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Thread: Self publishing

  1. #1
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    Self publishing

    Do literary agents or publishers disapprove, if you self publish before coming to them?



  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    If you mean trying to pitch the same work you self-pubbed -- yeah, they'll disapprove -- unless you sold a few thousand copies.

    If you mean pitching a new work and asking whether you should mention previous, self-published stuff as publishing credits -- I'd avoid it -- unless you sold a few thousand copies.

  3. #3
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    So then self-publishing should never be a first choice?

  4. #4
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    Self-publishing's fine if you sell enough copies to meet your expectations. In most cases, it doesn't work.
    Last edited by jayce; 01-15-2012 at 05:02 PM.

  5. #5
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    I give motivational presentations at high schools and companies. I wanted my own copies to sell and give away, but I guess that would make me self-published. I don't want to be at the mercy of agents and critics to pick me up, but I do want to give myself a shot at it. I value everything you're saying. Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Your situation is the perfect match for self-publishing: you have direct access to your own market. Hand-sell a thousand or so at your presentations, you might then interest a publisher of similar material in levering it to a national market. Something to consider.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Yep, you're in a good position to self-pub. Even if you never interest a commerical pub or agent in that particular opus, you should still be in a position to make money from it and elevate your profile - something few self-pubbers can say.

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    So if I get my own copies printed for my customers, and also make them available on Amazon, ebooks and other places, agents and publishers would see this differently than if I just self-published? Just because I have my own customer base? Sounds logical. Or does it just sound logical to the three of us. Sorry, as you can see I tend to obsess over the perfect plan of attack for everything I do.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    No, they wouldn't see things "differently" until/if you can show them proof that you've sold an eyebrow-raising* number of copies.


    *Actual number varies with agent/pub. Heavy-duty Noo Yawk agents and Big Five pubs likely won't elevate a brow unless you show them sales figures in five figures. A more regional agent or small/medium house might twitch theirs at mid-four.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    I should add that you may never interest an agent or commercial pub. But that doesn't mean you can't make self-publishing work for you. Especially if you don't get in over your head by hooking up with a company that insists you buy several hundred/thousand copies to start. If you go with Lulu or a similar outfit, you can keep your initial outlay reasonable and order copies for distribution as required.

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