Harper Voyager accepting unagented submissions
I was browsing the AbsoluteWrite forums last night when I saw this and I didn't see any note of it here. Harper Voyager is accepting unagented submissions from October 1--14. Here's the direct link at Thebookseller.com regarding this:
I won't be doing it as I don't have anything ready but I thought some people might like to know about it.
Oh, btw, this came to AW from Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles. So those of us who enjoy him (*puts hand up*) have another thing to thank him for now!
Looks at the deep water..plunges in like an idiot
Getting accepted by any established publisher is not something to be sneezed at. You gain an immediate degree of credibility and acceptance that can take a self-published author a long time to earn through sales. This helps when you're trying to get on panels at conventions or otherwise want to be taken seriously. I still believe that much of the self published stuff out there is absolute crap. Wade in that pool at your peril.
Don't forget that along with the publisher, you have the publisher's following of readers. You also have a track record started. Access to that publisher's reviewer list. You may even get a little extra marketing oomph if your publisher goes to conventions to display their (and your) titles.
Yes, your editing, book covers, and distribution are free. Free. Yes, you lose some control, but in the end, who is better at determining what will sell your novel? You, or someone who has been marketing books for awhile?
All of this hinges on getting a good publisher, of course.
My opinion, based on my own experiences, would be to advise new authors to try a publisher first. It's an incredible lift to the confidence when someone else decides you're good enough to make money off of. Getting back to the OP's subject, I think this offer is worth a shot for a starting writer.