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How to get published in 2019

Here's the place to chat about my Friday May 17 email on the routes to publishing in 2019. The blog post I referenced can be found here:

Have I missed anything out? Is there anything where you violently disagree? What has your experience been? Here's the place to tell me ...

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Comments (9)
  • That is a long post... I'll work on it in stages.
    Under 'What's involved' you mention 'The “Bog 5” traditional publishers'. Is that deliberate or a Freudian slip?

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    • 😃 It was a mistake ... but I might leave it!

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    • As always, a wonderfully succinct - yet detailed - outline of the industry's offerings, with enough humour to keep me reading even the bits I wasn't interested in. Just finished your Self-Publishing Video Course and would recommend it to anyone. Sorry about your shredded digits but great for us. Thanks again.

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      • Thank you for this! Great post and is just what I've been needing to get my head around this new territory of publishing and all its mysteries 

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        • You're welcome!

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        • Hi Harry, many thanks for the post. I'm curious about publishers who ask the author to provide some of the publication costs but don't operate like Unbound.  I've come across Red Door Publishing, which is selective about the authors it takes on. Are there other publishers following this model and is it successful?

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          • Red Door's a new one on me. From the sound of what they do, I'd say these guys are not vanity publishers. The test is really that cost of UK production - up to £1-1,500 is probably OK; anything more than that is too much. And you do need a sense that the publishers are looking to sell books. The book needs to be the way they make money. For vanity publishers, the book is NEVER the way they make money. They make money by selling trash, pointless, overpriced "marketing" services to people who don't know better.

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            • Thanks for your reply, Harry.

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            • I got an email in response to last Friday's mailing, where the writer asked this:

              A friend of mine had contact with an agent regarding her manuscript. The agent advised her to revise it before she would consider representing her.

              She redrafted three times before the agent told her the manuscript was still not right and she therefore would not represent her after all. I thought this type of scenario  was typical but I have  been told that the agent was highly unethical. The agent should have only asked for changes AFTER an offer of representation was made.

              What  would your take on this situation be? Should writers avoid agents who ask for revisions without an offer of representation?

              I would NOT expect an agent to offer formal representation (ie: signed contract letter) until the agent has a saleable manuscript. If the MS is clearly saleable right away, then sign the letter right away and do any tidy-up type edits thereafter.

              If the MS is not currently saleable, then I think a formal representation offer would be premature. What would that offer actually be saying? In effect: "I, the agent, have the exclusive right to market your work, but I don't think this is marketable." That doesn't help the writer at all.

              So yes, I think editorial work prior to representation is fine - but it does depend on good, clear, honest comms at every stage. That means the agent needs to say something like this: "Look, I love your work. I don't think the zombies stuff really works. (And did they really have zombies in medieval Venice?). But look, if you can fix those issues, I'm definitely interested in being your agent. Just realise that I can't promise to market your work until I think your manuscript is ready to go. And though I think those changes probably will render your MS marketable, I can't be certain of anything at this stage. If you'd sooner continue your agent search elsewhere, I'd understand."

              It sounds like, in your friend's case, those comms weren't working somewhere along the way ...

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