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Discouraged About Publishers : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Discouraged About Publishers

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
G.E.Plum
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Discouraged About Publishers

Postby G.E.Plum » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:43 pm

I thought I had found a good publisher for my novel. I searched Christian publishers in my region (since it's a regional novel) and found one.

I wasn't well impressed with their website (a couple of minor grammatical errors, inconsistencies in submission guidelines), and then I started Googling them.

They may be a vanity press. None of the sites mentioning them say for sure.

I spent the whole weekend researching various writers' boards, as well as "writer beware" websites, and now I'm not only discouraged, I'm confused.

How in the world is a writer supposed to get published by a legitimate publisher?

Or, if you decide to go the self-publishing route, and e-publish, how in the world do you market your own works? I am a writer, not a businesswoman. I'm not lazy by any means, I just don't get how to do it all. Apparently I caI n write a lot of things, but not a blog! :)

I have looked at e-publishing instructions for several online publishers and I don't understand the technical instructions for uploading/downloading/formatting/whatever. I have read and re-read them and I don't get it.

I can work in Windows, Mac, and Chromebook. I can switch from one to the other with no problem. I can play guitar. I can take a bridle apart and put it back together again. I can give pills to a cat. I can ride a horse (really ride, not just sit on one and be carried)!

But I can't figure out how to format my manuscript for e-publishing, and I don't even know if I want to learn. I just want to get my book out there so people can read it if they want to.

Frank321
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby Frank321 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:56 pm

John Grisham was asked to give advice to new writers, referring to those who had finished their novel he said: "Get an agent."

Amazon has the info on how to format a book for e-publishing, I suspect they are the biggest e-publisher. John Grisham also said, and I paraphrase, "he got a decent percentage return on his books, most authors do not." Meaning authors need to pay bills to keep writing, and I supposed writing well.

Then again, I am a novice, without a finished novel. Can we have an experienced person here?

G.E.Plum
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby G.E.Plum » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:44 am

Thanks, Frank.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby cynicalwanderer » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:14 pm

I'd advise you to pop into a Christian bookstore and scan through all the books on the shelves in your appropriate sub-genre. Take note of the quality of the books and which of the various publisher names keep cropping up. And there you have your (presumably) reputable shortlist of publishers that are getting actual content into stores to start hammering away at.

As far as vanity pubs, stay well away, and even consider erecting a stout eight-foot fence around your property, tipped with razor wire, just in case any of them come looking for you. Self-pub on the other hand is still an option, but do try the traditional route first. As far as all the typesetting stuff goes, as long as you've got a Word document you can generally get it imported in and then download the resulting e-book to go through and verify your page breaks and fonts etc all still look good. It can be a bit technical, yes, so if you have any friends or relatives who are techies, it may be a good idea to ask them for some help to sit with you in person when you're ready, rather than try to battle through it yourself with just vague internet advice.

Also as Frank said, presumably there are agents that specialise in Christian works out there, although I'm dashed if I know how you'd go about sourcing one other than to see what Google has to offer.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

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Oldtimer
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby Oldtimer » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:52 am

You might like to contact Jerry B Jenkins. He gives writing and publishing advice, I believe, on his website . I considered studying with him when I was a member of Christian Writers, but never took that step.
Here is what Wikipedia says about him: Jerry Bruce Jenkins is an American novelist and biographer. He is best known as co-author of the Left Behind series of books with Tim LaHaye. Jenkins has written over 150 books, including romance novels, mysteries, and children's adventures, as well as non-fiction. His works usually feature evangelical Christians as protagonists.
Good luck with your writing. :)
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:33 pm

Writing a regional novel does not mean you should look for a regional publisher. Almost all novels are regional, or even far ,or e local. A good story is always national in appeal. You need the same kind of publisher, the same size publisher, every other writer needed. But first things first, you need an agent. It's the agent's job to find the right publisher, not your job.

Self-publishing is all but a complete guarantee of failure. It's also pretty much a guarantee that your story is poorly written.

There are many Christian writer's groups and organizations, and even a Christian writer's magazines that work just as Writer's Digest. Join and read. It's how you learn about the business. There's even a Christian Writer's Market.

A quick way to find an agent who handles Christian fiction is to pick up a Christian novel, then use Google to find out which agent handled the novel. It usually isn't difficult to tell. But join a Christian writer's group or organization, and read the Christian writer's publications. They contain everything you need to know.

williamadams
 

Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby williamadams » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:46 pm

there are lots of vanity publishers out there so we must be careful

the bad news is that you will have to do all the marketing whether you self publish or are trad pubbed. of course if your name is rowling or patterson they will do the marketing for you but the rest of us are on our own.

my advice is to carefully find either a reasonable priced vanity press that wont try to suck your bank account down to empty; or else diy the self publishing but make sure you really self published not got taken by a vanity press calling themselves self pub companies.

be careful as even the reasonable vanity presses often try to sell you a lot of useless services at high prices.

for myself i would diy the self pub but hire out for editing. independent editing is must. i might also pay for ebook format conversion, but nothing else.

if you are smart enough to write a book you are smart enough to dl a template and diy a cover faster better cheaper than so called professional artistes.

so called marketing help is a total waste of money.
sorry but you will have to diy that. there are books to guide you so read them.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby shadowwalker » Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:26 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

williamadams
 

Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby williamadams » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:59 pm


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shadowwalker
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Re: Discouraged About Publishers

Postby shadowwalker » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:37 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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