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YAreaderwriter
06-19-2012, 07:55 PM
Hello! I had my first novel published by a small press and I wanted a different publisher (I wasn't too happy with the first basically I felt like a self-published author). But how likely would another small press or even medium press pick up my sequel? Or should I just self-publish? What if it is written in a way that can make it a stand alone novel?

How should I go about this?

Thanks so much for the help!

YAreaderwriter
06-19-2012, 07:58 PM
Oh and the first novel has done fairly well and has received great reviews. I don't know if that makes a difference

stray
06-19-2012, 08:12 PM
I think if a book is doing well and has recieved good reviews than a sequel would be best served with the same publisher unless there is something horribly wrong with them.

Sheryl Nantus
06-19-2012, 08:18 PM
What benefits would you receive if you decided to self-publish the sequel? Would it receive reviews from the same people who reviewed the first one - many reviewers don't *do* self-pubs.

You should also talk to your publisher, IMO - express your concerns and what you feel they should do/didn't do to support you. Also check your contract to make sure they don't automatically have a call on the sequel.

Just my thoughts.

veinglory
06-19-2012, 08:20 PM
Remember to check your contract to see if the publisher has first right of refusal to sequels or other books in the same setting. This is a common clause.

YAreaderwriter
06-19-2012, 08:37 PM
Thanks for all your advice.

I've already made sure the first contract only applied to the first book and I was free to go elsewhere for the second.

I just feel like why would I have it published by the same publisher when I am going to do all the work just so they can take half the profits. Yes they did the editing and cover but neither was up to par. Honestly I have people who could do a better job of editing and better cover art.

As far as reviews, I've built a relationship with reviewers and book bloggers so yes, I think they'd review the book regardless of who published it.

veinglory
06-19-2012, 08:45 PM
In all my years if reviewing I can only think of one case where a series was split between publishers, and I found it pretty confusing. But going from a publisher to self-publishing is not unusual.

YAreaderwriter
06-19-2012, 09:33 PM
Thanks that answers my question!

WeaselFire
06-19-2012, 09:46 PM
Since the first did well, you might also shop the second around to some agents. They'll get you more pull with traditional publishers. But self-pub is a viable option.

Jeff

veinglory
06-19-2012, 10:09 PM
I doubt many agents would want a sequel to a published work.

Tettsuo
06-19-2012, 10:36 PM
If you can do the sequel as well as the first and get the same buyers, do it. You'll net more per book sold.

Starchaser3000
06-20-2012, 12:42 AM
I doubt many agents would want a sequel to a published work.

My sentiment exactly. But I would like to believe that a multiple novel series could be picked up by a trad publisher if a self published novel series receives fair reviews and sales at least. When I decide to rewrite edit my other more narrative serious sci fi ideas I'm going to try to shell out $2,500 to a professional editor formatter and then query the heck out of that manuscript.

nitaworm
06-20-2012, 04:57 PM
Stick with the first publisher would be my first suggestion. If you think you could edit it better - then do, give the editor the best and cleanest possible mss you can give them. Also, having the publisher pay for printing, distribution, cover art, editing is a great savings. Most small presses don't do much in the way of promotion for authors. Some do but most don't have that kind of budget. Self-publishing is a lot of work and if you are already upset with the amount of work you had to do to promote your book while with a publisher - then self-pub will be 3 more times the level of effort.

Agents don't generally want sequels it's hard for them to sell. Also, other publishers don't generally want sequel's because the first publisher won't give them the rights to book 1 without some cost. And that would mean that the new publisher would have to promote book 1 and book 2 and that's totally not cost effective for the publisher because that limits sales of additional rights for the book.

Good luck in your decision.

stranger
06-21-2012, 01:13 AM
I disagree with anyone saying to stay with your publisher. Seems you know you can get the editing/coverart done as well or better without them. And selfpublishing gives you more advantages with marketing and promoting than disadvantages, so there is no reason not to self publish.

BenPanced
06-21-2012, 01:26 AM
I disagree with anyone saying to stay with your publisher. Seems you know you can get the editing/coverart done as well or better without them. And selfpublishing gives you more advantages with marketing and promoting than disadvantages, so there is no reason not to self publish.
Yes, there is: if your contract states your current publisher has right of first refusal to any sequels, you must submit to them first (I have such a clause in both of my contracts). You can't just skip that step because you think you'll get a better deal if you self-pub your sequel.

Scott Seldon
06-21-2012, 01:34 AM
I won't answer the question directly because I think you will be best served by your next book appearing at the same retailers in the same format as your first book. If that can be achieved by changing publishers or self publishing, then do it. Readers will look for any sequel with the same retailer, at least that is where I start when looking for a sequel. If you can't achieve the same market through another course then you might want to consider sticking with your publisher. Even the big 6 publishers have books with less than ideal covers. And a lot of your problems could be addressed in the contract. If I were in your place this is the thought process I'd go through to reach my decision.

Unimportant
06-21-2012, 01:48 AM
Also, the publisher pays for the editing, cover art, etc. Many authors don't want to have to invest their own money to do this, but if you self publish, you bear all the costs yourself.

I think it really depends on the degree of magnitude of sales we're looking at. If the small press managed to sell two hundred copies of your book -- yeah, you can probably manage that yourself. If the small press has some distribution and managed to sell four thousand copies of your book -- it's very very very very very unlikely that a self publisher is going to pull that off.

stranger
06-21-2012, 02:04 AM
to sell four thousand copies of your book -- it's very very very very very unlikely that a self publisher is going to pull that off.

Are you sure you fit enough verys in there? You realise more and more people are having success with selfpublishing and would be disappointed with only 4000 sales.

kaitie
06-21-2012, 02:38 AM
My sentiment exactly. But I would like to believe that a multiple novel series could be picked up by a trad publisher if a self published novel series receives fair reviews and sales at least. When I decide to rewrite edit my other more narrative serious sci fi ideas I'm going to try to shell out $2,500 to a professional editor formatter and then query the heck out of that manuscript.

Just had to derail a moment to hit on this. I'd avoid spending any money for formatting or editing if you're planning to query. Beta readers and self-editing books will help you pick up the big stuff, and if the book is picked up it will be edited then. You don't need a formatter at all because you just send a word document and that's easy: 12pt, double spaced, pages numbered. It takes very little time to format a document properly for querying.

I'd only shell out the money if I was planning to self-publish, in which case it's money well spent.

kaitie
06-21-2012, 02:42 AM
Are you sure you fit enough verys in there? You realise more and more people are having success with selfpublishing and would be disappointed with only 4000 sales.

And there are hundred of people not making that much, too. Even small press books often don't make that many sales. Having those 4,000 sales will make it easier, however, for her to get it as a self-published author.

To the OP, who was your first publisher, if you don't mind my asking? If they've been unprofessional, if/when you get your rights back, it would probably be worth rereleasing it on your own and paying for a new cover and potentially editing. I don't know your press, but you say that you feel self-published, which implies they haven't done much to help you. If you've already got strong sales, it might be worth putting out for a cover and/or editing for both. Just my opinion, of course. It's hard to know without being able to see your book or knowing what your publisher has done for you already.

Starchaser3000
06-21-2012, 09:42 AM
Just had to derail a moment to hit on this. I'd avoid spending any money for formatting or editing if you're planning to query. Beta readers and self-editing books will help you pick up the big stuff, and if the book is picked up it will be edited then. You don't need a formatter at all because you just send a word document and that's easy: 12pt, double spaced, pages numbered. It takes very little time to format a document properly for querying.

I'd only shell out the money if I was planning to self-publish, in which case it's money well spent.

Last time I spent about a $1000 for a freelance editor to improve the grammar and fluidity of my manuscript. For what I paid for I thought it was worth it and then I went straight to publish. But if I had paid maybe $500-$700 more my manuscript would have been given a trad pub professional polish edit. I wanted to do it but given my economic standing, I had to settle for the $1000 treatment instead. This time around I think I will do a little more DIY.

stranger
06-21-2012, 11:47 AM
And there are hundred of people not making that much, too. Even small press books often don't make that many sales. Having those 4,000 sales will make it easier, however, for her to get it as a self-published author.

I know the vast majority of selfpub books will never make this much. But OP has had a book published by a small press (so can write), intends to get better editing/cover art than the small press book and has a relationship with bloggers/reviewers so there's no reason to think the OP can't get sales.


To the OP, who was your first publisher, if you don't mind my asking? If they've been unprofessional, if/when you get your rights back, it would probably be worth rereleasing it on your own and paying for a new cover and potentially editing. I don't know your press, but you say that you feel self-published, which implies they haven't done much to help you. If you've already got strong sales, it might be worth putting out for a cover and/or editing for both. Just my opinion, of course. It's hard to know without being able to see your book or knowing what your publisher has done for you already.

I'd also suggest considering getting your rights back for the first before releasing the sequel (or trying to). Seems that the best promotional work that you can do for the second book is make the first available cheap (or even free) to drive the sales of your second. (And if you change cover artist, you mightn't have the same branding on the two books.) Seems harder to promote a sequel when you don't have control of the first.

PortableHal
06-22-2012, 06:33 AM
YAreaderwriter, if I understand you correctly, you believe you were responsible for the reviews and sales of your novel. The publisher provided basic editing and a cover, did little else, and collected a handsome reward.

If that's so, then no one cares who published you originally. If you still have to drive the publicity -- and the publicity worked before -- I don't think you'll be hurt. However, if most of your sales came from your original publisher's site, you might want to offer them the second manuscript.

If your sales numbers are truly impressive, you might approach an agent to see if there's an interest elsewhere. Otherwise, do what makes you happy.

CDancourt
06-25-2012, 08:23 PM
I was in the same situation or so (not with a sequel, though), and I decided for self-publishing. It's a lot of work, as well as a financial investment especially if you want good quality material. But if you already have a good basis of readers, it may be worth it.

TroyJackson
09-26-2012, 07:47 AM
Are you sure you fit enough verys in there? You realise more and more people are having success with selfpublishing and would be disappointed with only 4000 sales.

I dunno, I'm new to the whole thing, but I would think 4000 sales for a self-published book was a pretty nice success. Am I wrong?

thothguard51
09-26-2012, 08:05 AM
From what I have read, most commercial publishers do not think 4,000 sales is a good number. They want to see sales in the range of 10,000 or more, much, much more.

Amanda Hocking sold 1 million units before she was picked up.
Michael Sullivan was selling around 10,000 to 15,000 units per month before Orbit picked him up.

And there are others, but they were all selling way more than 4,000 units total.

For small Indies and self publishers, those numbers might be good, so it really depends on what the OP feels comfortable with. She will also have to work realise that some reviewers will not touch self published authors any longer, especially after the STGRB crap going on at Goodreads.

Personally, I always think of self-publishing as a last option, for many personal reasons and not just because its self publishing.

valeriec80
09-27-2012, 01:52 AM
Do you have the rights of the first book back yet?

When will you get the book back? (Most small presses I'm familiar with don't hang onto the book for more than five years unless you want to renew the contract.)

Is it soon enough that you could wait and self-pub them both together so that the cover art would match, etc.?