With so many (inexpensive) options available to authors who are not traditionally published (and even those who are), literary agents are having to reinvent themselves. An interesting post from The Passive Voice.
I came across this blog post from John Scalzi about terrible contracts being offered to authors, even by mainstream publishers. Worth a look. Click here for the link.
Before I declined the offer (more on this later), I talked to a few authors published by different mainstream publishers. They wrote good books which disappeared without a trace because they were not promoted like the big name authors. I decided to see what I could do on my own, so I’m self-publishing.
I know the word ‘self-publishing’ seems to imply that your work is sub-par.
But my unpublished manuscript was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia prize for unpublished manuscripts.
And I’m paying for a professional edit of my book, I’ve commissioned a book cover, I’m paying a book formatter – in short, doing everything a mainstream publisher would do.
In addition I’ll be doing the promoting, which they might not do for a mid-list author like me. And I’m not closing the door on mainstream publishing – in fact my ‘almost-publisher’ and I parted on very good terms, with them being open to considering my next book.
I’ve embarked on a journey that is exhilarating, scary, probably unprecedented. Lets see where this takes me.
Click here for my guest post.
It is really hard for first time authors to get a foot in the publishing door, which can make them really desperate to be published. I should know. I almost got conned into signing away all my rights. Luckily, I backed off at the last moment.
When you’re ready to sign a contract (and this is especially true if you’re dealing directly with the publisher), don’t sign away all rights. For example, if you wish to give only print rights to the publisher, specify just that. Never sign away all rights. After all, five years ago who’d have thought to keep electronic rights for ebooks?
Royalties is another area writers need to watch out for. Click here for a great article by Patricia in epublishabook.com.
BTW, if you like this site, please consider clicking on the ‘Like’ button on your right. I need at least 25 likes before I can get a vanity author page (i.e. http://www.facebook.com/pages/AuthorRasana-Atreya instead of http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rasana-Atreya/134736126622525). It’ll help when I finally get my book out. Thanks!