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HomeDiscussion GroupsBW News & Community AnnouncementsDoes Self-publishing Harm Your Chances of Getting a Publishing Contract?

4 replies and 3 participants in topic. Last update: 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

This question comes up often in my writing workshops. What’s the current wisdom? I have one student who has written seven novels and wants to find a publisher. He says he doesn’t want to go down the self-publishing road because he thinks it will harm his chances. What should I tell him?

Profile photo of Carole P. Roman
Started by: Carole P. Roman  • 

Harm his chances at what? It’s not so easy to get a publisher- I think that’s why the indie trend took off. Most publishers won’t look at unsolicited manuscripts- you need an agent. It’s hard to get an agent.
Many traditional authors are now hybrid- once they have a solid foundation of fans established by traditional publishers it’s easier to market their books. I met a well-known romance author who was publishing half her work by herself and the other half through a publisher.
MY son published sixteen books under two different pen names and was contacted by an agent. He was signed with not only by a literary agent but a film agent and a high powered attorney. They insist he writes under his real name- He’s been published twice now by a small press.
I published over fifty children’s books and was contacted by a publisher to write a book for a fee (no royalties), as well. It was more than I make on a single indie book of mine in three years. None of those opportunities would have come to us without writing as indies first.

Profile photo of Sara Tucker
Started by: Sara Tucker  • 

Thanks, Carole. I’m in total agreement with you, but I didn’t have any concrete examples to use as reference, so I appreciate your response. I’ll pass it along to my students.

Profile photo of Carole P. Roman
Started by: Carole P. Roman  • 

I’d love to know their thoughts.

Profile photo of PublishDrive
Started by: PublishDrive  • 

Full disclosure: For 16 years I ran the advertising/promotions/marketing teams as an Executive Director of Marketing for a top-5 publishing house and now, since June 2018, I oversee the marketing at self-publishing innovator, PublishDrive. The fact is traditional publishers are unable to publish even a fraction of the great writing that comes across their desks. The chances of any writer getting a publishing deal has always been very slim. It is estimated that 600,000 – 1,000,000 books are being published annually, and most of those are self-published. There are many stories out there, and I have witnessed this personally, of writers being picked up by traditional publishers after being “discovered” via their self-published works. Read-up on Wattpad for more stories like this. Alternately, there are also many stories of traditionally published authors opting OUT of publishing deals because they wanted more control over the entire process and they wanted to keep more of their royalties. Self-publishing is not easy, but it’s rewarding, peopled by a very close knit community, and can sometimes lead to traditional publishing deals. Check out these folks, ALLi, for a ton of information about this world. Hope this helps!

  • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Profile photo of PublishDrive PublishDrive.
  • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Profile photo of PublishDrive PublishDrive.

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