Author Topic: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"  (Read 15826 times)  

Offline Quiss

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Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2013, 09:22:53 am »
Okay, this thread is getting depressing.

I'm going to log off and stick my head in the sand write something.  ;D

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    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #51 on: November 10, 2013, 10:21:53 am »
    Yes, of course.  It just seems silly, the way she phrased her statements.  It's harder for authors who don't have a platform to find visibility than those who do.  In other news, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west; this and more on the eleven o'clock news.  And it seems a little disingenuous to imply that author visibility is more difficult in self-publishing than it is in traditional publishing.  They seem equally difficult to me, from what I've observed.  Trying to skew the article to make it look like it's a Sisyphean task to self-publish if you're a nobody does seem like a clear implication to me that the same is not true in traditional publishing.  Which is not the case.
    It is more difficult, isn't it? Traditional (and by that I mean large publishing houses, not small press) have funding for advertisement on the web and in stores. They have contacts with highly regarded reviewers. And they have distribution in both domestic and foreign markets. Even a well established indie doesn't have all that.

    People buy books published by the big six for very good reasons. The work is generally (not always) well edited, and the author is proven to have good writing skills and story-telling ability. This is confirmed through reviews by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, as well as Vine Voice amazon reviewers - naming just a few. This is no guarantee that the reader will like the book, but it is a good reason to give it a try.

    We all know that there is a vast wealth of talent in the indie community. They put out work every bit as good or better than writers signed with large publishers. But we also know that there is quite a bit of ill-conceived,  unedited, trash out there too. It causes many readers to shy away from SP books, and creates further difficulty when trying to get your work noticed.

    The ease of self-publishing has caused a flood of new writers to enter the market, most of which have no idea what they are doing once their book is written and uploaded to amazon. It's why many find their way to this board. They found out in a hurry that just because they put a book out there doesn't mean anyone is going to read it. Hell, some have put several out there and still don't know how to market. Others know, but don't have the funding. So, to me, it is clear why getting noticed in the indie world is far more challenging than in the traditional publishing world.

    One last thing. If Penguin, Simon and Schuster, or any of the others came knocking, the majority of the people beating their chest about how much better indie is, would leave it all behind in a split second.
     

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #52 on: November 10, 2013, 10:26:42 am »
    The last two trad-pubbed books I bought, I quit reading because they were so boring. Yeah, and one of them had a ton of proofreading errors.

    That is why I generally get tradpub books from the library. That way I can read them at no cost to me. Most of the time, I can forgive one or two copyediting errors, but you hit the keyword, "boring." Some tradpub books shouldn't have been published, but then they have the freedom to publish it, and I have the freedom not to read it.

    Jamie Chavez blogged on why some books shouldn't have been published. I mentioned it here:

    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,167266.0.html

    Offline ElHawk

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #53 on: November 10, 2013, 10:37:53 am »
    It is more difficult, isn't it? Traditional (and by that I mean large publishing houses, not small press) have funding for advertisement on the web and in stores. They have contacts with highly regarded reviewers. And they have distribution in both domestic and foreign markets. Even a well established indie doesn't have all that.

    True.  I should have clarified that I was viewing the tradpub route from query to book appearing on the shelf, not from singing the contract to book appearing on the shelf.  I'm not sure any random writer without name recognition has a better chance of standing out in the slush pile than a writer who's already got some sort of name recognition and presence.

    Quote
    One last thing. If Penguin, Simon and Schuster, or any of the others came knocking, the majority of the people beating their chest about how much better indie is, would leave it all behind in a split second.

    The majority, but definitely not all.  I've had my eyeballs on the many things Hugh Howey said about his experience negotiating for a print-only deal since he began posting about it, and I've paid attention to KKR's many excellent posts about contracts and changes in the industry.  I wouldn't be too quick to sign a contract that impinged any of my creative freedom or my freedom to publish as I chose.  There might be circumstances where I would, but the name on their letterhead would not be enough to rope me into signing away a significant portion of my future potential earnings.  Maybe I'd work with a publisher, if the terms were favorable.  They often are not, particularly for people like me who aren't blasting up through the charts and don't have the negotiating power yet.  I wouldn't be too sure about that "split second" thing.  I think all kinds of writers are starting to pay more attention to contracts, and starting to think harder about the long-term implications of what they sign.


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    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #54 on: November 10, 2013, 10:42:51 am »
    True.  I should have clarified that I was viewing the tradpub route from query to book appearing on the shelf, not from singing the contract to book appearing on the shelf.  I'm not sure any random writer without name recognition has a better chance of standing out in the slush pile than a writer who's already got some sort of name recognition and presence.

    The majority, but definitely not all.  I've had my eyeballs on the many things Hugh Howey said about his experience negotiating for a print-only deal since he began posting about it, and I've paid attention to KKR's many excellent posts about contracts and changes in the industry.  I wouldn't be too quick to sign a contract that impinged any of my creative freedom or my freedom to publish as I chose.  There might be circumstances where I would, but the name on their letterhead would not be enough to rope me into signing away a significant portion of my future potential earnings.  Maybe I'd work with a publisher, if the terms were favorable.  They often are not, particularly for people like me who aren't blasting up through the charts and don't have the negotiating power yet.  I wouldn't be too sure about that "split second" thing.  I think all kinds of writers are starting to pay more attention to contracts, and starting to think harder about the long-term implications of what they sign.
    I would love it, but I'd be cautious as well. At minimum I'd have to receive an advance that exceeds what I make on my own.

    Offline ElHawk

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #55 on: November 10, 2013, 10:45:21 am »
    I would love it, but I'd be cautious as well. At minimum I'd have to receive an advance that exceeds what I make on my own.

    Absolutely!  At minimum.  Alas, not likely to happen in historical fiction.  :'(  The advances tend to be bollocks as things are now in this genre, and they're only getting bollocksier.

    The really fair advances seem to occur much more in thrillers and YA stuff. 


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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #56 on: November 10, 2013, 10:46:15 am »
    Absolutely!  At minimum.  Alas, not likely to happen in historical fiction.  :'(  The advances tend to be bollocks as things are now in this genre, and they're only getting bollocksier.

    The really fair advances seem to occur much more in thrillers and YA stuff. 
    Lucky me! ;D

    Offline ElHawk

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    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #58 on: November 10, 2013, 11:46:02 am »
    This is very true but as ELHawk says a few would stick with their SP careers, whether rightly or wrongly.

    The fact is that as mentioned a traditional publisher can give a brand-new author huge REACH, from adverts in newspapers to translation deals in other countries, radio slots, posters in train stations - the one thing that we all need so much to generate sales: VISIBILITY. Sure, some authors get more than others, but most trad- launches get a day on their publisher's websites and affiliated Internet places like Twitter, FB etc. It all helps.

    Things are changing so fast in publishing now, on so many fronts, but I do maintain that if an author can get a deal that serves them well enough to launch their career, then even if they later turn to self-publishing titles ( as I have done ) what a launch-pad they will have had to get their name around! It's all about the business decision - as a first time author, a trad' deal, carefully negotiated with a good literary agent, can't yet really be beaten by self-publishing unless a true high-flier, in which case the publishers may likely come calling anyway...


    Actually, many writers are doing both SP and traditional publishing. I guess it's like a diversifying your investments.

    Offline Jan Thompson

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #59 on: November 10, 2013, 11:51:13 am »
    The fact is that as mentioned a traditional publisher can give a brand-new author huge REACH, from adverts in newspapers to translation deals in other countries, radio slots, posters in train stations - the one thing that we all need so much to generate sales: VISIBILITY. Sure, some authors get more than others, but most trad- launches get a day on their publisher's websites and affiliated Internet places like Twitter, FB etc. It all helps.

    But only if they think you have sales potential. Many tradpub authors I know are not getting the marketing or publicity boost they want bc there are so many midlisters. If that first book tanks, it goes downhill from there.

    A number of authors are having to do their own promotions, giveaways, FB parties. The only thing that helps them is to say "I am published by such and such" and that helps the authors when they call the local radio station or libraries to try to get a book talk going (I heard of authors saying they had to do the calling themselves bc they're not top sellers). I know of authors who do book signing at local community fairs when it's obvious their readers are not there. Not sure how they end up in local fairs - whether their publishers sent them there or whether they do it themselves. I also know of publishers who won't put their authors' books at certain places. One amazing author whose books I read is not found in a major brick-and-mortar bookstore. All her competition are.

    So I wouldn't bank on tradpub for marketing. But what I think they have that selfpubbers don't have is Print Distribution. I guess you could say that's part of visibility. Until selfpubbers can rival the print ability of tradpub and their global distribution machinery, they have the edge. That's why I think those print deals that selfpubbers have made with tradpubs are GOLD. I read that it may not always happen.

    Actually, many writers are doing both SP and traditional publishing. I guess it's like a diversifying your investments.

    Yes. The best of both worlds. It's a win-win for Hybrid Authors, which I think you are one, right?

    I think selfpubbers shouldn't be too quick to say "no way" either way but to see what's on the table and try to get the best of both worlds. Just my two cents, anyway.

    Offline writerofthesky

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #60 on: November 10, 2013, 07:12:56 pm »
    Midlisters with a backlist already paid their newbie dues. New authors who start out self-pubbing have not. And their initial foray into selling books will be different then trad pub. But obviously the established authors have better luck at it. They've been around longer and are experience professionals. I don't the logic behind these sort of articles.

    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #61 on: November 10, 2013, 07:52:41 pm »
    Midlisters with a backlist already paid their newbie dues. New authors who start out self-pubbing have not. And their initial foray into selling books will be different then trad pub. But obviously the established authors have better luck at it. They've been around longer and are experience professionals. I don't the logic behind these sort of articles.
    I don't think there are dues to be paid. I ran into that mentality from so called "experienced" authors when I first self-published Book One in my series. They had a long list of thing I should do and avoid and were never shy about relating their wisdom. Later I found that they were, for the most part, full of crap. When my first book was picked up by small press and started selling they showed me nothing but contempt. They felt being that I had not written fifty books that no one wanted to read, I did not deserve my success. This contempt grew as my books continued to sell and the series popularity grew. Now, I'm still doing quite well, and they're still sulking in their corner, blaming the world for being too stupid to understand their work.

    Offline JRTomlin

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #62 on: November 10, 2013, 08:29:49 pm »
    It is more difficult, isn't it? Traditional (and by that I mean large publishing houses, not small press) have funding for advertisement on the web and in stores. They have contacts with highly regarded reviewers. And they have distribution in both domestic and foreign markets. Even a well established indie doesn't have all that.

    People buy books published by the big six for very good reasons. The work is generally (not always) well edited, and the author is proven to have good writing skills and story-telling ability. This is confirmed through reviews by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, as well as Vine Voice amazon reviewers - naming just a few. This is no guarantee that the reader will like the book, but it is a good reason to give it a try.

    We all know that there is a vast wealth of talent in the indie community. They put out work every bit as good or better than writers signed with large publishers. But we also know that there is quite a bit of ill-conceived,  unedited, trash out there too. It causes many readers to shy away from SP books, and creates further difficulty when trying to get your work noticed.

    The ease of self-publishing has caused a flood of new writers to enter the market, most of which have no idea what they are doing once their book is written and uploaded to amazon. It's why many find their way to this board. They found out in a hurry that just because they put a book out there doesn't mean anyone is going to read it. Hell, some have put several out there and still don't know how to market. Others know, but don't have the funding. So, to me, it is clear why getting noticed in the indie world is far more challenging than in the traditional publishing world.

    One last thing. If Penguin, Simon and Schuster, or any of the others came knocking, the majority of the people beating their chest about how much better indie is, would leave it all behind in a split second.
     
    First, the 'beating their chests' comment has a very pejorative sound to it, though I don't know whether you meant it that way or not. I don't know that anyone here has that attitude.

    Second, although I can't and won't assume that my reaction would be the same as everyone else's because we are all in different positions with our writing, careers and needs, but I know I would not "leave it all behind in a split second" because of their name. You seem to have a rather starry-eyed view of what a traditional publisher will do for the mid-list or lower author which is what most of us here would be.  We are (generally) assigned the least qualified editors, get poorly thought out covers, receive minimal if any promotion besides a spot in the catalog, and if we are lucky our books stays on the shelf for at most three months. And for that we give up most of the money.

    Hell, no, I wouldn't jump at that offer. Now, if they came to me with the kind of offer they gave Hugh Howey (mind-bogglingly unlikely), I would look at it long and hard, but remember, he negotiated to get that. They didn't just offer it to him.

    You are making a lot of assumptions, many of which I believe are at least not totally valid. Sure, some people would jump at an offer from Randy Penguin but don't assume that everyone would or that it is necessarily a wise thing to do.

    ETA: And keep THIS in mind. I am what is considered a 'mid-list' author and I make a living at it. This is something that traditional mid-list authors have been told for decades was impossible.
    « Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 08:32:09 pm by JRTomlin »
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    Offline writerofthesky

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #63 on: November 10, 2013, 08:39:42 pm »
    I don't think there are dues to be paid. I ran into that mentality from so called "experienced" authors when I first self-published Book One in my series. They had a long list of thing I should do and avoid and were never shy about relating their wisdom. Later I found that they were, for the most part, full of crap. When my first book was picked up by small press and started selling they showed me nothing but contempt. They felt being that I had not written fifty books that no one wanted to read, I did not deserve my success. This contempt grew as my books continued to sell and the series popularity grew. Now, I'm still doing quite well, and they're still sulking in their corner, blaming the world for being too stupid to understand their work.

    I'm just saying those with more experience going through those initial stages of learning craft have a higher probability of being successful. Naturally, as with all creative professions, this is not universally true as was your case.

    Writing is an art and creative process not a science, the market is cruel and often unpredictable, and success at visibility uncertain. I think this inevitably breeds an environment where authors can feel marginalized or exhibit professional jealousy.

    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #64 on: November 10, 2013, 08:55:36 pm »
    First, the 'beating their chests' comment has a very pejorative sound to it, though I don't know whether you meant it that way or not. I don't know that anyone here has that attitude.

    Second, although I can't and won't assume that my reaction would be the same as everyone else's because we are all in different positions with our writing, careers and needs, but I know I would not "leave it all behind in a split second" because of their name. You seem to have a rather starry-eyed view of what a traditional publisher will do for the mid-list or lower author which is what most of us here would be.  We are (generally) assigned the least qualified editors, get poorly thought out covers, receive minimal if any promotion besides a spot in the catalog, and if we are lucky our books stays on the shelf for at most three months. And for that we give up most of the money.

    Hell, no, I wouldn't jump at that offer. Now, if they came to me with the kind of offer they gave Hugh Howey (mind-bogglingly unlikely), I would look at it long and hard, but remember, he negotiated to get that. They didn't just offer it to him.

    You are making a lot of assumptions, many of which I believe are at least not totally valid. Sure, some people would jump at an offer from Randy Penguin but don't assume that everyone would or that it is necessarily a wise thing to do.

    ETA: And keep THIS in mind. I am what is considered a 'mid-list' author and I make a living at it. This is something that traditional mid-list authors have been told for decades was impossible.
    If I said ALL indie writers would jump at the chance that would be one thing, but as I did not, I can only assume you failed to pay attention to the wording of my post. Either that or you are purposefully trying to be confrontational. And when it comes to things I have posted here, it wouldn't be the first time. I'm beginning to think we're not pals.  :(
    As far as my starry-eyed assumptions are concerned. In a later post on this thread, which by now you've likely read, I stated that at minimum I would only sign with a large publisher if the money was better than what I make now. And as I support my family in a very decent lifestyle as an indie writer, it is not an inconsiderable sum. Not so starry-eyed...unless your definition is much different than mine.
    Whether I'm a mid-list author or not...beats me. I don't give it much consideration. I've sold 145,000 books as of last month from four books, since Aug. 2012. So you tell me.

     

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #65 on: November 10, 2013, 08:57:56 pm »
    I'm just saying those with more experience going through those initial stages of learning craft have a higher probability of being successful. Naturally, as with all creative professions, this is not universally true as was your case.

    Writing is an art and creative process not a science, the market is cruel and often unpredictable, and success at visibility uncertain. I think this inevitably breeds an environment where authors can feel marginalized or exhibit professional jealousy.
    Yeah. I was initially upset by it. I couldn't understand where it was coming from. When I got started I had this idea about a supportive community of people who through a mutual love of writing, cheer each other on. Boy! Did I ever get a shock.

    Offline JRTomlin

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #66 on: November 10, 2013, 09:06:45 pm »
    If I said ALL indie writers would jump at the chance that would be one thing, but as I did not, I can only assume you failed to pay attention to the wording of my post. Either that or you are purposefully trying to be confrontational. And when it comes to things I have posted here, it wouldn't be the first time. I'm beginning to think we're not pals.  :(
    As far as my starry-eyed assumptions are concerned. In a later post on this thread, which by now you've likely read, I stated that at minimum I would only sign with a large publisher if the money was better than what I make now. And as I support my family in a very decent lifestyle as an indie writer, it is not an inconsiderable sum. Not so starry-eyed...unless your definition is much different than mine.
    Whether I'm a mid-list author or not...beats me. I don't give it much consideration. I've sold 145,000 books as of last month from four books, since Aug. 2012. So you tell me.

     
    There was absolutely nothing confrontational in my post. We are allowed to disagree with each other. And if you had paid any attention at all to my wording you would know I said I could not speak for everyone. You made a very broad generalization I disagree in the post I responded and I disagreed with it for reasons I very politely explained.

    It's nice you've sold well. Congratulations. By trad publishing standards, yes, that would be considered mid-list. However, that is totally unrelated to the comments I responded to. I disagree however much you have or have not sold.
    « Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 09:12:36 pm by JRTomlin »
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    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #67 on: November 10, 2013, 09:12:59 pm »
    There was absolutely nothing confrontational in my post. We are allowed to disagree with each other. And if you had paid any attention at all to my wording you would know I said I could not speak for everyone. You made a very broad generalization I disagree in the post I responded and I disagreed with it for reasons I very politely explained.

    It's nice you've sold well. Congratulations. By trad publishing standards, yes, that would be considered mid-list. However, that is totally unrelated to the comments I commented upon with which I disagreed and still disagree at least in part.

    Then allow me to apologize.  :D

    Offline JRTomlin

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #68 on: November 10, 2013, 09:14:01 pm »
    Then allow me to apologize.  :D
    No apology necessary.
    I do not accept the Terms of Service which were instituted without notification. I do not consent to VerticalScope reproducing content I posted on this forum in any newsletter, website, or another forum. I've requested account deletion; however, the owners of this forum REFUSE to delete my content. Further, I repudiate any association with ads that are sexist, racist, and demeaning to women which are now appearing on this site.

    Offline Hugh Howey

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #69 on: November 10, 2013, 11:16:18 pm »
    We are (generally) assigned the least qualified editors, get poorly thought out covers, receive minimal if any promotion besides a spot in the catalog, and if we are lucky our books stays on the shelf for at most three months. And for that we give up most of the money.

    Yup. I had people tell me that I only self-published because no publisher would have me, and I would jump ship at the first offer. It didn't matter that my first book was picked up after three weeks of querying. Or that I filed away the contract for the second book and decided to self-publish it instead.

    We went through three rounds of offers from the major publishes. The 6-figure offers became 7-figure offers. I knew what my series was worth (to me), and I had to add to that the pain of giving up control and lifetime rights (which tripled the sum). There was no way publishers were going to offer enough for me to give up what I was doing. Multiple millions weren't enough. The buyout number for the series was probably $12 million. At that point, I would have suffered the indignity of saying that I was with such-and-such publisher.

    I am what is considered a 'mid-list' author and I make a living at it. This is something that traditional mid-list authors have been told for decades was impossible.

    Yup. This, 100%. It's the story NO ONE IS COVERING, and it drives me bonkers. Absolutely bonkers.
     
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    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #70 on: November 11, 2013, 12:47:36 am »
    It's the story that traditional publishers are keen to remain that way - unheard. They keep Kindle prices of their titles high to protect paperback sales, for instance, fearing the collapse of that industry. Here in the UK, hardbacks have already imploded - nobody's really going to shell out 20 for a hardback, especially these days. Authors and publishers used to make their big money from hardbacks, so revenue is already collapsing.

    Most new authors are being published direct to paperback, often with Kindle versions of their debuts released months in advance of the paperback in order to generate a "buzz" around their work.

    In contrast, I see lots of authors here making a living from their SP work and that proportion is far higher than at any publisher I know of, where only top tier authors make their living full-time from writing ( I do, but I'm not top tier - it was all down to the advances and savvy financial control ). In fact, around 90% of authors in the UK make less than 10,000 per year from their writing. Not enough to survive on, by any stretch.

    For those working their way up and hoping to achieve that elusive full-time writing career through SP, keep pushing forward. I think I mentioned it in another post somewhere here that you don't have to be at the "top" to do so.
    Yikes! 10,000 per year? I would have to assume they have a day job. I actually do really well in the UK, about 20,000 copies in the past year. I love the Brits! My editor is a Brit. As I had said in an earlier post, it would need to be worth it for me. That is to say, if I'm not better off why do it? But then I, as well as other indie authors who have managed to gain a descent fan-base, are in a far better position to say no than an author who hasn't. I know that I can tell a large publisher to (as you say in Britain) sod off and nothing will happen other than things will continue on as they have been. And frankly, I can't complain.
    But again, that's indies who are already doing well. If you are offered a contract based on the strength of your book and the tenacity of your agent, you may well take what's offered fearing the opportunity may not come again. Especially if you are not among those who are selling well SPing.

    Offline Sarah Stimson

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #71 on: November 11, 2013, 01:03:56 am »
    Can someone give me a definition of "mid-lister" please?

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    Offline Ugg

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #72 on: November 11, 2013, 01:10:00 am »
    20,000 copies per year is great work, by the way, especially outside your USA audience!  :)
    Thanks. I actually get a real kick out of the fact that I sell about 20-30 books per month in India. And according to what I see on goodreads, I do well in Australia, Bulgaria Sweden and Norway for some odd reason.   

    Offline Sarah Stimson

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #73 on: November 11, 2013, 01:22:26 am »
    Thanks Dean.  Really helpful.

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    Offline ElHawk

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    Re: Self-publishing is "more elusive for emerging authors?"
    « Reply #74 on: November 11, 2013, 04:56:35 am »
    The fact is that as mentioned a traditional publisher can give a brand-new author huge REACH, from adverts in newspapers to translation deals in other countries, radio slots, posters in train stations - the one thing that we all need so much to generate sales: VISIBILITY. Sure, some authors get more than others, but most trad- launches get a day on their publisher's websites and affiliated Internet places like Twitter, FB etc. It all helps.

    They absolutely can, right now.  However, things are changing incredibly fast, and I think it's a gamble whether they will remain such a huge advantage in visibility for long.  We just don't know.  I don't think that all traditional publishers are going to go extinct, but I think they are going to have to change their gameplan significantly in order to survive.  Some of them are already seeing the writing on the wall (finally!) and doing things like offering digital-only contracts to authors (WITH NO ADVANCE...WTF).  So currently, tradpub, even with the big guys, is not necessarily going to give an author any visibility or media reach.  In that case, why bother?

    In addition, many contracts put restrictions on how many books a year an author may write and how he may publish them.  Such a contract wouldn't be for me, for almost any publisher and for almost any advance, because we just don't know how hard TP is going to struggle over the next several years.  Currently it's taking publishers 18 months to two years on average to go from signed contract to shipped books.  That's time for a LOT of change in this industry, and if you've got a contract restricting what you can write and publish, that's a lot of potential money you could lose between now and then, you know?

    I actually had a publisher offer me a contract for Baptism for the Dead, but I turned it down because the book wouldn't even be published until late 2014 (this was January of 2012) and the press, a fairly small one, just didn't have much budget for promoting my book and the advance wasn't nearly enough to hold me over for 2+ years.  I have never regretted that decision.  I would make the same one again in a heartbeat, even if it came from a huge press, unless I got a very significant advance.

    And all that delay and all that possibility for a brutally restrictive contract could be bypassed by a fortunate author who lucks out with a great agent and a great deal, only to have her contracts cancelled for one or all of her books because things changed at the publishing house.  This has happened to more than one author I know personally who do tradpub.  Can you imagine going through years of agent-searching and submissions and another year of editing only to have your book dropped because "the vision has changed" at the publisher who signed you?  You'd have to start over from square one.

    All of these things can and do happen in tradpub.  Just because it has been a great experience for you doesn't mean it's a great experience for everybody.

    That's why I said I'd look very, very carefully at the contract before I'd sign anything.  Things are changing too fast to accept overly long waits for publication, dinky advances, and especially restrictions on what one does with the rest of one's work.

    Quote
    Things are changing so fast in publishing now, on so many fronts,

    Exactly!

    Quote
    but I do maintain that if an author can get a deal that serves them well enough to launch their career, then even if they later turn to self-publishing titles ( as I have done ) what a launch-pad they will have had to get their name around! It's all about the business decision - as a first time author, a trad' deal, carefully negotiated with a good literary agent, can't yet really be beaten by self-publishing unless a true high-flier,

    Well, your model requires that one get a good literary agent first.  While that works out fantastically for some, like you (an hooray that it's been such a great ride for you), it doesn't work out well for everybody, as we've gone round and round about in other threads.  In fact, for most authors the search for a suitable agent delays things by YEARS.  In that time, she could be self-publishing and gaining her platform that way, and turning into one of those high fliers.  Most of those high fliers didn't become high fliers by magic.  They wrote excellent books (usually several of them), and then they promoted them well and intelligently.  And for most of them, it has reduced the frustrating wait in finding agents and publishers, if that's what they want.
    « Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 05:08:18 am by ElHawk »


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