the rest of this post. Sorry. Maybe your book's great! I haven't read a word of it!)
     
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  5. AoA
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    AoA Member

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    Ehhh, well my whole idea here is to try going the regular traditional route at first, if no one wants to publish the book I'll just hold onto the thing for now. When I'm older and hopefully have the money to self-publish if I want, I'll go around again and see if any traditional publisher would be willing to publish it then. If no one wanted it then I'd self-publish the book. But I'd rather not have the thing sit around for a decade or two and potentially completely dissapear from my mind. Getting the book out once I'm done and it passes muster would be greatly pleasing to me. Thank you for the advice by the way.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not using TP can be rather messy...
     

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