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KansasWriter
05-26-2013, 06:04 AM
Hi all,

I'm sure this question has been asked but I couldn't find the thread. Please point me in the right direction if there's an extensive answer or even a debate somewhere.

If I have a brand-new novel and no previous novel-publishing experience, would it be wise to e-publish the book at the same time as looking for an agent/publisher? My logic is that the agents and publishers might see sales from the e-book and think "Oh, this guy knows how to write!".

Or it could go the other way....:)

Thanks!
KW

shelleyo
05-26-2013, 06:17 AM
Hi all,

I'm sure this question has been asked but I couldn't find the thread. Please point me in the right direction if there's an extensive answer or even a debate somewhere.

If I have a brand-new novel and no previous novel-publishing experience, would it be wise to e-publish the book at the same time as looking for an agent/publisher? My logic is that the agents and publishers might see sales from the e-book and think "Oh, this guy knows how to write!".

Or it could go the other way....:)

Thanks!
KW

What are your goals? If your goal is to be trade-published, query now and hold off on publishing. If you can write, the people you contact will see that from your query and your sample chapters. If your goal is to build a readership/income and you actually do want to self-publish (and have done your research, far beyond this one forum, about all that it entails), and you understand that the odds are against an agent stumbling across your book and contacting you, then publish it. That you're asking the question at all makes me think you need to do a lot more research before publishing, if that's your choice.

You can always self-publish it after you've done the query route, but it's far more difficult and often impossible to go the other way around. VERY few agents want to look at something that's published. The ones that get an agent after having a best-selling book are typically approached by those agents; they're not querying. This is a level of sales most of us will never see, whether we're trade- or self-published.

Decide what you want most, and go with that.

LJD
05-26-2013, 06:21 AM
See: Self Publishing While Looking for an Agent (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230061)


I don't think it's wise.
You're burning your first rights. Unless you sell spectacularly well, no one's going to be interested in a book that's already published. So if your goal is to get an agent (and it sounds like it is), I wouldn't do it.

profen4
05-26-2013, 06:40 AM
Hi all,

I'm sure this question has been asked but I couldn't find the thread. Please point me in the right direction if there's an extensive answer or even a debate somewhere.

If I have a brand-new novel and no previous novel-publishing experience, would it be wise to e-publish the book at the same time as looking for an agent/publisher? My logic is that the agents and publishers might see sales from the e-book and think "Oh, this guy knows how to write!".

Or it could go the other way....:)

Thanks!
KW

Shellyo's right. If the goal is getting an agent, don't publish it. Query the agents. You don't need sales to attract an agent and frankly the sales you WOULD need to get an agent interested would not be easy to achieve (we're talking tens of thousands of verifiable sales).

Learn everything you can about the industry (both sides), and make an informed decision about what to do. Agents and publishers talk a lot about what it takes to get their attention as a self published author, and you should research that.

There's nothing wrong with self publishing, and there's nothing wrong with going after agents either. Just make sure you are making informed decisions, ... and just don't rush it.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

KansasWriter
05-26-2013, 12:09 PM
Thanks all for your advice. I see that you've all consistently voiced my main concern of mine: that e-publishing can damage my chances of trade publishing. I'm going to go the query route until all my options are exhausted, and then move on to e-publishing if necessary.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

Old Hack
05-26-2013, 05:18 PM
KansasWriter, you've had some good advice here already, but I wanted to add this: self-publishing and e-publishing are not interchangeable terms. Trade publishers and self publishers can both produce electronic editions of their books, and print editions, and audio editions. There are e-publishers out there: they're trade publishers which specialise in e-publishing rather than print publishing.

I bet that's confused you.

Rachael Lucas
05-30-2013, 04:33 PM
Just to put my 2p worth in: I self published half on the premise that if the book sold well, it would attract the attention of an agent. Within 6 weeks I'd started getting emails from agents who were interested in representing me. So it can work! :)

thothguard51
05-30-2013, 05:04 PM
Rachael, while I don't doubt your experience can happen, my question would be, what are those agents backgrounds? Are they well established, or new agents with a small list of sales?

Old Hack
05-30-2013, 05:04 PM
It can work, Rachel, but it happens very infrequently (and congratulations, by the way). If a writer wants to pursue a deal with a trade publisher she's far more likely to reach her goal if she follows the usual submissions path.

Rachael Lucas
05-30-2013, 05:27 PM
Nick, they were all pretty well known agents with author lists full of recognisable people, and LBA, the agency I signed with, is very well respected. And Old Hack, yes, that's very true. But it's just so difficult to get out of the slush pile that I can't help thinking that there has to be another way (besides perhaps hiring a plane and getting them to fly around outside the agent's office writing the name of your book in vapour, which come to think of it might just work :) ).

shelleyo
05-30-2013, 08:33 PM
Rachael, while I don't doubt your experience can happen, my question would be, what are those agents backgrounds? Are they well established, or new agents with a small list of sales?

I can't speak to Rachel's specific case (and congrats, Rachel!), but Jane Dystel is one of the agents pursuing contracts with Kindle top sellers. I'm sure there are plenty who aren't worth signing with, but she's one of the names being discussed in some circles as having signed some folks after contacting them initially. Unless you hit the bestselling list in all Kindle store, not just categories, and are at the very top end of the list, you probably shouldn't even hope, though. ;)

thothguard51
05-30-2013, 09:59 PM
Well, this is all new and goes against all the warnings we have been given about avoiding agents who cold contact an author...

It always pays to check them out first is still a good rule...

And yes, congrats Rachael... way to go...