will publishing an ebook of your book hurt your chances of getting tradtionally published?


You’re looking in the wrong place. I searched on wuxia and found what appear to be European authors writing in that category. There are also lists of Goodreads of wuxia/xianxia novels and as I said, I’m seeing it in fantasy groups I belong to and I wouldn’t have a clue how those books are categorised.

But we need to back up a step, because I personally think you are self sabotaging yourself by concentrating too hard on the minutiae and you’re throwing up roadblocks. I’m a mum to teenagers, if they come to me saying they can’t do something, we look for solutions so here’s some mum tough love. If you want to kick the obstacles in your path and mutter it’s not fair that publishers aren’t seeking xianxia novels, you go for it. If you want to find a solution, then you need to do an Elsa and let it go. You need to step back and take a higher level approach.

Here’s a real life example. I write gaslamp novels and when I queried, do you know how many agents/publishers I found looking for gaslamp? NONE. I had 2 options:

  1. Sit on my manuscripts until I found an agent/publisher specifically looking for my particular tiny sub niche, or
  2. Step back and take a higher view.

If I took option 1, I would still be sitting on a stack of unpublished work. Even now, I bet you NO agents/publishers are specifically looking for gaslamp. I took a step back and asked myself what is the broader umbrella it comes under - and that’s historical fantasy. Wuxia/xianxia probably comes under the same broad umbrella. Now you can throw up road blocks and only see the minutiae of why your book is different and ISN’T historical fantasy and 5 years from now you’ll probably be in the same situation, muttering that no one is looking for xianxia novels.

I can only tell you what I am seeing in historical fantasy groups I belong to. Readers are crying out for non-European based HF. I am seeing Asian set HF novels being devoured by readers (and these are by US/UK authors). Are these novels we’re reading wuxia or xianxia? I wouldn’t have a clue, and I’ve read a few of them. Just like if I surveyed my readers, I bet you 99% wouldn’t have a clue what gaslamp is. But I do. I know the tropes and rules for my tiny niche and I stick to them. I’m not saying don’t write xianxia if that’s where your heart is, but take off the blinkers and have a look around at a higher level. Expand your research to Asian-set historical fantasy and see what you find.


Have you read ‘Unsouled’ by Will Wight? It’s Xianxia for a Western audience, and it’s brilliant.


Most agents or editors won’t care if you post your novel to a story-sharing site like Wattpad. A few might, but they are in the minority.


Qidian is the main company that does the ‘web novel’ Chinese model for online fiction and their employees have come onto here and kboards trying to drum up interest for writers to try it out. Remember the ‘unlocking the spirit stones’?


There’s a school of thought that says ‘put it in a paperback and send it to the publisher or agent of you choice.’ (See Dean Wesley Smith’s blog.)

I’ve never tried that - but I’ve got several paperback that I take to festivals and things like that to sell. It’s a lot of fun and it there are some tax deductions you can use when you do that.


Tax dedication?


Since selling books is a business, you can deduct some things as a tax deduction. Against the income you would make. It depends where you live.


Meh, well there are dozens of services that perform these surveys, and do so even for the most mundane employers… I would not be so certain a ten buck net service query is out of the question, or not de regur in the industry, They are after all, just ascertaining the rights they intend to buy are available to begin with. Saves court time later.


While DWS is a very knowledgable guy, I’m going to disagree with him on this one. I’ve talked to a large number of agents, asking them exactly this, and every single one of them has said no. They prefer to get their submissions in a word doc with double spacing.


Another Urban Legend de-bunked. (Sigh)


Thats only true if you can establish the expenses and office space as being used to generate a reportable income. Otherwise the IRS considers the space and expenses part of a hobby, and thus not deductible.


If I remember right, in the U.S. you have to show a profit 3 out of 5 years. If you don’t, it’s considered a hobby. If you do, you can deduct business expenses.




Wait…what? I have fiction novels that are trad published. The publishing world takes fiction novels. I’ve read ones that I haven’t written. I’m currently reading 3. They’re all awesome.


I’ve heard that it can hurt you if you have bad sales.

And if you have good enough sales to attract a publisher, you probably don’t need them.

The biggest issue with self-publishing is you’re the “OK!” person who says it is ready to publish. A publishing house, especially a good one, is much better at knowing when something is ready for the market. So if you misjudge when your book is ready, it can really, really hurt you.

If you want to go self-pub, at least give it to a bunch of beta readers first. Get tons of feedback.


Get tons of feedback, embrace it and edit accordingly I would like to add.


All good points.


Out of interest, how did you market your book?


My continuous, daily advertising is a mix of the three main cost-per-click advertising sites - Facebook, Bookbub, and Amazon AMS.

I also engage with folk on /reddit fantasy and Facebook and enter my book into contests.


Didn’t you get a big boost at the outset by a blogger with a ton of followers who said something like, "If you read only one Fantasy book this year, read The Crimson Queen? That’s adversing we can’t buy.