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Old 5th April 2011, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Publishers and Self-Publishing

A question for publishers: If an author attempts to self-publish, only to decide to switch to a publishing house later, does a publisher become biased against that manuscript? And if so what are the professional/marketing aspects of this bias?
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Old 5th April 2011, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

I'm not a publisher, sorry, but I'd guess that most publishers are thinking long-term, anyway. Not just this Ms but the ones that follow.

Also, if your self-published material achieves sales, I'd have thought that would encourage them somewhat. Like bands with a following. They have a jumping-off point.
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Old 5th April 2011, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

I was just at a conference and listened to some publishers and agent panels. They will want to see a significant track record of sales and hits on your personal website. They might consider taking it on if you are selling in the thousands, otherwise, they might just be interested in your next book. If it is a series, try querying book 2, mentioning the successful sales of book 1, and then they might just re-publish book 1 as well.

The best thing to do, of course, is get an agent, and they will walk you through it.

Last edited by Anne Martin; 5th April 2011 at 05:15 PM. Reason: sometimes I have problems with English
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Old 5th April 2011, 05:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

They are only likely to be interested in publishing a book that has already been self-published if the book sells tens of thousands of copies first. They may be interested in looking at the next one if the first one sells two or three thousand copies.

Most self-published authors manage to sell about 100 copies. If you work very hard at promoting your own book, and have a gift for marketing, you could be successful and be one of those who sell enough to look good to a publisher. If you don't plan to do a lot of legwork and make a lot of contacts, or if you are shy about approaching strangers, self-publishing is not a good way to launch your career.

Low sales figures mean that bookstores will be reluctant to order your next book. And knowing this, publishers will be reluctant to publish it. They'd rather publish a brand new author who comes in with a clean slate.
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Old 5th April 2011, 05:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Anne and Teresa: Thanks for the input, it's greatly appreciated.

I hope to sell well. I'm bootstrapping my own operation, with my website "Renegade Data Core", and will be marketing via Google AdWords, FaceBook Ads, and Deviant Art once I have a product to sell.

I would just hope that, if self-publishing isn't successful, then publishers won't shun my work completely. I could see how they might want the NEXT book and not the one or two that were self-published. Starting with a new slate and going from there is probably better than trying to spin up something dead.
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Old 5th April 2011, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Of course, if you are selling in the tens of thousands, then why bother getting a publisher for it? You must be doing something right. You'll only be cutting your profit by a huge margin. I have heard of one author who after successfully self-publishing five books, got herself an agent and a publisher, so she could concentrate on writing.

You will probably need more marketing channels than that. Those are all speculative. You need to get out on every suitable forum you can find and push the book to the hilt, while being careful not to spam the sites. You'll make more enemies than friends that way.
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Yeah. I plan to go further than just those three. That's just the launch pad, so to speak, for my site.
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Old 9th April 2011, 10:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

I had some contacts with a couple of publishers lately who felt my work was pretty decent BUT given the economic times/ difficulty launching a new author etc etc sorry mate but cant take you on BUT come back if your SP sales are 1500+.
That gives you an idea. These two were smaller companies than the big Mainstreams.
My sales are only 200ish+ so a way to go;-)
I did a blog on how I approached SP here:
Richard's Ramblings Post Topic Quick Guide to methods of self publishing a book
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Old 10th April 2011, 12:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Thanks rdenning. Your blog post is very helpful and I will add this to my knapsack of tools in my quest to self-publish You made me remember to get ISBNs (I've been putting that off), and I never thought I'd have to register as a publisher. Both good steps.

Also glad you have a link to a line editor. Do you know anymore links to editors?
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Old 10th April 2011, 12:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

You don't need to become a publisher and bother with ISBNs if you use a POD service like Lulu. You can just use theirs. BUT you do if you want to have your OWN ISBNs you own and work with Lightning Source etc.

I would definitely recommend Jo Field as she is very easy to work with and very thorough. We will occasionally go beyond the brief and suggest additions but you can take them or leave them and she is not offended.

I also used this service:
Proofreader and Editorial Services
Natasha proof read my early editions but did not do a line editor role at that time. BUT she does offer the service.

In the summer of 2009 I did a lot of work with the Oxford Literary Consultancy and they helped me learn a LOT about writing, description, author voice and point of view (although JO has taken me further)
Oxford Writers
Really they gave me the jump start to get going.
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Old 10th April 2011, 01:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

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Originally Posted by OmahaRenegade View Post
Thanks rdenning. Your blog post is very helpful and I will add this to my knapsack of tools in my quest to self-publish You made me remember to get ISBNs (I've been putting that off), and I never thought I'd have to register as a publisher. Both good steps.

Also glad you have a link to a line editor. Do you know anymore links to editors?
OH an for what it is worth I have a number of articles in my blog about Self publishing, kindle, ebooks etc etc. I have only been doing this lark for a couple of years at most but some of what I have picked up MIGHT be of value.
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Old 10th April 2011, 09:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Mark Robson is one of the members here who has successfully jumped from being self-published to multiple book contracts with Simon & Shuster.

However, the caveat is that Mark is exceptionally hard working, has indefatiguable energy, and has never stopped stopped promoting his work offline, doing talks as well as setting up stall across all the relevant conventions.

It also took sales in excess of 30,000 copies of his self-published trilogy before the mainstream publishers looked at him seriously.

Bottom line is that it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of energy to make those sales work enough to get attention.
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Old 10th April 2011, 10:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

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Originally Posted by I, Brian View Post
It also took sales in excess of 30,000 copies of his self-published trilogy before the mainstream publishers looked at him seriously.
And even then, according to Mark himself, the sales figures alone weren't the be-all and end-all -- here's his take on the issue (#70) So you have written a book- why not self publish?
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Old 11th April 2011, 02:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Yes I am impressed by the hard work Mark had to put in.
IT was amusing recently when I did a talk at a school on Time Travel and when we were discussing how to get published, the options of getting an agents and mainstream, vs self published etc, one of the kids piped up with "so are you rich then?"
Made me smile. Seemed disappointed when I said no!
But it goes to illustrate the fact that the public assume there is endless money to be had in books. The reality is different.

I told them that it is very hard work to get anywhere in publishing whatever the means you choose and particularly self publishing.
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Old 11th April 2011, 05:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Publishers and Self-Publishing

Yeah, I'm definitely not in this for riches (though wouldn't it be cool...). I just love to create, and writing has been the best medium for me to do that (I draw, too, but not to a professional degree). I'd much rather be doing something I enjoy and be self-sustaining than be miserable and rich. I work in a job now where I make a lot, but there is zero job satisfaction...in fact the level of job satisfaction is a negative value. Not worth it.

I've favorited your blog, rdenning, and will read more thanks! I'll also take a look at Mark's stuff.
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