The Literary Blueprint?
by [ Anonymous Author ]
Is there really a literary blueprint for self-publishing or getting published? Lately, I have been overwhelmed with emails and messages via Facebook regarding getting “put on.” The publishing industry is similar to many other entertainment industries, especially the music industry. So, no, I can’t take on the burden of the world. Please stop getting mad when I hit you back with a simple congrats on completing your novel. I have only been in the industry for a few years myself. I will be the first to admit I am still learning and finding my way.
Research and networking will always be your two most important weapons of mass destruction concerning the publishing industry. What works for me may not work for you. I can only speak on my personal experiences and believe it or not, many were very unpleasant and harsh. Be careful who and how you approach people because some are jealous and will purposely mislead you, giving you incorrect information. I’m not sure why folks waste their time ensuring you never get put on but they do. Take your career seriously and do your research so that when you approach someone looking to network, you will be knowledgeable about the business. Please don’t get it twisted. I am not saying don’t approach people that you admire for information. If you don’t know how a particular individual is moving, by all means don’t approach them.
I say this because what can they offer you and you offer them? For example, I am reading a book by an author who is also a publisher. The book is not engaging and it’s filled with errors. If I were a new author, I wouldn’t approach them simply based off their history of show and tell. If they don’t care enough about their own work, will they honestly take the time to nurture you and your project? Probably not. Be smart and selective. As far as writing the book, no one is going to assist you with writing the book. It is as simple as this, write your book. When you are done writing your book, then do a rewrite. Search for an editor. As far as looking for a publishing deal, shop your work.
If a publisher, whether a major or independent wants to offer you a deal, be prepared to have an attorney explain the contract. Everything that a publisher promises should be in that contract. If not, that is your first red flag. Understand that publishing contracts will forever be written with the publisher’s best interest in mind. That is where your lawyers come into play. You will never get what you deserve, only what you are smart enough to negotiate.
I was offered three deals to date and have turned all of them down, one of them from a major publishing house. Always operate with a plan A, B, and C. If the right deal doesn’t come through, I can still put my own projects out.
If a publisher requires you to pay any type of upfront fee, then you might as well self-publish. Why would you give away the rights to your book and still have to pay a fee to a publisher? Foolishness. Would you give away a diamond Rolex watch and then pay the person to wear it? Of course, you wouldn’t. The only thing worth paying for prior to submitting your work is editing. I would never sign with any publisher that requires a fee. If you pay them a fee to publish your work, then you are lost. Take that fee and publish your own book.
With that said, below are frequently asked questions and my answers sent via email and Facebook that I no longer respond to. But I will direct everyone to this article:
As you can see, many of the above questions went purposely unanswered. Some questions were just way out of line with a few being none of their business to put it simply. There comes a time and place when you must get it yourself. No one person gave me the blueprint to the publishing game. I'm not saying I don't pass on vaulable information, because I always do. The above questions simply were seeking a platinum blueprint to succeeding in the publishing game. I don’t have it. I can’t possibly pass over everything I have learned over the course of a few years. I can’t and I won’t.
My time is just that, my time. To do me and write my own books. If you think I am going to go back and forth over Facebook with you to answer each and every one of your questions, you are mistaken. Would you do it? I am not. I am done with feeling guilty about it.
Throughout the course of a day, I wear many hats. So, if I let five lengthy emails per day take me away from my own work, shame on me because I value my time and I will guard it as such. I don’t have an issue answering a specific question if I can. But, honestly I don’t have the time nor the desire to guide another person through the literary maze of this jungle called publishing.
For one, your definition of success is probably very different than mine. I have no desire to woo you either way. If you want and desire a publishing deal, great, go and get one. Pick up a book and do some research. I do it every day. There are several books on the topic of self-publishing. The sky is the limit and dreams do come true. If you want to self-publish your project, get to it.
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