Thursday, May 22, 2008

Self Publishing (Again)

The long, arduous trek of someone who learned the hard way:

(I don't remember what PA now calls their form of publishing - "subsidy" or some such obfuscation - but it boils down to self-publishing.)


Blogger Scott said...

Interesting and maddening stuff. PA and their ilk are so predatory--playing on people's treasured dreams of becoming a published author in order to take the unsuspecting and the unwary to the cleaners. And even worse than that, since once PA gets their hooks in, the author will be quite fortunate if his/her career is not ruined by association.

When I was marketing my first novel, a hard-boiled detective/comedy set in Baton Rouge, I got one "bite" from an agent in Texas. I was thrilled of course, and wanted to sign right away, but luckily I had picked up and devoured a copy of the excellent new author's gude The Sell-Your-Novel Toolkit by Elizabeth Lyon. As such I had a list of questions prepared to ask my prospective agent--lists of recent sales, publishers they'd placed books with, their plans for marketing my novel, etc.

Well, the red flags started going up almost right away. The agent wouldn't provide a list of sales, referring me instead to their website, which was hopelessly out-of-date and, furthermore, contained many books "sold" to PublishAmerica. Knowing PA by reputation, I asked the agent about these "sales," and got evasive answers. I sent back more questions, and got no answers at all.

So my detective novel is still unsold, I've never had an agent, but I still feel I dodged a bullet there. When I sell a novel, I'll stick to trying to do it the right way; and should I decide to self publish, I'll do it myself, without the insidious PA middleman.

Scott (aka The Vicar)

12:23 PM  

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