re: Did Poor Self-Pub Sales Sink My Career?

posted 8/1/17

Dear Editor…

My agent didn’t have luck finding a home for my teen novels, so I decided to self-publish…but I now wonder if I should have waited longer. I wonder if I acted impulsively and made a mistake. I also broke with my agent (not because she couldn’t sell the work but for other reasons). To be honest, I feel as if I’m a boat drifting at sea as far as my writing career goes, which is sad to say at my age. A friend is encouraging me to try other agents/editors, but I’m not sure if I should contact them since the first book of my series and another stand-alone novel are already self-published and far from doing stellar. So…I don’t see the point in contacting them. Or do you think I still should?

Sincerely,
Confused

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Dear Confused…

These days, self-publishing first isn’t the interest-sinker it used to be with editors. If a self-published books does really well (say, selling 30,000-40,000+ copies) then it can impress editors and spark interest. Huzzah for that, of course. But if it hasn’t sold well (which is, honestly, more often the case with self-published fiction than not) but an editor likes the book and thinks she has a bead on its market, the editor will acquire your book and just have you remove the self-published edition from the market. So no, self-publishing with less than stellar results wasn’t shooting yourself in the foot. Your friend is right: Submit.

Happy writing!
The Editor

P.S. For more on this topic, read Publishing Biz, Self-publishing, Submissions
posted by: The Editor
under: Publishing Biz, Self-publishing, Submissions
Comments to "re: Did Poor Self-Pub Sales Sink My Career?" | Add a Comment
    1. JC wrote (on 08/01/17 at 2:30 pm) :

      The publishing world can be scary and seems to naturally introduce doubts. I’m currently preparing the material I need to send in with my submission of my first manuscript. It’s taking quite a long time and whilst doing it, two of my other pieces have been unsuccessful in a competition I entered, which has caused me to doubt my manuscript.

      Great advice by The Editor though, as always. I wish you the best of luck with your writing and career moving foward.

      [Reply]

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