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Story help/ Writing advice > Everything you need to know about Publishing

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay, so over the past year, i've been gathering information about publishing, how to do it, how much money it will cost, and I've heard a lot of different ways about how you can do it. With all this scattered information, it's really bugging me, because if I want to get published, I want to get published the easiest, and with the most money saving way possible. If any of you know ways of how to get published, that can answer that, please post here. For my benefit, and for those who also want to get published. :D


message 2: by Paige (last edited Jun 06, 2009 10:57PM) (new)

Paige (anauthor) There's only one website that I have actually taken the time to investigate.

www.Xlibris.com

It's something to check out. It's a form of self-publishing and they offer marketing kits to help get your stuff in bookstores and submitted to the big publishers. You should go on the website and order a free brochure of their services, because it gives you all of their information from the beginning to the end. It could be like a last resort type thing if none of the big guys pick you up after submission or while you're waiting to see if the big guys are going to pick you up. Like that will happen though. The big guys will be fighting over your work. :)


message 3: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (last edited Jun 07, 2009 07:11AM) (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
From what I've heard, and checked out myself, if you don't want to pay to publish your book you should go with getting an agent. Sure, you have to research which agents you want to send your work to, and the agent gets a chunk of your profit, but in the long run your book doesn't cost you anything out of pocket (usually, sometimes there is stuff you have to pay for), and you get published by a bigger Publisher since agents usually have connections to get your work looked at.

As an added plus, a lot of agents won't let your work go to an editor until they're satisfied with it, and then the book won't go to a publisher until the editor is satisfied, which gives your book a better chance at getting hit by a BIG publisher.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I do want to get published by a publisher but I don't wanna go that big of one.


message 5: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Well, if you're not wanting a big publisher you can always let your agent know. I'm sure they'd be willing to settle for a smaller scale publisher.

If you don't mind my asking, why don't you want to be published by a larger publishing house? They're usually able to advertise your book better than a smaller scale publisher can.


message 6: by Veronica, Bigfoot makes an excellent character (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) | 727 comments Mod
I found a really good site once that talked about the different types of publishing, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

There's self publishing. It's the easiest to get published (because YOU'RE deciding everything) but you also have to do all the work and fund everything.

There's also POD (print on demand) publishing. I kinda forgot what this one was.

Umm, vanity presses are another one... not sure what they are either.

There's the small publishing houses, which are good, except you won't get as much marketing as a big publishing house. I'm not entirely sure about paying for stuff with these but... it's easier to get published by a small publisher than a larger one.

Then there's the big guys. No payment on your part, good marketing, but pretty darn difficult to get published. Some of them do not take any unsolicited manuscripts (submitted without an agent) and if they do take unsolicited manuscripts, yours will end up in a massive 'slush pile' and probably not looked at for months.

As far as agents-- they basically sell your book to a publishing house. They get some of the profits as well.

As for me, I would probably choose to send it to a small publishing house and not get an agent.


message 7: by Veronica, Bigfoot makes an excellent character (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) | 727 comments Mod
Oh, and you guys do know about the whole "do your research" thing, yes?

Where you look at what the agent/publisher takes (as far as genre) so you aren't submitting an erotic romance to somebody who represents/publishes children's books.
And checking to see if a publisher takes unsolicited manuscripts as well...
Oh, and of course, making sure you follow the submission guidelines.

And the most important:making sure that they're real. Making sure that they aren't there to scam you out of your money. Go to sites that list bad publishers and agents. Look for the place you'll be submitting to. If they aren't on there, thats a GOOD thing. And if you do submit it to an agent and they ask for a reading fee, get out of there, and FAST.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Kenzie wrote: "Well, if you're not wanting a big publisher you can always let your agent know. I'm sure they'd be willing to settle for a smaller scale publisher.

If you don't mind my asking, why don't you want ..."


Um.. I'm not really sure why but I don't like a lot of attention, it's a weird thing I have.


message 9: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Okay, that makes sense. Most people try to get in with the BIG publishers, so I'm interested in hearing the flip side. :)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay, so what about the Agents, i've been hearing around that you have to pay them in order for them to submit your work. Or is that just a lie?


message 11: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
I think that's a lie. All the agents I've researched say you don't have to pay. Only the scammers make you pay.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you! that helps soo much!


message 13: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
You're welcome. If you have any other questions I might be able to help. I've been doing research on this stuff.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I should probably do that too . . . get off my butt and actually go search some of it myself. lol :D


message 15: by Sella (new)

Sella Malin Yeah, Kenzie's right. If they want you to pay them for your work, then they're a scam. The only way they get money from it is a small percentage of the profit when you sell your book.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay, that makes a lot of sense now. But for some reason, it's hard for me to realize that there's no down payment for them to represent your book, or for publishers to publish your book.


message 17: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Think of it this way.

You send your work to them to bind and sell. They get a chunk of the profit.

How is that fair for them to make money when you need your book bound, and then to charge you part of your profit?

That's why self-publishing costs money. You're paying for them to bind your book, so YOU can sell it. They don't get a chunk of the profit's there.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay. Thank you soo much Kenzie!!!


message 19: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Did that make sense? I kind of confused myself while writing it. Not that that's all that hard to do. LOL

(whoa, that was a lot of that's. Double LOL! Tee-hee)


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

:D It totally made sense


message 21: by Wendy (last edited Jun 09, 2009 07:39AM) (new)

Wendy (wendyswore) I think there are a few things you need to think about before you decide whether or not to go with a large publisher:

1st of all, do you really have time to go all over the country and promote your own book enough to make a difference in the sales? I think most of us could move a couple hundred books if we tried, but more than that you need to have some serious dedication and resources to do it. I for one could never do that with the time contstraints of family and farm.

2nd- In this industry, self published and vanity published authors usually are not given the same level of credibility that authors published through a bigger publisher gets. Now that's not to say that a small publisher is a bad thing- no- not at all, but you need to be sure it isn't a vanity one.

3rd- Bigger publishers don't usually look at your work at all unless a reputable agent submits it. THey use agents as filters, and a having a bad agent is just as bad as no agent at all. ANyone can hang a card that says "agent"- to see if it is a good one, look at the books they have sold and the sales those books had.




message 22: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 1015 comments Okay I have a question ....

So, I want to look into publishing. But I was thinking I might self-publish my first book, and then start the whole real-publishing deal from there with my other books. Is that a good idea, or should I just skip the self-publishing?

Furthermore, if I should self-publish, then which self-publishing site is the best? I'm trying to choose between Lulu and CreateSpace, and I'm sorta leaning towards CreateSpace ... Does anyone have any advice on this?


message 23: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
If I were you I would definitely drop the whole self-publishing idea. Your stories are amazing, Brigid! And the best way to get them out there is to get an agent to get your book into a larger publishing house. That way your stories will reach more people. If you go with self-publishing you have to do all the advertising yourself - and a person can only do so much.

Yes, agents do take a chunk of your profits, but they don't cost anything upfront.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

But in the long run, you get most of the money right?


message 25: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
You get a certain percentage of the profit - called a royalty. The higher your royalty, the more you make. Still, if your book doesn't do well self-publishing, you're down all that money that it cost to produce the books. At least when no one's buying your book (which won't happen to you, Brigid!) your agent will come up with a game plan to help your book out, and you aren't down any money.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

it makes so much sense!


message 27: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
It's a lot less confusing then people think it is, actually. There are tons of sites that make it really easy to understand. You just have to know where to look. :)


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah, that would help :D


message 29: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Personally I'd stick with Google. Some people are like, "Use Ask.com! Everyone uses Google!" Just stick with Google. I used them and found some great sites.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

*nods* i used to use Ask, but honestly Google's way better.


message 31: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 1015 comments Kenzie wrote: "If I were you I would definitely drop the whole self-publishing idea. Your stories are amazing, Brigid! And the best way to get them out there is to get an agent to get your book into a larger publ..."

Thanks! But see, it's not that I would give up on actual publishing completely. I just thought I should try self-publishing as a start. Like, I could self-publish one book just to take my first step out there and make a little money, while I was still trying to get an agent to represent my other books ... if that makes any sense.

Well, we'll see if anyone else has any thoughts. And I'll try sending out some more queries, see where it goes.

oh and Google rox my sox. =P lol


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

lol Brigid. You could always take the Christopher Paolini move. He started out as a self-publisher, and then later on another author saw his work, reccomended him to his agent, and the agent took him up, he agreed, and now his work is professionaly published. :D


message 33: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Google makes things easier to understand. Ask confuses me. LOL

--

Hmm ... well, I would still go the agent-publishing route. Just because then you have someone helping you fix any possible errors. Their job is to make your book the best they can, and once they've done that, they send it to someone else to have them critique it. They're in it to help you.

As a plus, they have experience dealing with publishers and would be able to tell you whether you're getting a good deal or not.

- Google is da bomb! LOL :D


message 34: by Just Plain Ray (new)

Just Plain Ray (Ray_of_Sunshine) | 2557 comments And I would go with a publisher too because it'll help your book get onto a shelf where people will actually SEE it, and not the storage compartment in the back of some discount store.

But the thing is is that I don't want to publish a book for the money, but rather because I want my story out there where other people besides my friends can read it and share my thoughts and feelings... now I'm just rambling, but you get my point (i hope)


message 35: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (last edited Jun 14, 2009 05:34PM) (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
I see your point, Rayana. I'm not in it for the money either. I want people to be able to read Daniel's story and fall in love with it. The best way to do that - in my opinion - is to get an agent and publish it that way, even if it means I'm going to earn less of the money.

Let's face it. 1) If I don't get Daniel's story out there he'll find some way to escape from my head and murder me. And 2) He kind of deserves to have his story out there.

They way I see it, the stories aren't OUR ideas. They're they lives of the characters who present themselves to us. The characters come to US and tell US their amazing story, we repay them by getting it down on paper. After that it's up to us to spread their story around. If you have the help of an agent that process goes a LOT smoother. :)


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

ha ha, now I feel guilty. I want to publish my book so others can read it and all, but I'm in it for the money too . . . Cuz right now, I really need it.


message 37: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Well, money does provide SOME incentive, but that shouldn't be your main goal in publishing a book. Go into it with a high head, expecting little and you'll come out feeling like a star. :D


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

yeah :D


message 39: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellerobins) XD nice way to put it kenzie


message 40: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Thank you. :) I think Vince and his advice-giving-ness is rubbing off on me. LOL


message 41: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellerobins) lol okay then


message 42: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Sorry ... random thought. LOL


message 43: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellerobins) tis fine, i have those all the time


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

:D


message 45: by Milinkalap (new)

Milinkalap For me, I like the idea of self-publishing, yes I'd be out of pocket more, but at the same time I'm not entirely sold on the idea of my book being able to go out to the masses. Guess I just want to be able to get copies for friends and those who want them.
I'm not looking to become the next 'big thing'


message 46: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
If you're just wanting copies for your friends to be able to read you could always use a site like Booksurge and just get a few copies bound. Unless you're wanting them to be able to purchase them at a store....


message 47: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendyswore) Another issue to think about is that self published books tend to have sales only online via word of mouth and amazon. In other words- you will find it very difficult to get your books into a regular book store. There are several authors in this group even who have been burned by self-publish, vanity publishers.

Just make sure you really check into it before you make any lasting commitments to anything.

If you can find a good agent that gets you into a big publisher and your book actually sells... then you've got a sweet deal.



message 48: by Kenzie, Help feed the hungry. Donate to 30 Hour Famine! (new)

Kenzie | 1305 comments Mod
Exactly, agents who do their job correctly are a great asset to any author - debut or experienced.


message 49: by Sella (new)

Sella Malin Brigid, I think you should try to publish a book with an agent first, because when you self-publish, it only goes to amazon, but with an agent, it's in the bookstore. If you keep trying to get it published and don't succeed (which won't happen!), then you could try self-publishing ... I dunno, whatever you want.


message 50: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 1015 comments Hmmm okay. I ... uh ... have no idea what to do. lol. O_o
But I guess I'll try more queries for a while instead of going to self-publishing right away. We'll see.


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