Seeking Representation – Indie authors and agents (Part 1)

When I was almost ready to publish my first book, I did my due diligence and looked into my options. There was of course traditional publishing, through one of many Australian publishing agencies, or self-publishing, through a service such as CreateSpace or KDP (Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing). I chose the latter based on a number of writer’s seminars I’d attended and the fact it was going to be a great deal easier than begging and pleading with publishers. I also wanted to see how my book faired on the market, getting direct and real feedback from readers rather than publishers (if lucky enough to even be assessed/read).

So now, after two self-published books, I feel I have a product and something people like and want to read. If I were a marketing guru and didn’t have a full time job, I’d probably choose now, the month before I finish the final book in the Ruthless trilogy, to ramp up my campaign and really try and sell these suckers. But, I’m not (a marketing guru nor choosing this course of action). Instead I am looking towards traditional publishing options again and this time I am investigating the value of writers’ agents.

Writers agents (or literary agents) represents writers and their written works to publishers, theatrical producers, film producers and film studios, and assists in the sale and deal negotiation. More importantly in submitting to publishers, they target the editors/publishers who are best suited to your work, and thereby more likely to a) not reject your submission, and b) have the mechanisms in place to publish it well.

Through my research, I found that despite many publishers now opening the door to unsolicited manuscript submissions, few submissions, via this route, are actually read. Publishers generally rely on writers’ agents to sort out the wheat from the chaff. They are much more likely to read a submission made via an agent than via an unsolicited manuscript harvest. I also found it can be somewhat harmful to have self-published a book when seeking a traditional publishing deal. This is because, publishers want numbers. They want to know a product is saleable before they invest in it. When you are unpublished, this is a gamble the publisher will take based on the quality and content/genre of the book, but if you are published, they will want sales! Unfortunately, sales are not always a good representation of a books saleability (sounds like an oxymoron I know). This is because sales rely on marketing and in a flooded market like eBooks and publishing, if you don’t have good, consistent and snappy marketing, you don’t have good, consistent and snappy sales.

This is an interesting article that talks about the value of agents and why you should avoid submitting to publishers directly: 

In my next post, I will gather together some good articles on how to find and approach an agent. This is all new to me too so I’ll let you know what I’ve tried and whether I’ve had any success soon.

Update: Part 2 now available


How to upload a Word document – CreateSpace

I am just about to push the big red button and release my new book Heartless (the second book in the Ruthless Series). But before I got to this exciting ‘button-pushing stage’, I had a little hiccup with my new CreateSpace project (for those of you who don’t know, CreateSpace is the print publishing arm of Amazon).

Unfortunately, cocky me, chose Expert setup, and that meant that I could only upload a PDF as my interior file. I use a Mac and PDF generation in Mac Word is not very nice, so my preference was to upload a Word document instead. Sadness and confusion ensued.

Never fear, if you too were overly confident in your ability to use the CreateSpace interface – I eventually found it can be reversed without having to delete the whole project.

Just do this:

  1. From your Member Dashboard, click on the title of your book
  2. Within the Setup section, locate the Looking for Help box on the left-hand side of the screen
  3. Click “Switch Now” and confirm this change by clicking “Continue

If you are looking for a way to thank me for this wonderful work-around, feel free to purchase a copy of my first book Ruthless (ebook or print). By the time you are finished, the sequel will be ready! 🙂