Today, things are much different than when I started in the business.
My first time out, in the late 80s, I landed a New York agent on my first try. It took me 16 months to write my first novel because I was writing magazine articles eight hours a day to make a living. It took my agent only 7 months to sell my first book (and five more novels I had not written yet.) However, after I signed the contract, it took another 17 months until the first book was published.
So, from the first page to the publication of my first novel took 3 years and 4 months. Not only that but my first publisher signed me to a six-book contract and then went bankrupt after publishing my first three.
Today, publishing companies are operated by corporations. Most agents only take on new clients who are already established. Even new agents only take on a small percentage of what they are pitched.
So that old fashioned form of publishing is out of the question for most of us.
Desktop publishing, Print On Demand and Internet bookstores. It was the convergence of these three technologies that spawned a whole new industry — self-publishing. Most importantly, this created a new world of opportunity for authors.
Nowadays, because there is no barrier to publishing on your own, more writers are self-publishing and the quality of self-published books has gone up. More writers are self-publishing, using the new technologies and low costs of publishing on their own because, they cannot break through the old-fashioned publishing world. Today, writers are not going after agents or publishers because they don't want to spend years being rejected. Writers are publishing books on their own because they see opportunities in the market and want a bigger share of the pie than publishers offer and because they want full control of their own books.
Here are a few good reasons to self-publish:
- You have direct access to your audience
- You get a bigger chunk of the retail dollar of your book
- You have a time-sensitive book and want to publish quickly
- You want full control of your book inside and out
The bad news is that you have to do everything.
Which means that unless you are a professional proofreader, graphic designer, and layout expert for printed books and ebooks, you may have to get someone else to help you.
From NOVEL SECRETS (paperback or Kindle)