What’s going on in the Realm of the Written Word?

Before I go quiet for the Holiday Season I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about the state of play in the publishing industry over the last year since next year I’ll be working on a novel to attract a publisher and agent.

So, back in the day a writer would work on their manuscript, take it to agents until one of them took a liking to it and then the agent would take it to the publishers and arrange everything, distribution, promotion, appearances etc. That’s not how it works today.

From conversations with various other authors, webinars and panels with publishers what I have learned is that the process has pretty much reversed with the introduction of cheap and easy self-publishing and social media, so (whilst the goal is still to get an agent) actually getting an agent is pretty much the last item on the list, almost.

So what’s they new process? Well, writing the book is still the first thing to do, the promise of a finished work doesn’t sell so well (unless you’re already famous) so getting the work done is still item one. From there the publishers and authors I’ve spoken to recommend getting it out there, Self-Publish and start building an audience. Now you also want to start self-promoting, social media and going to conventions to promote your brand.

Once you’ve proven that you can not only write a book but have a social presence and a willingness to make appearances you can start pitching to publishers. These days your publisher can pretty much fulfil the role of an agent (up to a point) and it’s not uncommon to stop there, sit back and wait to see if you appear on the Bestsellers lists. Depending on how your book does on the market you might then choose to approach and agent or (if it really takes off) an agent might approach you and that (hopefully) is where it all takes off.

So, next year is the year I put pen to paper on a standalone novel to take to publishers, during that time I’ll be attending nearly a dozen conventions to promote my existing work. In the meantime, remember to check reviews on the self-publishing services or ‘publishers’ you approach. A self-publishing house will charge you, file uploads and unit print costs, a ‘publisher’ who asks for money up front isn’t a proper reputable publisher looking to sell your book for you.

So, for 2018 that’s it so far. Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year!

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