Café novelist

Tips for indie authors

Turning down a publishing contract

on September 9, 2015

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When I tell people in conversation that I have written a book and have a sequel almost finished, the refrain I often hear is – “Have you got a publisher?”

The thing is, I have never even thought about seeking a publisher, and like a lot of authors, I self-published on Amazon. People are often heard to say, somewhat unkindly, that to follow this route is for the vainglorious or talentless. Yes, there are some books out there in the self-published arena, with their badly formatted manuscripts and typos. But the publishing world is changing at a fast pace and this platform gives authors more freedom.

No longer do writers have to spend years trying to find an agent or a publisher willing to take on their work. One reads of many authors receiving rejection letter after rejection letter. I decided from early on that that was not the path for me. The only viewpoint I respect is that of my readers.That being said though, I read a few months ago in ‘Writing Magazine’ that a major UK digital publisher was seeking submissions and I thought, “Why not?”

I submitted my manuscript and a few weeks later I received an e-mail saying that they would like to add my novel to their portfolio. However, my initial feelings of excitement were quickly replaced with ones of disappointment when they failed to state as to how they would effectively market my book. I looked up several of their authors’ works on Amazon and found that their sales rankings were well below mine. It seemed clear to me that they were volume publishers with no individual attention paid to each separate novel. Also, the fact that I would be tied in to a ten-year deal became quite unappealing to me.

But the process has left me feeling justified in continuing with the self-publishing route and I feel vindicated in my actions. I never thought that when I started out on my writing career that one day I would turn down a publishing contract, but I went with my gut feeling.

If I was to offer any advice to any self-published authors, it would be to think long and hard about agreeing to a publishing deal. Read the small print very carefully and seek professional advice if still unsure.

Who knows though, I might just change my tune one day if a major publishing house offers me a deal that will allow me to pay off my mortgage!

Have any other authors reading this had a similar experience? I’d be interested in hearing your story.

Image courtesy of https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/528539706238669122/

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