Just got a big fat “NO” on a book Bagwyn Books wanted to publish last year — The Brothers Path. Last fall, I had to make a decision between two publishers and I chose the one that was closer (Denver) and promised an earlier publication date (this year). Of course, THAT publisher (Bygone Era Books, ha ha) went out of business. I then contacted the other publisher who had wanted the manuscript and had to go through the complete process again only to get a “No” just now.
Dear Martha Kennedy,
Thank you for letting us read your manuscript. Our current workload prohibits us from taking on all but a select few new projects and we are, therefore, unable to extend an offer. We accept new clients based solely upon the current needs and interests of this agency and we simply didn’t see a good match. Given that the publishing industry is admittedly subjective, no doubt another publisher will feel differently.
Thank you for thinking of Bagwyn Books and for letting us read your work. We wish you the best of luck in your future marketing efforts.
No need for names…
Disgusted and discouraged and disappointed. Changed the name of my blog. I like the resonance of it. 🙂
For those who may not know, I’m very familiar with the self-publishing option. Martin of Gfenn and Savior ended up self-published. The fourteen-year saga leading to the publishing of Martin of Gfenn? Every writer should learn it, but it’s a hard lesson. Martin of Gfenn has won awards in the meantime, and I’ve sold some books. If you “google” me you’ll find all kinds of stuff about me and my books — and I have an author page on Amazon.
The difficulty of being a self-published author is promotion. All I need to be promoted BY Amazon is ten reviews, but most readers don’t think of reviewing a book they’ve read. It does take a little effort and I know not everyone is comfortable writing. Truth be told, I don’t even mind negative reviews — some negative comments by readers of the Kindle edition woke me up to the fact that the format wasn’t working. That HELPS me. I also don’t expect every reader to love my book. In fact, when I read reviews on Amazon of books or films, I mistrust a book or film that has all 5 star raptures. I wonder, “Who paid you?” Still and all, I’m extremely grateful for the reviews people have posted for the books on Amazon. Reviews are the ONE thing that helps sell a self-published book.
Self-published books have a stigma (a fair stigma, IMO) and that is that a self-published book is probably going to be crap. It’s true that ANYONE can self-publish and that means that every person who “has a book in them” can hammer out some prose (or poetry) and print it, typos, bad grammar, weak story and all. For this reason, conventional publishers don’t consider self-published books to be anything other than a liability. There are few writers who actually broke into conventional publishing with a self-published novel. Romances and mysteries have made that leap many times. I don’t write them. I write old-school historical fiction set in a foreign country that looks at serious subjects.
My goal of having a book conventionally published is based on all this knowledge. I believe if I succeeded in selling a manuscript, the other books might fly away on its coat-tails. But this particular situation is just incredibly disappointing since this publisher WANTED this VERY book last year and now does not. I can’t help but feel some of it is, “You had your chance last year, sweet-cheeks. Ni-ner, ni-ner, ni-ner.” Publishers (and agents) have the power in this market. Writers are, literally, a dime a dozen.