Publishing in the 21st Century. What your agent dosn’t tell you!

lolDid you know the average print book will sell only 500 copies? While some people may get lucky, most will never make enough to recover the advance they get from the agent, a discouraging reality for new writers. A book put online will often make only 500 dollars, which sounds depressing, untill you realize many of the online titles are poorly made books that are from the people who couldn’t get a book deal with an agent. If your book is actually good it has the potential for becoming a success that a traditional publishing firm can’t offer you. They only give you a small cut and keep the rest for marketing, but as a first time, little known author they won’t actually spend a big deal on advertising your book. They spend all the big money on the big name authors that they know will sell well. Would it be better for you to spend a portion of your profits and market a self-published book yourself? The number one and number two spot on Amazons book sales are both self-published authors so it looks as if it might be in your best interest. It’s a lot more work, but you keep the rights to the book and if you do your reasearch and market carefully, you have a chance to succeed!


About Everyrosehasathorn

So I have finished my first book, Every Rose Has a Thorn, which is available on amazon for free if you have an amazon prime membership, or 2.99 otherwise. This is a book about Emily Rose who is drawn into a battle between angels that want to not only destroy the world and human race, but for some reason want her on their side when they do it! She must learn that doing what is right isn't always easy, especially when you fall in love with a very dangerous angel! View all posts by Everyrosehasathorn

16 responses to “Publishing in the 21st Century. What your agent dosn’t tell you!

  • Johnny Ojanpera

    It’s nice to see statistics like that. It confirms my decision a little more. Thanks.

  • The Drugstore Notebook

    Thank you for this. Had no idea self-published books were doing so well in Amazon. What are the titles of the works?

  • SFF Madman

    Self-publishing is a great idea. Certainly, the traditional publishers have been corporate for a long time and they only concerned about the bottom line these days. They are actually trying to promote brand names, as if authors were just like any other product or commodity. They’re selling authors, more often than no, rather than books.

    But there are, of course, two very important things to recognize when self-publishing:

    1. Make sure sure you have polished your material until it is nearly pristine. Unless you are going to pay someone for it, no one else is going to do it. I won’t expect a self-published author to conform to all the little nit-picking details of the professional standards required by the trads, but you still want your work to reflect the best writing you have in you. You don’t want to self-publish something like the one I did, which was called The Defiler’s Rule: Pure Intensity (a title I despise now). If you read it, you’d understand why. It’s not a bad story, but it really needed to be cleaned up. It’s not in print now.

    2. Promotion is hard work. It will take time and lots of energy, bucking against an industry that rarely wants to consider your work if you’ve self-published. Online distribution services like Amazon are a great boon in this area. However, book signings, conventions, and other leg work are still very important to marketing your book. If you don’t have the time, the means, or the will to deal with all the road blocks along the way, your book is dead.

    Having said this, I don’t think that means the book can’t be revived. If your book sells thousands of copies, a trad might want to negotiate with you for a contract. If it doesn’t get enough attention, they don’t want to bother meddling with the rights over it. But, if the contract you had for self-publishing services returns all rights to you when it expires (and it doesn’t self-renew, something you should *never* sign), and you’ve sold less than a hundred copies, you still have a chance.

    That’s very nice work, Everyrose! It gives me more hope for the future of publishing. Self-publishing sounds like the natural thing for an author to do anyway, rather than give up so much control to someone else. You just do whichever you can.

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I think since I’m talking to an agent and all I will see how long of a contract I would have to sign, if it’s only a year I can do that, otherwise I’d just self-publish, I don’t want to wait the normal five years, that’s ridiculous and a waste of time unless the agent is super good.

      • SFF Madman

        If you have a reputable agent you’ve already been able leap a couple hurdles, giving you better chance for contract with a traditional house. I hope you get it!

        I do plan to try Amazon myself now, after reading this, but for shorter works that are often difficult to place anyway (too long for many fiction zines, too short to be a novella kind of thing).

  • kingmidget

    The more I hear about the traditional publishing route, the less I want to have to do with it. I self-published a novel last July. After waiting for something to happen, I engaged in two relatively simple promotional efforts in January and another one in May. I’ve sold over 1,000 copies — mostly e-books for the Kindle. I think there’s a way to make some money self-publishing. Still not convinced there’s a way to make a lot of money. From what I can see, the key factor in hitting the “lot of money” level is volume. Having a lot of published works out there. Very difficult to do with only one or two published works.

  • countingducks

    I agree with this. Because ‘marketing’ is now the most immediately critical activity in getting your book sold, many good marketers with poor product sell a lot more than good producers with poor marketing skills. Many of the very best films made never get to a cinema or movie house near you for reasons which are depressing but easy to understand. In the long run, self- publishing and learning marketing techniques is probably the best way to get a first book noticed. Publishers are then much more likely to pay attention to your second book, knowing you’ve already done a lot of the hard work

  • elizabeth5713

    Very helpful post. Thank you!

  • treewithroots

    I’ve published three books and am working on my fourth. The third one is out as an e-book. I plan to continue writing and publishing my own books.

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      Which method do you prefer? Which one seems to do the best?

      • treewithroots

        I’d like to publish my fourth novel as both a paperback and as an e-book. Different audiences prefedr different formats. E-books are more accessible to young readers who have e-readers already and can afford an inexpensive download. On the other hand, parents and other relatives buy paperbacks as gifts for their younger relatives. Both mwthods require that I do some technical work, but I’m fine with that.

  • restlessjo

    Interesting thoughts. Many thanks for following. 🙂

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