The adrenaline rush of a real publishing deal

Before you get excited, no I have not been offered a real publishing deal as yet. It could still happen although I still remain committed to indie publishing.

I have been conventionally published in the past and it did more good for my ego and feeling of having ‘arrived’ than my bank balance.

When a major publisher expressed interest in a YA fantasy trilogy I have to say, the old adrenaline rush pushed everything else out of my mind.

At best it’s an amber light not a green light. At least it isn’t red.

But it did strike me that most of us indie authors whether reasonably successful or not (and I fall into the middle of these extremes) might suddenly give up their publishing freedom for a conventional deal if it was good enough.

There are some incredibly successful self-published authors for whom it does not make commercial sense. JA Konrath is one that springs to mind. He has been amazingly forthright and honest about his earnings from indie publishing. Try as I might I have not yet been able to emulate his success despite great reviews, great comments from readers and so on.

So, the question I hear every indie author asking is: ‘What more can  do?” I’ve Facebooked and Tweeted and social networked myself to death and beyond but sales stay stubbornly static or show small increases.

What then if the big publisher comes along waving a contract?

Does the indie author rush to their editorial offices with open arms and pen in hand or does he/she hold back and stay true to the flag of self-publishing.

I don’t have the answer but, you never know what tomorrow may bring.


About thebookwriters

Award winning novelist, author and musician. This blog is for all book lovers (especially thrillers and YA); writers and book reviewers.
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2 Responses to The adrenaline rush of a real publishing deal

  1. Hugh Howey says:

    As you seem to have noticed in that PW article you linked to, I’ve been courted by publishers, but have declined for now. For me, the advance would have to be so great that I knew I wouldn’t be losing money in the long-term, and the e-book royalties would have to be better than the 17.5% that’s currently the standard.

    Publishers are going to have to step up their game if they want to woo successful indie authors. If they can’t offer the same wage, they need to make it up in other ways. And as you astutely pointed out, the best lure they have is to appeal to our egos. But what is more satisfying than making a healthy wage while selling a boatload of books as an independent author? I can’t imagine a thing they could do for my ego that my fans don’t already do. Every review, every e-mail, every crowd at a book event . . . any of these are more than I would ever have dreamed of a year ago.

    The other enticement is placement in bookstores. Except: I’m currently in the living rooms and bedrooms of every internet-connected house on the planet. I get fan letters from all over the world. Compare this to being spine-out on a cavernous B&N shelf for a few months before you’re returned, remaindered, out-of-print, and forgotten.

    Which leads me to: Congratulations! What a fine mess to be in, eh? I’m thrilled for you that you have these options. Just getting the interest and offers is validation for all your hard work. Soak it up. Keep writing. Keep doing the rest of us who chase along in your footsteps proud!


  2. goodoldgirl says:

    I guess you have to ask yourself whether you’re committed to writing or committed to Indy publishing. If it’s the former, does it really matter how your books get into people’s hands as long as they get there. If it’s the latter, then just stay on your present path. If your books are good, they’ll sell regardless of who is promoting them. I guess it just boils down to — can a traditional publisher move your books faster than you can with less effort from you? Just a thought.


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