Getting Publishished Part Deux: More questions answered.
I just started reading Tim's post on getting published and thought it was a wonderfully generous thing for him to do. But I also found that his path was much different than my own. And publishing is changing so much right now that I wanted to bring to light some other alternatives. I didn't want to hijack his thread so I thought I might start my own.
Okay...a short background...and I'll try to make it short. I wrote 10 (or 12 can't remember) novels in my "adult years" and tried to get an agent with no success. I finally got "really serious" and studied the market, worked hard to carefully craft the prose, and wrote what I think was the best thing I was capable of (it was literary fiction). I got many agents saying how good it was but that there was no market so I finally threw in the towel. I quit writing and vowed never to write creatively again.
Well as other writers know...as much as you hate writing sometimes you also can't stop the ideas from coming so ten years later I decided to write something "just for me". I had no intention of publishing. I promised I would keep this short so the condensed version is I eventually did decide to publishe and a small press picked it up, had financial problems and then I was more or less "forced" into self-publishing (to meet some deadlines for the 2nd book that fans were waiting on).
I published 5 books (of a six-book series) releasing one every six months and sales slowly grew to about 1,000 a month (across 4 titles) when my 5th book came out it jumped to 2,600 a month and I started thinking maybe I should try New York again. I thought it would take years to get any nibbles but had 7 publishers interested immediately. (I'm sure the fact that at the same time as I was "shopping" the series the books went viral - 10,000 - 12,000 copies a month didn't hurt ;-). But still...for the most part my sales were still very much on the "respectible" end when I was talking to publishers.
So...here we are about a year later and my six-book series is now coming out from Orbit (Fantasy imprint of #2 publisher Hachette Book Group) in just over a month. They fast tracked the project and the books will be released as follows:
- Theft of Swords (Nov 2011)
- Rise of Empire (Dec 2011)
- Heir of Novron (Jan 2012)
I received a much higher advance than most "first time" authors (typically $5,000 - $10,000 a book and I got six figures for three) and have now done it all (self publishing, small press, big-six) so I can talk a bit about the pluses and minues of each. (None of them is the "right" path -- there is only "right for you") ...
So just as Tim did - I'm going to offer up my brain for picking. The lanscape has changed a great deal recently and I think I'm a bit more "plugged into" the "out of the box" approach that is working for quite a few of the authors I'm familiar with.