View Full Version : Who to trust?

01-13-2012, 07:52 AM
Howdy y'all . . .

I am quite new to the whole 'writing a book and publishing game' it isn't really funny . . . I am feeling quite lost.

I have written a book - futuristic fantasy, cover is almost done. The next hurdle is to publish it. I have researched some of the pay for publishers (or as I've learned - vanity/subsidy publishers) and have not like what I've seen.

The other option that keeps cropping up is the self-publishing. This intrigues me, but I am not sure how to proceed.

Can someone please point me in a direction to start in?


French Maiden
01-13-2012, 08:10 AM
Welcome Infra.
I'm afraid I cant really help you with your dilema as I am still writing my first serious WIP.

Any way, wecome aboard and enjoy.

01-13-2012, 08:11 AM
Well, the quote I've heard with publishing books is that "money should flow to the writer," so you wouldn't likely want to pay to have your book published.

Why do want to self-publish versus traditionaly publish? If you're looking to create a broad market, there's quite a bit of work that goes into self-publishing.

My first suggestion would be to start by reading the sticky posts at the top of this thread, as that will give you a good place to start, and then evaluate what you want from publishing your novel.

Old Hack
01-13-2012, 12:02 PM
Infra, welcome to AW.

If you want to get a publishing deal with a trade publisher, you don't produce your own cover: the publisher does everything for you, apart from writing the book.

If you self-publish then you have do to everything yourself, because you are the publisher.

I suggested that you find out a lot more about publishing before you go any further, so that you can be sure you're taking the route into print that's best for you. AW is a great place to start.

J. Tanner
01-13-2012, 01:06 PM
If you're pretty much brand new, I'd recommend getting writing squared away prior to thinking about publishing. I'm assuming this is your first novel, and you haven't had any unbiased readers yet. That's the next thing you should do. Get some feedback. From strangers. (Join a critique group or use the Share Your Work section here on AW.) If the feedback is glowing, you're in good shape to move forward. For most first timers, the feedback is something less than that and you've got some work to do to bring your novel up to professional standards before considering publishing.

It seems you've also glossed over the option of trade publishing. (I agree that subsidy publishers don't tend to offer value for cost in most cases over self-publishing but trade publishing has some real benefits if you're writing fiction that appeals to their populist sensibilities.) You may not end up going that way but you really should research both options before deciding which path is right for you.

01-13-2012, 02:26 PM
Howdy y'all . . .


I have written a book - futuristic fantasy, cover is almost done. The next hurdle is to publish it. I have researched some of the pay for publishers (or as I've learned - vanity/subsidy publishers) and have not like what I've seen.

There are several types of publishing - there is traditional publishing - where the publisher pays your for your work upfront, vanity publishing - where you pay the publisher to publish your book, and self publishing - where you publish it yourself.

Have you tried submitting the book to agents or editors?

If you want to self publish though, then the best place to start is to read some of the threads here to see what you are getting into before you choose that option.

Old Hack
01-13-2012, 05:01 PM
I don't think that the Self-Publishing room is the best place for this discussion so I'm going to move it to our Round Table, where the OP will be able to get a wider view.

01-13-2012, 05:53 PM

Absolute Write forums is simply chocked full of all the information to get you started. I'd really suggest you take a couple of days and read through the stickies to get a good feel for your options. Then, take a couple of weeks watching and interacting in discussions on the forums, not just those pertaining to publishing but those to writing as well.

There's a wealth of information in the noggins of many of the people here that is released in teases and bits. Pick their brains and read all over the place. From there, you'll see a clearer path for what you'll want to consider doing for your next step and can narrow your focus and search for information further.

To make a good decision, be informed. This is the place to get it. Only it's not just going to fall in your lap. You'll have to tease a lot out at times but the more you read, the more you'll know.

Good luck and welcome!

01-13-2012, 06:22 PM
For what it's worth, I have a client who used a vanity press for about 10 years, until he discovered they weren't paying him royalties and had no way to prove it. But he did the math when some of his own clients had purchased the book, but zero sales showed up on his royalty report. So he fired that publisher, got Amazon to stop offering that edition of the book (which took a lot of stress and emails), and hired another vanity press. Paid them$450 as a downpayment toward production, and they never produced the book. Turns out this company was owned by the first company and just operating under another name. They're in the same building, along with several other vanity press imprints. He finally fired them, too, and after a lot of haranguing got his money back. Now he self-publishes digitally and loves that he has total control.

I'd recommend never, ever going through a vanity publisher for the above reasons and many others. You have no control, no way to prove sales and no idea whom you're really dealing with. Producing an e-book yourself is very easy these days, and Lulu.com has a setup for creating a print-on-demand book.

The reasons my client self-publishes is that his writing isn't really up to par with trade books, but it's clean and readable, and he has a lot to say in the way of nonfiction guidance. Also, the book is too short for traditional publishing, and it has a limited audience.

Hope that helps you out.

01-13-2012, 06:41 PM
:welcome: Infra. You came to the right place!

Start reading everything you can on AW. You'll soon come up with not only answers to your questions, but to questions you never even knew you had. :)

01-13-2012, 06:54 PM
In your original post, you don't mention approaching agents to get access to the big commercial publishers. Or approaching the smaller presses that are open to unagented submissions. Agents and commercial publishers and small presses are more topics to explore before you decide to self-publish.

Also, do you mean by a "finished" book that you've had knowledgable people read it for problems? Have you learned principles of revision and polished the manuscript to the absolute best of your ability? Publishing or marketing too soon can kill your book's best chances.

Scroll through the AW forums. You'll find information on all these topics here. Take your time assimilating all the info before you act -- no use wasting all your efforts to date by jumping into the arena half-armored and armed. ;)