Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Question: querying for print only

I am an indie author who is questioning the intelligence of that decision in light of the fact that I am a terrible introvert. I know promoting yourself is a vital piece of the author puzzle on either route to publication. However, I can’t seem to generate enough buzz to sell much of anything.

It isn’t the work load. I have one published, another ready to roll with a cover and giveaways ready, another project entering deep edits, and another that is in the creation phase. I can work, and hard, on what I believe in. I can write the books and trudge through full rewrites if necessary. I can even handle the critiques that say, “you need to scrap this and start over.”

I love the freedom of self-publishing. Yet, I feel like I’m missing out on the opportunity to make a name for myself.

Is it wise to query agents seeking representation for print rights when I still plan on retaining digital rights? And, should I release the one that is ready to go, or try to go traditional with it?

Well, good luck with that plan.

What you're essentially saying here is you'll be glad to have a print publisher do all the heavy lifting and then you'll swoop in and publish an electronic edition of the SAME BOOK.

That's pretty much a non-starter for most authors these day.  Hugh Howey has a print only deal at S&S but he sold the HELL out of those books; they were bestsellers when S&S took him on.

If you queried me for print only, I'd say no. I'm not much for taking on half a project and that's what this is.

I completely understand why you want to do this, but it doesn't mesh with what publishers want to do.  They have a pool of projects to choose from, so coming in with "I'll do this but not that" means you're less attractive than almost everyone else in the pool.

If you're serious about staying published, hire a good publicist.


Wintercom said...

I originally read this as "I am an indie author questioning the intelligence of life" :/ WELL back to bed for me...

Elissa M said...

Janet, you've done a good job of pointing out the agent's and publisher's perspective here. It's something we writers occasionally forget. I've known writers who got all huffy about publishers making money off THEIR ideas-- as if publishers owe it to writers to produce and market books for nada. We have to remember we're all in this together.

Unknown said...

Publishing (both traditional and indie) is tough. Harder still is marketing. But it all comes down to business and lots of difficult decisions need to be made. It is never easy. I too went indie after turning down an e-publishing offer. It was a difficult decision for me and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. Marketing has been a huge challenge for me and it would have been nice to have had that guidance from someone else. For me it wasn't about giving up money, but it was the fact that I wanted a hard copy of the book. I co-authored the book with my 10 year old son and I really wanted him to have something tangible from the experience. Although, I suppose a big fat pay check would also have been pretty tangible. Oh wells and c'est la vie. I can't do anything but move forward at this point and wish you the best of luck with your endeavors. Writing is fun - publishing is a business. FYI our MG, Mason Davis and the Rise of the Storm Makers, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.