Author Topic: Finding a publisher that fits  (Read 1070 times)

Offline Frank T.

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Finding a publisher that fits
« on: October 28, 2011, 05:00:07 PM »
A year and a half ago a publisher was interested in my work and sent me a contract. I was fifteen. But in the end they wanted money I didn't have, it was the co-publishing option. I had another contract from another place that also wanted some money. A traditional publisher and I discussed possibilities for three months and then I didn't hear anything from them until just today, two months later, and they think that their readership may not be broad enough for me.

I'm about to turn seventeen and everyone is talking about the future, college, etc. To finally get a contract signed would be huge. I have to wonder if I'm good but just not good enough or if I still have to find where I fit.

I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for exactly. But I need something to go with. Anything would be welcomed.

Frank T.

Offline Don

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 07:20:12 PM »
Money flows to the author, not away.

For the moment, that's what you need to know. There's no shortage of people who will tell you how beautiful/talented/wonderful you are for a fee. If your work has merit, the publisher will cut you a check.

I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

thatollie

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 07:46:38 PM »
Relax, don't panic, keep working and keep learning.

Lin

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 06:55:36 AM »
Whatever you do don't pay out money.  They pay you.  They are buying your book from you. Always remember that. The only time I would pay money is to allow a well known - and I mean well known and recommended book doctor to bring your novel up to a higher standard ready for publishing.  I use Cornerstones or Jacqui Lofthouse Writing Coach.  Both are well recommended and both do an excellent job.  I couldn't have got this far without them.  They are usually tied in with an agent and when they get a book they have nurtured, they can recommend you. I have made friends with my personal editor and we are meeting in London.  They only ask for a fee for edits.  Very useful. 

So stay with your confidence as a writer, you seem to have an old head on young shoulders here - well done for keeping your cool. Many of these so called publishers are only in it for vulnerable writers.

Lin x 


Offline TheLioness59

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 01:00:43 PM »
Frank T.,
   I went with Outskirts press. They are a self publishing firm. They offer packages each for a fee, and each that offers a different amount of services for that fee. I went with the Sapphire and chose to edit my work myself rather than pay extra for their service. It has taken me three years to work through all of this, but I am also a full time on-line student. I commend your resolve to start your career so early. I wish that I had done so. Good luck with your choices and your writings. Hope to see you in print. Lioness.

Offline MWM

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 06:02:13 PM »
I would echo the advice not to pay. There's no way to say this without sounding patronising, but you are very young and you have a lot of time to make it. This may not be a popular view, but I would have a Plan B and even C. There's no shame in this: I have plans right the way through to Z - I can train, translate, type and offer plenty of other services should my writing career disappear tomorrow. It is too stressful to have all eggs in one basket. We don't know your situation but if you're looking to do this as a living, be aware that the road to making money can be very long and hard. I can't name a teenage novelist who has made it recently - but there are some young journalists out there making a living. Have you considered other forms of writing to get a foothold and improve your skills, in the first instance?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 07:14:40 PM by MWM »
<a href="http://mistakeswritersmake.blogspot.com">Mistakes Writers Make blog</a>: An online resource for new writers of non-fiction

Lin

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 06:18:58 AM »
I also felt the need to add to this.  Remember there is no rush to get published!  I have been writing for ten years and more seriously for the last seven years.  I am still learning and every day brings something new for me to consider.

The best way forward I feel is to stay focussed.  Write a list of your aspirations for the future.  Then look back on them in three years time.  Are you still on target?  Find a mentor you like and stick with him/her. My mentors are a couple of published authors and they genuinely want to take care of my needs.  They are good people providing the benefit of their experiences just as I am doing  here and the other members who have contributed to this thread.

So don't rush it, learn and read from all the books you can find on writing and being published.  Consider a study period in your writing career.  Spend at least two hours a week reading about writing and publishing.  That's what I do.  It helps me a lot not to go down the wrong track, but to be patient and you'll know when the time is right, it just feels right - that's all. One day you'll wake up and you'll be able to say YES with 100% confidence. I remember when my students who were learning to drive used to try and push me to let them take a driving test.  I used to say 'If I give you the keys to this car and allow you to drive on your own without me for the first time, would you honestly say you could do it safely and without any risk to other road users?'  If they said yes, I would give them a form to take the test!  I got 100% test pass rate! This is called success!  If you try to do it too early, your chances of success will be very low.

So I do feel you are very sensible and hope when you do pass you driving test (if you haven't already) you will know the feel of 'readiness'.  It's the same when you are writing a book.  How much knowledge do you have to be able to do this?

I wish you every success.

 

Lin x
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 06:21:21 AM by Lin Treadgold »

Offline Matt Walker

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2011, 08:03:18 AM »
I must also echo the sentiment that you are young and there's no rush. Unfortunately, you can't 'plan' to be a professional writer as a first career choice any more than you can 'plan' to win the lottery. Fact is it ain't gonna happen, mate. I remember seeing a Young Writer's Competition where 'young' meant anything up to 35. How many 17-year-olds do you know who have made it as pro writers? Christopher Paolini, okay, he's one. But everyone made such a big fuss about a 15-year-old bestseller precisely because it just doesn't happen (the fact that Eragon was self-published and frankly shit before being picked up by a traditional publisher only adds weight to my point).

The best thing you can do is keep writing and reading as a hobby. Keep writing and submitting and one day you will get something published, and maybe one day you'll even be able to give up the day job and write full time.

There's no rush.
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Offline Donnettetxgirl

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Re: Finding a publisher that fits
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2011, 08:20:41 PM »
All of us writers have writing in our heart. It's something we just have to do. Unfortunately, getting your work published is one of the hardest businesses to get into. I started writing young. When I was 20 I wrote my first novel. But I wasn't ready for publication. I didn't know it then, but after paying my dues for the past 20 years, I sure know it now. It's been a painful experience, but a learning one & a rewarding one. The one thing I've taken away from this is, you have to go through the misery of rejection. It's rejection that will push you to write better. Along the way you get lucky, and someone in the publishing industry will give you advice on how to improve your writing. From there you keep going, getting better with each book, each bit of advice you get. So writing is something we do naturally. Getting published, now that's a process. You have to imagine how many submissions a publisher sees in a day. What can you do to make your work stand out from all the others?

Find your niche. There is a market for what you write. Take some writing classes. Get honest critiques of your work. And be open-minded to those critiques. Don't go into it with the attitude that your writing doesn't need improvement. If you do that, you've just closed yourself off to reaching your goal of publication. I urge you to do this, so that you can make money from your writing, & not pay someone else so you can be published. Paying someone to publish your work is not the same as a publisher paying you. If you did them both, you'd know the difference, especially in your sense of pride & accomplishement.

Donnette Smith
www.donnettesmith.com