View Full Version : Questions for authors with multiple publishers

Pisco Sour
10-25-2013, 01:54 PM

Apologies in advance if this is convoluted. Here goes:
My first two books were recently offered a home by a large e-pub (Pub A) with a good reputation. I've signed and returned the contracts and am looking forward to the editing experience. My current wip is almost ready for submission and although I really like Pub A they don't publish print books. I have an e-pub (Pub B) in mind that does. Pub B, incidentally, also offered on my first book, but I decided to go for Pub A as they offered for both first and second. I know I could have gone for one book with each publisher, but I was wary of doing editing on two books simultaneously plus everything else: full-time day job, small children and part-time degree. I'm not under an option clause at Pub A, and my third book is a different sub-genre of romance to the ones they bought.

So... Would I be burning bridges if I don't submit my third book to Pub A? Should I mention to my editor that I am submitting it elsewhere? I'd love for them to publish it if Pub B decides to pass. How do you manage your submissions to other publishers without stepping on toes? I guess this is where an agent would have come in handy.

I'm planning to use a different Pen Name for the new book(s) as they're "otherworldly". I would like to continue at Pub A for future books like the two they bought from me, and Pub B (Ha! If they offer) for my off-planet books.

Any advice on how to handle this most welcome. :)

10-25-2013, 02:18 PM
As long as these publishers don't have first rights of refusal, I don't see it being a problem. I have a few different publishers and while one wants first rights of refusal on all my YA mysteries (which works for me) the other doesn't have a clause like that.

I wouldn't say to Publisher A that Publisher B turned it down so I'm submitting to you sorta thing. Make sure these publishers take simultaneous submissions too.

10-25-2013, 02:20 PM
You are of course entitled to sell your work to anyone you like, assuming no legal entanglements, and I think it's generally healthy to have more than one publisher if possible. In terms of burning bridges, it completely depends on your relationship with Pub A.

I know of some people who have soured their relationships with their editors etc by looking elsewhere. A colleague of mine is currently not quite happy with a fledgling author who has received a ton of love and nurturing but who is wondering whether the grass is greener - or the money better - on the other side of the fence. I have also seen, recently, an established novelist burn bridges with their long-time publisher by going to a rival for much less money than the former was offering. These are situations where I can understand the hurt feelings. And of course you might have a publisher who is simply thin-skinned or unreasonable, where the hurt feelings are unwarranted but no less real.

In the end, I think what you're describing sounds fine, really. Two publishers, two strands of writing, one doing print, one not; it sounds reasonable to me.

Pisco Sour
10-25-2013, 02:51 PM
Undercover: No worries, both pubs accept sim subs and I'm not under a right of first refusal for either. I can be ditsy at times, but thankfully would never mention I was subbing to them because the other had rejected it! :) Thanks for the advice.

Torgo: What you describe is what I'm afraid of. I am a fledgling author and I really like my publisher (so far anyway as only just signed contracts. My editor seems lovely, and has taken lots of time to SKPYE. They've taken a risk on me as a newbie and have mentioned "growing me" as a writer. All great, but a part of me hankers to see my books in print, and to have the experience of another great publisher with my other sub-genre. My husband, a businessman, says Pub A would have no qualms in rejecting my new book if they deemed it unworthy so I shouldn't get cut up over subbing it at B, regardless of whether that's their main competitor. Lots to consider. Thank you very much for your input. :)

10-31-2013, 01:35 AM
Yes they won't definitely accept the next book you send them, so if you have no legal entanglements, they should generally expect you to sub to other pubs, unless they are very small and then they may be disappointed, but most probably would still never even notice if you didn't mention it. The bigger epubs seem to only have room on the list for a certain number of books per editor per year so they would definitely expect it. ie... my Samhain editor she would only be able to publish two books a year from me because of all the authors she has writing for her.