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« 5 important questions about content reuse | Main | Why you need to experiment with content sponsorship »

April 09, 2014


Max Myers

Great article, Marcy, and couldn't agree with you more in that indie publishing has saved the industry. I've had a modestly successful career as a screenwriter & director, but as the film business changed, dramatically, 6 years ago, I knew it was time to return to my roots and write novels. My first sucked. My second sucked less. My third, the one I'm publishing, is the turning point and my fourth will be my best. All of this is to say that in following this new path, I submitted to one agent, smiled when I received the rejection email which is now on the wall in my office, and opened my own small imprint, I've just signed one author, Patrick H Moore who runs the very popular, am about to sign another, and am accepting new submissions.

However, as I foray into now also being a publisher, I will add this; of the numerous submissions I've received, unfortunately, around 80% of them were just not up to snuff. Yes, indiepub has leveled the playing field, but it's also now very crowded. As I'm no stranger to fragile egos, living in Hollywood, interestingly, most authors can't take constructive criticism, no matter how gentle the hand. This, along with the plethora of books that should never have been published, continues the unfortunate stigma that we all battle. Yes, cream rises, but one has to be very savvy as to how we clear the flotsam to achieve that. At the end of the day, you're absolutely correct in that it's a brave new world and the only thing holding one back is fear. Just please, for those about to, work with a great editor, and polish it numerous times before you Amazon it.

Shabbat Shalom.

Max Myers.

Pete Nikolai

Self-publishing is a great option, but rather than seeing the decision of how to publish as either-or, most authors would be better served by realizing that there are a spectrum of options ranging from traditional publishing on one end to do-it-yourself (DIY) publishing on the other. As with any major investment or purchase, consider as many legitimate options as possible and select the best one. However, just as somebody accepting bids on a major project such as having a house built would not wait around for months for the most established builder to get around to submitting their bid, aspiring authors should set appropriate deadlines for getting an agent and then for the agent to secure offers from traditional publishers. At the same time, the author should be learning about the other options (DIY, publishing service companies, hybrid publishers, etc.) and even making connections and obtaining the financial data for those options.

Different options may make sense for different projects.

If the book's category is one that generates most of its sales through local stores, then the ability to place copies in local stores should be weighted more heavily in the decision. Traditional publishers and distributors (wholesalers with sales teams that actively sell to stores) are the primary options if a book needs national sales into the thousands of local book retailers. Hybrid options (including WestBow Press which I manage) are developing to provide publishing and sales services, but we focus on limited categories at this time.

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