Why I am wrong.

As both of my readers know, I have been quite vocal about being an independent writer and suggesting we don’t need publishers, and agents in particular; am I wrong?

Self-publishing was recommended to me when I first started this writing malarkey and I have no regrets about setting out along that path. When I was an apprentice in the airline business, I spent time in many different departments and it gave me an appreciation of the industry and how it worked. By being involved in the whole book making process, I now have an understanding of some of the problems associated with publishing and printing a book.

By doing it myself, I’ve learned about editing, creating a cover, formatting the interior, obtaining an ISBN, registering copyright and I’ve seen the printing process. I’m not an expert in any of those fields, but at least I have an understanding.

But, and it is a big but again (get that image out of your head,) there is one part I still struggle with, selling. It doesn’t matter what I do in the way of advertising, cajoling, suggesting or pleading, my book sales remain abysmally low, unless I am selling direct to the public at a signing.

Now, there are some out there who would suggest it is because my writing is rubbish, it must be, that’s why I am an indie. Well, I don’t believe it is, although it certainly improves with everything I write. So I have a  question for those who suggest it is – how do you know? If you haven’t read my work, you can’t possibly say what it is like, yet some remain unconvinced and tar all of us indies with the same brush. It is because of this I came to the conclusion, yes, I am wrong.

Some time ago I wrote a post about having direct access to some publishers thesePublishing Contract days, and I no longer saw the point of having agents. Well, I do now.

Agents are there working for you, doing the things that either you can’t or don’t have the time to do, with people who remain inaccessible to you as an independent, and that is why I have decided I must have some form of representation and that is the reason I am wrong about the industry. What we all need to realise is we are really on the same side, trying to achieve the same aims; getting readers to buy books which give them value for money and have them wanting more by the same author.

I will still self-publish some titles (I have a cookbook coming out in the near future, so watch this space,) but I think the bulk of my writing must be represented in some way.

This doesn’t mean I will jump at a contract if offered. I will need to feel it is the right person and the right contract for me. I want to establish a growing relationship, something that will be long lasting and fruitful. The right person and agency is out there, and so my journey begins.

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6 Replies to “Why I am wrong.”

  1. You’re not wrong. Many authors have left the traditional publishing world to join us indies, while former indies have been disappointed in the trad. world. They say the most successful authors are a hybrid, having some traditionally published books and others self. It seems to me, most small publishing houses don’t offer enough marketing to make it worth your while, so it’s really a question of finding the right agent who can get you a good contract with a decent publisher. If you can do that, then maybe you’ll be wrong. Or right. Or something like that.

    Good luck!

    1. I was wrong about agents. I know that with a small publisher I will still need to do a fair amount of selling, which I don’t mind. What I can’t get to grips with is all the analytics involved. I’m not as much of a scientist as I thought I was!

  2. Oh there is definitely a need for a good agent. If you can get a good agent on your side, you are half way there. The trouble is that so many people do not know the difference between an agent, a publisher, and the printers. 😀

    1. Many don’t seem to want to go through due process with the book either…finish typing…publish. Although there are still a good number that do understand the process and take time over their work.

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