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Is it worth submitting my self published books to publishers?

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message 1: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Will they advertise them better than I can (if they opt to publish them) or is the advertising up to me anyway?


message 2: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Wallace (tillywallace) | 84 comments Most publishers won't consider previously self published titles unless you have great sales. I read on some agents blogs that you need at least 20,000 sales at a price of $2.99 or greater. You would have a better chance querying an unpublished manuscript if you wish to try for a traditional publisher. Also bear in mind the bigger publishers don't accept unsolicited manuscripts and you need to query agents first. Good luck :)


message 3: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Tilly wrote: "Most publishers won't consider previously self published titles unless you have great sales. I read on some agents blogs that you need at least 20,000 sales at a price of $2.99 or greater. You woul..."

I have found a few publishers and emailed them and told me they accept self published books. So, regarding the question in the OP, do you have anything to say?


message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Walker | 38 comments I have had two novels traditionally published, one last year and one next year. The publisher puts it out there. That means on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Novel, and their own social media. I did my own Facebook and Instagram, I sent emails with links to the book around the world to organizations I thought would be interested. I tried a marketing company but the results were poor, I think because you have to target readers who might be interested in your topic, and they weren't able to do that. BookBub ads can do that and they were fun. I managed to get three newspaper articles written about the book. I was also asked to speak at Probus Club but that was demolished by Coronavirus. So, you get the picture? A little bit of them and a little bit of you. (A lot of you, actually.) His Most Italian City


message 5: by Tilly (last edited Aug 21, 2020 09:04PM) (new)

Tilly Wallace (tillywallace) | 84 comments Hector wrote: "I have found a few publishers and emailed them and told me they accept self published books."

I would respectfully ask if you researched these “publishers”?

Legitimate traditional publishers only rarely take self published works. Vanity presses (who masquerade as “publishers”) will take anything, as they prey on the naive and make their money by selling expensive (and shoddy) publishing packages. Could you please list these publishers who are willing to take on your previously self published works?

As to your question about marketing effort - the answer is that it is normally tied to the amount of the advance. The bigger the advance paid to the author, the more effort the publisher will put into marketing and advertising to recoup the advance.

For example, if a manuscript goes to auction with multiple bids and ends up in a 6 or 7 figure offer, then the publisher will invest a significant amount of effort including (most probably) a national book tour and appearances and they will probably aim for hitting the USA Today or NYT bestseller list.

If the publisher pays less than 5k as an advance, the amount of marketing effort is going to be minimal - blog tours, a run on NetGalley for advance reviews and perhaps a 6 week stint in physical stores.


message 6: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments I think most of you, fellows, haven't understood what I'm about. I'm not some successful author who makes six digits and decided to transition to traditional publishing because hey why not. I have self published three books and they have sold 4 copies (all together!)

I don't know whether my books are of poor quality or it is just that I don't have the means of effectively advertising them myself (being broke and all). So, my questions are...

-Would my books have more chances of being noticed by readers if I submitted them to some publisher and they opted to publish them?

-Do you have any other recommendations as to how I could possibly advertise them myself? I think there was an author who did it by herself (Alysia Helming). But maybe that was just due to the fact that she was already rich, so she had the means.


message 7: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments I would respectfully ask if you researched these “publishers”?

Do you know anything about Pegasus? Are they legitimate? Frauds?


message 8: by Savio (new)

Savio Dawson (saviodawson) | 32 comments Hey Hector,


Go on Google and search for "Pegasus Reviews". That's what authors and would be authors have to say about Pegasus. I am not going to make a comment here and tell you about these guys, but I suggest you come to your own conclusion.


message 9: by Jim (last edited Aug 22, 2020 02:09PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1084 comments Hector,

Most public libraries include entire sections dedicated to books and periodicals written by well known, established authors, publishers, editors, and agents who have already achieved documented commercial success within the literary field.

They provide lists of legitimate publishers, agents, editors and graphic and layout design artists along with contact information and the proper process.

Never send a manuscript to any of the above mentioned potential contacts. Send a query letter. The proper recommended format for such a letter, along with examples, can be found in the aforementioned books and articles. No legitimate publisher, agent, editor, are design artist will request payment up front.

Seek professional information from the professionals and that is what you will receive. Seeking professional information from an amateur will only provide well-intended, but not necessarily correct advice.

Very few novice authors ever achieve commercial success within this extremely competitive field. That said; some have. There is no reason why you might not possibly become one of them. I wish you success.


message 10: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Jim wrote: "Hector,

Most public libraries include entire sections dedicated to books and periodicals written by well known, established authors, publishers, editors, and agents who have already achieved docum..."


So those who told me 'Yes, we accept self published books. Feel free to submit your manuscript along with a query letter' are suspicious?


message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 18 comments Hector wrote: "I think most of you, fellows, haven't understood what I'm about. I'm not some successful author who makes six digits and decided to transition to traditional publishing because hey why not. I have ..."

Have you had beta readers? Have you received external feedback from more than ten betas/editors before publishing? Have you researched and/or studied some form of editing? Have you reviews that tell you anything about your books? If not, why not?

All these things may be useful when self-publishing, and if you've published 4 books and not got any (or very few reviews) what are you doing about getting your books out there? If you're doing nothing, why not?

It can be hundreds of letters later that a big publisher decides to pick up a book from a self-publisher. The chance of picking up a book that has sold 4 copies from an SP author is low.

What is it you are looking for? Instant success? Buckets of money? On the whole very unlikely in this arena.

If you are looking for hard work to find readers and publishing purely for the love of doing it, then you might find a lot of success in this arena, depending on what success means to you.

Goodreads has a ton of information and help from SP authors who have been through it all. But still, most of them will never be millionnaires, nor be able to live solely on writing no matter how amazing their work. So if you only have 4 sales, seek out the free reviewers, and make sure they're the honest type. Put your book up for free copies (on some of the Goodreads groups) and see what readers think. Take on board reviews and feedback. Check your covers and make sure they're up to standard.

It is hard. There is no easy route, unless you have big connections. If you really love writing you'll do what you can to make your work better and get it out to people.

If you wanna make big bucks, I'm definitely someone who can't help. But good luck.


message 12: by Jim (last edited Aug 22, 2020 03:03PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1084 comments Hector wrote: "Jim wrote: "Hector,

Most public libraries include entire sections dedicated to books and periodicals written by well known, established authors, publishers, editors, and agents who have already ac..."


Hector,

Again, do your own research. Peruse the books and periodicals that provide lists, of legitimate, well-known publishers, along with contact and process information.

Requesting information and advice from others, who may sincerely believe they know more than you, but have as yet to achieve success themselves is an exercise in futility.

Expend the time, energy, and resources performing you own research and investigation. There are no shortcuts to success. Who knows? Someday I may be able to say that I interacted with Hector before he became a best-selling author and, if I never do, it won't be because you did not give it your best shot. Again, I sincerely wish you success.


message 13: by Hector (last edited Aug 22, 2020 03:08PM) (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Jessica wrote: "Hector wrote: "I think most of you, fellows, haven't understood what I'm about. I'm not some successful author who makes six digits and decided to transition to traditional publishing because hey w..."

So many questions!

I have no money for beta readers/editors. I'm broke. Is there any way someone who is broke can do something to promote their book or might I as well give up?

Give free samples? Dunno. I went through hell to write a book only to give it for free? You can read it for free on Amazon with KDP select. Isn't that enough?

As for reviewers, I don't know. Most of them want to be paid. One time, I gave a PDF copy of my first book to a reviewer/blogger here (who was supposed to review it for free) and, months later, when I asked, she was like, 'No, I won't review it, because you're too impatient'. So, after that, I don't trust people who appear on this site as 'reviewers'.

As for what I seek. I do have the inner need for my books to be read, but that doesn't mean I'll start giving them away. Do you have any idea what I went through to write them?

Dunno, does anybody here have any experience with free copies? How does this system work? Is it worth it?


message 14: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Wallace (tillywallace) | 84 comments Hector wrote: "Do you know anything about Pegasus? Are they legitimate? Frauds?"

No - they are not a legitimate publisher. They are a vanity press. All you have to do is spend five minutes on google to save yourself thousands of dollars. Search publisher name + scam. Another fantastic resource is the Writers Beware blog, which keeps up to date with the predatory companies.

If you genuinely want to pursue traditional publishing then you need to query agents first. Most legitimate publishers do not take unsolicited submissions - they only deal with agents. Yes, there are small publishers who will deal with unagented authors, but often they do very little for taking the lion's share of royalties.

There are many online resources to find lists of agents and how to prepare a query package, such as:
querytracker.net
agentqueryconnect.com

Keeping in mind that, again, you need to do your research as most agents won't consider previously self published books unless you have significant sales.

If you want to retain control and royalties then you will need to do some form of advertising. I'm currently taking a course about Facebook ads and have already seen sales surpass my modest $5 budget. Everyone starts small and grows day by day.


message 15: by Penelope (new)

Penelope Swan (penelopekahlerswan) | 191 comments Hector wrote: "I think most of you, fellows, haven't understood what I'm about. I'm not some successful author who makes six digits and decided to transition to traditional publishing because hey why not. I have ..."

What do you want out of writing, Hector?


message 16: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Taylor (christophertaylor) | 76 comments A lot of publishers don't like books that have been already self published, and will be pretty resistant. Whether its snobbishness or anger at competition, or suspicion that the quality is low, I don't know.

Getting published these days is harder than ever from an established publisher (for most people).

Honestly I wouldn't put a lot of hope in a publisher advertising your work anyway. When's the last book ad you saw? Did you ever buy a book because of an ad? They expect you to push your own work, too, unless you're pretty established.

They just take the lion's share of the profits too.


message 17: by Ed (last edited Aug 22, 2020 04:18PM) (new)

Ed Morawski | 229 comments Hector

Join the Beta Readers Group. You'll find people who will read for free.

Join the Review Group and participate in reviewing other authors who will also review your work

On Amazon - did you check Expanded Distribution?

If yes, you've already done more than a publisher will.


message 18: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Ed wrote: "Hector

Join the Beta Readers Group. You'll find people who will read for free.

Join the Review Group and participate in reviewing other authors who will also review your work

On Amazon - did you..."


I have included my books in Expanded Distribution. Is this good? Bad?


message 19: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Penelope wrote: "Hector wrote: "I think most of you, fellows, haven't understood what I'm about. I'm not some successful author who makes six digits and decided to transition to traditional publishing because hey w..."

What I want from writing? That's a deep question. Let's take this to PMs; I don't want the others to think that I have begun trying to play the 'sympathy' card. I'll tell you more if you activate the PM function.


message 20: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Tilly wrote: "Hector wrote: "Do you know anything about Pegasus? Are they legitimate? Frauds?"

No - they are not a legitimate publisher. They are a vanity press. All you have to do is spend five minutes on goog..."


Well, they have told me already that they offer two packages (one where the author pays and one where the author doesn't pay). Do you think they're lying and I'll have to pay in the end no matter what?


message 21: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Wallace (tillywallace) | 84 comments Hector wrote: "Do you think they're lying and I'll have to pay in the end no matter what? "

Yes. Because they are a predatory vanity press whose entire business model is centred around finding writers to pay for expensive packages (whether it's a publishing package, marketing package, or simply massively over charging for "author copies"). They do not make their money by selling books, these vanity presses have no interest in selling books, as they are geared toward taking money from writers.

Legitimate publishers make their money from selling books, they also pay advances TO their authors.


message 22: by Hector (new)

Hector Fenwick | 16 comments Tilly wrote: "Hector wrote: "Do you think they're lying and I'll have to pay in the end no matter what? "

Yes. Because they are a predatory vanity press whose entire business model is centred around finding wri..."


Thanks. You also said earlier something about addressing agents. So, let me ask this too. Is it worth submitting my self published book to an agent?


message 23: by Jim (last edited Aug 25, 2020 01:04PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1084 comments Hector wrote: "Tilly wrote: "Hector wrote: "Do you think they're lying and I'll have to pay in the end no matter what? "

Yes. Because they are a predatory vanity press whose entire business model is centred arou..."


Hector,

One should never send an unsolicited copy of their book or manuscript to a publisher, agent, or editor unless requested to do so, along with a binding non-disclosure/replication agreement approved by both parties.

Send a query letter instead. Limit it to one page, including a concise overview of your story.

All of the information you seek may be obtained from books, periodicals, classes, and seminars at very little or no cost, written or conducted by well-known, established professionals who have already achieved substantial commercial success within their chosen field.

Expend the energy, time, and resources into seeking information from professionals and that is what you will receive. Seeking advice from those who have little or no more experience and knowledge then yourself is an exercise in futility.


message 24: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Wallace (tillywallace) | 84 comments Hector wrote: "So, let me ask this too. Is it worth submitting my self published book to an agent?"

As I already said in reply #2, most agents won't look at a self published book unless it has a minimum of 20,000 sales at a price point of $2.99 or higher. Some set a higher bar - Trident Media (a well known NY agency) won't consider any self published novel with less than 6-figure sales.

There are instances of previously self published books being picked up with few sales, if they have critical acclaim. There is a fantasy series (and the name escapes me at the moment) that was taken on by a trad publisher after it won the SPFBO competition.

If you wish to pursue a traditional deal (and don't have significant sales) then your best option is to query an unpublished manuscript. In reply #14 I gave 2 excellent resources for workshopping your query and submission package. QueryTracker maintains up to date lists of agents that are searchable by genre and allows you track queries sent and responses.


message 25: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Harris | 87 comments Hector, you asked the question about do we know what you went through to publish the book. Most authors go through a rigmarole when writing, so this question was slightly insulting. The answer is probably yes we do understand, but even so, like it or not, offering free copies of your books gets your name and book out there. I recently ran a prize draw for 8 signed paperback copies of my books which I gave away free.

If you're truly serious about your work then YOU need to work hard at promoting it, whether through self-publishing or a publishing company. I'm what some may call a new author, my first book came out Dec 19. But I've been pretty successful considering I didn't expect to sell ten copies of my first book! Instead I'm gaining readers through sheer hard work promoting them.

Do beware of vanity publishers, many are scammers and will cost you a small fortune. When I decided to release my first book, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to self-publish, I wanted to remain in control of my books. And what many are saying is right, publishers will more than likely not touch you as they prefer agent recommended works.

Find beta readers who can feed back to you, they'll tell you plot holes and grammatical errors and so on. They aren't editors but will tell you what needs to be improved and if they like or hate your book. I have ten readers who always read my work in advance and their advice is invaluable.

But at end of the day publishing or self publishing, YOU have to work hard promoting your work!


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