top of page

Writing note - about Traditional Publishing

Just in case anyone following me, or anyone who stumbles across this post is considering fighting for traditional publishing..let me clue you in on a few things they don't want authors to know right now.

  1. You WILL be doing all of your own marketing even if you're trad published.

  2. You will not likely get an advance. If you get an advance that means you will not see a cent of your sales until the publisher makes what they paid you back. Great if you sell millions, but not so great if you only sell two books. Most people I know think it's called an advance because they're paying you to write/finish the book. No. It's an advance because they are gauging what they think your book will sell/make for them (lowballing) and most offer a 0 advance now.

  3. Most books accepted right now are not being published because of houses closing before they can publish (pandemic fallout) or they are published, sit on the shelf for a month, and if you don't have 20,000 sales or MORE you are pulled from the stores. It is a NIGHTMARE to get your rights back to be able to republish your book on your own/make it available for customers once a Traditional publisher pulls it off the shelf.

  4. There many shady things going on with rights right now and authors having their work stolen by legal loopholes and being locked in years and years of court battles. If you sign with a trad house you better have a lawyer versed in copyright law look at your contract/assist you before you sign anything. Those contracts are made to take advantage of authors not help them.

  5. Publishers are not your friend. They are a business out to make money.

  6. Yes, you might get free editing. But judging by what a big-name house is putting out lately as far as that goes you would be way better off paying an editor of your choosing than have a rookie editor mess up your book worse with typos.

  7. You will get told to change things. Your book HAS to fit into their sales box to even have a chance. If you don't change things, they won't waste time with you. (This includes changing characters from POC/queer/gender swaps etc.).

  8. I have seen several mid-list traditional published authors bailing from traditional and telling people to go indie/self-pub to protect their rights. These are authors I know, respect, and have been in the business a long time. If they're bailing it's a sinking ship.

  9. Just because a publisher accepts one of your books doesn't mean they will take the next one, even if it's a series. Most mid-list writers will tell you you have to have at least 30 books in your backlog to live off the income (and that was pre-pandemic). You have to keep writing books to keep making income.

Most of these things were true before the pandemic. They're even more so now. Houses are falling before they can publish books, authors' dreams are getting devastated because they finally got through only to have their dreams dashed before they ever see their books in print.

I don't like to see talented writers wasting their time chasing dreams of traditional publishing only to get stuck in legal tangles. You could use the time you are WASTING querying and getting denied and be using that to write more books.

And I don't just say this because I'm a self-published author. I spent 30 years researching the best course of action for me, my stories, and my rights. Self-published lets me keep all my rights and my control, choose the covers I want, and write the characters I want.

Not to say it's cheap or easy to self-publish either. There are problems going that route too.

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page