Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Books and Writing > Publishers & Industry > Publishing

Publishing Questions and answers about the publishing industry, featuring answers from literary agents, publisher writers, and editors.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 29th August 2011, 11:59 AM   #61 (permalink)
Author and Editor
 
Ian Whates's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,636
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
Maybe I'm biased, in that it took me a handful of submissions and a grand total of five months to get a book deal (which included two months of rewrites). Frankly, if it had taken me two years, it would have meant I was doing something wrong!
I'll have to disagree strongly with you there, Anne. Agents only take on a small percentage of the manuscripts they're sent. If it takes years of unsuccessful submissions before an individual's work is accepted by an agent, it doesn't necessarily mean that the author is doing anything wrong, merely that they were up against some stiff competition and a given agent didn't see in their MS what he/she was looking for at the time.

That doesn't equate to anyone doing anything wrong.
Ian Whates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 12:42 PM   #62 (permalink)
Stephen J Sweeney
 
Scarfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Greater London
Posts: 266
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

John Jarrold has told me a few things from submissions: the entry level for a new novelist is no longer "good", it's now "special". He also told me that agents and publishers, though they might love a good, will hold it back from publication until the market is right for it.

Book selling's a tough game... and, yes, sometimes a book just hits the right spot at the right time. Look at the sheer number of vampire novels that have been unleashed upon bookstores in the last few years. Without a doubt, this is down to the Twilight effect. I sure that had Stephanie Meyer's books not seen the light of day (no pun intended), many others would have either.

Incidentally, my second book, THE THIRD SIDE, is now out on Amazon Kindle and is currently at #4 in Space Opera...
Scarfy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 12:45 PM   #63 (permalink)
Registered Lunatic
 
Oskari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Australia, Victoria
Posts: 52
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

It's such an individual choice as to what route to take with what you've created. As a musician with a self-published CD, the only way I make money is to perform. Sure, if I'm picked up by a big company that does all the promotion and publicity of my product I can spend time doing other things, like writing more songs (or spending even more time at this forum), but I've made a personal choice that performing and selling a few CDs at a venue does help to 'compensate' the effort I've made. Please note, this is not contradictory to my sentiments above. The absolute buzz (and I'm probably a weird socialistic type of guy) is just doing it, you know, being able to express myself and getting some reaction. Often this reaction is postive and, boy, do I feel satisfied that what I'm doing is (somewhat) valuable. At the very least, it can make for a nice evening.

I know it seems I've gone off topic, but it comes back to self-publishing and the sentiments of Templar, which I've been mulling over these last couple of nights. Thanks, mate - I appreciate it! I really do.

It may seem tautological in context to what has already been stated, but print or electronic survives on the quality of the material (well, not always, I just thought of Dan Brown and that sordid host of forest destroying pulp authors).

But, really, it depends on the product no matter how it gets out there. Here in Oz we have an example of an author that defied the traditional route of getting published. He took the risk of printing and promoting his own work and became a best seller. I'm not 100% on the details, but even if it's a metaphorical example he succeeded, like David against Goliath. The author is Matthew Reilly. I've never read his books and don't know the full story, but he certainly had the energy and nouse to feature prominently in the few bookstores I used to frequent.

I agree that publishing companies are not tailored to rip off artists. Why would they, unless you responded to one of those dodgy emails and published through WECANMAKEYOURICH.com. Naviety in all its forms has repercussion that will/may have some net result, usually quite negative.

It's so individual. Many artists just want to create. Even the task of signing books and chatting to interested buyers can be a drag - a real pain in the backside. I'm one of those people. Having said that, I am intrigued by the whole business of it and empathise with those individuals that want to maintain certain levels of control over the whole process.

Last edited by Oskari; 29th August 2011 at 01:35 PM.
Oskari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 01:17 PM   #64 (permalink)
Fortiter et recte!
 
pyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southampton
Posts: 8,202
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
Maybe I'm biased, in that it took me a handful of submissions and a grand total of five months to get a book deal (which included two months of rewrites).
I'm impressed, Anne - if that's actually only five months from the very first words on paper to clinching a deal for the finished book, that's astonishingly fast!...
pyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 01:33 PM   #65 (permalink)
King Harvey Basset R.I.P
 
Gary Compton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 2,173
Blog Entries: 127
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarfy View Post
John Jarrold has told me a few things from submissions: the entry level for a new novelist is no longer "good", it's now "special". He also told me that agents and publishers, though they might love a good, will hold it back from publication until the market is right for it.

Book selling's a tough game... and, yes, sometimes a book just hits the right spot at the right time. Look at the sheer number of vampire novels that have been unleashed upon bookstores in the last few years. Without a doubt, this is down to the Twilight effect. I sure that had Stephanie Meyer's books not seen the light of day (no pun intended), many others would have either.

Incidentally, my second book, THE THIRD SIDE, is now out on Amazon Kindle and is currently at #4 in Space Opera...
Hi Scarfy, long time no speak!

How does #4 equate in terms of sales and how many has your first book sell?
Gary Compton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 06:25 PM   #66 (permalink)
Stephen J Sweeney
 
Scarfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Greater London
Posts: 266
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Hi Gary!

Not sure, to be honest. I'm trying to make a point of not looking at the numbers (and the chart ranks..!) until the month end. You can actually end up obsessing about that sort of thing and that's not entirely healthy

I glanced at the stats and the second book has already done over 100 copies on Amazon UK, but that was when I looked a few days again. Right now, it's in the top 700. Hopefully, it'll climb higher over the weeks. It's only been out since last Sunday.

There are two editions of the first book. The first edition is free on Amazon and iBookstore and has been in the top 100 free books on Amazon UK for several weeks now. On the iBookstore, it's received over 180 ratings (average 4.5 / 5).

Anyways, this is off topic.

Back on topic: I agree with some of what is in the Guardian article and other things I don't. I think that e-publishing is going to simply become a more viable option for those wishing to get their work out there and make money from it. For those who want to do it properly, getting an agent and a publisher is still very important and will always be.

After all, you'll be working with professionals, who can also deal with things such as foreign rights and translations. I've had a few people say to me about my books that they find phrases such as "whilst" instead of "while" and the fact that "honour" is spelt with a U a bit odd. Foreign rights handling with deal with issues such as this.
Scarfy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 07:18 PM   #67 (permalink)
Never Sure
 
RJM Corbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Devon
Posts: 1,780
Blog Entries: 12
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

I suspect that if anyone thinks they can hire someone relatively cheaply to promote their own book or website or whatever, they're likely to retire sadder but wiser. These companies are not cheap ...
RJM Corbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 07:49 PM   #68 (permalink)
Fantastical historian
 
Anne Lyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,455
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Whates View Post
I'll have to disagree strongly with you there, Anne. Agents only take on a small percentage of the manuscripts they're sent. If it takes years of unsuccessful submissions before an individual's work is accepted by an agent, it doesn't necessarily mean that the author is doing anything wrong, merely that they were up against some stiff competition and a given agent didn't see in their MS what he/she was looking for at the time.

That doesn't equate to anyone doing anything wrong.
Sorry, I meant that I personally would have been worried if it had taken me that long to find a home for this book. It's easy with hindsight to say that I knew I was onto a winner - I guess everyone feels that way - but I know I would have felt that I had misjudged both my own skill level and the market if I'd struggled to sell it. That's what I mean by "doing something wrong".

I admire anyone who can persevere with submissions for month after month, year after year, believe me. I have all the patience of a five-year-old on a sugar rush

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyan View Post
I'm impressed, Anne - if that's actually only five months from the very first words on paper to clinching a deal for the finished book, that's astonishingly fast!...
Oh goodness me no - five months from sending out the first submission to getting the initial offer from a publisher, with two months in there to make changes at the publisher's request. Took me four years to write the damned thing!

(Templar talked about spending years submitting work - that was the time-frame I was referencing.)
Anne Lyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 08:10 PM   #69 (permalink)
Goblin Princess
 
Teresa Edgerton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: California
Posts: 10,702
Blog Entries: 18
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

I agree that anyone who has been sending their work out to agent after agent and publisher after publisher and not selling it should consider whether they might be doing something wrong. I certainly would. But it's hardly a foregone conclusion. And two years? Considering how long many publishers take getting back to you that might not be more than "a handful of submissions."

Although my first book was, admittedly, published sometime around the late Mesozoic, and my experience may not be entirely relevant ... I sold it to the second publisher who saw it, yet the time between asking for the full manuscript and offering me a deal was several months. There are so many people involved in making these decisions, it can take a while before they make up their minds yes or no, supposing the first person who reads it is impressed enough to send it up the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar
There may be a bigger financial risk in paying a few hundred dollars to improve your work with professional editing (Erm, something most people do before they send it in to a publisher anyway?)
Speaking as a freelance editor, this is a pleasing thought, but no, they don't. And it can take anywhere between several hundred dollars to a few thousand to engage the services of a freelance editor, depending on whether you want developmental editing, copy-editing, or both.
Teresa Edgerton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2011, 08:23 PM   #70 (permalink)
King Harvey Basset R.I.P
 
Gary Compton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 2,173
Blog Entries: 127
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarfy View Post
Hi Gary!

Not sure, to be honest. I'm trying to make a point of not looking at the numbers (and the chart ranks..!) until the month end. You can actually end up obsessing about that sort of thing and that's not entirely healthy

I glanced at the stats and the second book has already done over 100 copies on Amazon UK, but that was when I looked a few days again. Right now, it's in the top 700. Hopefully, it'll climb higher over the weeks. It's only been out since last Sunday.

There are two editions of the first book. The first edition is free on Amazon and iBookstore and has been in the top 100 free books on Amazon UK for several weeks now. On the iBookstore, it's received over 180 ratings (average 4.5 / 5).

Anyways, this is off topic.

Back on topic: I agree with some of what is in the Guardian article and other things I don't. I think that e-publishing is going to simply become a more viable option for those wishing to get their work out there and make money from it. For those who want to do it properly, getting an agent and a publisher is still very important and will always be.

After all, you'll be working with professionals, who can also deal with things such as foreign rights and translations. I've had a few people say to me about my books that they find phrases such as "whilst" instead of "while" and the fact that "honour" is spelt with a U a bit odd. Foreign rights handling with deal with issues such as this.
Well done mate. It must be a couple of years since I bought Honour of the Knights see here which I enjoyed. I admire your perseverance and am confident of your future success!

Best Wishes
Gary Compton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2011, 12:13 PM   #71 (permalink)
JDP
Never told a lie. Ever.
 
JDP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK: ENGLAND:
Posts: 658
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJM Corbet View Post


... (our books also go to Borders and Samsung, powered by Kobo) ... could clarify the 'our' a bit, please?
This was the text off their site which I copy-pasted to (try to) answer your query.
JDP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2011, 01:26 PM   #72 (permalink)
author of novels
 
Stephen Palmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shropshire
Posts: 1,763
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
Oh goodness me no - five months from sending out the first submission to getting the initial offer from a publisher, with two months in there to make changes at the publisher's request. Took me four years to write the damned thing!
Easy! Eight years of writing and then a year and half to actually get the contract for Memory Seed...
Stephen Palmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2011, 01:43 PM   #73 (permalink)
Author and Editor
 
Ian Whates's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,636
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Palmer View Post
Easy! Eight years of writing and then a year and half to actually get the contract for Memory Seed...

I think I got very lucky. My first novel took me eight months to write, and I sent the first six chapters out to a publisher and an agent while it was only half-written... The agent took me on, and the publisher said 'no, but we love your writing. Would you write us something different?' They then offered me a two book deal on the basis of a sample chapter. (The original novel then sold to the first publisher who saw it once completed.)

As I say, I was extremely fortunate, and I appreciate this is by no means the norm.
Ian Whates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2011, 03:41 PM   #74 (permalink)
Fantastical historian
 
Anne Lyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,455
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Whates View Post
As I say, I was extremely fortunate, and I appreciate this is by no means the norm.
I think you're being too modest, Ian - but on the other hand we both had the good fortune to bump into people who are forthright about what they like

It's a mix of luck and a good book, in my experience. You could spend months shopping a manuscript, or meet exactly the right person straight away - but without a good book, that opportunity is worthless. And you have to put yourself in the way of opportunity, rather than sitting back and hoping it will happen.

Sometimes the opportunities remain elusive - but I'm a firm believer in making your own luck
Anne Lyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2011, 05:34 PM   #75 (permalink)
King Harvey Basset R.I.P
 
Gary Compton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 2,173
Blog Entries: 127
Re: Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
I think you're being too modest, Ian - but on the other hand we both had the good fortune to bump into people who are forthright about what they like

It's a mix of luck and a good book, in my experience. You could spend months shopping a manuscript, or meet exactly the right person straight away - but without a good book, that opportunity is worthless. And you have to put yourself in the way of opportunity, rather than sitting back and hoping it will happen.

Sometimes the opportunities remain elusive - but I'm a firm believer in making your own luck
You come across as a very successful author. How many books have you had published and how many did they sell?

I've been in sales for thirty years and numbers are everything to me, so I'm just interested in what the nuts and bolts of your sales figures are?

Regards
Gary Compton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.