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Self-Publication: Getting Published After?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by J Q Kaiser, May 24, 2018.

  1. J Q Kaiser

    J Q Kaiser Dreamer

    My book's development was going too slowly and I wanted to get my idea out there so last year I published the first chapter as a stand alone short story on Amazon. Now, I am finishing up the book and multiple publishers have policies about publishing anything that was self-published. In this case it is one chapter out of twelve. The remaining chapters have never been published anywhere or in any form.

    Is this something to mention in my query letter? Saved for later? Am I reading the publisher's language too broadly? Any suggestions on what to do? I am worried I screwed myself without even realizing it.
  2. Ban

    Ban Troglodytic Trouvère Article Team

    Most publishers as far as I've seen, say whether they are willing to publish material that has already been fully or partially published. The big ones won't do it, but that's to be expected and a first book would likely not be accepted ithout first going through an agent anyway. So all in all, there are small publishers willing to sell things that have already been partially published, you just need to thoroughly check the description of each publisher, but that's something you should do regardless.

    And yes you should mention it.
    J Q Kaiser likes this.
  3. Malik

    Malik Auror

    This. Big traditional publishers have recently begun picking up indie backlist titles (Josiah Bancroft's Senlin Ascends comes to mind, and it seems I've seen a couple of others recently but the names escape me). However, this is exceedingly rare, and apparently only happens when A.) the backlist title is already selling well and generating buzz; B.) the author of the backlist title whacks them upside the head with one hell of a sequel that hasn't been published, yet; and C.) the publisher can do better than the author can do for themselves.

    Sell your book. Worry about a trad deal later.

    Also, it can be to your detriment to sign with a big house these days. I have had an excellent run with my debut novel, and I get to keep 70% of my receipts. I outsold some debut authors on major publishers--I just last weekend talked to an author signed to a "Big Five" publisher and learned that it took him five years to sell as many books as I've sold in the past 18 months--and I made several times as much as I would have made had I been signed to a traditional deal with the same sales.

    It would take a cash advance big enough to ski down to make me accept a deal with a trad publisher at this point; at least for this series.

    Greg White said, "Five years ago, being independently published was a scar. Now, it's a tattoo."

    Also this.
    Soren likes this.

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