Social Question

JSpeer's avatar

Writers: Would you submit your novel to a contest that will edit, illustrate, publish, market and sell your book for you if you win?

Asked by JSpeer (362points) August 20th, 2015

Imagine an online platform where you (writer) submit the first few chapters of a novel you’ve written. A community of other writers and readers will vote on all the submissions and if yours wins, the company provides skilled editors, illustrators, cover designers, voice actors, audiobook recording, digital copy formatting for iBooks/Kindle, paperback prints to be sold in stores, and the advantage of large scale marketing, at no cost to you.

You would maintain all legal ownership of your novel, same as if you were to publish it through any other publisher. You would get very fair royalties from each sale, same as if you went through a publisher (because this would be a standard publishing house).

This would be for writers who have written a draft of a novel, and don’t know how to get it edited, published, printed, recorded, marketed or sold.

What are your thoughts?

Apply this concept to Children’s Books as well.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

janbb's avatar

What’s the downside? Sure I would do it.

talljasperman's avatar

I already have blurb.

ibstubro's avatar

Well, it seems to me that all the “free stuff” would only actually be an advance on your potential sales. After all, _“this would be a standard publishing house” so all that staff would have to be paid.

I’d make sure I was not on the hook for those fees if the publishing house failed to make a winner out of my book and recoup 100% of expenditures.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It looks like a great deal. I’d have someone check over the fine-print but yes, I’d submit my novel for sure as long as my novel would not become their property, and they’d have no hold over my novel, if they don’t choose to publish and market it.

JSpeer's avatar

Great thoughts everyone! Thanks

Would you still be willing to submit if there was a small fee per to enter to contest ($5–10)?

@ibstubro great point. It wouldn’t be an advance, and ideally the author wouldn’t pay anything other than the small one-time submission fee. The idea would be that the income from the submission fees, plus a portion of profits coming in from book sales would go toward marketing the company and the books to increase sales.

There may also be an option for authors to pay a larger, flat rate to bypass the contest and utilize the companies resources to publish, market, and sell their novel.

@talljasperman blurb seems great, but it seems more like a service for one-time printing, or for making prints for friends and family, am I wrong? It seems like you’d have to sell your book at a very high price in order to make a profit – plus editing and marketing is still left up to the author.

JSpeer's avatar

The author would always maintain intellectual property of their novel, and the company would only request First Rights, or basically the rights/license to sell the book for you.

The author’s comfort and trust would be top priority

majorrich's avatar

At first flush, sounds like a great deal. I am naturally skeptical when I see no negatives so would fret over the contract with a jaundiced eye. If the claims were pure, no worries! I would prefer to self illustrate though, but that’s just me.

JSpeer's avatar

@majorrich totally understand. It would be a challenge to figure out a way to offer so many things at such little cost to the writer, but I think it might be feasible. My goal is to be a helping hand to creative writers who need it, but of course the company needs to profit in order to stay alive – I’d try and do that in the most honest way possible

Thanks again for the feedback. Are you all writers? Anyone published?

majorrich's avatar

I worked for a magazine for several years as a technical editor and wrote a column on building and fitting golf equipment. I co wrote a couple of books for the company so get no residuals. Now that my non competition time is expired, I sometimes think about giving it a go and writing about a fictionalized person doing what I used to do. I did a lot of illustrations for the magazine, and that gave me great satisfaction.

ibstubro's avatar

I hope you’re better at it than this:
“Book Publsihing Guide – Simple Steps To Publishing A Book‎‎(888) 795–4274”

That’s the actual ad they’ve paid Google to run.

majorrich's avatar

Given the subject matter of the books, I was mostly a hand model, but drew diagrams and stuff. Golf Stuff doesn’t require a lot of artistic ability.

JSpeer's avatar

What’s the most amount of money you’d pay as a fee for submitting your novel to a website like this?

ibstubro's avatar

I think you’d be wise to start low ($5–40 range) and build some buzz. Make it clear that it’s an introductory offer. Once you have a track record, $100 isn’t unreasonable and shows that the author has some confidence in their work.

You could offer some sort of scholarship if the manuscript is accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a published author in the field.

JSpeer's avatar

Thanks! @ibstubro Great ideas, I agree.

I also had in mind a section on the website where community members can request, encourage, vote for sequels to successful books in our line. If there is enough hype, the first book is doing well, and the author is interested – the company could offer a grant to write another book, or we could crowdfund a grant from the community. Writers helping writers

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther