Friday, March 26, 2010

Entering the publishing world

by Lauren

Are you new to the whole publishing thing? Maybe you’ve just finished your first ever masterpiece (and by finished, I mean edited, polished, had readers give you feedback, etc.) and are ready to look for an agent. Maybe this is even the first place you wound up after googling—in which case, welcome to publishing, my friend! You’re going to love it here (also sometimes hate it, but mostly, we hope, love it). There’s a lot of great advice here, if we do say so ourselves. But much of it is detailed and narrowly focused, and maybe you need a quick overview. If so, Eric over at Pimp My Novel has a very brief tutorial that’ll help you figure out where to begin—and give you a sense of what questions you need to be asking. My only caveat is that the year he mentions between acquisition and publication is more likely to be two years for non-fiction—or fiction that is sold on a partial or needs a lot of editorial work before acceptance.


  1. Wait, for those just thinking of writing a book, shouldn't you remind them that for most people, they would earn more if they took all the time they spent learning to write, writing, selling, and publicizing their book and worked at minimum wage? I believe more people have made a living writing than climbed to the peak of Mount Everest, but as a percentage of those who seriously tried I'm not sure.

  2. Hi,
    I just found out something very disparaging with regard to entering the publishing world, that I would love to have elaborated on by an actual agent. It seems that despite strong sales and critical accolades, agents do not wish to take on books that have previously been self-published. Is that really true? I understand that for ebooks, people who have already purchased will have the initial rights with Amazon, for instance, to re-download, but the book can be pulled by the author at any time. So, why then is self-publishing so taboo instead of being a good test-market of material?

    As much as I do not like the notion that this could be true, it does shed some light on why I have received so many agent rejections for a book that has been labelled an inevitable bestseller over and over again. I shudder to think that I have lost all that potential just for taking the bull by the horns and putting it out there on my own, as my only cheerleader in the beginning.

    Is there any silver lining or way around it? If I pulled the book and retitled it, would that make a difference?

    Thanks in advance for your insight!

    -Jenn (J.L. Penn)


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