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Archived Author Help > Submitting to a trad publisher

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message 1: by Rachael (last edited Aug 16, 2015 01:29PM) (new)

Rachael Eyre (rachaeleyre) | 192 comments Having been alerted to a submission deadline this morning, I've sent off the first 15,000 words of my current book and a synopsis to a trad publisher. Now I've taken the plunge I'm worried ...

What have your experiences been with trad publishing? Was being self published / indie an obstacle? Did they ask you to make the story more conventional? Was it this that put you off the traditional route for once and for all?

Of my previous experiences, one was kindly but firmly rejected in a face to face interview (I was fifteen at the time, so it was immaturity coupled with terrible writing), while the second never responded. My mum later discovered it was more of an 'adult' house; presumably stories about friendly talking dragons weren't their thing.


message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve King (stking) | 57 comments Rachael wrote: "Having been alerted to a submission deadline this morning, I've sent off the first 15,000 words of my current book and a synopsis to a trad publisher. Now I've taken the plunge I'm worried ...

Wha..."


Rachel---none of my eBooks has been picked up by a regular publisher YET--am still trying. I don't think it being an eBook was even a factor. My children's story was included in a Belfast Writer's Group Anthology but I don't think I can count that as a traditional publisher. Steve :)


message 3: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Rachael wrote: "Was being self published / indie an obstacle?"

In the old days of about five years ago, self publishing a work made it ineligible for traditional publishing. Now, your best bet for getting a traditional deal as an unknown is to have already had success as an indie.

I guess I would ask the question: What are you expecting from a traditional publisher?


message 4: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Christina wrote: "I guess I would ask the question: What are you expecting from a traditional publisher?"

Great question, Christina! That's the right question to ask. If you understand the answer to that question, you understand the state of traditional publishing today.

April


message 5: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Rachael wrote: "What have your experiences been with trad publishing? Was being self published / indie an obstacle?"

My direct experience is not that recent, and otherwise, it's second hand. These days it seems to be true that if you've had success as an indie, traditional publishers will look at you as a proven commodity. However, "success" does seem to be at a very high level, and almost all of the cases I'm aware of were picked up by an Amazon imprint. There has also been movement in the other direction: successful authors buying their work back and going indie.

And yes, you do lose creative control over your work, in that they will often required changes as a condition of acceptance (and maybe later, depending on the genre and publisher), and they do expect you (in most cases) to do your own marketing.

However, this is for genre fiction. Literary fiction is completely different kettle of fish. (As is non-fiction, of course.) Publishers are not all the same, of course, and the Big 5 operate differently than the smaller houses.

As for what I put me off traditional publishing, I'll just hold my tongue on that. I don't want to use that sort of language in public.


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Capes | 90 comments I still publish in both realms as I like to 'double' my output :D

I negotiated with my small (fiction) publisher for a short contract that I can renegotiate (if I wish) when it's up. Thus, they don't own my work forever (but royalties are still a low % in the meantime.)

What I like is that they can pay everything with one series, leaving me and my resources more open to pay for my other works.

I have had to change elements for the publisher (story-wise) and it was for the better. Alternatively, with my poetry publishing, I've only had one cover I wasn't thrilled with across five or so releases over 3 publishers.


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