View Full Version : Self-publishing first...will it hurt me?

03-31-2006, 05:27 AM
Hi there!

I've had very little success in getting past the query stage with agents. No one seems interested in children's fantasy these days, or at least not what I'm pitching. :) Perhaps it's a saturated market, but that being said, I believe in my project. Anyhow, I have a grade 5 class that read the first book in my series and they absolutely loved it! They are anxious for the next book. I am seriously considering self-publishing (lulu.com) for a time as the kids are anxious to see it in print. I believe that if these kids enjoyed reading it, others will too. My plan is to try to generate some decent sales, and then I would query agents as well as publishers and see if I can generate interest in the book.

Would I be hurting myself by doing this?


03-31-2006, 05:31 AM
Why don't you query some agents first and see what happens?

03-31-2006, 05:37 AM
Not sure I understand....query agents with the idea of self-publishing?

If you are referring to simpy querying agents on my project...I have....LOTS of them! And I don't seem to be grabbing their attention, or they are uninterested in this type of book. <sigh>

I may be doing something wrong, but I don't think so.

Lauri B
03-31-2006, 05:13 PM
If you self publish and sell lots of copies, generating a real interest, it won't hurt your chances with publishers at all. If you self publish and sell a few hundred (or even a thousand or so) and then sales peter out, you're not in great shape (although from your perspective, you've probably made some money!). There's nothing wrong with self publishing as long as you know what you're getting into: you won't have bookstore distribution, you'll have to promote the book completely on your own without the help of media (since most won't touch a self-published book,although you'll probably be able to get some very local coverage, depending on how big a city or town you live in), and it's difficult to get noticed in the market. If no agent has taken an interest in your query, though, and your story is really fascinating and fun and kids love it, it sounds like your query needs work. Have you shown it to anyone and asked for feedback? have agents EVER requested the manuscript? If so, what is their response? Has any of them given a hint about what seems wrong with it?
Good luck--keep us posted

03-31-2006, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the info!

I have tried querying a few different ways, with gimmicks and without. I did get feedback from an agent who read the ms, but they were under the impression that this book was for younger children (it is middle grade), so this wasn't for them. I also had one agent who was eager to represent me before even reading the full ms (they had read the first 3 chapters), but I was uncomfortable with the wordage in the contract and the upfront fee for "mailing". I have had very positive responses/feedback from some agents who read the partials, but they're forte isn't in fantasy. I have had one agent read the full ms, but this did not fit their list, as they put it.

I even set up a web site with information on the series and the book with sample chapters, but that didn't seem to help much either. It just seems I have trouble getting past the query stage. I thought that by self-publishing, I might get further.

Thanks again!

03-31-2006, 06:07 PM
I read the sample of Rudy Doyle. I was really impressed by your intro and story. I think it would be a read story for primary aged children.

03-31-2006, 06:10 PM

It is aimed at the 9-12 age group.

Orangeville, eh? Cool!!

I'm in Whitby!

04-25-2006, 09:44 PM
Hello David,

i was just curious who did your website construction and hosting for you. They are very lively and interesting looking!

I have also had the rejections piling for my story the Chronicle of Soone, although I wonder if any of the material was ever read?...so far a couple of small independents have been positive about the book because they are actually reading it and want books to publish...so its difficult to know when all you recieve is a form letter response and some of them come too fast to have even read the manuscript.


04-25-2006, 10:04 PM
Thanks James! Glad you like the site.

I downloaded a template from http://www.template-monster.com
and modified it accordingly. I have a web programming background prior to my current job. You need to know a little about graphics, as well as Macromedia Flash to use the templates.

My web site is hosted at powweb.com...I highly recommend them.

Hope that helps!