Some interesting insights (please merge if it's already been posted)
LK: Can you talk about a time when a title's success shocked you the most?
JD: Yes, I represent a woman whose first novel was originally published by a traditional publisher and did only modestly well. She bought back her rights and we sold the book to a publisher who publishes primarily in the digital space and it has been a huge seller. In fact, its sales are currently approaching 1,000,000 copies (its traditional sales were at the 7,500 copy level). Both the author and I are, needless to say, absolutely delighted with this well- deserved success.
LK: Do indie authors have more of a chance at traditional publishing later in their careers than those directly seeking publication or representation?
JD: It is very important, as I said, for the indie author to have a solid fan following in order to find a traditional publisher. That takes time. Also, unit sales of their self-published books is a factor in their ability to interest legacy publishers. Naturally, quality of writing is also very important-since traditional publishers aren't as keen as they once were to purchase rights to books that have already been self-published, an indie author needs to be able to produce new work that is a) in line with the type of book they've been successful with and b) well-written and unique.
LK: Is it important to have tenacity as an independent author? Is it even more important than talent? Why?
JD: It is very important to be tenacious. Giving up achieves nothing. It is as important to have the ability to write an original story well. Ours is a highly subjective business and rejection is an integral part of the process. Sticking with it is what separates the men from the boys, as it were.
LK: What excites you most about the indie community?
JD: I love that all of these writers are new and are open to learning about traditional publishing. As important, though, is the fact that they are teaching me so much about how to market and sell. It is a mutual sharing of information that I find so very exciting.