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January 3, 2013


Replies: 1219

HOW PUBLISHING WORKS: Your questions answered by folks in the industry.

PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
HI. You may not know this but there are several traditionally published authors in your midst. I'm one of them. And I'm hoping that some of the others here will help out with this thread. (Hello =vglory, `zebrazebrazebra, =futilitarian, ^neurotype.

I had a similar thread a while ago that is no longer post-on-able and I encourage you to take a look at it before asking your questions. But I know not everyone will and that's fine. Just don't blame me if I copy/paste. HERE IS THAT THREAD:

I'm bringing this up again because I'm seeing a combination of:
1. Questions about publishing strewn all about. (It would be more helpful in one place.)
2. Misinformation being spread through a) bad advice and b) rumors taken as gospel.
3. General negativity toward traditional publishing and traditionally published authors.

So, please, let's clear some stuff up! Let's get some information out there! I'm here to share my experience, and I know others will, too!

Here are some basic rules:

Do ask me (and other participating authors) about novels, poetry, authors, literary journals, agents, editors, resources, publicity and any of the bits and bobs that come with the job.

Do ask me (and others) about the publishing journey as an author/poet/starving artist, and ask about things an author does on his or her way to being published.

Don't slam living authors. Dead authors are fair game, but try not to be too tacky, okay?
Don't ask me about my personal finances, that's just rude.

CAVEAT: I know considerably less about self-publishing, but I can find a lot of information. There are a few folks on here who can, as well. SO! That.

You can no longer comment on this thread as it was closed due to no activity for a month.

Devious Comments

Parth-Makeo Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I have a question on publishing and i do not know if it's been asked many times over...

If I have a planned series (possibly spanning a couple books with 'generations' as well) but only typed up the first book and half of the second, would it be great to get the first book published BEFORE I finish the next books in the series or after i finished the second book and looked over it time and time again with a scheduled release. I ask this because one day I may plan to submit my series as a book or may go the extra mile and straight to video format. 

Books like Lord of the Rings, Eragon, Harry Potter and so on are series of books and I never really got into the mindset of how they got about the first book to publish with many more on the way or already done. Do they just say they have more books plan ahead of time or i will write more after first is published and popular enough?
Medegar Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
AFAIK, agents look for the proverbial best of both worlds --- a book that could potentially work as either a "standalone", or the first of a series. And why wouldn't they . . . that maximizes overall sales potential

The things that agents and publishers say don't always seem to make sense, but a lot of that is because any discussion of storylines they haven't even glanced at yet must necessarily deal in abstract concepts.

Unfortunately for authors, the market for fiction has a problem: overall, the demand for fiction is much smaller than the supply of fiction. Heck, the demand is even smaller than the supply of "excellent" fiction. 

The demand isn't getting lower because of price --- the price is falling. The demand is getting lower because the people who enjoy fiction often don't have enough TIME to find (let alone READ) all the fiction that's out there. Even if you were guaranteed to love 100% of the books you read, you'll probably never get to all the books you'd enjoy that are available in your lifetime. 

So it's tough. Most people in the industry are just doing the best they can, their way.  
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Writer
There's a lot of information on series already tucked into the thread.  Take a look!
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Professional Writer
Vglory already basically answered the main part of your question, but I'll clarify a little bit more. You want to only query your first book and try to get a deal for that one first (and mention that it has series potential in your query letter if you'd like). Most times, series are created based on the demand of the book and how well it sells. If your first book bombs and doesn't sell well enough, chances are, your agent and publisher aren't going to invest all that time and money into other books for a series. It's always best to focus on your first book and query that one, with mention that it has series potential. Then, go from there :nod:
vglory Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
If you want to publish book one I can think of no reason at all not to submit it for publication.  You would cover the series potential in the query letter.
Parth-Makeo Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Alright then. Thanks for the simple reply to my not needed to be complex answer :P

It just means I have to work on making the letter and then going back to edit the previous entries of my story before i try to publish it.
aillin1 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014   Writer
:icondragonspif: I won't make negative criticism of publishers, as I understand they are out to make a business and they generally make an honest business of it, however not all publishers (or film studios for that matter) are known for being entirely open to certain ideas.

George Lucas comes to mind... But I suppose his example is rather complicated.

I simply wonder if every author, no matter of their moral ideals or expression, can be published because of the implied moral stigma of the industry. But as I said, "implied". So would you consider that most publishers suffer from a moral stigma that could lead to some authors being given the cold shoulder?
vglory Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
I publish with publishers I respect, and they have accepted my material without reservation.  So I can't say I have experienced any angst about the issues you raise.
aillin1 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014   Writer
Oh, by no means do I want to bring negative image on all publishers. I just hear so much about stigma, and it really is a psychological issue in human period to evolve in a society of stigmas. But yes, respect for one's "investors" is indeed something that doesn't surprise me. I wouldn't publish with someone I don't respect.
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The only authors I've seen who complain about that are ones who rushed into a contract with a publisher without making sure it was the terms or the setup they wanted.

In short, the people who didn't do their homework.
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