Jump to content

My experience with indie publishers


Recommended Posts

So, I thought I'd provide a little feedback about my attempts to publish my book.

 

Going the agent route:

  1. 49 Submissions,
  2. 43 Rejections (6 submissions still outstanding)
  3. 2 Requests for Manuscripts.
  4. 3 personalized replies.

 

Targeting Indie publishers that accept direct submissions:

  1. 5 submissions,
  2. 2 Rejections,
  3. 1 request for manuscript.
  4. 2 personalized replies.

 

I'm looking at a list of 21 available indie publishers open for submission.  Most on my list are closed to submissions.  Not sure exactly why.

 

Right out the chute, direct submissions to indie publishers has yielded quicker responses, and better feedback than going with agents.  One indie publisher looked at my entire manuscript in roughly 3 months, and provided feed back on what was good, and why they passed.  Two of my submissions got a response in a week (one rejection, and one request for manuscript).  In all cases, the responses I got were not automated rejection letters.

 

Contrast this with submitting to literary agents.  About half never bothered to reply to my submission.  Those that did, the majority of the responses were automated replies.  Those that used the QueryManager portal always replied.  The one outlier was an agent whose assistant sent me a rejection.  Then, the same agent found my submission, read my manuscript, loved it, but had no contacts in the market I was targeting.  So, the same agent rejected me twice by accident.  I only counted it once.  🙂

 

Now, timelines are a little different with the publishers.  One publisher I submitted to has an open period that runs from January to July.  They then start their reading period August 1.  So I don't expect to hear anything until near the end of the year.  Agents are a little more static.  When they are open, you should hear a response in anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks (if they reply at all).

 

This, in my mind, validates what @suspensewritersaid when he recommended looking to indie publishers as vehicle for getting published.  I'm not even in double-digits before I'm getting feedback.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, thanks for sharing Jeff.

 

The fact that both groups have resulted in some positive responses i.e request for the full MS and personalized responses - is an encouraging sign that your MS and query letter works. 

 

The market at the moment for newbie author is hard. (as already discussed on this site). Keep going.  Your hard work I am sure pay off. Praying for you.

 

Now back to reject pile.......

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Then, the same agent found my submission, read my manuscript, loved it, but had no contacts in the market I was targeting.

Thanks for the breakdown, Jeff. Very interesting, indeed. 

 

Would you explain the above for me? I guess I'm not sure what was meant by 'no contacts in the market'. The fact that she loved it is great!

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Kazaza said:

Would you explain the above for me? I guess I'm not sure what was meant by 'no contacts in the market'. The fact that she loved it is great!

 

The agent represented Christian-specific works.  My manuscript is targeting the YA market.  The agent, however, had no publishing contacts in YA, so they had to pass.

 

This dovetails with the quote Johne posted in the How to Connect with Teen Readers thread, mentioning how Christian publishing isn't connecting with teens (the bulk of YA readers).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, for the clarification.

 

1 hour ago, Jeff Potts said:

This dovetails with the quote Johne posted in the How to Connect with Teen Readers thread, mentioning how Christian publishing isn't connecting with teens (the bulk of YA readers).

It's a bit nerve-wracking, to say the least, since I write for the YA market myself. 😒

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2021 at 9:19 PM, Carol Peterson said:

Many folks who do "self" publishing through their own entity refer to themselves as "indie publishers."

 

Very true.  I have approached some 'indie publishers'  with my own work to discover they are in fact authors who have set up their own companies to publish their own work. Rather annoying. You also need to be careful of some companies that only do e-books and not print. 

 

I can understand why so many people decide to self-publish - it is so soul destroying trying to bag an agent or publisher these days.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2021 at 4:19 PM, Carol Peterson said:

This looks great. You can endeavor to persevere.

 

By "indie publishers" do you mean small press? Many folks who do "self" publishing through their own entity refer to themselves as "indie publishers."

 

 

As I've discovered, that line is slightly blurred.  But to answer the question, it's "small presses."

 

As far as endeavoring to persevere...my thoughts at this point is that I'm just going through the motions, and that I'll be left self-publishing anyways.  This book is part of a series (strike #1), incorporates Christian themes (string #2), and I'm an unpublished author (strike #3).  Despite what some of these agents and publishers say, they want a sure thing, and this ain't it.

 

Before I started this process, my wife - who read the manuscript - thought for sure someone would pick it up.  I warned her then that no one was going to want to publish this.  Unfortunately, I'm being proven right...again.

 

That all being said, I will say that the "small presses" have been far more receptive, responsive, and helpful with feedback than the agents I contacted.

 

This whole process has pretty much soured me on writing and publishing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Shamrock said:

I can understand why so many people decide to self-publish - it is so soul destroying trying to bag an agent or publisher these days.

 

Especially when you realize that most of them haven't bothered to read your query.

 

You want to know what more soul-crushing?  Submitting a manuscript, getting a standardized rejection and having the agent add, "You are very talented."

 

It only confirmed what I already suspected.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your pain 

 

On a webliner this evening with Reedsy, the person leading said that in some cases the agent's PA will be the reader for the slush pile and will sometimes not pass something on if they are unsure because they will not want to run the risk of getting it wrong with the agent.if that is the case- what is the point.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2021 at 5:42 AM, Jeff Potts said:

So, I thought I'd provide a little feedback about my attempts to publish my book.

 

OK Jeff I will join you and add my penny's worth of rejections:

 

Agents

Sumbissions 21

Rejections/No replies 17

Request for MS 1

Personalised Replies 2

(one offer to be put on 'waiting list' if there really is one.)

1/21 outstanding

 

 

Publishers

Submissions 8

Rejections/No replies 2 (1 Christian publisher rejected it on the grounds it was not 'clean' enough)

Request for MS 4

Personalised Replies 1

 

1/8 still outstanding

In addition to above publishers two vanity publishers approached me via CBS which I declined.

 

Agents/publishers are a mix of US & UK. 

 

As part of the process, I did 3 rewrites of my query package & 1 revision of my synopsis. What came through to me was the need to be very careful to submit your work exactly how they want you to (especially agents) and have your marketing plan ready to go. 

 

Publishers take longer to respond. A data base to keep track of when agent/publisher end dates are (usually around 3 weeks to 4 months) is useful. Interestingly, Publisher seem to happier to read the full MS which is good but also disappointing when they reject it.

 

I thought i had submitted to more than I have, which means there are still plenty to sub too 😂

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It varied - virtually all wanted to know who you thought you wrote like or what books were like mine.

 

Others wanted to know where I saw the book being promoted and to what type of reader.

 

Others info on the social presence and followings.

 

And some wanted all.  

I would a good half want most of this info while other want bit and pieces.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.