Author Topic: Traditional publishing  (Read 998 times)  

Offline HeyImAnAuthor

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Traditional publishing
« on: June 02, 2020, 11:48:35 am »
So I have had my book up on draft2digital and Amazon for over month now. I have only made a few sales.

Should I take it down and try to send it to an agent and a traditional publisher?


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    Offline wearywanderer64

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 11:52:22 am »
    Where do you advertise your book?


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    Offline HeyImAnAuthor

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 11:54:35 am »
    I have tried AMS ads, Facebook ads, and instagram ads. they have only converted to a few sales.

    Offline wearywanderer64

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 12:19:22 pm »
    We had a post about that recently. Here are some free websites on Kboards as well as paid. Definitely worth having a look.


    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,323489.0.html


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    Offline jb1111

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 12:20:53 pm »
    Write and publish your next one. Build a readership. Then hone your marketing skills, should you decide to continue to advertise.

    Offline EmberKent

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #5 on: June 02, 2020, 12:21:10 pm »
    Most never make much on their first book. You're doing very well if you manage to turn a profit on it. For many, simply recouping some of the costs is the best they get in their debut. Not making a lot is not a failure.

    As well, an agent won't be pleased with the prospect of selling a book that's "already failed." There is no way to make it sound good when you tell them the book's already been published and you're selling it to them now because you had no sales.

    I don't think making few sales on your first title is an indicator to try and go traditional, especially with that same title. It's an indicator to figure out where you went wrong (if you did go wrong), and keep writing.

    Offline David VanDyke

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #6 on: June 02, 2020, 12:34:43 pm »
    One fiction book is unlikely to make too many sales. Series are the way to make money and gain a following, in today's market.

    Offline chrisstevenson

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #7 on: June 02, 2020, 03:47:02 pm »
    An agent won't look favorably upon a already published book. You need to write more, develop your craft, hone your editing skills, create and foster a unique voice, learn about attractive covers and catchy blurbs, and do this with another book, and another and on and on......
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    Online alhawke

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #8 on: June 02, 2020, 04:20:49 pm »
    ^^ This
    If you look at agents, the majority will not accept a book already published. Some do, but the vast majority do not. And, unfortunately, just because you land an agent doesn't mean your going to sell your book.

    It could be your book. Or it could be your marketing, for sales are a result of both visibility and quality. Have you done all you can to market and sell your book?
    « Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 04:27:30 pm by alhawke »


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    Offline Javelin

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #9 on: June 02, 2020, 07:39:05 pm »
    Go for a free review at readers favorite. Youre too late for this years contest, but there are many others. Also do ingramspark as that will get it listed for libraries and bookstores.

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #10 on: June 02, 2020, 09:33:14 pm »
    I would share the book with people you trust to give their honest opinion, if you haven't done that. Did you use a professional editor? How are the blurb and cover? It's hard to know whether it's the book, the packaging, or the marketing without knowing what any of the above look like, but if you've advertised without success, it's likely to be the book and/or the packaging. I'd guess you need solid, straight-from-the-hip feedback and advice.

    One book isn't "every book you'll ever write." It's just one book. It's possible to do better, but in order to do that, you need to know what you need to improve.

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #11 on: June 02, 2020, 11:22:29 pm »
    So I have had my book up on draft2digital and Amazon for over month now. I have only made a few sales.

    Should I take it down and try to send it to an agent and a traditional publisher?


    If you've had it on a month and made a few sales, you're doing better than you would be waiting months for an agent or publisher to even bother to send your manuscript back. Build up a following, a mailing list, write more books.


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    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #12 on: June 03, 2020, 07:01:50 am »
    A traditional publisher won't give you the time of day with a self-published book you cannot market yourself. 

    You might end up chasing a literary agent for a couple of years and then hope they sell your story.

    What concerns me is that you already went one path, gave up and now want to go a different path.

    It is like growing a plant. Plant the seeds and nurture it.

    Consider using an ARC service, offering your book free etc....build up a readership. There are so many options to explore.

    Mark

    Offline notjohn

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #13 on: June 04, 2020, 07:04:11 am »
    You will always do better with a Big Five publisher or even a university press, though not necessarily with a boutique or regional publishing firm. On the forum today I see a question about handling foreign rights. HarperCollins published one of my books in 2007 and let it go out of print in 2016. Nonetheless, it sold the rights to a Chinese publisher, from which I have earned a bit more than $3500 so far, which I'm pretty sure is more than I've earned from the vast majority of my self-pubbed books. (And that's in addition to the 40,000 copies Harper sold over those nine years -- and indeed is still selling occasionally, from its stock of unsold or returned books. Unlike Doubleday, it apparent doesn't just pulp the books.)

    As a practical matter, it is impossible to get a book published today without having an, or "author's representative" as they prefer to call themselves. There were still slush piles -- books that "came in over the transom" -- when I began publishing, but I only once got read and never did get a contract until I acquired an agent. Alas, she sold the business after my second novel, and I thought I could do just as well on my own, now that I had a record. I was wrong.

    Today I doubt that I would ever have broken through, however temporarily. Find an agent and listen to her (in my experience, good agents are always women). It will take time -- years, perhaps.

    But as others have said, no agent is going to pick up a book that the author has published and was unable to market.
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    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #14 on: June 04, 2020, 09:17:48 am »
    You will always do better with a Big Five publisher or even a university press, though not necessarily with a boutique or regional publishing firm. On the forum today I see a question about handling foreign rights. HarperCollins published one of my books in 2007 and let it go out of print in 2016. Nonetheless, it sold the rights to a Chinese publisher, from which I have earned a bit more than $3500 so far, which I'm pretty sure is more than I've earned from the vast majority of my self-pubbed books. (And that's in addition to the 40,000 copies Harper sold over those nine years -- and indeed is still selling occasionally, from its stock of unsold or returned books. Unlike Doubleday, it apparent doesn't just pulp the books.)

    As a practical matter, it is impossible to get a book published today without having an, or "author's representative" as they prefer to call themselves. There were still slush piles -- books that "came in over the transom" -- when I began publishing, but I only once got read and never did get a contract until I acquired an agent. Alas, she sold the business after my second novel, and I thought I could do just as well on my own, now that I had a record. I was wrong.

    Today I doubt that I would ever have broken through, however temporarily. Find an agent and listen to her (in my experience, good agents are always women). It will take time -- years, perhaps.

    But as others have said, no agent is going to pick up a book that the author has published and was unable to market.
    This is simply untrue. You will not ALWAYS do better with a Big 5 publisher. You can sell your foreign and audio rights as an indie as well, or publish audio and foreign translations independently as an indie. I have done all three things both with tradpub and as an indie. I have sold more as an indie in all but foreign translation, and I have earned more all three ways by a long shot. And yes, my trad versions were all promoted by the publisher.  And I am only a middling fish.

    I also got all my trad contracts by the publisher coming to me. Yes you do need an agent if you are unknown, however.

    It also depends heavily on genre. In romance, many agents are not taking new clients anymore. Romance is heavily indie. Several other genres are very indie as well. Urban fantasy. Cozy mystery. In other genres, there is a mix, but fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller all have strong indie presences. In literary and historical fiction, and often in womens fiction, it is much more about tradpub.

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Traditional publishing
    « Reply #15 on: June 04, 2020, 03:13:58 pm »
    This is simply untrue. You will not ALWAYS do better with a Big 5 publisher. You can sell your foreign and audio rights as an indie as well, or publish audio and foreign translations independently as an indie. I have done all three things both with tradpub and as an indie. I have sold more as an indie in all but foreign translation, and I have earned more all three ways by a long shot. And yes, my trad versions were all promoted by the publisher.  And I am only a middling fish.

    I also got all my trad contracts by the publisher coming to me. Yes you do need an agent if you are unknown, however.

    It also depends heavily on genre. In romance, many agents are not taking new clients anymore. Romance is heavily indie. Several other genres are very indie as well. Urban fantasy. Cozy mystery. In other genres, there is a mix, but fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller all have strong indie presences. In literary and historical fiction, and often in womens fiction, it is much more about tradpub.

    I always wonder why, if notjohn's opinion is valid, he is self publishing?

    At any rate, for the OP, think about this:  if you can't sell the book, why would a traditional publisher be interested? It's not like they don't have huge slush piles from hopeful authors.

    Single books rarely take off and become big sellers. It's a tough business, with lots of competition and many things to learn besides the writing stuff. If you're not happy with the sales, take a hard look at the book and see if it's on par with others in the genre as far as story, cover, blurb, etc. Sometimes it's not easy to accept that maybe the product isn't quite there yet, and it's always better to get more focused, polished work out there. And to learn ads. I hate that part. But it's a necessary part of the business of publishing.

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