- Michael Offutt (today - as part of his SLIPSTREAM book tour),
- Rachel Morgan from Rachel Morgan Writes (May 14),
- Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse (May 21), and
- Adina West from Stairways and Landings (May 28).
And each of the four weeks, I'll be popping in some interesting agent tips/posts and "link love" on self- or digital publishing as well! In the interests of offering balanced information, I'll be including both pros and cons - I think it's very important for people to decide for themselves which form of publishing best suits their needs, and to do that, you need all the information, right.
Some agent thoughts on self-publishing
Former agent Nathan Bransford wrote this post on Should You Self-Publish: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself (it's a little old now, but the things to consider before self-publishing are still spot on!).
And this one, from 2012: Is There A Self-Publishing Bubble?
Here is part of agent Marisa Corvisiero's response to the question: With the trend of authors self-publishing, do you see this as a negative for the author who may later decide to try traditional publishing?
Being self published no longer means that the book is just not good enough or that the author is difficult to work with. It may just mean that the author is willing to spend time and money to sell their book and that they are eager to create a following. So the old perceptions are shifting into a more neutral and acceptable plane. I have recently sent out questions to some contacts at NYC top ten traditional houses and all ten told me that if they love the work and the book has been doing well, they will try to acquire it. The magic number for “doing well” is about 5K book sales! That is not an impossible number to achieve today with all of the social marketing and e-book opportunities that cost almost nothing!Some link love:
And here's some link love on self/digital publishing:
- Here is *the* post by Amanda Hocking, the one she wrote in 2011 in response to the huge hype about her success. Anyone who is considering self-publishing should read this realistic post, and many of her other posts, I think. I'll be including others in my May series, including one of her latest posts about the success of her new books which are being "traditionally published"
- Emlyn Chand has written this post: Why I’m self-publishing Farsighted even though I already have a literary agent: Indie power and the perfect marketing campaign!
- Infinity Publishing are, I believe, a Print on Demand publishing company, and they have written an article on the Benefits of Self-Publishing. I haven't ordered or read this book, so I can't personally recommend it, but this "free 100 page self-publishing guide" by Infinity Publishing may be of interest to anyone who is thinking about Print on Demand publishing (here is the Absolute Write thread on Infinity Publishing, so you can check them out).
Guest Post by Michael Offutt, author of SLIPSTREAM
Double Dragon Publishing. They are based out of Canada. Double Dragon Publishing describes itself as a midsize or medium-sized publisher. They primarily concentrate on e-books. However, they also do print, as in print on demand. This means that they do things through Lulu or lightning source and people can order a paperback book by clicking on the right button online. My book will never be physically featured in bookstores like Barnes & Noble, but I'm definitely okay with that. Really the only way you seem to be able to get into bookstores here in the States is to be traditionally published through one of the Big Six and that requires an agent and a whole lot of other things. My book honestly was never going to find representation. It has gay characters, is written in third person omniscient, has a boy as a protagonist, and comes in at 120,000 words. I gave up after 40 or so rejection letters. About that time I discovered several small publishers that didn't require an agent for representation. And mostly I was looking for someone that would format the book for me, help with some editing, and do the cover art. Double Dragon Publishing did all of that.
I published SLIPSTREAM without having a single beta-reader. I tried to find one and was unsuccessful. I asked my friend Robyn to read it. I even paid her $400.00 to get advice. I got nothing. I asked my friend Kathy to read it. She never got back to me. I emailed a copy to my friend Melissa. I never heard anything. My own family doesn’t read so they weren’t an option. After a year of searching, I had exhausted all my contacts. So I just tackled it myself and tried to figure out what was working and what didn’t work. It took me three years to write.
I started a blog in 2011. Since then I’ve met a lot of talented people, and in getting my sequel written, I was actually approached by beta-readers. Let me rephrase that…I had people who actually solicited me to read my book. I was stunned. Really? So I sent them copies (I’m not stupid) and they read what I’d written in two weeks! I was floored, overwhelmed, fascinated, and oh so thankful. I had gone from a year of nothing but heartache to ten pages of feedback simply because I started a blog. To show my appreciation to these betas, I offered to read their stuff in return. One thus far has taken me up on the offer. The other will do so in the future, she’s just not ready yet.
All of this happened because I network with other writers. It’s such a relief that I can’t express my gratitude to the people who are reading my words.
If you are in this boat; if you are an author and needs feedback but never gets it, I urge you to network with other writers. Join Rach’s twice a year Writers' Platform-Building Campaign. Join Arlee Bird’s A to Z Challenge. Participate in blog fests. You will have fun and make friends and more importantly, become a part of a huge online community that can support our special kind of crazy.
I have a contest for the release of my book. I will pick one random person who comments on this post to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and a SLIPSTREAM jeweled spider (the same person wins both prizes). The jeweled spider really sparkles in the sunlight. I hope whoever wins it really likes it. Also, please make sure that your email is linked to your signature in some way :)
1) Mark my book “To Read” on Goodreads.
2) Comment on this post.
3) Tweet this post if you have twitter. You don’t have to sign-up for twitter. It’s the “honor” system. :)
That’s it. I will choose a winner on Saturday, May 19th. And thank you, Rachael, for having me on your fine blog.
Here's where SLIPSTREAM can be found:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1109954378?ean=9781554049493
Thanks so much Michael, it's been lovely having you along today. Wishing you every success with SLIPSTREAM (and I just adore that Spider badge *grins*).
I hope all of you enjoyed reading Michael's post. Make sure you pop back next Monday for the next step in my self-publishing/digital publishing series: Rachel Morgan's guest post :) And don't forget to follow Michael's instructions above for a chance to win his awesome spider and the $5 Amazon Gift Card!