Author Topic: Is this a deal-breaker?  (Read 76 times)

Offline Scottish Guy

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Is this a deal-breaker?
« on: September 10, 2019, 03:15:02 PM »
I currently have an agent reading my full manuscript for a series of novellas. However, it occurs to me that three of these stories have been previously published, albeit in a very limited form. Basically they were featured in a kind of Horror fanzine, printed from the publishers home, with no ISBN number, and sold online. Probably the contributors themselves made up most of the sales! (This is not to denigrate the publisher himself, who puts his heart and soul into these chapbooks). If I am lucky enough to receive an offer I will of course inform the agent straight away - but would this be a deal-breaker do you think?

Offline Tabris

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Re: Is this a deal-breaker?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 03:58:24 PM »
That's probably something you should mention in the query itself. I don't know that it's a dealbreaker, but go back and get the contracts you signed and verify that you have the right to reprint them.

Offline jcwrites

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Re: Is this a deal-breaker?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 03:59:10 PM »
Good question. Agents have been known to take on previously self-published works if they showed sales in the range of 5,000-10,000 units (the number varies according to the source), the idea being that a given work has to show there is a demand for it, but not show so many sales that the well might be dry. Point being: being previously published is not necessarily a death knell.

If you're on good terms with your former publisher, give him a call, tell him the situation, and ask for your sales history. At least—if you get an offer, you'll be fully informed.

The main thing is, and you've already demonstrated this, be open about it.

Sorry I couldn't be more help. Good luck to you.

Offline Scottish Guy

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Re: Is this a deal-breaker?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 10:30:30 PM »
Thanks for the advice. Fortunately I did not sign a contract and I 'own all the rights'. It was a classic rookie mistake - so enthusiastic about being in print that I did not consider holding out for a better offer.