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High word count expectation is not fair!

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by ClearDragon, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. ClearDragon

    ClearDragon Minstrel

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    Seems reasonable to me, but most publishers disagree :(
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Which is reason #43 why I self-publish rather than go through traditional outlets.
     
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  3. Meep

    Meep Acolyte

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    I write kidlit (mostly) and the general range is ~40,000-70,000 for middle grade.
    But if you write for adults/general market, you can try places like Tor.com (closed indefinitely but supposedly plan to reopen eventually) and The Fantasist (you can join their mailing list for info on when they're open for subs).

    Submission Grinder lets you search currently open markets and filter by word count/payment per word/(sub)genre/etc. I punched in 50,0000 words as a sample and there's a p long list of open markets right now.

    It's true that big, mainstream publishers tend to want long, long, long for fantasy books, but that's not the only place to publish if you don't want to go the self-publishing route.
     
  4. Cargoplayer

    Cargoplayer Acolyte

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    There is nothing fair or not fair about it. It’s what’s being asked for by the company who is going to pay you an advance, then put all their power of marketing, manufacturing and distribution behind you. They don’t have to be fair in this regard, they are purchasing something, and have said what they want. When I was younger and still sending in paper queries, they were very clear on paper type, font, spacing, and content. People still insisted on sending things in on purple paper, with cursive fonts, because they felt they should stand out. From all accounts I’ve read, those went straight to trash.

    You have to remember that the people with the slush pile, while they are looking for things that would work, are also ready to take your stuff and toss it. If you don’t fit the requirements they’ve put out, you’re going to be done at the start. There are lots of more folks in that slush pile. So look for markets that fit your writing output, or do something different.
     
  5. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    Wow, how do I break this to you . . .
     
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  6. Cargoplayer

    Cargoplayer Acolyte

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    In theory, they are going to put their power of marketing behind you.....
     
  7. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    There we go.
     
  8. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Publishers fight for their catalogues and that's nothing to sneeze at exactly. But they don't really fight for individual books. Being in the catalogue of a big name publisher might get a book 30 seconds of attention from a wholesale buyer at B&N, for example. It's not a lot but how else do you get those thirty seconds?
     
  9. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    Pretty much the only reason I'm shopping my next series.

    I've run the numbers again and again. I'd lose money signing to a major publisher unless I land a Netflix series as a result.

    OTOH, it's likely that more people would read my stuff if I had a huge NY publisher advocating for me, even if they only do so parenthetically, as part of their catalog.
     
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Anecdotally, another indie author who has struck it rather bigger than me, lost money (6 figures) by going trad up front, but on the backside, they increased their readership to such a degree that it paid off in the long run. Now, last I knew, they pretty much run as a hybrid. The one major sticking point they had was that the Pub (almost seems like the imprint was Orbit?) didn't want to pay much for the audio rights, and therefore, I think the author flipped back indie on their new series. And the series was a 7 figure deal, or high 6, if I recall correctly. There's no way to prove this, just the word of the author. But, I will shop my next standalone and series on the back of award wins and pro reviews.

     
    Malik likes this.
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