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  1. #1
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Default Should I give up traditional publishing?

    Quick summary: I've written four books. I've self-published the first. I've sent the others to suitable publishers with a kind query to invest in them. Two of them have been rejected by all publishers (and two of them self-published, I'm working on the last). One is still in the limbo of undecided.

    What do those rejections mean?
    Either I'm not good enough. Which means I'm not one of the best: in writing, just like in sports, you've got to be top before you can earn some money with it.
    Or the publishers are stupid and don't see a genius manuscript when they've got one.
    Or I've had bad luck: they had, say, ten great manuscripts and only the money to publish one.

    I lean towards the first and the third possibility. As for the first, I can improve. As for the third, I can get lucky one day. But.

    It takes them an awful lot of time to decide. That undecided one is with them already for two years! I've e-mailed and called them. I've had responses like "very soon" and "in a few days" and "I'm sorry, it's just so busy now here". Several times. They keep me hanging and I've had ENOUGH of it. If I can't trust them to keep their promises on such a decision, how can I trust them if they accept my manuscript and tell me when I should expect my book to be in the bookstores?

    So I'm thinking seriously to skip this step next time. Instead of trying to convince a publisher and wait for years and be disappointed and frustrated, I can just get to self-publishing right away. Sell some seventy books, get a break-even and write a next book. Sounds like a good plan.

    The only drawback is: if I do that, I officially give up on my dream to become a professional writer. I'd need to accept that writing will be no more than a hobby for the rest of my life.
    Last edited by Tamske; 04-13-2013 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Lost count... I blame the cursed Science Fiction manuscript I've been writing on-and-off.
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  2. #2
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    There are lots of well-known, very talented authors who went through dozens of rejections before getting someone to publish their book. So three rejections, while discouraging, is hardly indicative of your writing talents or your future prospects as a writer.

    I'd continue to do what you're doing, a combination of self-publishing and trying to get established publishers to publish your work. Are you able to get constructive feedback to make your work more publishable? You work may be great, maybe the publishers you're submitting to don't have a market for that sort of thing?

    Good luck and don't give up your dream!
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  3. #3
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll try again :-) But this time I'm marking a deadline (though the publishers don't know it): if they haven't answered after six months, I'll call and kindly ask. If they haven't answered in nine months, I'll give them a warning. I'll self-publish after ten months (and treat the undecideds as a no).

    By the way, I seem to have lost count. There are four manuscripts. Three of them sent of to several publishers. Two of them rejected by all of them. The last rejected by all but one. The total amount of rejection slips is thirty. A few of them contained helpful comments. Another one was more like "hey, this is a great thing, only it's for twelve-year-olds and they don't buy books any more".
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  4. #4
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I believe the author of the Harry Potter series was rejected on several accounts. I wouldn't give up. That business is like many others out there lately--you have to be hungry for what you want, patient enough to get through the hard times, and realize that the people out there judging your work are humans that, often times, don't have foresight and have a hundred other things going on outside of their job.

    I would continue to find ways to improve your work to keep your motivation high and your patience lasting, and keep submitting your work to publishers as you continue to work.

    My cousin is working on getting her children's book published right now, and I can see it is a very taxing process on the patience side of things. But don't think you're 'not good enough' on your own. I've seen some bad, bad books. (cough'menarefrommarswomenarefromvenus'cough) and they were successful somehow. So, if you want it, and you just keep working hard, you can find what you're looking for.

    I would recommend, maybe, if you're self-publishing a book to create an e-book? Maybe that wouldn't be so taxing for you, and e-books are increasingly popular.

    Keep an open mind, and good luck.
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  5. #5
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Self-publishing is quite easy anyway. I've done it with De vierde god (the fourth god - a huge fantasy story). It's available as paperback and two e-book formats (pdf and epub).
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  6. #6
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Yes.

    Not that I know, really, but for eg...

    Hugh Howey - Self Publishing is The Future and Great for Authors


    Self publish and build an audience, then sell out. It's the new rejection letter.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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