General Question

ChaosCross's avatar

Writers: a publisher comes to you wanting to publish your book, any advice?

Asked by ChaosCross (2332 points ) February 24th, 2010

I need to know what to do if in some circumstance a publisher accepts your book and wants to publish it in bookstores.

What should I do?

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23 Answers

frdelrosario's avatar

If they’ve read your book proposal, and agreed to work with you, not much will happen. They’ll assign an editor to you, and send you a contract to sign, after which the editor will squeeze the life and personality from your work and make you wonder why you ever decided to start the stupid project in the first place.

Be prepared for crap like searching for pictures to put it in the book, even if you didn’t opt for pictures at first. Be ready to meet some arbitrary deadlines, and then not hear from them for a while.

You took the advance. They own you. What should you do? Bend over and take it.

ChaosCross's avatar

@frdelrosario Thank you sir, your advice is insightful as always. Looks like I have quite a bit of “bending over” to do then. <:[

skfinkel's avatar

Are congratulations in order?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Don’t sell out just to get your book on a shelf.
There’s plenty of indy booksellers out there who will carry your work.

I think authors have to accept that their first and second works, maybe third too, probably won’t sell nearly as much as they’d like. If you’re creative and talented, your work will eventually be recognized and you need not employ a lot of fakey schmoltz to do it.

frdelrosario's avatar

There’s plenty of indy booksellers out there who will carry your work.

Uh, you know this because independent booksellers carry your book, or are you guessing?

I think authors have to accept that their first and second works, maybe third too, probably won’t sell nearly as much as they’d like.

Again, you’re an author with this experience, are you?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I have no need to prove anything to you.

frdelrosario's avatar

I have no need to prove anything to you.

But you do have something to prove. Your assertions are those of someone with experience in the field, or you’re just the captain of fantasy.

frdelrosario's avatar

@ChaosCross

Looks like I have quite a bit of “bending over” to do then.

You don’t have to take anything from anyone if you choose to publish it yourself. You’ll even get a better royalty rate, but your distribution won’t be as wide.

ChaosCross's avatar

@frdelrosario I realize, but a wide sell range was what I was hoping for over a monetary return.

ETpro's avatar

@ChaosCross My experience wasn’t nearly as bad as @frdelrosario‘s must have been. I got pushed to complete the work, but not unreasonably. Had to search for photo illustrations, but I wanted them in the book. My only regrets are that I wrote a technical book. The going joke is it only took 3 terms—Carter, Reagan and Bush. And for that, I made a mere pittance. My next book will be a novel and my target will be the bets seller list. I may not reach the brass ring, but this time I will at least try.

ChaosCross's avatar

@ETpro Alright thanks to you too, I’m sure I will get this novel published one way or another, an I am relieved that I am almost done with the rough draft.

ETpro's avatar

@ChaosCross If you have a publisher willing to work with you on a novel, go for it. Technical books are not so likely to make any real money for you unless they land on a textbook list that gets picked up by a whole bunch of schools.

ChaosCross's avatar

Ok! Thanks again for all the advice gang! I really appreciate it!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

There is a web site called “Editors and Preditors”. Check that list very carefully before you sign with anybody. Make sure that you’re not paying to publish the book in any way.

Jeruba's avatar

At that point, get an agent pronto to help you negotiate your contract.

DarkScribe's avatar

Avoid independent publishers if possible. Most have limited access to major bookshop chains. Many booksellers have contractual agreements with a small group of publishers that limits their ability to carry independent stock.

The fact that are asking this would indicate that you are very much a novice. The first thing that you need is an agent – a good agent is hard to find, but once you have one you will begin to see your work in print. Don’t wait until you have an expression of interest to find an agent – you might never get published with that approach. Not many publishers like to deal directly with novice writers but when approached by an agent who is known to them will look at the MSS and possibly look at including it. (Many publishing houses get several thousand unsolicited MSS per month.) Find an agent if you have something you (and others) feel is worthwhile.

TheJoker's avatar

Bite his hand-off…. it’s bloody hard getting a book published so dont squander the opportunity.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I guess it depends on how badly you want to get published. After looking over the contract, I sent it back unsigned. The deal-killer for me was the “publicity” clause; I’m not a public figure and have no desire to be. The ms also tells a story that I would rather not be personally associated with. Any income from the book would have gone to charity anyway.

ChaosCross's avatar

@DarkScribe So you are saying that having a professional agent could increase my chances several fold? How much does your general publisher go for?

frdelrosario's avatar

@ChaosCross having a professional agent could increase my chances several fold?

It could. Depending on the type of book, some writers find it more difficult to find an agent than they do finding a publisher on their own.

DarkScribe's avatar

@ChaosCross you are saying that having a professional agent could increase my chances several fold

Yes, for several reasons. One, they won’t try to sell your work unless it truly has potential, and two, they know just where to place it – which publishers are likely to accept it. Get yourself a copy of the “Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook” and look for an agent close to you. Start hawking your work to them rather than publishers. If you work has potential but is not yet up to scratch they can (and often will) advise you on how to revise.

evandad's avatar

If you only have one story in you then get as much as you can on the deal. If it doesn’t sound right then hold out. If you have more than one you can be more flexible.

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