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A Question about Publishing Options · View
mhend90
Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 2:01:59 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Hi! I'm a fairly 'green' writer when it comes to actually aiming to get published (though I've written small pieces here and there for years now) and frankly, I just can't find any good/reliable resources. I've been browsing the forum here (and that's helped a lot!), along with several dozen other places it seems, and I am having a hard time getting the facts.

So here's some questions, if anyone can help point me in the right direction!

1) Who are good publishers to aim for when I'm working independently (no agent or third-party working with me)?

2) What is the best way to present a manuscript? Should I have it all complete and ready to go first? Does it need to be fully finished before submitting?

3) Concerning poetry, what is the best way (and the best publishers) to go about submitting only a couple pieces of poetry?

4) If I decided I just wanted to self-publish a book, what are some good resources in that direction?

Thank you!

M. Hendrix

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
Lisa
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 1:49:45 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/12/2010
Posts: 1,082
Hi, M! There are a few writers here who've had quite a lot of work published, so hopefully they'll be able to help point you in the right direction.

Which genre does the writing fall into that you're looking at getting published?

Have you thought about self-publishing at all?
mhend90
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:57:35 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
I have thought about self-publishing before, as I am not familiar with how a publishing company would work, or what they would require of me. That is the part that I can't seem to find any information about, sadly. My writing doesn't fit into a regular genre; I can jump from writing humour, to romance, to horror, to crime; literally whatever catches my fancy is what I'm writing about. I like to consider myself as a general fiction writer; willing to dabble in just about anything.



Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:33:46 PM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,923
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Let's see what we can do here...I think a good number of these questions have been addressed in the forum here before...

mhend90 wrote:
Hi! I'm a fairly 'green' writer when it comes to actually aiming to get published (though I've written small pieces here and there for years now) and frankly, I just can't find any good/reliable resources. I've been browsing the forum here (and that's helped a lot!), along with several dozen other places it seems, and I am having a hard time getting the facts.

So here's some questions, if anyone can help point me in the right direction!

1) Who are good publishers to aim for when I'm working independently (no agent or third-party working with me)?


Check out DuoTrope...can be a bit tedious, but they do list everything in a searchable database...

Duotrope's Digest...A Neat Way To Search For Fiction Markets...
http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst151_Duotrope39s-DigestA-Neat-Way-To-Search-For-Fiction-Markets.aspx

mhend90 wrote:

2) What is the best way to present a manuscript? Should I have it all complete and ready to go first? Does it need to be fully finished before submitting?


Should be finished first...for a couple of reasons, just read an article recently where an editor said she sometimes had to read the whole piece to make a decision, and even if they don't, they might not always have the patience to wait if there is a major delay on your part...

mhend90 wrote:

3) Concerning poetry, what is the best way (and the best publishers) to go about submitting only a couple pieces of poetry?


Here's a start...

50 Highest Paying Journals/Magazines for poetry...
http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst310_50-Highest-Paying-JournalsMagazines-for-poetry.aspx

This one I recently posted will give you an idea of how hard it is to get into some of these...

How hard is it to get a poem published? Well, this should give you a clue...
http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst709_How-hard-is-it-to-get-a-poem-published--Well-this-should-give-you-a-clue.aspx

mhend90 wrote:

4) If I decided I just wanted to self-publish a book, what are some good resources in that direction?

Thank you!

M. Hendrix


Not a big fan of self-pub personally, though some here have had success with it...ask Vanessa, but usually most who actually make money in self-pub have a bit of an established name...

Here's a couple of articles to consider on the subject...

Good Article on Self-publishing...
http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst196_Good-Article-on-Selfpublishing.aspx

Stop the press: half of self-published authors earn less than $500
http://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/books/2012/may/24/self-published-author-earnings

That should keep you busy for a little while...good luck, btw...happy8

Cheers,
Alan.
occasion5

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

mhend90
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:36:53 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Thank you Alan! I know there were some forum posts already about it (and thank you for linking those too!) but the information gets so mixed up in my head after spending a long time searching. :)

I'll definitely add it to my resource list; I'll be using them!

M. Hendrix

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 5:24:12 AM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,923
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Hey M., one more article I think should be required reading for anyone looking to actually get published...

One of the things I've learned, both from experience and talking to other published authors, is that very often if you get rejected, it's not really the quality of your submission that's the problem, rather it's usually other factors...for instance, your manuscript doesn't fit what the publisher normally publishes ie. if you write horror stories, you wouldn't think of sending your book to a romance publisher like Harlequin...

Same with short story submission calls...if the sub call says they're looking for stories about black cats, no matter how good your story about brown dogs is, it will not be accepted...I think you get the idea...and once you find a publisher or journal that fits your style, you're more likely to get published with them again in the future...

I think this article should be required reading for anyone looking to get published...time and again I've heard it emphasized the importance of following directions, and I think this article spells it out the best I've seen...

What Happened To My Submission? The Chance You Take When You Don't Follow Directions
http://naughtynightspress.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-happened-to-my-submission-chance.html?zx=3d3cbae53316f6dc


I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

mhend90
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 8:36:34 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Oh definitely, I'm aware of that; it's one of the reasons I'm having a hard time finding a publisher! I don't want to waste their time as well as my own if I don't fit into their publishing requirements, and very few that do take my 'style' of writing either aren't taking submissions or don't accept submissions from newer writers. Blech. Thank you so much for the advice!

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
VanessaFinaughty
Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 2:05:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 5/8/2012
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa
If you want to go indie, I recommend Smashwords, simply because you can get your work in with so many distributors just by submitting to one, which is a huge time saver. So far, Smashwords is the only place I know of that does this. So you'd upload your book to Smashwords, they convert it into all the popular ebook formats for you (for free). It's then available for purchase immediately, and takes another two to three weeks for them to manually check your book to make sure there are no formatting errors that will make it look ugly. After that, they send it to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple and a few more distributors. It's all free, by the way, but be sure to download their formatting guide if you decide to use them, because it's important to get this right to avoid rejection, and it's necessary due to the automated conversion they offer (if it wasn't automated, they'd make us pay, I assume).

You can also publish your books with Amazon, and if you want them in print, the cheapest place I've found (for me in South Africa, at any rate) is Amazon's CreateSpace. Another print on demand publisher that seems popular is Lulu.com, though I've never used them.

You should never submit your manuscript anywhere if it isn't finished, unless it's a critique group and you want feedback or advice. An indie publisher (self-publisher) will remove it for being incomplete work, and traditional publishers will send it straight to the bin if it isn't already complete. If you're self-publishing, you should also have your book edited and formatted before you submit, and have the cover and back cover text ready. If you go traditional, the publisher will organise those things for you.

Smashwords and some other distributors don't mind authors submitting short stories or very short works, though I recommend that you make those free if they're too short, to give potential fans a taste of your writing.

As far as resources go, this website is a pretty good resource, and when mine's been hacker-proofed, we have some good resources there too.

Just shout if you need to know anything else, and good luck! It's hard work self-publishing, but I've found it to be well worth the effort.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you - Ray Bradbury.

Find me on Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VanessaFinaughty
Hire me as your editor: www.write-way-freelancers.com
mhend90
Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 8:43:16 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Thank you Vanessa! This information is definitely being saved in my advice files! Indie publishing seems to be what I'm leaning towards, as it gives me a chance to get out there first and show my colors. I've heard several people in my college writing circle have had success with indie publishing, as did my girlfriend.

Again, thank you!

M. Hendrix

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
VanessaFinaughty
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 2:20:57 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 5/8/2012
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa
You're welcome :) A good friend of mine is actually making a living off indie publishing! The trick is to write series and lots of them, then give the first book in each series away for free. I'm trying that at the moment, and Book 2 in my series is already my second best-selling book, after being published for only 5 days. Granted, it's still not enough for me to quit my dayjob, but it's a start, and it does make it seem as if this 'marketing method' works.

I'm also a control freak, so having full control over my books works rather well for me :p

Oh, and if you need an editor... hello2 I'll give the same discount to SS members that I offer VFB members, which you can find here: http://www.vanessafinaughtybooks.co.za/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=17&id=13&Itemid=172&lang=en This link won't work until next week, unfortunately, as we've put our site offline to install extra security and make some changes after being hacked.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you - Ray Bradbury.

Find me on Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VanessaFinaughty
Hire me as your editor: www.write-way-freelancers.com
mhend90
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 9:43:50 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Thank you for that tip; it does sound like a great idea. And I am a control freak too, so this is really the path that seems more along my line of sanity (or keeping it, anyways!)

Thanks for the offer, I'll keep that in mind; my girlfriend doubles as my editor right now, so I'll have to decline for the time being. :)

Mary Hendrix

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
mhend90
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 9:43:51 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Thank you for that tip; it does sound like a great idea. And I am a control freak too, so this is really the path that seems more along my line of sanity (or keeping it, anyways!)

Thanks for the offer, I'll keep that in mind; my girlfriend doubles as my editor right now, so I'll have to decline for the time being. :)

Mary Hendrix

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
GaryF42
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 10:20:08 AM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/8/2012
Posts: 1
I've come to tell people who want to self-publish to do the research and understand exactly what you're getting involved in and what the outcomes are. For every success story, there are thousands that are not. Here in the US, there is still the stigma of self-publishing as "less than". The chain bookstores won't carry self-published books, most "mainstream" reviewers won't look at them and even independent bookstores, depending where you live won't carry them.

Also, youcan't approach a traditional publisher with a self-published book to see if theyr'e interested. However, if you're an indie author and you're selling hundreds and thousands (Amanda Hocking and E.L. James come to mind), there's a chance agents and publishers will come to you.

I've just been at a conference for self-publishing and it's really about the marketing and promotion to get these books (the success stories I heard were all ebooks as they are much easier to get to a lot of people as opposed to print books) out to as many people as possible. Of the four success stories I heard, all four of them, after self-publishing, went with a traditional publisher.

I've had two books published traditionally and the first one did quite well. The second came out when Borders was slashing their midlist and very few people even saw the thing. I like having a sales force and marketing department to get the book out to people all over the country and the review in PW and ads wherever the publisher wanted to put them. I simply don't have the kind of money to do that myself.

So I'm going back and forth on what I'm doing with my next book. Both sides (epublishing and traditional (self publishing in print is all right, but where do you sell them?) have some very nice perks, but also some important drawbacks. I can have a book on Smashwords in a month as opposed to 1-2 years traditionally.

Have you tried submitting to agents? Have you been to many writing conferences? They are a great place to meet industry people and in some cases, you can pitch your book to them.

As I said, just understand what you're getting involved in, which ever way you go, and do the research so you're not laying out hundereds of dollars for very little return. Obviously with Smashwords or Amazzon, you're not laying out any money.

Whatever you decide, good luck! And don't hesitate to ask questions. Better to ask what you think might be a dumb question, than not to ask it and regret your chocies.

Peace,
Gary . . .

P.S.: Sorry about typos. I'm at work and typing quickly!
mhend90
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2012 8:36:15 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 11
Location: Cache Valley, United States
Gary,

Definitely; self-publishing isn't just a quick-fix solution. It's hard work if I want it to go anywhere. Because I hear it quite often: Anyone can publish something, it's succeeding that makes the difference. I'm leaning more towards it for the control aspects, along with getting out there to be noticed. If I can sign on with a publishing company, I'd love to do that, but each one have their own rules and regulations that can later affect me. A woman in my writing circle had her first book published with a company, and they took a lot of control out of her hands; there are pros and cons with each path to take. That is why I'm doing as much research on the process as I can before I decide what I will do, that way I can feel more confident and sure of my decision and come out with less regrets no matter how it turns out. Even if it doesn't go as I would have liked, at least I had enough information to have chosen that path instead of jumping in blindly.

Read more from me at altnsippets.blogspot.com!
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:40:19 AM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,923
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
mhend90 wrote:
Indie publishing seems to be what I'm leaning towards, as it gives me a chance to get out there first and show my colors. I've heard several people in my college writing circle have had success with indie publishing, as did my girlfriend.


Btw, there is sort of an alternative between indie and traditional I've seen a few people attempt these days...since indie still has a bit of a "bad rep" in some circles, what some people are doing is getting together a few writers who are planning to go indie and starting their own publishing company...

Since it's really not that hard to start a publishing company these days, with the advent of Kindle Direct and CreateSpace and the like, the only real difference between indie and starting a publishing company would possibly be the creation of a website...something you'd want to consider anyway...

Something else to think about...

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

VanessaFinaughty
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:37:22 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 5/8/2012
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa
DirtyMartini wrote:
mhend90 wrote:
Indie publishing seems to be what I'm leaning towards, as it gives me a chance to get out there first and show my colors. I've heard several people in my college writing circle have had success with indie publishing, as did my girlfriend.


Btw, there is sort of an alternative between indie and traditional I've seen a few people attempt these days...since indie still has a bit of a "bad rep" in some circles, what some people are doing is getting together a few writers who are planning to go indie and starting their own publishing company...

Since it's really not that hard to start a publishing company these days, with the advent of Kindle Direct and CreateSpace and the like, the only real difference between indie and starting a publishing company would possibly be the creation of a website...something you'd want to consider anyway...

Something else to think about...


LOL that's still self-publishing, though ;-)

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you - Ray Bradbury.

Find me on Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VanessaFinaughty
Hire me as your editor: www.write-way-freelancers.com
DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:32:37 AM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,923
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
VanessaFinaughty wrote:


LOL that's still self-publishing, though ;-)


I agree with you that it's basically a thinly disguised form of self-publishing...but, I'm also quite convinced that the reason most small publishers are created is so that people can get themselves and their writer friends published...not that there's really anything wrong with that....

But...just sayin'

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 5:12:45 PM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,923
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Need to post this somewhere...and this thread seems to be as good a spot as any...

"AgentQuery.com offers one of the largest searchable database of literary agents on the web—a treasure trove of reputable, established literary agents seeking writers just like you. And it's free (not because there's a catch, but simply because not enough things in this world are free)"

AgentQuery.com - The internet's largest free database of literary agents
http://agentquery.com/


I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

Starfallfantasy
Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2015 8:34:14 AM

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Joined: 6/10/2014
Posts: 27
Location: United States
Wow this has been a nice topic to read, and helpful. :)
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