This is a blog about what to do after you get a book deal, with particular emphasis on self-publishing and small press publishing.
I hope this blog helps other writers to make more informed decisions about their career, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has anything to add to the conversation.
I started the blog because I was in the situation of having a book deal, but not really knowing what to do next. I didn’t know whether or not I should go with my publisher’s suggestions about things like editing and cover design, whether it was worth paying for promotion, or how much money I could realistically expect to make. So I talked to lots of people – authors who had chosen different routes, editors, agents and publishers – and now I’m sharing what they told me.
I currently work as an editor at Penguin Books Australia.
I’ve had a few people asking me how to get a publisher or agent so I thought I’d write a blog on the subject including some of the reasons why an author may choose to go down a certain publishing route. This is based on my personal experience and I’m not going to be naming any companies or agents, since that’s not what this blog is all about, it’s about offering some general advice.
I have been traditionally published for 12 years and have now moved over to self-publishing after my last book was published recently. It was my 13th book and I was told by a couple of agents that they weren’t taking on any new authors at the moment. I found that surprising because if you’re an author looking for an agent, you want to know they’re actively selling your books and trying to find a good home for them, not just sitting back and waiting for phone calls from publishers. When I found out that my agent wasn’t going to be submitting my latest novel anywhere, I decided it was time for me to make a change.
I had been thinking about moving over to self-publishing for a while as I had heard about other authors who were doing well with it. Authors like JA Konrath, Joe Konrath
If you are having trouble finding a publisher then you should consider the self publishing option. Self publishing isn’t as difficult or expensive as it used to be. There are now many companies who specialise in helping people self publish their work.
If you do decide to go down this route then I would recommend that you also try to find an agent and a publisher at the same time. Most agents and publishers will want to see a proposal of your book before they agree to represent or publish it. This proposal is essentially a sales pitch for your book – it’s how you sell your book idea to the agent/publisher, so it needs to be pretty good!
I’ve put together some tips on how to write an effective proposal in this blog post:
There are lots of great blogs written by authors who have been through the process of writing, publishing and marketing their books. Here are just a few worth checking out:
I’m hoping that my blog can also help other aspiring authors, especially those who have got a deal and are wondering what happens next!
The Brick and Mortar Route
The other publishing possibility is to take a book deal with a brick and mortar publisher. I’m going to call them B&M. These are the big publishers that are located in brick and mortar buildings. They have been around for decades, even hundreds of years! They have a presence in most if not all bookstores.
In many ways, they are the opposite of self-publishing
When the publisher has finished designing your book, they send the design to a printer who will print and bind it. The printer then sends the books back to the publisher. At this point, you have ‘stock’ of your book.
If you are publishing via a traditional route, the publisher will send copies to bookshops and also make copies available for libraries and universities to buy (if you’re lucky). The main difference between Amazon and bookshops is that once a bookshop orders your book, they own it. It becomes their stock. If they can’t sell it, they can send it back to the publisher. This is called a ‘return’.
Amazon don’t do returns. So if a reader orders your book on Amazon, they own it whether they’ve read it or not. And that means that Amazon makes money from every copy of your book sold on Amazon whether or not you do!
The term ‘brick and mortar’ refers to a traditional business, such as a retail shop or restaurant, that is located in a building. The term originated in the early days of e-commerce when many businesses, both bricks and mortar and pure-play Internet companies, were trying to decide whether to have a physical presence and an online store, or just have an online store. Today, the term is often used negatively to describe companies that do not sell their goods through the Internet. While some criticize this as backwards thinking, others believe that there will always be room for businesses in real buildings.
In contrast to bricks and mortar businesses, the term “click and mortar” was coined to describe companies that had both offline and online presences.
There are many different types of brick mortar mix. The type you choose depends on the application and the weather conditions in your area. With so many to choose from, it’s important to know which is right for your project.
The basic mortar mix that can be used for most jobs is a one to three ratio of sand to cement. A bag of Type S masonry cement will require three bags of sand in order to make the proper mixture. If you live in an especially dry region, it may be necessary to add one part lime to the mixture as well. This will reduce cracking and increase the longevity of the mortar. If you live in a very cold climate, you may need a Type N or Type M mortar mix, which can withstand lower temperatures without freezing.
If your job requires a heavier mortar mix, such as those used for tuck pointing or heavy stone work, then the mix should be made thicker with more cement and less sand. The ratio is two parts Portland cement to one part hydrated lime, with three parts sand added along with water in order to get the right consistency.
There are also premixed brick mortar mixes available in bags at most home improvement stores. These mixes typically have additives that resist mold and mildew growth, making them ideal