Guest Post by Alex Hurst: What Can Traditional Publishing Offer Authors?

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Alex Hurst

As you know, I’ve self-published some of my books, and published traditionally others. When I posted a (somewhat cheeky) infographic about Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing, my friend Alex Hurst pointed out that there’s lot more to be gained from following the traditional path than suggested by the post.

After she had made a few great arguments in the comments, I asked her to write up a guest post on the subject, as she had obviously put a lot of thought into the subject. She came up with the great post below. Enjoy!

3 Reasons to Go Traditional

These days, self-publishing is all the rage, and with the prominence of DIY publishers like Amazon, Smashwords, and Draft-2-Digital, it’s not hard to see why. Authors can take full control of the creative process, editing only what they want to, choosing (or making) a cover they feel presents their book faithfully, and distributing to whatever…

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The bittersweet taste of traditional publishing

Writer's Block

book-436507_640One of the many reasons I have been more than usually absent from this blog in recent months is a rather large side project – a non fiction book. Now that we are in the final stages of reviewing the contract with the publisher, I think it may be worth adding my two-bobs worth to the discussion about self publishing vs. traditional publishing.

The new book, which will be about playspaces, came about in the most unlikely of ways. A chance in a million. On a whim, back in the dim dark days at the start of the year, I entered a competition on Goodreads. Remarkably, I won it, and some time later received a lovely hardback edition of a landscape design history book. Finding it hard to maintain the CPD points I need to maintain my qualification with a bub, I inquired of our professional magazine if they would…

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Amazon Scouts for new talent

[BTW] : Ben Trube, Writer

Or actually they get you to do it.

Amazon seems to be rolling out new programs for its readers and writers every couple of months. This latest, Kindle Scout, offers readers the chance to vote for the next big thing in books, or more specifically, who gets a 5 year contract and $1500 advance from Amazon.

For readers it doesn’t seem like a particularly bad deal. You get to sample the first few pages of a lot of authors, pick your favorites, and if a lot of people agree with you, you get a free copy of the full book. Even if you don’t get free books, odds are you’ll have found something new you might not otherwise have discovered.

And for writers it’s not so bad either, particularly if you’re just starting out. The full terms are a 5-year renewable contract for exclusive worldwide eBook and audio-book rights…

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Kindle Scout Campaign Live

The Behrg Writes ...

Amazon’s Kindle Scout Program has officially launched as of TODAY and with it, my debut nKindle Scout Screen clipovel is being made available to readers for the first time. (To see what a live campaign looks like and peruse a preview of my novel, click here.)

I’m thrilled, excited and a little worried all at once.

While I have experience in marketing and SEO work I am a terrible “self-promoter.” I’ve never been able to do the whole pyramid-scheme “sell your friend and they sell two of their friends” type programs and find it difficult talking about myself. Yet to get things off the ground when you’re promoting a book without the aid of a publishing house behind you, it’s necessary to get past that hurdle.

Fortunately there are ways to doing this that don’t make you feel like you’re selling your soul. I refuse to be one of the robots…

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QUITE THE QUERY with Mary Elizabeth Summer and TRUST ME, I’M LYING

chasingthecrazies

QuiteTheQuery

If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few writers say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!

Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences. But for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.

With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Mary Elizabeth Summer. This great query connected her with her agent, Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.

Julep Dupree is not a real person. In fact, Julep isn’t even her real name. She’s a grifter, a con artist, a master…

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Submitting our Writing to Literary Magazines

Writers' Ink at Caledon Public Library

Would you like to start publishing your short stories or poems but don’t quite know how to even begin? This article from the editor’s at Neon on how to submit your writing literary magazines is a great step-by-step guide.

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How To Improve Your Chances of Querying Success

Aussie Writers

cockatoo

I’ve been at this game for a while now, so I thought I’d give some advice on what I’ve noticed helps people progress through the querying process. So, here’s my advice….


1. Social Media

As an acquiring editor, this is something I know is a big deal. An author needs to show they are capable of promoting their work and building a fan base before even signing a contract. So, while preparing the query, set up an author page on Facebook, get involved in Twitter, and set up a blog. Any other social media is also great. If you prefer Tumblr, Pinterest, etc, go ahead and set up a profile on those too. But Twitter is probably a must, since the writing community is strong there, along with twitter pitching and notifications of upcoming pitching competitions and other events.

2. Critique Groups/Partners and Beta Readers

Feedback is the best…

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Submissions stats…

Trish Hopkinson

Submitting writing to markets is a LOT of work… and truthfully, regardless of the amount of research you do to make sure the work you’re sending is a good fit for the market you are submitting to, you may or may not get accepted. I spend more time submitting than I do writing these days.

My Stats for 2013/2014:

Submissions:            251

Rejections:                156

Acceptances:              24

No Response:             16

Withdrawal:                 3

Pending:                     52

duotrope

I track my submissions on Duotrope… It’s worth every penny and lists the majority of journals, contests, etc. I submit to.

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Steps to Getting a Book Published (Part One): Cali Style

publishing

Cali Powell

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have been job hunting and enjoying the last few weeks of beautiful Oregon weather before the rain returns in full force. It has been such a long summer that I’m almost ready for the cooler weather (ALMOST) but then I remember the nine months of rain that we have ahead of us and I start to second guess myself.

I wanted to write this post today because I have a lot of people, mostly family members, ask me when I’m going to finish editing my book, how long it’s going to take until it’s done, what the next steps are, ect. Don’t get me wrong, I love that people are interested in my book, but whenever I try to answer these questions my brain becomes a big ball of mush and I get irrationally angry (which hopefully isn’t obvious to anyone but me). Every book is…

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How I choose where to submit

Tantra Bensko's Genre Fiction

I’m not a publications snob. Many people say they start at the top and work their way down, the top being famous journals with clout that sometimes pay pro rates, and sometimes don’t pay much or pay anything. That’s fine, and can make them more money, and is good for career and recognition, gain more readers. I’m not saying they are snobs. But they also say other people should do that too, and I’d like to give another viewpoint to consider. There are very few of these magazines that have the Ohhh! factor name recognition, and they are always the ones people list first in their bios. They’re fine, and I like some of them, but I don’t give them any more weight than obscure ones when I’m considering where to submit, or in judging a writer’s fiction quality.

Yes, they raise status and possibly reach a large readership. But…

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Editor and Writer – a Hate-Hate Relationship?

editors

Leslie Hyla Winton Noble

Translation etc header

Advice to authors and editors:

You are a writer.  You have produced your masterpiece.  Now your publisher or someone else suggests it needs to be professionally edited.

Immediately, your hackles rise.  You don’t need editing.  You have gone over the manuscript yourself, numerous times, and it is perfect.

Finally, kicking and screaming, you submit.  The first results return and you find that you have missed any number of spellcheck-proof errors of the ‘to/too’ variety as well as many wonky punctuation points.  Are you grateful?  Not exactly.  ‘I would have picked all of those up on one more read,’ you grumble.

Then you see a comma inserted somewhere and you don’t like it.  The editor points out that without it the sentence has a different meaning.  You don’t see it that way.  One of you capitulates, but only after many mutterings.

Now comes the ultimate insult – it is suggested that…

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And I Thought Writing the Novel was Hard

Am I Doing This Right?

IMG_5934-0.JPG
I’ve heard many people – successful writers among them – say that facing that blank page never gets any easier. I’d definitely say some days are easier than others, but a blank page is never a particularly inviting sight.

And yet I managed to write an entire novel (two, actually, but only one that’s readable). I should feel like I can do anything, write anything. After all, getting to 65,000 words took facing down and filling up a lot of blank pages.

But now I have to write the Query Letter. Just one measly page.

So where are all of the query letter writing workshops and boot camps and support groups? Where’s the How to Write a Killer Query Letter for Dummies shelf at my Barnes & Noble?

Because, let me tell you, this blank page ain’t writing itself.

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Self-Publishing outside the US

self pub

Prysmcat's Writing About Writing

I resigned myself to making my ebooks entirely free, rather than inexpensive and accessible, thanks to the US IRS. I live in Canada, and having them take 30% of the little I expect to make made it seem rather pointless. The info on the Smashwords website as far as dealing with this leads into paperwork and fees that made it equally pointless – why spend more than I expect to make in order to have people pay for my books?

I don’t expect to earn much. That actually isn’t a main motivation for me, something I’ve discussed elsewhere. Essentially, I know myself well enough to know that if I try writing for a living on the grounds of making said living doing something I love, then sooner or later, probably sooner, I’ll find myself making said living doing something I used to love but that is now just an obligation…

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