ok so I finished my first book but self VS trad, how can I figure out if either one for my first book is worth it? I don’t plan on doing jack until by the end of this year but does research outside of Wattpad will be just as good as here on Wattpad?
I mean, there’s a lot of info out there. There are smart, opinionated people here, but if you don’t cast a wide net you won’t get a really wide variety of perspectives. Here are some resources I use:
Kboard’s writer’s cafe - you can search this for many of your self-publishing questions
The Writer’s Sanctum - again, a place self published authors hang out
Absolute Write - I found several disagreeable personalities here, but it is a wealth of information about publishing in general
Facebook groups like 20booksto50 - again, a self-publishing resource, geared towards the rapid release / pulp side of self publishing
The Passive Voice - an interesting blog about publishing - https://www.thepassivevoice.com/
Kris Rusch’s blog - https://kriswrites.com/category/business-musings/
If you’re asking whether your book is good enough to publish . . . you will need to get feedback. There are many, many places to do this. Wattpad. Reddit has a number of subreddits devoted to sharing writing. Find a critique group, online or offline. Pay for a beta reader to give you unbiased feedback.
Note however that KBoards has has some controversies since the implosion. Many old timers there went onto establish their own writing boards, one of which I use now.
Passive Voice however is excellent!
It’s always helpful to send your manuscript to agents and publishers who are accepted unsolicited ones. Even if they don’t accept it, often you will get advice on what to work on / why they didn’t like it etc.
I personally know a lot of people who have self-published their first novel and severely regretted it later when they realised how bad their first book truly was. One guy I know even changed his pen name just so he was not associated with it.
I believe you’re referring to The Writer’s Sanctum, which I also linked to. The scene may have fragmented, but I think kboards is still the most active forum. I have noticed an uptick in newbies and . . . less stable folks since many of the old guard left. A lot of raging posts about how Amazon is evil and conspiring to hold down their brilliant books, and that’s the reason they can’t seem to find or retain readers.
should i reach for trad first?
I mean, you’ve been researching indie and trad for a long time now. I would assume you have a sense of which suits your personality more. If you prefer the idea of trad to indie, take 9 months and go through the query-go-round. It’s free. If you can’t get any nibbles at all you can consider self-publishing . . . but, again, I’d get unbiased feedback from various sources so that you can know whether your book is ready for primetime. There are a lot of books that for whatever reason trad does not want that go on to be massive successes in self-publishing, so being unable to get an agent does not actually mean your book is not good enough to make it . . . but it is a data point. Cross reference with other sources before you make a decision about whether you should invest the time and money into self publishing.
I’m currently looking at agents so if I can’t get an agent at all by the end of this year, you’ll e the first one to know.
How many queries do you have out at the moment? What is your request rate? How many partials vs fulls are being requested?
It’s nearly the end of April, if you have fulls out now, it is conceivable you might receive an offer of rep by the end of the year. Keep in mind that trad is a slow road. It’s not unusual to wait 3 months for a response to a query for a partial or full request. You can wait a year for a response to a full (I have one still outstanding from 2012). But as I said, if you have fulls out already, it could happen and that’s assuming no one offers you an R&R but makes an immediate offer. If you haven’t started yet, then that’s a really tight time frame. I spent 3 years in the query trenches before moving on.
FYI Angry Robot Books (UK Trad publisher) is having open door submissions for May. More details here https://www.angryrobotbooks.com/2019/04/open-the-doors/
Worth sending to. I know a couple of people published by them.
does it depend on genre?
Yes. AngryRobot are a SFF publisher. The open door calls are amazing opportunity. I sub’d to StrangeChemistry in one (they were an AngryRobot YA imprint) and it took 18 months, but my MS was the only one out of 500+ submissions to get to the acquisitions committee and an offer.
Thanks for the pointer it said they only take submissions from agents. I found a bunch of agents to go with
You don’t need an agent for the open call submissions with AngryRobot. Tirellan posted the link to the current one.
strange because I saw that on the link.
they werent taking submissions from writers
Not sure what page you are looking at, but the whole idea of the open call is for unagented/unsolicited submissions. The only catch is you need to submit during the open door call - which this year is all of May. They are closed to unsolicited submissions for the rest of the year.
From their FAQ (down the page on that link):
“This is an opportunity for unpublished, unsolicited books only. If you’re already represented, please go through the normal channels.”