HOW LONG!?!? 🤯


But, um…aren’t you making a living from your books? If you can do that, why would anybody want to deal with a publishing house?

My husband was a national award level author (2 short-listed finalists) who passed away right after we finished the first rewrite on his fourth book…leaving me to deal with the agent and publisher.




WHAT a nightmare.

If it’s really possible to earn and not have to go through that, I highly recommend it. Not only that, but if your first contract with them doesn’t come flying out of the gate, ba-bang, ba-bang-bang, and make them a pile of money in the first eight weeks, all that time and all that work and all that worry and they dump you anyhow.

Screw that.


Thing is, YOU have to do all your own promotion and marketing anyhow. Unless you’re a big name or a publisher with more than a shoestring budget gives you their top promo slot…you get much help promoting yourself. If you have to do all the work yourself, take all the earnings yourself, rather than giving 75-80% to someone who will also overprice your book.


And THAT’S why I’m going, “Screw this.”

I’m fifty years old. My husband got his break in the industry when he was 48, and passed at 66. With all the years and years and years and years of waiting, especially when you don’t sell well and have to scramble for another book contract…bleah. I’m too old for this…


Young adult is an entirely different market. You need a big publisher behind you to get the book before bloggers, YouTubers and Instagramers with influence. You need physical placement in stores. There are lots of pros/cons to both trad and indie and it’s deciding what path is best for each project. I would totally take a YA trad deal because of the advantages it would bring that I cannot access as an indie.


Im so sorry for your loss. As for trad vs self? As @AWExley said, there are pros and cons to both. I think this book would do better with trad behind it in addition to what i can do. Maybe im wrong? Idk. We shall see.


On this i will say though? I AM super greatful to wattpad for that reason. I have readers. No matter what happens with my story, it is being seen and read and thats amazing to me and means a lot. Thats the cool thing about the web. Getting content out and veiwed is every diff now. I do wonder how the pub industry will continue to work with that fact and inovate


Well, but…do they actually DO that, for every book they take on??

My husband used to say they took on more books than they could possibly support, threw them all at the wall like spaghetti, and whoever stuck, they kept on. It was the writer’s responsibility to try to get featured on blogs and the like. If you couldn’t, YOU were failure when your book didn’t sell enough copies, not them. Basically, it’s an expensive printing and editing service.

Is it different in YA? I sure hope so.




I think traditional publishing is going to end up mostly down the toilet, eventually. I read that, in the sci-fi genre, most of the readers are reading ebooks. A traditional publisher prices those at $10 a book, while when we self-publish, it’s $5 or less…which is what most readers buy books at. So if you’re new in this genre, your publisher is going to price you too high. Nobody will see you and you won’t find readership. Add to that the three years it took to find your agent, the two years it took him to find you a publisher and the year it took after that for the book to drop, and sheesh. You could have three books out on KDP already, more reasonably priced, without that 75% the publisher is taking and the threat of your career ending with one book if it doesn’t earn out. Traditional publishers, it seems are making all their money on a tiny handful of authors who command the top bestseller slots, lose money on everybody else, and they don’t really care because every time they publish a Stephen King or a Patricia Cornwell, that’s several mil and they’ve just made their profit for the year.

Are they really developing the NEXT King or Cornwell for the next decade and the decade after that, though? Because it seems like they wait for us to do all the work ourselves, and then whoever is selling a pile self-published, now they want to cherry-pick. You’ve already developed the readership so they don’t have to. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Mmmkay, whatever…no thanks. I can fail all by myself.

I find this article VERY interesting.

And this:

" You should also know that I no longer sell my novels into traditional publishing in the United States. The contracts are too awful, which we will get into here. I do sell them overseas, where the contracts are better, although crappy contract creep is happening there as well (especially in firms that are part of those conglomerates). I do sell the occasional anthology into traditional publishing, and a lot of short fiction. I still have many novels in print through traditional publishers. This makes me a hybrid writer, with feet planted in both camps. I have not had an agent representing my work for years now."

–Kristine Kathryn Rusch.



I’ll also go hybrid. I got a trad deal and I’m happy with it, as it introduces me to the industry so to speak. That’s one series. The next one goes into a different channel, it’s already contracted as well. Whatever else I write (I’m still working full-time!!) will probably get self-pubbed. But I have decided not to spend any more time trying to find an agent. It’s just mind boggling and given I don’t do “own-voices” which is the trend right now (a good one mind you, but not one that works for me) I won’t stand a chance.


I wish you the very best of luck.

I was just reading a column by Dean Wesley Smith that argues that agents are a complete waste of time and the writer’s money.



Well, maybe not a complete waste of time. If you find the right one, they will be door openers.
But it’s sooo hard.
One agent LOVED the way I wrote. I sent in a full, She still loved my writing but the concept was not unique enough.
Please, please would I have something else.
I did. I sent it in.
She loved it as well but “it did not come together as planned.” Two POV are not her thing.
So close, and yet so far.
It’s a very subjective industry


Not according to him. But, you know, it’s his opinion. I don’t have enough experience myself to have one. He states his reasons.


The issue with YA is that teens don’t have credit cards. They’re not buying their books from Amazon. They’re looking for them at the bookstore or at the library or the school library or from recommendations from people they trust.

Trad publishing knows this, and they work on getting their YA books where they need to be. I’d say the YA imprints are less “spaghetti” than others.


That’s so good to know! Now, if the rest of traditional publishing will get a clue, maybe the business wouldn’t be so much on the downslide, with authors holding their noses at them and scrambling to self publish.

I hope you have wonderful luck with your book!


Then is Traditional publishing worth all of this?


Sometimes. It varies. There are pros and cons to both traditional publishing and self publishing.


I’ve seen comments to this effect a few times (a couple of times from you, @XimeraGrey), and it sounds plausible. Also heard that Trad has a lock on MG and below - because those readers not only don’t have credit cards, but hardly read digital.

But what I wonder is: what’s the trend? Will Trad still dominate YA in five years? Below are a few bits of commentary, but I do not claim they tell a coherent story.

By some market estimates, nearly 70 percent of all YA titles are purchased by adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Remember the long queues of adults waiting for each new Harry Potter book? The Atlantic estimates 55%.

YA is one of the fastest growing segments, and highest-earning A lot of that is reflected in Big 5 earnings, but relative to other segments, digital YA has also done well (of course, that doesn’t tell you that it’s a good idea to try to self-publish).

Difficulties for the self-pub YA market include:
Millennials are reading more, but they’re not reading more electronically (yes, that seems to be the conclusion of the article, despite the first few sentences)

A growing perception that it’s uncool to use a Kindle - Kindles and Amazon are for boring old people (my own kids confirm - it’s iPad/iPhone or death). But the Apple bookstore is failry poor, and publishers often like to price ebooks there at higher prices than they are available in print. No idea why - Apple’s bookstore model does not require it. And: physical books have generally gotten better as printing technology improves. Shiny bas-relief covers are an example of something you can’t do with an eBook.

I’m not trying to make a point. Just wondering if anyone has information or views to share on the trend.


If you have to wait 8 months for a response you have to write them back and tell them: “What the (cowbell!) is going on???”

My turn around times in the past were between 24 hours and 3 weeks. My two agent reps responded within one week with requests for a full manuscript.

8 months is way too long.


Really interesting articles and I thought the younger demographic would be quicker to adopt ebooks and reading on their phones. But as pointed out, to buy ebooks online you need a credit card or similar, which most teens don’t have. Hence the popularity of Wattpad where they can read for free.

I have 2 teenaged boys, both huge readers, both have a kindle, but both prefer paperbacks. When I ask them why, they just shrug! lol I do wonder if a physical book is more tactile and of course not having credit cards, they have always preferred to browse a physical book store to find their next book to read.