Author Topic: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?  (Read 3289 times)  

Offline markpauloleksiw

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 321
  • Gender: Male
  • Canada
    • View Profile
    • Mark Paul Oleksiw's Website
Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
« on: September 22, 2020, 07:48:41 am »
Just wondering because it seems like that traditional publishers have become totally dependent on celebrities and celebrity authors/franchises.

I have seen a few places where there is a growing sentiment that newbie authors have virtually no chance to get a publishing deal.  To me it is sad because new authors breathe new life into literature. I know newbies can always go the self-published route but, many don't have the resources to do so properly (i.e. marketing funds).

Mark

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline J. Tanner

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1395
    • Gender: Male
    • California
      • View Profile
      • J. Tanner vs. the Page
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 08:34:58 am »
    Venture out of your echo chamber once in a while.  ;)

    New authors have always had almost no chance at a publishing deal, while simultaneously new authors are getting publishing deals all the time.

    Just in the last two weeks, Nikki May landed a 7-figure deal including her debut, Jenny Tinghui Zhang got a deal for her debut right out of graduate school, Addison Armstrong got a two book deal, and Steven Lloyd got a deal (not a celebrity, but he was a behind the scenes TV guy.)

    And those are just the big flashy novelist deals that make news. There are smaller deals going on all the time too.
    J. Tanner vs. the Page (blog)

    Collection        | Appearing in                          | Stories                                        (KU)          (KU)        | Action/Adventure Series

    Offline Kenneth Rosenberg

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 848
      • View Profile
      • Kenneth Rosenberg
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 08:39:39 am »
    This absolutely does seem to be a big problem for a newbie literary writer, in particular.  The big publishers rely more and more on the bestsellers, at the exclusion of just about everything else.  Literary fiction has always been a tough sell, but it seems now more than ever.  Maybe you saw the article in the NY Times last Sunday about the CEO of Penguin Random House.  It references the fact that mid-level publishers are basically being run out of business or bought up.  The "mid-list" is shrinking and that's where newbies would typically get their start with traditional publishers.  Anyway, here's that article if you hadn't seen it:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/19/books/penguin-random-house-madeline-mcintosh.html

    Kenneth Rosenberg | author website | blog | facebook | twitter

    Offline CassieL

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2426
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 08:40:16 am »
    Most new authors don't get publishing deals, but that's nothing new. Most new authors have never gotten publishing deals.

    But, yes, absolutely, there is still interest in new authors. A formerly-self-published author (Andrea Stewart) signed a six-figure trade-pub deal (https://www.tor.com/2019/12/05/orbit-books-acquires-debut-fantasy-trilogy-from-author-andrea-stewart/) just last year and her first book came out this month and seems to be doing very well.

    8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.

    Offline ImaWriter

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1259
    • Gender: Female
    • Canada
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 08:48:08 am »

    Online Shane Lochlann Black

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 803
    • Lexicon Hollow
    • Write something funny by 4PM or you're fired.
      • View Profile
      • The Committee to Ban Shane Lochlann Black
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 09:31:12 am »
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/16/bloodthirsty-unicorns-debut-author-record-publishing-deal-annabel-steadman-skandar-and-the-unicorn-thief

    25-year-old pumps out a book in three months. Million-dollar deal with the film rights. Hope it doesn't get John Cartered. Pray Sony doesn't sell you to Disney. Vaya con Dios.   

    Offline markpauloleksiw

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 321
    • Gender: Male
    • Canada
      • View Profile
      • Mark Paul Oleksiw's Website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 10:52:12 am »
    There are always going to be the swing for the fences seven figure gambles that kind of making little sense. 

    It is the compression of the smaller deals is what I am refering to.

    With the pandemic there have many significant rollout delays and I am sure it is affecting the whole ecosystem. Which goes back to the original point...the ones who suffer are the newbies (who choose not to self-publish).

    Traditional publishers have read the markets wrong before as to what will sell.

    Mark

    Offline alhawke

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 421
      • View Profile
      • A.L. Hawke website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 12:30:14 pm »
    This came up in my news feed last week. New author. 7 figure advance from Simon & Schuster.  :o

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/16/bloodthirsty-unicorns-debut-author-record-publishing-deal-annabel-steadman-skandar-and-the-unicorn-thief
    I am really jealous and, for some reason, developing a sudden distaste for reading about bloodthirsty unicorns. Ah ... envy.


    A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub

    Offline ShayneRutherford

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5195
    • Toronto, Ontario
      • View Profile
      • My Website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #8 on: September 22, 2020, 12:51:04 pm »
    I am really jealous and, for some reason, developing a sudden distaste for reading about bloodthirsty unicorns. Ah ... envy.
    Its fantastic - who knew unicorns could be carnivores. Im also a little jelly. :)
             

    Online Trioxin 245

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 242
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #9 on: September 22, 2020, 01:04:38 pm »
    New authors are getting deals every day. I have known three personally that have gotten deals in the last year. (Literary, YA, YA.) By the way two of the deals came from a group of twelve authors I am a part of.  Those are pretty good odds.
    If you go to twitter and other places where wannabe authors hang out and complain, you are going to hear the negative.
    Its the same group of like minded people that post all over social media about unfairness. The same group also looks everywhere else to blame why they have failed to reach their own goal. I would suspect they do the same in all parts of their own lives as well.

    Offline markpauloleksiw

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 321
    • Gender: Male
    • Canada
      • View Profile
      • Mark Paul Oleksiw's Website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #10 on: September 22, 2020, 01:35:35 pm »
    I was surprised to see how many middle grade books already exist about unicorns! Who would have thought?

    Kind of funny given the "urban slang" meaning.

    Mark




    Offline Steve_Rivers

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 10
    • Gender: Male
    • Blighty
      • View Profile
      • www.solar-rift.com
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #11 on: September 22, 2020, 01:40:50 pm »
    I remember the words of Quentin Tarantino - Sure there are other people out there, but if you do something special, and throw a piece of nitro out there into the crowd, people will notice.
    There's a lot of competition out there and not a lot of literary agents or publishers. Things have been and always will be tough in trad publishing.

    Just be pleased we now live in an age where ANYone can publish their work on platforms like Kindle. Everyone has an opportunity to put their work out there.
    "You see these? These are my little fingers of doom. You make me mad and I make them rock your world!" - Namazu



    www.solar-rift.com

    Offline chrisstevenson

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 688
    • Gender: Male
    • Los Angeles
    • Warrior Writer
      • View Profile
      • Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #12 on: September 22, 2020, 03:04:32 pm »
    I just know that all my small press and independent publishers are suffering. 80% of them are without sales or reviews--they're not even on the boards. Myself and a few others are leading the packs but we're in poor shape compared to what we used to do. Really poor shape. I still believe the Big-5 are ambulance chasers when they seek out and buy debut authors. Wool, Twilight, 50 Shades had huge appeal and readers before the big houses woke up and smelt the coffee. New authors might be grabbing the golden tickets, but you have to admit that they are far, few and in between. More than ever, I'm researching these huge author deals and discovering the histories of these authors and these books. In one form or another, they have appeal with some kind of track record or platform behind them. Suzy ala The Hunger Games, was already connected up in the industry before she hit it big--and yes, admittedly a great book/series. Look at the story behind The Martian.

    It's not the editors or CEO of the publishing house that determines a sale. It's the marketing department, and they nearly, singularly run the entire show. The exception would be a totally breakout novel sold by an A-list agent, where the author had no credits, no fan base, virtually no footprint in the industry. A book that gets six and seven figure deals without that type of support is an extreme outlier, or all the galaxies are inline in their favor.

    My agent is hardly getting responses from the Big 5, and it's been one of her, and her fellow agents, biggest complaints. A-list and celebrity authors are dominating and filling the slots, especially with on-going series that seem to have no end. Those are marketing department decisions--strictly business. Admittedly, there are a hell of a lot of goofs with lofty advances and tepid sales, but the vast majority of the previous best-sellers keep the lights on. Again, marketing. Again, business. Which  =  math and numbers, sell-through, production costs, advertising and distribution. These debut block-busting authors MUST appeal in some way (other than a great tome)--they have something else going for them, because the author themselves are a selling point. That's why name branding is so important. Age, gender, race, religion, topical stance and such things all  play into the package. Case in point--Eragon. Hells bells! Christopher was More marketable than the book! If that book had NO campaign (launched by the help of his parents btw) do you think that book would have ever had a chance or gotten the deal that it did? Marketing saw that one coming like a freight train. Kid writes epic fantasy, dresses up the part and visits schools to do readings! The AP wires caught on fire. Marketing realized that half of their job had already been done, it was only necessary to shove the kid and his book into the stratosphere.

    The article mentions an uptick in reading and increased sales. Oh yeah? Maybe for Random House, and maybe for certain categories and genres, but how about a huge poll that involves all other publishers great and small? Lets include all trad publishers other than the monsters and see how they stand on that issue. She says that people are tiring of Netflix and resorting to books, whereas I see the opposite across the wider spectrum. Huge movie and game-streaming.

    Not to be a Danny Downer here; just saying that there is so, so much more in bringing a book to break-out/best-seller status than just exceptional words on a page. Whenever I hear the old adage, "Write a great book that everyone will want to read and it will sell", I cringe. And I believe  this forum knows what I'm talking about more than any other. Our true masterpieces, our hard-gained brilliance, even, has been squashed so many times it's a wonder we haven't all had massive strokes from elevated blood pressure. When they say that this business is 99.999% rejection, they had us in mind.

    Yet, we fight on!

     
     
    Guerrilla Warfare For Writers (special weapons and tactics)
    http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

    Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers https://christysyoungadultimagineers.com/

    Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

    Offline jb1111

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1939
    • PNW US
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #13 on: September 22, 2020, 07:05:30 pm »
    The trad publishing world is a different universe from the one most indie authors live in. I read the linked stories on here (the ones that weren't blocked by a paywall) with passive interest... but I've got an ebook to finish.

    Interesting to read about it, though.
    « Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 07:06:24 pm by jb1111 »

    Offline markpauloleksiw

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 321
    • Gender: Male
    • Canada
      • View Profile
      • Mark Paul Oleksiw's Website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 06:20:25 am »
    In 2015-16 or so I remember reading articles about how the traditional publishers were moving towards more 7 figures deals and less book deals....i.e.all searching for the "blockbuster" novel.

    Around the time, I started looking for a literary agent (I had no idea what self pub was all about at that time).  What I learned fairly quickly was that everyone in the chain was overworked and the system was incapable of properly screening the exponential increases in manuscripts.  The trad publishers had cut editorial staffs so editors were overworked and became totally dependent on literary agents to do the screening of new projects. Literary agents figured out that to make money they needed to create a bidding war and the appearance that there were "few" potential best sellers to drive up the price hence ridiculous sums offered to authors with no track record. How does this occur?

    It is all about relationships. The advice I was given was to "make" friends with those in the inner circle of the literary agent world/conference etc...

    As pointed out, if you do some real digging about who has gotten the seemingly crazy newbie deals, you find that there is a web of connections that got them on the inside track where most writers can't. There are a couple of local authors (I live in Canada) that have done well (gotten good deals) and both were well connected in the industry before getting their deals. Obviously, you have to have a good manuscript/project/idea.

    So there is a lot of press for the 7 figure deals to promote the idea that there is money to be paid in traditional publishing for an author. However, the reality is that there are fewer and fewer newbie deals overall. I know this because people who started looking around the same time I did (4 years ago) are still looking and the metrics they are seeing is that the % of manuscripts finding a literary agent let alone a deal is getting lower and lower.

    The challenge for us self-publishers is that we compete with those authors with the 7 figure deals and those with those deals are going to have a marketing power behind them. However, the good news is that I firmly believe that over time, readers will stop caring about whether a novel is traditionally published or not. It ain't happening overnight but, it will get there.

    The flip side for those getting deals. You better sell well or else you are finished in the trad side  after and will not a get a second chance. The pressure to sell on your first deal is incredible.

    Mark


    Offline scottdouglas

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 54
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #15 on: September 23, 2020, 07:06:25 am »
    The big five is becoming more lazy. They want books that sell themselves. If you are a new author with an online platform, you shouldnt have a problem getting a dealbut if you have a platform thats big enough for them to notice, then youd probably make more doing it yourself.

    If you are publishing non-fiction, there is still opportunity to find smaller presses that will be interested in your book, but they dont have high budgets, and your advance will be pretty low (or non-existent).

    Offline J. Tanner

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1395
    • Gender: Male
    • California
      • View Profile
      • J. Tanner vs. the Page
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #16 on: September 23, 2020, 09:25:18 am »
    In 2015-16 or so I remember reading articles about how the traditional publishers were moving towards more 7 figures deals and less book deals....i.e.all searching for the "blockbuster" novel.

    These articles have been going on since at least the 90s when I started following the trades. (I joined SFWA in 1995 or so when I made my first pro sale.) They've probably been going on longer. This is not in any way new.

    Quote
    What I learned fairly quickly was that everyone in the chain was overworked and the system was incapable of properly screening the exponential increases in manuscripts.  The trad publishers had cut editorial staffs so editors were overworked and became totally dependent on literary agents to do the screening of new projects.

    The understaffing in regards to reading submissions goes back well past the 90s. Several big publishers have actually reopened to direct/unagented submissions in the last few years after decades of officially (but not absolutely) depending on agents.

    Quote
    Literary agents figured out that to make money they needed to create a bidding war and the appearance that there were "few" potential best sellers to drive up the price hence ridiculous sums offered to authors with no track record.

    Sounds like pure negative spin with no basis in evidence. Bidding wars occur because two large publishers believe the same book has significant commercial appeal. It's in the author and agent's best interest to get the best possible deal. It would be a fiduciary failure not to seek out the best deal for the author.

    Quote
    As pointed out, if you do some real digging about who has gotten the seemingly crazy newbie deals, you find that there is a web of connections that got them on the inside track where most writers can't. There are a couple of local authors (I live in Canada) that have done well (gotten good deals) and both were well connected in the industry before getting their deals.

    This is how conspiracy theory is built. Make some tenuous connection based on a kernel of truth and a huge swath of supposition.

    I know ten authors who had no particular inside knowledge/contacts that couldn't be gained by anyone persistent in pursuing their dream of trade publishing. Networking does help, but that's true of most industries. It's not required, and networking is not synonymous with joining a secret cabal.

    Quote
    I know this because people who started looking around the same time I did (4 years ago) are still looking and the metrics they are seeing is that the % of manuscripts finding a literary agent let alone a deal is getting lower and lower.

    Again, most writers looking for agents never get one. It's always been a top 1% cull. This goes back to the 90s at least. What metrics show that it's changed significantly from that recently? And really, how much farther does it have to go? That's lottery odds already.

    Quote
    the good news is that I firmly believe that over time, readers will stop caring about whether a novel is traditionally published or not. It ain't happening overnight but, it will get there.

    You're late the the party on this one. Readers already don't care. Put out a quality product at a good price and promote it and you can find an audience that will support you better in many cases than an entry-level deal with a trade.

    Quote
    The flip side for those getting deals. You better sell well or else you are finished in the trad side  after and will not a get a second chance. The pressure to sell on your first deal is incredible.

    You'll not likely get a second chance with that pen name, but people change pen names all the time and some go on to get additional trade deals. This has been going on since at least the 90s. The precision of sales metrics and their role in buying decisions has increased over the years but it's not solely a recent phenomena.
    J. Tanner vs. the Page (blog)

    Collection        | Appearing in                          | Stories                                        (KU)          (KU)        | Action/Adventure Series

    Offline nightwork

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 54
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #17 on: September 23, 2020, 10:23:04 am »
    Just wondering because it seems like that traditional publishers have become totally dependent on celebrities and celebrity authors/franchises.

    I have seen a few places where there is a growing sentiment that newbie authors have virtually no chance to get a publishing deal.  To me it is sad because new authors breathe new life into literature. I know newbies can always go the self-published route but, many don't have the resources to do so properly (i.e. marketing funds).

    Mark

    you didn't see that publishing deal twitter a few weeks back?

    white debut authors are getting six/seven figure deals

    tougher for BIPOC but they are looking for diversity esp. after angela thomas etc hit big

    as i think j tanner said upstream, follow the twitters of the successful, don't worry about the  debbie downers who say it can't be done because they didn't do it

    in some genres i would always take a swing for a deal first
    « Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 10:26:12 am by nightwork »

    Offline markpauloleksiw

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 321
    • Gender: Male
    • Canada
      • View Profile
      • Mark Paul Oleksiw's Website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #18 on: September 23, 2020, 10:31:14 am »
    Totally saw the 7 figure deal. There will always be those deals. That book only comes out in 2022...so sit tight for the hype.

    But that is an exceptional lottery winning case. The large scale deals get tons of hype so everyone gets excited but, they are outliers.

    What is getting squeezed are the middle size to small publishers who cannot keep up with market juggernauts of the big players. Those were the ones who brought newbies to the market and they are slowly being overrun.

    Mark


    Offline nightwork

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 54
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #19 on: September 23, 2020, 10:47:00 am »
    maybe i'm missing your point

    you're an outlier if you net 6/7 figures self-pub

    your risk of losing time is about the same

    your risk of losing a financial investment is massively bigger

    all industries are squeezing out the small players, ALL of them, not just publishing, there's no industry on earth that isn't consolidating to put most of the money in the hands of the few

    Offline Corvid

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 347
      • View Profile
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #20 on: September 23, 2020, 10:59:57 am »
    It's all part of the great distillation that's accelerated since the '90s when corporate branding really came into its own, and Joel Bakan's subtitle: 'The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power' became even more of a reality.

    Everything, publishing included, is trending, pushing, winnowing, sharpening down and down and down. Honing processes and offerings into as close to "automatic money" as can be achieved.

    Mechanize, guarantee, or get as close to a 'guarantee' as you can for profit in a steady, safe stream, whatever industry you're in - entertainment or otherwise. Self-publishing sees a lot of this too. But, risk aversion's now terminal across all of publishing - across all of society for that matter.

    Fewer and fewer chances taken, more and more placing chips down on "sure things". Even the so-called 'bolts out of the blue' like a newbie landing a seven-figure deal turn out not to be such 'bolts' after all once you scratch beneath their surface, and learn how they came to be.

    Take no chances, or as little a chance as possible. Reduce the number of flops. Refine, refine, refine. The money's got to be there. It HAS to. Safe and sure deposits, unending. Nothing else matters.

    Exceptions? Not as many as there used to be. Not even close. The Accounting Department says: "Yeah, those exceptions of yours? Less of that, please. Reduce the red ink."

    And, the distillation into 'guaranteed profit' will continue. The rich get richer, automatic money machine goes brrrr, etc etc.


    Offline ShayneRutherford

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5195
    • Toronto, Ontario
      • View Profile
      • My Website
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #21 on: September 23, 2020, 11:17:09 am »

    So there is a lot of press for the 7 figure deals to promote the idea that there is money to be paid in traditional publishing for an author. However, the reality is that there are fewer and fewer newbie deals overall. I know this because people who started looking around the same time I did (4 years ago) are still looking and the metrics they are seeing is that the % of manuscripts finding a literary agent let alone a deal is getting lower and lower.


    The fact that your friends are still looking after four years doesn't mean anything other than that your friends are still looking after four years. There is an absolute glut of writers with manuscripts that they want to find representation or a publishing house for. That creates a huge buyer's market for agents and publishers. They can't publish all of it, or even close to all of it, which means they only take the manuscripts that they believe will sell the best.

    I used to read slush for a small press. When we would open for unsolicited submissions, we would be inundated with subs. Probably a good 500 in a few weeks, and we didn't even offer any kind of advance. Out of that 500, we would usually take 3 or 4 manuscripts. That's less than a 1% acceptance rate. I can only imagine that a larger publisher who offers an advance or the potential for brick & mortar store placement, or an agent with the power to get a good deal, would have a much higher number of submissions and a much lower acceptance rate.




    What is getting squeezed are the middle size to small publishers who cannot keep up with market juggernauts of the big players. Those were the ones who brought newbies to the market and they are slowly being overrun.


    Most small publishers can't keep up anyway. Most don't offer an advance. They can't afford a proper offset press run, so they use POD. That means they're stuck with trade sized books, which cost more than mass market, so they have to charge more. They also usually can't offer the discount that brick & mortar stores want, nor can they afford to eat too many returns, so they usually can't get their books into brick & mortar stores at all. They also pay their editors and cover designers crap in most cases, so they wind up with editors who aren't very good, and cover designers who have no real understanding of proper cover design. Not to mention, they seem to run on a shoestring budget, so they expect their authors to do a lot of the marketing and promo, and do very little themselves.
             

    Offline J. Tanner

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1395
    • Gender: Male
    • California
      • View Profile
      • J. Tanner vs. the Page
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #22 on: September 23, 2020, 06:44:52 pm »
    What is getting squeezed are the middle size to small publishers who cannot keep up with market juggernauts of the big players. Those were the ones who brought newbies to the market and they are slowly being overrun.

    Small/micro publishers are getting their lunch eaten by self-publishers, not by trades.

    They don't offer much of anything that isn't available DIY. This is a real change since Kindle/POD revolution, but not the type you're referring to because they didn't really offer much beyond publishing a book. Advances--beyond token--were rare, marketing was rare, sales were rare. Small houses that did these things well generally got gobbled up by the trades. Some of them do a fine job handling the publishing for an author that finds anything beyond writing anathema, but I wouldn't consider them even entry level publishing "deals" in the vast majority of cases.
    J. Tanner vs. the Page (blog)

    Collection        | Appearing in                          | Stories                                        (KU)          (KU)        | Action/Adventure Series

    Offline chrisstevenson

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 688
    • Gender: Male
    • Los Angeles
    • Warrior Writer
      • View Profile
      • Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #23 on: September 25, 2020, 12:12:48 am »
    "Most small publishers can't keep up anyway. Most don't offer an advance. They can't afford a proper offset press run, so they use POD. That means they're stuck with trade sized books, which cost more than mass market, so they have to charge more. They also usually can't offer the discount that brick & mortar stores want, nor can they afford to eat too many returns, so they usually can't get their books into brick & mortar stores at all. They also pay their editors and cover designers crap in most cases, so they wind up with editors who aren't very good, and cover designers who have no real understanding of proper cover design. Not to mention, they seem to run on a shoestring budget, so they expect their authors to do a lot of the marketing and promo, and do very little themselves."

    The above statement nails it. This is where I have been for my last 15-year writing stint. It's excruciatingly difficult for agents to get deals (depending upon the size and power of the agent), and yet I have never been without an agent during that time. I have not hit the Big5 with three agents in 15 years. I know, go figure. But my only saving grace has been that those agents DID go after the small and independent presses with a knife in one hand and a money bag in the other. They also vastly improved the contracts in my favor. I pull 60% on cover with my last six books. Other than that, small press suffers from a nearly complete lack of funds, most times just making enough to keep the lights on. We Must and Have to promote and market just as much as an indie author, since the smaller houses have limited to no advertising budgets. And the editing is crap, done by commission contractors in most cases.

    "Small/micro publishers are getting their lunch eaten by self-publishers, not by trades." 

    This is also true. The market share has drastically shifted in favor of the indie who can drop prices, change covers and blurbs, experiment, run perma-frees, list blow-out boxed-set sales, and just basically offer better deals for all their shorts and books. I'm thinking about going indie, but I must now face the facts that I alone will be responsible for formatting, editing and cover design. Once you are older and life-time trad published for a total of 34 years, the transition is very daunting. I actually feel like I have a disease that has to be cured.       
    « Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 12:16:15 am by chrisstevenson »
    Guerrilla Warfare For Writers (special weapons and tactics)
    http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

    Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers https://christysyoungadultimagineers.com/

    Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

    Offline Doglover

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5671
    • Gender: Female
    • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
    • If you want real love, buy a dog.
      • View Profile
      • Margaret Brazear Author
    Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
    « Reply #24 on: September 25, 2020, 12:44:26 am »
    Perhaps you don't hear about new authors getting publishing deals because new authors don't even try. They have discovered it is far more lucrative and far less of a headache to do it themselves and let the readers decide if it will sell. Back in the days when it was the trad route or the vanity route, even one of the those rejection slips was enough to make a new writer believe they weren't any good at it. Then they found kdp and published, to much terror and nail biting, only to get a string of five star reviews and wonderful feedback.

    At least, that's my story. I wouldn't go the trad publishing route even if the opportunity was there and I'm talking about traditional publishing, not an Amazon imprint. There seems to be some confusion about the two on this board particularly.


    The past is another country; they do things differently there
    Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Newsletter

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***