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I turned to self publishing on Amazon after 70 rejection replies from various literary magazines. I feel good from what I've done so far and have, for the last year, stopped submitting short stories. However, it's looking like my last story out in the world has been accepted (Yeah! First one!) And I have to say, though I will continue to self-publish my stories, that I feel a sense of validation that one of my stories was accepted to a top-tier magazine. That and having it professionally edited, formatted, and printed is exciting.

However, does anyone know what the rules/etiquette is for submitting stories that you've self-published (the story that was accepted was never self-published)? I know that the magazine will buy the first-print rights (which usually lasts a year and then revert back to me). But are magazines willing to publish something that's been on Amazon? I can see how they would frown on it, since people have had access to it, but it's not like the text was free for all on the internet. I can also see where it could also be a plus for a magazine, to say that a story has sold however many hundred copies and has had good reviews, since is is less of a risk for them and you could market the cleaned-up print version to your followers/previous costumers.

And, since this board focuses mostly on self-published writers, is there any contempt for traditional houses, or is there still a desire to get in there. And that's not even wondering about the financial part of it - the one time payment for rights vs. the ability for authors to continually sell to new readers.

Thoughts?
 

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If they take reprints, which few magazines seem to, then they should accept self-published stories, too. However, as you noted, most mags want first rights, which you've already used by self-publishing your stories. You're probably better off writing new stories if you want to submit them to literary magazines.

To answer your second question, there are advantages and disadvantages to traditional publishing (just like self-publishing). Also, some books are better suited to traditional publishing than others. I'm still seeking publication with a traditional house for one of my middle grade novels. The other two I'm planning to self-publish. I feel like the first two aren't "commercial" enough for traditional houses. The other (I like to think, anyway) has much more commercial appeal. Of course, I'll probably be disabused of that notion pretty quick when I start subbing it. But I'd like to at least try that avenue first for that book.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

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Not with my current stuff, although I haven't ruled it out for future projects. Many eggs. Many baskets.
 

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What Rue said on both accounts.

By self-publishing, you've exhausted first rights. So if the magazine buys first rights, then you can't sell that story if you've self-published. Some magazines take reprints, so you'd be ok but not for any type of first rights clause. However, if the mag takes "first print rights" as opposed to "first North American rights" or "first worldwide rights" and you only digitally-published the story, you would still be okay. But most want first rights as a whole, not making a distinction between print or digital (since many are moving to digital anyway).

As for traditional publishing, I have no contempt for traditional publishing, and although all of the books I'm currently working on are slotted for self-publishing, I do have other projects that will be going to traditional submission route. There are plenty of authors on KB who have a "hybrid" career, with one foot in self-publishing and one foot in traditional-publishing.
 

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I'm staying with e-publishing right now, except for my stage plays which (for the time being) I'm sticking with traditional publishing.
 

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I'm not submitting anymore. It takes too long to get turned down, and self publishing is working for me so much better than hanging rejections slips on my wall was in terms of my career. I am not opposed to traditional publishing, and frankly, I'd love to work with a publisher to get hardbacks out, paperbacks that are priced more reasonably, translations and all that stuff. And since, in a way, the slush pile has moved to Amazon anyway, traditional houses can hand pick whatever they want from the lists, and doing so will help them deal with their growing financial problems. They know what is up, and they're smart, if trapped in the old model some still.
 

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I still send out flash fiction pieces to magazines. When I get to ten or so that have been rejected, I put them in a book and self-publish them.

Yes, I have an agent that will be pursuing a traditional deal for my angel series, but that is because of the movie deal being actively worked in development with plans to move it into pre-production.

I will being writing up synopses for my next two series, in case there is an agent out there who wants to shop those around.

I work on my books and when they are ready to go, I'll put them unless I have a contract. I don't believe waiting does any good. It certainly doesn't bring in any money or readers, but I'm open to all sorts of deals.

WilliamEsmont said:
Not with my current stuff, although I haven't ruled it out for future projects. Many eggs. Many baskets.
I believe in the eggs in many baskets theory, too.
 

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George Berger said:
I submitted my last novel to a publisher.

They rejected it in six days. :)
You got into the rejection express lane. Nice!
 

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Writing is a hobby for dh. Self-publishing allows him to do it on his own schedule. If he were ever to get a traditional publishing deal, he would be tied to some pretty strict deadlines, which would be a real headache given the fact that he is already extremely busy working the job that pays the bills, and helping me take care of our kids.  All of this lovely royalty money is icing on the cake, but we couldn't live on it.  To be tied down to someone else's schedule, a schedule that might interfere with work commitments, would/could be a real deal breaker.

Just for example, right now he is "supposed" to be working on book three of his trilogy. He's not. Work is really busy and overwhelming right now. If he had a contract for an entire trilogy, we'd be very stressed out and possibly screwed. But since we don't...meh! He'll get to it as soon as things calm down, and he won't have lost a "contract" or gotten himself blackballed from the publishing industry for failing to meet a deadline in the meantime.

I wonder if more and more mid-list authors who don't rely on advances to pay all of their bills will discover the convenience of self-publishing on their own schedule over the next few years?
 

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Satchya said:
Writing is a hobby for dh. Self-publishing allows him to do it on his own schedule. If he were ever to get a traditional publishing deal, he would be tied to some pretty strict deadlines, which would be a real headache given the fact that he is already extremely busy working the job that pays the bills, and helping me take care of our kids. All of this lovely royalty money is icing on the cake, but we couldn't live on it. To be tied down to someone else's schedule, a schedule that might interfere with work commitments, would/could be a real deal breaker.
A very important point, and applies to me as well.
 

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I am no longer submitting to traditional markets, though I wouldn't be averse to considering an offer from a publisher if one came along.  I'd be willing to consider the hybrid career thing -- in fact, it looks pretty cool to me!  But I am no longer interested in frittering away my valuable writing time in chasing after the traditional industry.  I've got happy readers now who deserve more books.  My time is better spent writing than searching for an agent or a publisher. 

There is one exception to this new outlook I have.  I met one really awesome editor at a small press while I was querying Baptism for the Dead.  He didn't end up taking the book, but he really liked my writing and encouraged me to stay in touch and to submit anything that might fit better with his niche press.  He treated me like a human being, not like another rejection letter to send.  I loved the fact that he actually gave a crap about me as a person, even when he rejected me.  If I ever have another book that might fit in well with his press, I will absolutely submit it to him.  He would be wonderful to work with, and I want to see his business succeed.  Even if it meant not making as much money from whatever book I may sell to him, I'd still work with him if I could.

Other than that, though...nope.  DIY looks too good to me now.
 

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Self-publishing means not having to get rejection letters, as far as I'm concerned. We have low sales days and bad reviews and I think that's enough self-harm for me.
 

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I won't do business with a publisher who would have me as a client  ;)

When I started writing I did my research and discovered just how much time I could waste waiting for rejection letters. So I didn't bother and went straight to self-publishing. If a publisher finds me and offers a deal then great, but until then I'll do my own thing. The only exception is Kindle Singles, I did send my first short there and will probably send my next one too. They rejected my first story, but they did it in 4 weeks as opposed to 6 months. And I was able to publish on Kindle while I waited  :)
 

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Trying? No. Opposed to it? Not at all.

Actually, I do have one currently under review at a major publisher. If they accept it, I'll take the deal as along as there's no non-compete clause or anything that would restrict me from publishing elsewhere.
 

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I enjoy self-publishing. I don't want to write something and wait years just for a publishing company to say 'no.' (yes, I know I'm exaggerating, but my point is, I can pretty much do everything a publisher does from a technical and marketing standpoint, except for widespread distribution)
I do this as a hobby because I like to stay busy.
 

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Yes.  I have existing series with several major publishers (Tor, HarperCollins, Harlequin/Gold Eagle) and will shortly be submitting proposals to continue those series as my current contracts come due.  

I have noted that I need to balance the two better than I current am.  I spent 2012 wrapped up in contracts for trad publishers, writing four new novels, and did not have the time I wanted to devote to my indie published series.  As a result, my sales dropped for 2012 over 2011.

I also had four new novels come out from trad publishers in 2012 and had hoped to see those works boost my indie books, but the crossover I had expected didn't really happen.  I think this is due, in part, to the fact that my trad publishers priced my ebooks out of the optimal range and therefore those who were buying my indie books did not pursue my trad books, but I don't know for certain.

2013 should be an interesting year.
 

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I spent months looking for either agents or publishers (last fall and for the umpteenth time). Almost all of them were closed for new submissions and those that were not seemed kind of shady or didn't seem to be particularly invested in their clients.

If they were going to take you on yet expected you to do your own promting and distributing on your own dime after the book got printed- well there are vanity presses for that. Then amazon and Create Space opened for indies. Problems solved as long as you can tolerate slow launches. (But the ones that launched their writers well were closed to new submissions. There's just too many of us newbies)

Of course, I still await an email from one of those powerhouses because they got my free download and my book was just great. :D :D
 

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I actually did get a letter of interest from a small press a couple of weeks ago.  It came in the SASE for an agent I'd queried via snail-mail back in April.  Apparently that agent had closed for submissions but had forwarded his submissions along with sample chapters to some folks he knew at this small press.  They read mine and wanted to see the full.  I emailed them and politely let them know that I had decided to self-publish the book, but that I appreciated their interest.  This was almost ten months after I'd queried that agent.  My goodness...ten months is just way too long a timeframe to get back to authors nowadays.  The traditional industry really needs to step up its game if it's going to keep pace with the perks of self-publishing.  I think they eventually will, and when they do I'll be more likely to consider pursuing them again.  But until that happens...well...ten months?  I can earn a lot of money in that time.
 
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