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Author Topic: Alternatives to traditional publishers  (Read 902 times)
Mark33
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« on: August 21, 2018, 09:19:19 AM »

 I've contacted about 5 publisher's and about 30 literary agents now, and got virtually no replies, and all the replies I have had have been rejections (with no feedback). I'm getting nowhere.
 What are the alternatives to traditional publishing? I wouldn't have a clue how to self-publish; the only other options I've heard of are vanity publishing, assisted self-publishing (kind of similar to vanity publishing, but they're more honest about the costs or something), and small presses. I've done internet searches for vanity publishers, and found more or less nothing, except for web-sites advising against it so I'm wary of vanity publishers anyway; and I know nothing about the other 2 options.
 What are my options when I'm on the verge of giving up?
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TigerAsh
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 10:48:37 AM »

I've contacted about 5 publisher's and about 30 literary agents now, and got virtually no replies, and all the replies I have had have been rejections (with no feedback). I'm getting nowhere.
 What are the alternatives to traditional publishing? I wouldn't have a clue how to self-publish; the only other options I've heard of are vanity publishing, assisted self-publishing (kind of similar to vanity publishing, but they're more honest about the costs or something), and small presses. I've done internet searches for vanity publishers, and found more or less nothing, except for web-sites advising against it so I'm wary of vanity publishers anyway; and I know nothing about the other 2 options.
 What are my options when I'm on the verge of giving up?

I'm sure someone else can provide you with clear options; but I just wanted to chime in and say that you shouldn't give up after 5 publishers and 30 literary agents. What you should do is take a good look at your query letter, sample pages, synopsis, and manuscript. Or better yet, have critique partners and/or beta readers take a good look for you. Is your work the absolute best it can be? If not, REVISE.

You're welcome to post your query letter, synopsis, and/or sample pages on this site to get feedback, if you feel comfortable. I may be bias, but I'd say the feedback provided on QT can be really helpful.  Smiley
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GLZyx
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 11:42:12 AM »

I've contacted about 5 publisher's and about 30 literary agents now, and got virtually no replies, and all the replies I have had have been rejections (with no feedback). I'm getting nowhere.
 What are the alternatives to traditional publishing? I wouldn't have a clue how to self-publish; the only other options I've heard of are vanity publishing, assisted self-publishing (kind of similar to vanity publishing, but they're more honest about the costs or something), and small presses. I've done internet searches for vanity publishers, and found more or less nothing, except for web-sites advising against it so I'm wary of vanity publishers anyway; and I know nothing about the other 2 options.
 What are my options when I'm on the verge of giving up?


What TigerAsh said.

I'm sure someone else can provide you with clear options; but I just wanted to chime in and say that you shouldn't give up after 5 publishers and 30 literary agents. What you should do is take a good look at your query letter, sample pages, synopsis, and manuscript. Or better yet, have critique partners and/or beta readers take a good look for you. Is your work the absolute best it can be? If not, REVISE.

You're welcome to post your query letter, synopsis, and/or sample pages on this site to get feedback, if you feel comfortable. I may be bias, but I'd say the feedback provided on QT can be really helpful.  Smiley
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NextChapter
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2018, 12:02:49 PM »

I'm up to 160 queries on my mg contemporary novel, with several requests for partials or fulls that were eventually rejected. If you've had no nibbles after 30 queries, it might be your query letter. Follow TigerAsh's sage advice and post here for a critique. Also the first 5 pages, as these can make or break things.

Good luck!
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koji
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2018, 12:28:57 PM »

1. It's not a very good idea to approach publishers and agents at the same time. (Most agents who might otherwise take you on may decline if they find out your MS has already been sent out to publishers. After all, who are they going to send it to if you have burned those bridges?). SO the first thing to decide is whether you want to work with an agent or pursue publishing on your own. Both are valid options.

2. If you're going with an agent, as others have said, consider revamping your query letter and first few chapters (if not the whole book) with the help of critique partners. After thirty queries, you should have gotten at least one request for a full, so that's a sign there's an issue with your query.

3. General advice is to go with at least a hundred queries (in batches, making changes based on feedback) before shelving a project. Thirty is just warming up. I didn't hit my stride with requests until about fifty queries.

4. How long are you leaving your queries open? Many agents take two or more months to respond. I've had agents request fulls after three months. Publishing moves at the pace of molasses.

--- Seeking Publication on your own---

1) You've got a few choices: approaching smaller publishers or large publishers when they have open submissions. This process is just like querying an agent, so you should still hone your query letter.

2) Vanity press. Like you seem to think, not usually a good idea. Vanity presses are just what they sound like. They are a good idea if you want a few copies of your book for friends and family, not such a good idea if you are looking to sell seriously.

3) Assisted self-publishing. This is growing in popularity as self-publishing becomes ever more popular. Most "companies" will provide you an edit, cover, and some promotion in exchange for a cut of your royalties. This can actually be a good option if you are clueless about technology or the self-publishing process. For me, the companies tend to take too much of a cut (around 30% of what you get) and I have seen no guarantee of their quality, as most of these are relatively new.

4) self-publishing on your own. Hire an editor for your MS. If you are not technologically inclined, hire someone to format your book for e-sales and/or print. Hire an artist to design a cover. Decide on your platforms and release your book into the wild. Promote, promote, promote.

There is no one way, no right way, and always options.
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 07:17:43 AM »

I'm at 207 queries, with 157 158 159 explicit rejections and nonresponses from April and before, so you've got a long way to go before giving up. I just got a partial request for a query I sent in December, so you never know how long it might take.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 05:14:12 PM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
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