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December 1, 2012
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STOP TRYING TO GET PUBLISHED.

:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm seeing tons and tons of posts about getting published. Posts about publishing and self-publishing by writers who may or may not know what they're getting into when they put their work out there. I'm seeing posts where a writer asks a question about getting published, gets a response they don't like, and then a flamewar ensues. I've seen posts where a writer just starts posting about how destroyed the traditional publishing market is, citing a bunch of bullshit reasons, and claiming that self publishing is the only way.

What I want to know is -- why do you think you're ready to publish? Why is everyone so focused on publishing, rather than asking themselves if that's what they're ready for? Why isn't anyone actually revising, and researching the market, and figuring out how this stuff works, rather than flinging manuscripts at the publishing wall? Why do writers here think that publishing = self-publishing except in the case of fairy godmothers?

STOP. Just stop. Take a step back. What's really going on here, y'all?
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Devious Comments

:iconperibyss:
Peribyss Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I think some mellowing out is due.

Write to write. Life is inconsequential and meaningless, as far as I can tell. While that sounds depressing, I take it as liberating. Do as you please so that you and everyone else in the world may enjoy their lives, instead of worrying about an outcome or an income. I also understand this site has a large teenage demographic, which also leads me to say not to worry about it. It's a long time ahead, kick back, and write when you want to and when you feel like it. Don't worry about being published. Write first, write second, write third, and so on and so forth. Then, if it works out sometime down the line, get published.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
The "people don't understand what they're getting into" part. Not just on forums here (though there are a lot) but in forum posts on other writing sites, etc. It seems like most people are only after the "fame and money". If they knew ANYTHING about publishing, they'd see how hard that is to achieve and how little published authors ACTUALLY get paid. If they're looking to get "paid", then they should go find another career (or at LEAST get a day job). Writing's not going to pay for your meals and your bills, etc. alone unless you're one of the lucky big names. The most I've probably EVER been paid for my writing in a lit. mag was $50 (which isn't bad considering a lot don't pay anymore unless they're some of the bigger names: Glimmer Train, Tin House, etc.). If you're lucky enough to get a short story published in a magazine a year, is that $50 going to be enough to live on?

That and most of them can't take basic critique. If they can't take some helpful hints from people on dA that most likely aren't even being as harsh as REAL criticism would be, how on earth are they going to handle the rejection letters? I don't think many of them even realize that for every acceptance you get, you probably have 10+ rejections (if you submit/query often).

I think the main problem is that the book/publishing industry is so "glorified" in some aspects that people think that they're going to make millions and have fans all over the world obsessing over their work and everything will fall into their lap. Then again, most of the world is "glorified" like that anymore :stare:.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Man. You must submit conservatively, because I have a much higher rejection rate for lit mags! Ha!

Not to mention, it took me 3 years and over 100 rejections to land an agent.

I think that people are so eager for the end result that they forget the process. It's tough.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Haha I usually do! Nah, if I get one accepted in my monthly send out batch, I'm lucky. I only had one piece accepted this year which I'm even grateful for. I didn't send that much out this year, really (I was too busy). I probably had about 20 rejections or so, but that one acceptence made up for it. This year I'm going to send out much more (and get to revising some other work to get ready to send out).

Indeed. That and they expect a book to get a deal, get everything done, and then slapped on their desk all complete. They don't realize that it takes a good 1.5-2 years if the company's quick to even GET the book out on average (some are closer to a year that I've seen, but more are in the 2 year range I've come across), and all the work they have to put in while they're book's in the process. It's not all sitting back and relaxing. They've got edits to do before the book can come out, etc. It's not like POD where you can copy and paste your manuscript into their program and have the book delivered as is in a week or so.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Yeah if I sold a book tomorrow it would probably come out late 2014, by my estimation. Sometimes it's sooner, depending on what the publisher's lists look like, or other variables...but in general it's about two years from sale to finished product. And all the in between work! It's epic!
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Exactly! It's not just sitting back and waiting for the book to be done during those two years. The author has JUST as much work as the publisher during that time making sure everything is ready to go.
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:iconblithemisnomer:
BlitheMisnomer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If we are talking about the worthiness of a book as a BOOK in my opinion, Self-Published or Not, only REAL readers will know if a book is good. With regards to publishing options, I believe that UNLESS you are convinced with your business abilities and marketing sense, DON'T delve into self-publishing out of haste and ideals. Writing a Good book, and Selling it are two different matters. Now, if we are going to talk about getting your book to become popular in the market (without much regard on the profits), traditional publishing may take a LONG while but if you are not an expert in marketing or you don't possess the right connections and monetary resources for getting your book "out there" , especially for first-timers without much business background, better stick to the traditional way-- leave it to the ones who know the trade. However, again, if you are convinced with your business abilities and marketing sense, and you really are keen on self-publishing, there are many ways to get all that funds and connections to attain your goal of gaining both profit and popularity. Although of course, if you don't have the right resources ready, things are always easier said than done. You'd really have to get out there and invest great amounts of time, effort, and money to find sponsors and the right connections. Publishing, like any other business, has a lot of vultures and opportunists. Beware of frauds and all sorts of scammers along the way.
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:iconparadigmfallen:
ParadigmFallen Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Artist
If it makes you feel any better... there's just about as many idiots in the videogame industry. I've already gone through about 5 potential indie studio members who had no idea what they were getting into. Most people seem to have some idea that entertainment is easy somehow, or that they're a beautiful flower that's perfect no matter what it does.

As for myself, I've gone through a lot of writing and learning and ideas before I even started to hope I'd get published or would self-publish. I'm still doubtful now, but I've had a little success self-publishing a few fanfics and original lit on a blog a while back, so that was heartening. I haven't got my head in the clouds though.
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:iconnecroraevyn:
NecroRaevyn Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Student Writer
Writers want to get published because that is a goal that can be set. Most of the people I know who wanted to get published never bothered after some advanced research about marketing.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
I think you missed the point of this post completely.
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:icontwipplestoast:
twipplestoast Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Writer
If one is truely ready for publishing then they should be grown up enough to do their own research of the market and find out which route is best for them. For me it is self publishing, but in regards as to when I should publish still remains a mystery. My book may be ready in a few months, but will I be ready for that world if or when it takes off? I'm not sure, so I may just sit on my manuscript till "I" am ready, and till that time comes I'll do the necessary research to prepare myself for the day when I am.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
Why do you want to self publish rather than pursue traditional publishing?
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:icontwipplestoast:
twipplestoast Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Writer
For me it's a money issue. And the fact that, unlike most authors, I've never had a job in the writing industry, let alone outside of my family buisness. So for a publishing house to accept my manuscript with my very little writing experience outside of school work is unlikely.

I'm doing most of the work myself to save money. I'm hiring out an artist to do the cover illustration, and then I will design the cover myself. And to save even more money my friend and I are doing all the editing, so that way I can get my book published for under $1,000, and then later on get a Kirkus review. So now all that I need to purchase from the outlet that I'm thinking of using is the interior design. If I were to publish traditionaly I would have to take out a loan just to get started. Not that I'm against traditional publishing - I do hope to go that route one day - it's just best for me, a first time author, to self publish my first book.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
Okay, I'm going to clarify some things for you. I hope it helps.

1. You don't EVER have to pay someone to publish your work UNLESS you are self publishing. Money ALWAYS flows TO the author. If you get an agent, you don't pay them, they get a 15% cut of what they sell and don't get paid until you do. A publisher pays YOU and you never pay a publisher.

2. Most writers I know haven't worked in the industry. They are moms, doctors, engineers, homemakers, teachers, grocery store cashiers, librarians, musicians, dads, lawyers, administrative assistants, short order cooks, waitresses, etc. etc.

3. If you are concerned about saving money, you will spend less pursuing traditional publishing. It takes longer, in most cases. But NOBODY has to take out a loan to get a traditional publishing deal. THEY pay YOU.
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:icontwipplestoast:
twipplestoast Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Writer
Yes, you are paying to have someone publish your book. The money which comes in from the book, 92% of it goes to the publisher, and your left with only 8% of the royalties. So you are paying them through the sales of your book, but only in small ammouts, which leaves you with very little of your hard work in your pocket. With self publishing you see your money going out, rather than it being taken away from sales, and you're left with more royalties. (the loan is something I heard an author talking about, but had yet to look it up.)

The idea of which is better solely depends on the person and the book. Mine for instance is unlike anything else out there. It has nothing like what's "hot" right now, that being Hunger Games and Twilight. Because of such books soaring in popularity, traditional publishing is in the market for books in that genre - and mine is most certainly not. One day I may try to get my book published traditionally, but I still feel it best that I first go the self publishing route.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
No, you're left with 100% of the royalties, less a cut for your agent. (Royalties are not the same as profits or sales -- and a royalty is a cut of the *sales*, not a cut of the profits.) And what you get in return is access to the publisher's distribution and marketing machine. Authors generally have to do much of their own promotion anyway, but without a publisher behind you it's an uphill battle. Brick-and-mortar bookstores no longer have a total lock on the book market, but it's still very helpful to get your work placed in them, and that's something you cannot do by yourself on a large scale. But a publisher can.

The only self-published book from a formerly unknown writer I know of that became a genuine bestseller (in the modern era) is Christopher Paolini's Eragon. That would not have been possible without the RELENTLESS self-promotion he was able to do, backed by rich parents who flew him all over the country on a grand book tour. That's not an option for most middle-class adults with jobs.

Don't be so sure you know why your book may not have sold, assuming you've actually tried. The "next big thing" is not predictable, in the YA market or anywhere else. You could not have guessed "Hunger Games" based on the success of "Twilight".
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:icontwipplestoast:
twipplestoast Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Writer
[link] This explains royalties better than I can.

As well as Richard Paul Evan's, "The Christmas Box". He self published the book for friends and family, and 20 copies were passed around 120 times, and was then quickly picked up by publishers. Not saying that I expect the same from my book, but I feel, as a first time author, that self publishing is my best option.

I haven't yet published. My book is still in the works.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
When you are traditionally published, you don't have to pay a CENT to the publisher. They will pay YOU. In some and a lot of cases, authors actually get paid UPFRONT before their book comes out when they get the book deal (depending on how big the company is). If a "traditional" publisher asks you to pay them for ANYTHING (reading manuscripts, getting accepted, etc.) it's either a scam or a vanity press and NOT a traditional press.

Self-publishing can rack up a LOT of money on your end that you have to dish out. More often than not, after having to pay for your book to be published (and all the services which add up to well over $1,000: editing, marketing, cover design, etc. [which are FREE at a traditional publishing house]), you lose more money self-publishing than you thought you would have traditionally publishing.
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(1 Reply)
:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Are you sure you understand that link? You offered it as if in contradiction. It isn't.

You've highlighted exactly the thing. Anyone who makes real money at writing deals with a real publisher sooner or later, and what you're ignoring is that Evans was an ad exec at the time. He had marketing expertise and resources way beyond your average writer -- way beyond even many very good writers.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
That's really not how it works.

There's a reason most people LOSE money in self publishing and people who traditionally publish don't have to worry about "breaking even."

I think you should do more research on the market. I don't write work that is anything like Twilight or Hunger Games, and I have an agent! There's room for A LOT of different types of books out there. And lots of different types of books can make money. Maybe you should check out something like Publisher's Marketplace and follow trends a bit.
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:icontwipplestoast:
twipplestoast Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Writer
Then how do you explain the author getting less of the royalties than the publishing house? They can't print, edit, design, and market a book for free. The money has to come from somewhere, and rather that it being directly from your pocket it comes from the sales of your book.

I've done months and months of research on the market. But as I've said, no market is the same for everyone. For you traditional publishing was the way to go. For me it's self pubishing. Like fashion, publishing has trends: what's popular now. If a certain idea is having record sales then publishers will be out for those ideas to gain the most amount of money.

The only traditional publishing outlet that I know will take my book is Murcury Ink., as my book is along the idiology that they're looking for. But, thereagain their policies indicate that I still have to do all the work, minus marketing, which is fine for me.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
That's really not how the math breaks down. It's a partnership that benefits both the publishing house than the author.

As someone neck deep in the industry, I'm well aware of how trends work. And I'm telling you that the trends you listed are over. So you might not be as on the pulse of publishing as you think you are. And that's okay, it's just time to do a bit more homework.

How many times have you revised your novel? How many agents have you queried? How many publishers have you submitted to? What kind of feedback have you gotten? Are you even ready yet?
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(1 Reply)
:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
In fact, I know virtually NO freelance writers who have worked in the industry, and I can claim some reasonably "big names" in fantasy and SF among my acquaintances.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
I know some, but in most cases it's novelists who at one point were journalists or who taught writing. It's definitely not a prerequesite. Agents and publishers care about good writing, not resumes.
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:iconchoukocatt:
ChoukoCatt Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student Photographer
My grandma self published two books and there really good. I'm not saying it because she was my grandma. I'm saying it because they are two things that I have of her's. The books and her drawings. RIP Janet Sue Terry, author of Possibilities and Resolutions.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm not sure what this has to do with this thread, though I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing.
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:iconchoukocatt:
ChoukoCatt Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student Photographer
I'm sorry if it's off topic. I just meant that some self published books are good. I'm sorry if I'm not making sense. -_-;
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Writer
Nobody was contesting the fact that there are some self published books out there. This post has nothing to do with that.
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:iconchoukocatt:
ChoukoCatt Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Photographer
I said I was sorry.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Writer
:|
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:iconrazgriz-3:
Razgriz-3 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012
My reason probably makes me look like an asshat, but it's that I only have my advantage for so long. The novelty wears thing when you see a book written by an eighteen-year-old, but there's still a little more if it's by a fifteen-year-old. That is to say, if the book's still good you can put the gimmick around a little more.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Writer
No. Just no. There are SO many books published by teens right now. It's not a gimmick. Just focus on being ready and GOOD. Focus on your work.
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:iconrazgriz-3:
Razgriz-3 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
I figured it made me look like an asshat...
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Writer
Well think of it like this: Would you rather publish a mediocre book at 15 or a fantastic book at 30?
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:iconrazgriz-3:
Razgriz-3 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Good point. But how am I supposed to know exactly when I am ready, and when I am not? Shouldn't publication reject me as it is?
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Age has nothing to do with anything. When you submit a manuscript to a publisher, they see only the manuscript. They don't see YOU at all. The only way they'll know you're a teen is if you tell them. Your work will be rejected or accepted on its merits alone.
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:iconrazgriz-3:
Razgriz-3 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Mmm, that's a good point. Seems like dating: the secrets come later. XD
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Writer
Well one way to know is to get feedback and critique. You also want to be very well-read in your genre and in the contemporary market as a whole. Another good idea would be to start researching the industry -- so many agents and editors have blogs, many authors have written about their publishing journeys online. There are a lot of resources out there.
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:iconrazgriz-3:
Razgriz-3 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
That's another point I wanted to discuss- I saw another subject somewhere, dunno if it was by you or not, but most of the feedback on what I write is positive- which means I'm not looking in the right place. However, I can never seem to get constant feedback; I generally go looking for it every once in a blue moon. Where should I look?
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
Give feedback to get feedback, dude. You'll eventually find someone you can trade feedback with regularly.
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(1 Reply)
:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Professional Writer
STOP. Writing quality comes with time. I have a very good friend who is a published author, worked with Steven Coonts, the works--and he says it took him 25 years to become an overnight success. So wait. Be patient. It takes time and effort to become a published author worth a damn.
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:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I completely agree. :clap: I've been writing and rewriting for 8/9 years on one book (while working on the other 5 books for the same story), because I don't think it's ready for serious publication yet. I would like to get it published soon, but I still think it has a lot of work to go through before being ready for the "big leagues." :shrug:
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:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Writer
Well, there's also a flip side to that, though--writing and rewriting the story and never publishing. Be careful with it, okay? It's a hard line to toe.
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:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I will. :nod:
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:iconcassildra:
Cassildra Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Writer
:heart:
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:iconatlantech:
Atlantech Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
research is important because there are a shit ton of vanity publishers who love to take advantage of those eager to get published.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Professional Writer
That kind of wasn't the point of this thread. :)
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:iconatlantech:
Atlantech Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
who gives a shit?
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Professional Writer
Well usually it's a good idea to stay on-topic in a thread.
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:iconatlantech:
Atlantech Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why isn't anyone actually revising, and researching the market, and figuring out how this stuff works, rather than flinging manuscripts at the publishing wall?

Orly? You mentioned "researching the market" and I brought up the fact that it's important to do that research so they're aware of those vanity publishers.
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