Mystery Fanfare: From Traditional Publishing to Self-Publishing: Sh…: Today I welcome writer John Barlow whose prize-winning fiction and non-fiction has been published by HarperCollins/William Morrow, Farrar, …
AND THE BOOK CONTRACT GOES TO…
Celebrity novelists, cookbook diaries, boo-hoo memoirs, X-Factor autobios… If you’re looking for an old fashioned novel deal, and you’re not an actor or a celebrity chef, it’s getting harder and harder just to find a publisher. When you do manage to get a contract, advances are so low that there’s less financial motivation than ever for signing. Money isn’t the only consideration, of course. But for me it definitely comes into the equation. I like money. And there’s hardly any of it to be had right now.
The future of publishing is unpredictable. Nobody has the first clue what things will look like in five years’ time. Not industry leaders, not expert industry watchers, not agents. Nobody. So now is a great time to experiment with something new. In fact, there could hardly be a better time. No one’s gonna blame you; they’re all too busy being worried to hell. Given that writers have always had less job security than anyone else in the book business, this is a relative gain for us. Writers are currently the only people in publishing (apart from programmers, obv.) who have any cause for optimism.
PUBLISH OR PERISH
Self publishing is no longer a kiss of death for your reputation as a writer. Elmore Leonard’s having a go, as are a lot of established authors. Thanks to the ebook revolution, the stigma has simply gone away. Traditional publishers have begun signing successful ebook authors (Hocking, Locke…), and agents are now using ebooks as a legitimate part of a publishing strategy for their clients. Example: aspiring British crime writer Mel Sherratt recently joined Curtis Brown, one of the top agencies in London, and they went straight to digital with her TAUNTING THE DEAD; the novel is now a top-ten seller over on Amazon.co.uk, and a print deal can’t be far away. In some ways it might in fact be better to have your ebook out there, fighting for visibility at the Kindle store, rather than struggling to be seen at the bottom of an editor’s in-tray.
Read the whole thing at Mystery Fanfare.