Well, this has got to be a first. I signed into HubPages because I needed to prove to myself that I could attract readers. I needed to prove this to myself. I have a few that read my things, and it does humble me to know that. Thank you to those of you that have. But now I need to know something.
Does anyone out there know an agent? (An honest agent?) Or a good publishing house that may take an unknown writer? (Again, an honest one.) Not an agent or Agency that wants money to "Help" your progress toward being published.
I have the manuscript, edited and complete, but have had 0 luck in finding anyone honest to represent me, or publish me. I do not want a vanity press. I would rather be picked up because they like my material, not pay to publish and then try to pettle them myself.
Anyone? Maybe a push in the right direction? I am published in magazines but can't seem to even get my foot in the door. There are alot of talented people in here. I am just hoping for the best on this one!
I am currently working on a book project which will be published in the traditional manner.
My observation is that the publishers now have a section in the proposal guidelines which says "How do you propose to market this book, then?"
In other words, the publishers EXPECT the authors to "peddle the book", including doing book tours on your own dime, hiring your own PR firm (no, not joking, it is in the standard template for JB Wiley proposals), and basically taking responsibility for everything other than printing and shipping.
The only value add from the traditional publisher is credibility, which gives you access to mainstream media reviewers and high profile celebrities ( a self-published book isn't likely to make it to Oprah's book club, for example).
For this, they want 90% of the revenue.
If you are writing to make an income, think again about self-publishing! Or better yet, selling it online as an electronic book. You will make a lot more money for a lot less work.
Of course, you don't get to wander into a book store and see yourself on the shelf ... swings and roundabouts ...
Thanks inspire. I know nothing of ebooks. I have heard of them, and I don't know if it would really bother me if I wasn't on a shelf. Actually, HubPages is my first venture into all this computer stuff. I love it, but don't understand alot of it either. (Anyway, I have had the pleasure of seeing my work in a magazine, on a shelf. Does that count? LOL)
Good luck to you with your book and thanks for that info. What direction do I go to do this ebook stuff?
Jenny, there is one other big advantage of publishing the traditional way - the ability to get your book into high street bookshops across the country. Self-publish or e-publish, and you're restricted to selling in your local area and online.
I'm resisting publishing as an e-book. Once my book is in soft format, it's too easy for people to share it rather than buy more copies from me, not to mention the fact that it's highly likely to get plagiarised. Even if it means fewer sales, I'd much rather have the satisfaction of having a printed book in my hand and keeping the information off-line, where people have to work harder to copy it.
With my fiction work, I'd also be much happier if I had the approval of an agent or a publisher, rather than me making the decision that it's worthy of publication. I've seen enough stinkers while critiquing other manuscripts, to know that we're all bad judges of our own work when it comes to fiction!
With my non-fiction book, I will probably opt for a POD publisher like Lulu.com, where I only have to pay to print a book when someone orders it. My book is on a niche subject, so I'll print off a small supply so I can send a promotional copy to related organisations plus all the usually recommended stuff - promoting on forums etc.
You might find these Hubs helpful
Yes, print-on-demand is a great invention!
I agree with you that self-publishing fiction is a very dangerous move, for exactly the reason you point out - editorial judgement.
I am actually really appreciating my co-author, even though this is a non-fiction book, because he provides that grounded-in-the-market feedback.
I am wanting to teach parents and kids about investing the proceeds of their businesses in real estate and shares, and he is saying "why don't we start with 7 money mistakes to avoid" ...
With more than 10 "For Dummies" books to his credit, he knows how far you can push technical content to an uneducated audience.
I am sure that books are better for having had a good editor or two ...
Oh, and if you would like some insight into the world of ebooks at the moment, go and check out Clickbank.com (click on "marketplace" and search for your subject area). This is just one of the places people trade in ebooks. Publishers and authors list their books, and agents (called affiliates) promote the books in exchange for a share of the revenue they bring in.
Thank you for your input Marisa, (I hope I spelled that right!) Also to you Inspire. I must admit, at this moment, I am somewhat perplexed, puzzled and otherwise, baffled. I see positive things with being published, the conventional way, (though I am a rather non-conventional individual) and fewer advantages to e-books.
Also, research has been exhausting on getting published. Perhaps I have mis-understood what is conventional for a literary agent to ask of one they represent. I probably should explain. I found one, and paid to have my book critiqued. It critiqued very well, although there were a couple of suggestions which I took into consideration, and did do a revision. No editing was further required, and the agent then listed me in their system, and on line for publishers looking for my genre.
I remained there, and still am, supposedly. I still have not recieved any information as to where to find this website though I have asked. Anyway, after a few months, I received an email from her stating that if I wanted to have her make more contacts, and go a bit more aggresively, I needed to pay her some money, blah...blah....blah.
Now bare in mind, I have been burned once by an agent, who I may add was investigated and found to be fraudulent. Research told me that agents were not supposed to ask for money upfront to represent you. Have I misunderstood this? If not, than how do I find one that dosen't pull this kind of stuff? I just want to know that if I sign a contract with an agent, this time, that they are ok. I have checked on the site that says "these guys suck, and these guys are okay" but some have no bad reports, untill they burn someone! I just don't want that someone to be me, again.
I don't mind doing book signings and that other stuff. What I meant by pettling the book myself, was self published books are distributed by the author, from what I understand. Not so from the stand point of conventional, although yes, there is a bit of self promotion. Gusee I misstated myself. I had a Hilary moment. Sorry.
You are not alone. I submitted a non-fiction book proposal to an bunch of agents and was taken on by a New York based agent. After six months of heavily editing and reworking the proposal, setting up a website to promote the idea and generally working my tail off, she stops returning my emails, her phone number is disconnected and I have to start all over again, LOL
http://markpknowles.com/what-must-it-be … -day-long/
LOL. Guess I am glad to know I am not the only one who has had problems in these matters. It is so frustrating sometimes. You try to watch out for yourself, and just when you think things are going well, you look down to notice the rug that was beneath your feet is no longer there! There you are, dangling in mid air!
What's a body to do?
I disagree. It is pretty well established that self-published authors have less credibilty, have a harder time marketing their books, and once you self-publish your book you've lost any hope of having it picked up by a real publisher. Self-published books are nortorously poorly edited and POD books are usually much more expensive.
To answer the question about finding agents: Go to your library and look at The Writer's Market. They list agents and publishers, giving the lowdown on what type books they handle, guidelines, etc.
Yes, publishers want to be convinced there is a market for your book. That convincing is done in your query letter. Research the market, know how many books are out there like yours, and know your target readers. And yes, they expect you to participate in marketing your book. My publisher asks for a list of potential reviewers, local book shops, media folk, etc. I arrange booksignings myself. its up to you how far you want to travel, etc. My publisher has a very good PR department and they take good care of me. But, no, you probably are not going to get rich being a writer.
Writing the book is the easy part. Selling the book is a whole different ballgame. But, the nice thing about non-fiction is you don't write it until after you sign a contract. You write a proposal and sell your idea first.
Another way to find an agent is to attend a writer's conference-- and to be prepared to present your proposal in a face-to-face appointment with a publisher or agent. The agents who come to these events are willing to listen. They also know that you have paid good money to attend, and are therefore serious about your work.
I did self-publish my children's book, but my partner and I knew it had a niche-- so it could be specifically marketed to nature centers, gift shops and birding clubs in specific areas. We have customers in thirty different states and a few Canadian provinces-- many of them have re-ordered several times. Even with that ,we are just coming up on meeting our total expenses-- though we still have many cartons of books. It has been a good experience, but we weren't really looking for fame and fortune (good thing).
Do your research and look for an opportunity near you to attend a conference, that offers consultations.
Yes, having a niche makes all the difference. As in your case, if you know your market and have access to it, then self-publishing can work.
Faithful Publishing, which does my two children's books have a new concept in publishing. They use a POD as their printer, freeing them of having to print large quanitites of books and having to warehouse them. April Fields, owner of the company did a lot of research and sampling before she settled on the one she uses.
The two books Faithful publishes for me were previously published by a company that went out of business. So, Faithful was a good way for me to get my books back in circulation after being out of print two years. My books have a double niche: they are historical fiction with horse theme. They are used in many schools in NC as supplemental reading in history classrooms. The advantage with what April is doing, over self-publishing or POD is my books had already been edited by the first publisher, andwere ready to go. Everything works just like with a traditional publisher: contract, royalty, etc. I didn't have to pay anything. The fact that she did her homeowrk and found a very good POD to print the books means fast service, shops can order small qualities, and she's jsut a really good person to work with.
My non-fiction horse books are published by a traditional publisher, The Lyons Press. I am also very happy working with them. The produce an outstanding product, have wonderful people to work with including editors, production folk and promotion folk.
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