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Topic: Publisher or Agent?

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Subject: Publisher or Agent?
Date Posted: 8/7/2008 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
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I've finally got to that long awaited place! I have a book done that I would like to get published. I've been back and forth about self publishing, but would really like to submit it to publisher's first to see what happens.

I'm a little confused though- should I submit it directly to a publisher, or should I submit to an agent first?

Date Posted: 8/8/2008 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2008
Posts: 2
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I knew someone who went through a publisher's agency and she did not have a good experience with it.  They mutilated her book to the point where she felt that it was no longer her story.  So in light of that i would suggest another way of publishing your book.  My Aunt is also a writer and she uses a website that will publish your books then sell them on the website.  This site is called www.lulu.com  It is really a great sight, although you have to edit the books yourself.  That is what my aunt does.  Sometimes she has others read the books before hand to make sure that she got all of the errors out.  Anyways that is just one way of getting a book published, it is also very simple.  :-)

(Sorry this post is alittle off topic :-D)



Last Edited on: 8/8/08 11:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/10/2008 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I would recommend getting an agent, that way they can fight for the best deal, have to mess with reading the contracts AND alot of the good publishing companies will not accept manuscripts from authors that do not have an agent.

I would also get your OWN agent and not one that a publishing company also runs.   Writers Market lists many agents that are seen as crediable.  It might take awhile to find a good agent that is accepting new authors but I feel it is worth it. The number of horror stories I have read is because the person did not have an agent and was suckered into publishing with  a company that screwed up their work.  Also the publishers can not make you change the book unless you agree to it.

You need to work out if you want to be traditionally published or go with the self publishing route.

Are you in it just to see your name in print? Or are you trying to get recognition for what you have written, have someone else basically say :Yes this is good, I will back you and get this published:...

IF your answers is yes to the first question then just go with self publishing, lulu.com is good, they can hook you up with vendors that sell books to various places.  Xlibiris.com is also another place I know that people have recommended, similar to lulu but has up front costs.

If you answered yes to the second question then start looking for an agent.. I would not recommend going with a company called starving writers.. they try to convince people they are a traditional publisher but they charge for services which is not something a traditional publisher does.. So remember you do not pay an agent or publisher before the book is published. An agent gets a percentage of what you earn, some charge for copies of the manuscript and international phone calls but that would be stated up front and taken from your earnings.

Date Posted: 8/12/2008 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 589
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Most traditional/large publishers won't read unsolicited/unagented manuscript ... which are manuscripts that  are sent by the author rather than an agent. Some small publishers do take unagented materials to read. There are some presses that label themselves as traditional small presses but are actually vanity presses (publishes the book after the author pays them a fee to do so ... kind of like self-publishing but the press gets most of the profit and sometimes there is no editing done for the book)

Preditors and Editors is a good website to check to up about an agent or editor. (recommend or not recommend and they'll list why not ... this information they get from authors)

For self-publishing, it will be a harder road to get your book into bookstores to sell. A lot of brick and mortar stores will not stock self-published or vanity press books. If you are also wanting/planning to join a professional writers organizations or want to sell or speak at certain conferences ... I'd check and see what the requirements are if this would be important to you or a way you plan on promoting your book.



Date Posted: 9/21/2008 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I would suggest submitting to agents first. It's a lot harder to get a publisher to look at your manuscript if you don't have an agent, and an agent will probably be able to get you a better deal. Also, if you submit to agents and can't find anyone who wants to represent you, you can always submit to publishers later; if you start out submitting your manuscript to publishers, then it will be a lot harder later if you start submitting to agents, because an agent won't be able to show the manuscript to any editors who have already seen it.

There are a lot of scam agents out there, though, so be careful... I agree with the recommendation of Preditors and Editors. And with regard to publishing scams, stay away from PublishAmerica! They've scammed a lot of authors.

If you do decide to self-publish, I've heard a lot of good things about lulu.com. I don't think they charge a fee, which most other places do, and the books are good quality.

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2008
Posts: 95
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That is the question .If it is a genre book ,neatly fitting into a defined category ,you can look at publishers AND agents in that category .If it is  general fiction or non fiction ,you will have a strong need of an agent .Find a book similar to yours  and contact the ediotor who worked on that book .If that editor will give you advice ,it may be helpful.  Best of luck and lets us know what happens   MIKE