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So Baen books rejected my manuscript, who should I try next?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by ClearDragon, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    So, self-publishing is fairly straightforward. You write the book, put together a piece of cover art, and upload it to Amazon (following their formatting directions). Every time someone buys the book and downloads a copy onto their kindle, you get maybe 70% of the sale (it varies, you can look up Amazon's pricing structure). If you want to sell print copies, Amazon has a process for that, and will print on demand whenever a book is purchased. You do not have to carry stock.
    A. E. Lowan, TWErvin2 and Svrtnsse like this.
  2. Jan Conradie

    Jan Conradie Scribe

    What you should next is Know That You Are In Good Company.
  3. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

    I've enjoyed my experience with traditional publishing so far. It's been fun. I loved traveling this year. The award nominations are still blowing my mind. I really like having an agent who has a keen editorial eye. Socializing with other writers and industry pros is fun--and I paid more in *taxes* last year than I had ever made as *income* in my life. I'm not cut out to do all that marketing and hustle that selfpubbed writers have to do, and my writing pace isn't fast enough to keep up with the "four books a year is slow" tempo of selfpub.

    I'm excited to see what comes next. I hear that it slows down after your debut as you build backlist - which takes a long time because you're only putting out a book a year (unless you're with more than one publisher at once.)

    The taxes got complicated, though, so I had to hire an accountant.

    Do I make a full time living? Not yet. The years are boom and bust, and you can't really tell how steady your income is until you have that backlist. Ask me again in 2029.
    Malik likes this.
  4. J.W. Golan

    J.W. Golan Scribe


    When debating whether to go traditional or indie, we have to start by understanding our market and also what we’re looking for as an author.

    My first book was published traditionally - but it was a non-fiction, historical text. To reach that audience, I had to go the traditional route. Those customers preferred hard copy over eBooks by an overwhelming majority. The publisher could also market my book to bookstores and university libraries - something I couldn’t have done as an indie author.

    When I turned to writing fantasy, I switched over to indie publishing. I don’t have a driving desire to see my book in a bookstore. I just want people to read it, and enjoy it. As an indie author, whatever profit I make is mine. If the traditional publishing houses want us as authors to pay for a professional editor, pay to help market the book, and then dole out a few crumbs at the end for all our sweat and tears - they should expect talented authors to be leaving them en masse.

    I agree. Having a burning desire to see your book paperback or hard bound on the shelves of a bookstore is about the only reason I can imagine for going with a traditional publishing house as a fiction author.
  5. Malik

    Malik Auror

    For me to sign with a trade publisher at this point, they'd have to come at me with either a pile of money big enough to ski down, or one hell of a marketing plan and budget, in writing, with an EJECT handle built into every paragraph.

    "Being independently published used to be a scar. Now, it's a tattoo."
    -- Greg White
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  6. ClearDragon

    ClearDragon Minstrel

    I'll have to look into that. It might be the only way now!
  7. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    The Eject button would be key. I’d have no trouble using Trad to build my audience, but I’m also a control freak. Hybrid is doable, but I doubt I’d go full Trad without the boatload of cash. Pros and cons to everything.

    Malik likes this.
  8. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

    All of my books (so far) were published by small trad houses and I would say the editing on offer was pretty average. The very first time I had a book accepted, my delight soon turned to horror when I saw the editor's suggestions for the first chapter. It was 100% obvious that she did not get the book, and the publisher - to my bewilderment - refused to change her. I had no choice but to micromanage her, to allow some superficial changes for the sake of her pride, but to resist anything that detracted from the story and its essence.

    The marketing also was pathetic - for all my books. I mostly had to do it myself and because I still work full time, I simply didn't have time for it. And yet, word of mouth was still strong enough for two of my books to get into the airport bookstores. And despite that - and despite all the excellent reviews - I'm still back at square one every time I try to sell a new book.

    What this means is that I have no confidence in either of the two factors that are supposed to be the big reasons to go trad - editing and marketing. Unless you're Stephen King you still have to do it all yourself, so you may as well keep as much control as you can. I'm talking to a small trad re my next book but I'm over hunting down big publishers and agents - and I know I produce quality work. If the current lot don't want to invest in my stuff, I'll do it myself.

    I might also start (eventually) offering my services as an editor because after 25 years of writing and editing, I definitely know how to identify the spine of a story.
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Editing with the Big 5 would probably be different (but editors are still trending light touch... but horror stories go the other way) and the marketing... from what I understand, Big 5 marketing (and their imprints) will vary tremendously by the expectations they have from the book. What we see as traditional advertising... radio, tv, FB, ads, etc., they aren't going to spend much. Their power is with the invisible (to normal people) and inherent marketing: contacting bookstores and massive press releases and their own media/internet reach, blogger contacts, author blurb contacts, etc. From what I gather, most first time authors will still be out there spending money on traditional ads to help boost the sales, unless of course, the book just takes off. Small house publishers... yeah, plan to spend the same as an indie.

    This all changes if the publishing house got into a bidding war on your book and put down a million bucks in advance... The more skin/advance the publisher has on the line, the harder they're going to push.

    A. E. Lowan likes this.

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