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I think there have been a lot of past threads on the topic, so I highly recommend you search through old forum threads about who has used what publishing techniques. 

 

My books have been self-published. My first book was through Christian Faith Publishing, one of the many options for paying a lot of money for them to do all the work. Everything they did was fine, but it cost a good bit, and there are some limitations (they don't list on Kobo, for example, and the sales reporting is not great). I don't regret having done that my first time out, but I haven't used them again and don't intend to. After that I published a supplement to the first book through KDP. KDP is pretty easy, and the price is right, but it also has limitations (can't make your book returnable, for example). Most recently I published a book through IngramSpark. I've been happy with them so far. It's very cheap, but also very DIY, and some of the work of putting the book and cover together can be daunting to some (also true for KDP really, but KDP is easier than IS). They also have limitations, like not being able to advertise directly on Amazon - you have to create a separate listing in KDP that effectively supersedes the IS listing in order to do an Amazon ad. They also were shockingly slow at getting author copies to me, but I think that's largely pandemic-related.

 

There's the short version. Feel free to ask about any particulars on those options.  

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From a guy stuck in Submission limbo:

 

If you have a book that is non-fiction, romance, literary, or anything that basically isn't Science Fiction or Fantasy, you may be in good shape.

 

If it's Science Fiction or Fantasy...it will be a long, hard road.

 

If you self-publish, my suggestion is that you research self-publishing, and how much you have to lay out in order to produce and market your book.

 

And in all instances, get out on social media, get followers, and lay the groundwork now to market later.

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7 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Wait a minute, Jeff, fantasy and science fiction are two of the hottest genres going.

Let me clarify:

 

If you are looking to publish with a "Christian" agent it publisher, you will have a very hard time.

 

The secular agents and publishers have been quite open about priorities, some of which are, in my opinion, antithetical to Biblical sensibilities.

 

 

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Getting your book self-published is relatively easy.  The overall standard for production is much better these day than a few years ago.

 

The real challenge is getting sales. You really need a robust marketing plan. So I would hang fire and do your homework, build your social platforms and do some number crunching before you spend more money.

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On 10/31/2020 at 3:05 PM, Jeff Potts said:

If it's Science Fiction or Fantasy...it will be a long, hard road.

Have you submitted to Enclave? They're a Christian publisher that does science fiction and fantasy, and they don't require an agent.

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4 hours ago, HK1 said:

Have you submitted to Enclave? They're a Christian publisher that does science fiction and fantasy, and they don't require an agent.

 

I recall the name.  I'm not submitting to publishers direct until after I've exhausted the Literary Agent angle first.

 

I've already submitted to two publishers already.  One rejected it under 24 hours (I'm pretty sure they didn't even bother to read the manuscript).  The other is still hanging out there.  I think I'm going to stop there for the time being.

 

And, to be honest, I'll probably just self-publish.  I have resources to pay for an editor and a decent book cover, as well as cover some of the marketing.

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On 10/30/2020 at 10:38 PM, Michael Lamb said:

Hello, I just finished writing my book. It has been professionally edited and is now ready for publication. I am looking for input from other Christian authors who are already published. I would love any and all advice.

 

Thank you, Michael

If you are going to query agents, be sure your query letter is properly structured and formatted. You don't want to have a great manuscript that the agent never reads because your query letter is off. 

 

There are lots of resources online that can help with proper formatting and structure. However, nearly every agency has its own requirements in a query letter. It is not a "one size fits all". Do restructure your "base query" as necessary to meet their requirements. 

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On 11/2/2020 at 6:38 PM, Jeff Potts said:

 

And, to be honest, I'll probably just self-publish.  I have resources to pay for an editor and a decent book cover, as well as cover some of the marketing.

 

Give it some time, Jeff. 

 

Really, self-publishing should be a last resort.  All that will happen is you'll get lost in the morass of tens of thousands of other self-publishers.

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On 11/6/2020 at 12:10 PM, suspensewriter said:

Really, self-publishing should be a last resort.

 

Yikes! I couldn't disagree more. Times have changed, and so has the publishing business. Self-publishing isn't the "last resort" option that it was in the past. It should be treated as an equal option to trad publishing.

 

The real question is should one self-publish? This route isn't for everyone, and you should really do your homework before settling on this as your choice. Understand the demands, standards, etc. Too many blindly choose this route and proceed to produce sub-standard material with a weak marketing plan.  

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18 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

Question: Do readers care whether a book is traditionally or self-published? Does anyone look to see who published a book before they buy it? (Presuming a well-written book, not just something that someone banged out.)

 

When I see a book I want on Amazon, I don't even see the publisher

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On 11/7/2020 at 12:40 PM, Accord64 said:

Too many blindly choose this route and proceed to produce sub-standard material with a weak marketing plan.  

 

That's exactly what I mean, @Accord64!

On 11/7/2020 at 12:40 PM, Accord64 said:

Times have changed, and so has the publishing business. Self-publishing isn't the "last resort" option that it was in the past. It should be treated as an equal option to trad publishing.

 

Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.  It is a poor second cousin to traditional publishing.  All that's really changed is it's easier for vanity publishers to get their works published.

 

I really think Jeff should just be patient.

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2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

It is a poor second cousin to traditional publishing. 

 

This is a very disappointing and misleading statement.

 

2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

All that's really changed is it's easier for vanity publishers to get their works published.

 

Have you completely missed what's been happening over the past 10-12 years? Self-publishing radically changed the publishing landscape. The traditional publishing business was thrown into chaos, and many mid-list and smaller outfits either disappeared or merged. The big six is now the big five. In fact, most new books these days are self--published.

 

I honestly don't understand what's gotten into you lately. You've always been much more supportive of self-publishing in the past. Could it be that your attitude shifted when you started your publishing business, and now self-publishing is your competition?

 

      

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Ah, how I love my favorite Holy Wars: Nike vs. Reebok, Coke vs. Pepsi, Word vs. FrameMaker (what? just me?)...

Self publishing used to carry the stigma of vanity publishing, however we've seen an absolute tidal change in both perspective and practicality. Self publishing is more viable for the common writer and can be very profitable. 

At the end of the day both trad publishing and self publishing faces the same challenge: in the era of YouTube, video games, and streaming movies to any device imaginable, how do we interest more people to read?

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On 11/7/2020 at 5:40 PM, Accord64 said:

Times have changed, and so has the publishing business. Self-publishing isn't the "last resort" option that it was in the past. It should be treated as an equal option to trad publishing.

 

The real question is should one self-publish? This route isn't for everyone, and you should really do your homework before settling on this as your choice. Understand the demands, standards, etc.

I completely agree. Publishing literature independently is just as viable a route as making independent movies or music without the backing of a big label.

 

Sure, many do it badly, but those who do it well don't deserve to be tarred with the same brush.

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I guess the question I might have is: is contacting an agent first the right route?

 

There are many publishers out there where you can submit direct.  I'm getting a slew of "I just didn't connect with your work," replies from agents.  I'm not getting any "this is not ready to send to a publisher,' type rejections (if they even exist).  And no one responds to a request for a simple one-sentence critique.

 

I find this whole submission process similar to a job search, except 1000 times slower, and with people that somehow need to be "into you," before you'll get a callback.  Some of these letters sound suspiciously like the line, "It's not you...it's me."

 

By the way, three rejections came in yesterday.  One I had to prompt to get them to tell me "no."

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1 hour ago, Accord64 said:

I honestly don't understand what's gotten into you lately. You've always been much more supportive of self-publishing in the past. Could it be that your attitude shifted when you started your publishing business, and now self-publishing is your competition?

 

Actually, I've been publishing for books for over 12 years now. 

 

And I don't really consider self-publishing such a bad option for a very few.  I actively promote self-publishers, if you will remember.

 

My only point is to be careful.  Self--publishing is easy.  Getting traditionally published is much, much harder, and that Jeff should be patient.

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