View Full Version : Would it be considered a debut if I self-pubbed for free?

03-24-2015, 06:19 AM
Agent left the business earlier this year, and I haven't had any luck trying to find someone new. I don't want to shelve my first book, but also don't want to hurt my second (possiblymore commercial) book's chances.

If I self-pub and it doesn't take off (and since I don't know how to market anything, I don't expect that it will), I know that'll hurt my next book's chances with an agent or publisher.

What if I paid for cover art and ebook formatting out of my own pocket and put it on Amazon for free? Does that still count as a debut? Would that be a red flag for agents? I know I can probably put it on Wattpad or FictionPress without ruining my debut, but I'd like people to be able to put it on their Kindles and read it like a real book, if they'd like to.

Siri Kirpal
03-24-2015, 06:33 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

This is a case where you'd be better off holding off on publishing the first book. Then try to interest agents/publishers in the second. The point is that you won't really have ANY debut if you self-pub for free.


Siri Kirpal

03-24-2015, 06:37 AM
Publishers seem to be able to make a "debut" out of quite a lot, actually. I have friends who have had multiple "debut" books listed on Publishers Marketplace because they were in a different genre or with a different publisher. My guess would be that it won't hurt the debut status.

BUT if you feel strongly about your second book's chances, why not query with it and then after you get a new agent, bring the first book to her too. Agents are in it for the career. It doesn't always happen, but sometimes the earlier book becomes the author's second book.

Old Hack
03-24-2015, 12:15 PM
hikarinotsubasa, you've started two other threads asking variations on this same question: Previously published as fanfiction (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=276258) and Would a non-fiction credit ruin my debut status? (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=303739).

You've received good advice in both of those threads, and I don't see why you need this third one.

Consequently, I'm going to lock this now. If you can think of a compelling argument for its unlocking, feel free to PM me.