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goldpeace
01-22-2014, 11:14 PM
I've heard of cases where someone would self-publish,
and then a mainstream publisher would take notice of it-


If I remember correctly,
Richard Paul Evans who wrote the "Christmas Box" had self-published,
just wanting the copies for family & friends.

But then it was published by a mainstream publisher and became a best seller.

How does that happen?

Is this a stupid question?

Old Hack
01-23-2014, 12:52 AM
It's not a stupid question at all.

Self published books are sometimes picked up by trade publishers, but it doesn't happen often; and if you want a trade deal then your best bet by far is to submit it to agents in the usual way: self-publishing in the hope you'll get a deal out if it is almost guaranteed to fail.

There are some useful stories about such things here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211703).

merrihiatt
01-23-2014, 07:11 AM
Is this a stupid question?

The only stupid question is one not asked.

profen4
01-26-2014, 02:48 AM
Just seconding Old Hack, if the goal is a trade deal, go after that first.

Good luck!

Torgo
01-26-2014, 02:56 AM
The way it happens, when it does happen, is that the book becomes popular enough that it appears on the radar of mainstream publishing.

So I remember one self-published picture book author who managed to get books in to a lot of Scottish branches of Waterstones. This was (and is) rare enough that it attracted the attention of one of our reps. Or you might also think about EL James, whose book was being talked about at the gates of a school several thousand miles away from where she lived. Or Amanda Hocking, who came to the attention of trade publishing by topping the Amazon bestseller lists, etc etc.

What is required, really, for this to happen is that it needs to be a really successful piece of self-publishing. This isn't the most helpful piece of advice, I know - it doesn't tell you how to achieve that - but it's the most truthful thing I can think of.

grayworld
01-26-2014, 02:23 PM
Hi goldpeace,

If you read leahzero's thread in the self-publishing diaries, you'll find a wealth of information relating to your question's topic. It's an outstanding account of a book's take-off; outstanding enough to make me get off my butt and self-publish (with, er, not-quite-as-impressive results). But a very inspiring story.

girlyswot
01-26-2014, 05:15 PM
Sigh.

E.L.James was never self-published. She published first with a small press that specialised in P2P fanfic. Then it was picked up by a Big 6 publisher.

Torgo
01-26-2014, 05:18 PM
Sigh.

E.L.James was never self-published. She published first with a small press that specialised in P2P fanfic. Then it was picked up by a Big 6 publisher.

This is true; I don't think it's a million miles away, though, and it is the same sort of mechanism the OP is asking about.

Treehouseman
01-27-2014, 08:25 AM
This is true; I don't think it's a million miles away, though, and it is the same sort of mechanism the OP is asking about.

I guess the same could be said of anything outstanding or exceptional published in a smaller format and then sold to a larger publisher afterwards - there's always a chance, however it gets out there.

(Although I have known the other way around too! As an interesting aside I have been reading how contracted rights reversions only became more well known recently due to writers e-pubbing back catalogues - previously they would have been prohibitive to print.)