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Archived Author Help > Anyone query agents after self-publishing?

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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments I was just curious whether some of you have gone this route.

I recently read the authors of Branded - a YA dystopian novel - had success doing this after doing well for on their own and made it sound like a positive (though not necessarily painless...) process.

For those interested, this was the article I saw:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-b...


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Purifoy | 10 comments I've queried quite a few agents after self-publishing my book. It's only been a week since I've sent my queries, but I'm hoping to hear back within a month or so.


message 3: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments Best of luck there!


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitalouiserobertsonyahoocom) | 50 comments Yes, best of luck Mark - keep your fingers crossed, I hope you hear back too!


message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark Purifoy | 10 comments Thank you, guys.


message 6: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments I notice there was no bottom line in that article. No discussion of rights, reversion terms, royalties, creative control (mush words there), or anything substantive. How long will this great relationship last? How long will the book be in print? What happens after that?

Very crudely, which number is bigger: (15% x sale rate x publisher's patience) or (70% x indie sales rate x author's patience)?

Mostly what I've heard regarding this question is wait until they come to you. That can be especially important for keeping some control over the rights.

And keep in mind (if your book is successful enough to be picked up) that you created that success on your own. They had nothing to do with it. They just want to capitalize on what you did. Make them pay full value for that.


message 7: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments I have no interest in an agent. I'm looking to be a long-tail author, selling off of my extensive smutty backlist.


message 8: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) Hmm. If I was doing well on my own, I wouldn't even consider and agent.

Morris


message 9: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Kaplan | 47 comments I've no interest in querying an agent, quite honestly. If one were to pursue me (har har har) I'd consider it, but I'm done querying entirely.


message 10: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Echoing what others have said, if my books are doing well enough to get agent notice, then there doesn't seem to be a need for an agent.
I never considered traditional publishing for a number of reasons. Creative control was one, but market control is another big factor. I don't care if it holds me back financially, there are certain places I don't want sellimg my books.


message 11: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Christina wrote: "I don't care if it holds me back financially, there are certain places I don't want sellimg my books..."

I admire your perspective. At this point, I can't imagine ceeding control of our books. Movies or an HBO series is another matter. Yes, as long as we can retain control the books, we will happily sell out there for the right price. (We have a "big" dream we want to fund.)


message 12: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments I (naturally) wouldn't know the details of the new business arrangement or how it was more advantageous to the authors, but I don't blame them for exploring their options.

Trad pub might give them a chance to branch out for international readership or bolster their presence domestically. "Success" by self-publishing standards could be a relative concept - like enough sales to make agents believe you have selling power.

It's just something I wouldn't dismiss outright without knowing the full details and benefits I would be passing on.


message 13: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) From the instances I hear about authors being dropped by their agents or publisher, I wonder about the advantages of going traditional. They drop a book because their magic dust didn't result in a bestseller. Isn't the traditional route supposed to result in author success? I mean, that's why their club is so exclusive, after all.

These are rhetorical questions, and I'm not sure if I have a real point, other than wondering if hooking an agent means your book is now in the hands of a fairy godmother or genie who will hand you a beautiful six-figure check. I don't think that's the case. I think it's as likely as having Amazon or Smashwords deposit hefty funds into your account.

I guess what I'm asking is what's the difference between agent/publisher methods of promoting a book to success and our own? If there's no major difference, then I'd rather hussle and keep the 60-70%. If there is a difference, please tell me so I can copy their methods, and then hussle to keep that 60-70%!


message 14: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
I found this article interesting Quoleena. Seems like most of it can be done by yourself, though admittedly the Agent probably has better connections from years in the field, and the blood sweat and tears of those that came before.


message 15: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Thanks Riley! I read that article a while back. After checking it out a second time, I'm even more of the opinion of illiminating the middle man. Why go through all that to maybe get your book in the hands of the right person? There's a sea of readers out there and I can work to get it directly into their hands. So, I guess I have the true heart and soul of an indie! Yeehaw!


message 16: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Owen wrote: "Christina wrote: "I don't care if it holds me back financially, there are certain places I don't want sellimg my books..."

I admire your perspective. At this point, I can't imagine ceeding control..."


I would have only a few 'demands' as far as selling the rights to a different artistic medium and they would be just as 'social justice' driven as my reasons for not wanting certain retailers selling my books. You already know who they are since we've discussed this before.
But creative changes? Eh, movies or tv shows are never like the books, so I'm okay with *almost* anything.


message 17: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Quoleena wrote: "From the instances I hear about authors being dropped by their agents or publisher, I wonder about the advantages of going traditional. They drop a book because their magic dust didn't result in a ..."

There are a lot of variables, and it depends heavily on genre. Also nonfiction is quite different. A good friend of mine sold her first novel to Ballantine (this was in the early 2000's) for an advance of over $70K. It's literary fiction, and today you still will have a hard time selling literary fiction as an indie author. That market wants the imprimatur of a major publisher, and you pretty much need to get a decent review in an old, well-recognized review pub (NYT Review of Books, etc) by an equally respected party to get much traction.

In genre fiction, it’s totally different. Your points are spot on. I’ve also heard of authors who sold their book and then the publisher expected them to promote it. And then they pulled it. Exploring options is always a good idea, but the devil is in the details. For an author in genre fiction, a deal that will pay off in the long run is extraordinary.

The people in the article may be doing well, and that’s a good thing, but my feeling is that it’s a fluff piece that presents a misleading picture of the industry, and I have to wonder why that is. I can’t help but suspect an ulterior motive for publishing it. Maybe I’m just showing my age and level of distrust in an industry that does have a somewhat checkered past. But it pays to be cautious.


message 18: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments I'm not planning on it.
Nor am I expecting it.
But I'll keep an open mind.
Depends.
Maybe...?
Probably not.
Hmmm...


message 19: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Culpepper | 23 comments J.D. wrote: "I've no interest in querying an agent, quite honestly. If one were to pursue me (har har har) I'd consider it, but I'm done querying entirely."

Ditto J.D.!!!


message 20: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Eyre (rachaeleyre) | 194 comments I wouldn't rule it out, but think I should spend the next few years building up my output and audience so I can prove people are willing to read my work. Why get someone to do what I can do myself?


message 21: by Hayden (last edited May 16, 2015 02:35AM) (new)

Hayden Linder (haydendlinder) | 85 comments I don't know. Ever since I found out new authors are expected to do a good portion of their own publicity once they have a publishing deal, it kind of took the "glee" out of going the traditional route.

I wouldn't say no to the right deal, but I would be real particular about all the little bits of
that contract.


message 22: by Nick (new)

Nick Armbrister (nickarmbristerjimmyboomsemtex) | 8 comments Interesting reading. I've not approached agents in almost 15 years when i was sending my 1st novel out. All said no for varied reasons. I since self published that book and others.

Now what i wonder is this... if an indie authors on say amazon sold a million ebooks, do they need an agent? I think this had actually happened? Will any of them get an agent to deal with their follow on ebooks/books? Or go it alone? What do you all think?


message 23: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Nick wrote: "Now what i wonder is this... if an indie authors on say amazon sold a million ebooks, do they need an agent? I think this had actually happened? Will any of them get an agent to deal with their follow on ebooks/books? Or go it alone? What do you all think? "

This is hearsay, but I've read that successful indie authors have been approached (Hugh Howie, for one), but not by agents. If you are that successful, publishers seem to come to you directly and you don't need an agent, you need a lawyer. Based on a (very) few articles I read that dealt directly with this, publishers did not seem to be offering contracts that the successful indie authors being approached liked. (I recall one counter-example.)

Also, Amazon had been picking up successful indie authors. Go to the Top 100 list on some major genre/sub genre, and look through it for authors published by an Amazon imprint. There are a goodly number.

I have no idea how many indie authors find success with traditional publishers based on their track record, so I can't draw conclusions. My gut feel is that Amazon understands indie authors better and offer more attractive contracts to them. The contract terms Amazon has put on-line are better in the key elements than what I've heard regarding Big-5 publishers.

Personally, we might deal with Amazon. But a Big 5 publisher would have to offer a quite extraordinary deal to get our interest.


message 24: by Nick (new)

Nick Armbrister (nickarmbristerjimmyboomsemtex) | 8 comments Owen wrote: "Nick wrote: "Now what i wonder is this... if an indie authors on say amazon sold a million ebooks, do they need an agent? I think this had actually happened? Will any of them get an agent to deal w..."

Yes interesting stuff. In 2012 (i think) there was the so called Millionaire's Club of 8 indie authors on amazon who sold a million plus each. This forced the traditional publishers to take note. I think of the 8, only 1 took on help. He took on board an accountant. This was in the news so i can't say how true it is. But amazon as you say has some successful authors on it. My knowledge on it is next to nothing. If they got their by pure hard work, amazing stuff indeed.


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