Publishing Your Own Book
Publishing Your Own Book
Derek Johns (Managing Director - AP Watt Literary Agency) gives expert video advice on: Should I consider using a vanity press?; Are there any good alternatives to traditional publishing routes?; Can an agent help me publish my work via non-traditional routes? and more...
Should I consider using a vanity press?
Well, as a literary agent, I am bound to advise writers against being published by any other than reputable, established publishers. There are vanity presses who advertise here and there, and who will invite you to give them money to publish your book, but of course they are not actually publishing. All they are doing is printing. Most of these books end up in your garage.
Are there any good alternatives to traditional publishing routes?
For the foreseeable future I can't see an alternative to going through a traditional book publisher. It may well be that the net will find ways of posting work and leading readers to it and protecting copyright. But at the moment we're not there yet.
Can an agent help me publish my work via non-traditional routes?
For the moment literary agents have no interest in encouraging writers to publish through non-traditional outlets because there's no money in these outlets. And agents work on commission and need the advances that large publishing houses give.
Should a writer ever pay to publish their work?
The writer should never pay to publish their work and if the writers are asked for money it certain to be from somebody disreputable.
How does the DIY approach to music differ from DIY publishing?
The DIY approach to publishing is more difficult, and the reason for that is quite simple. The experience of listening to music on downloads is exactly the same as the experience of listening to music in any other way. The experience of a book via download is different from sitting, reading on the page. And for the moment we, all of us, still prefer to read a printed book which is sitting on our laps.
Is it ever a good idea to self-publish?
There are a number of instances of self published books that go on and are taken up by large publishing houses. They tend to be non-fiction books with particular local interest in the first place. It's very difficult if you print your own book, it's very difficult then to go on and sell it. You can go round to the book shops, but then you may find their not particularly interested in taking it on.
Can I become successful by printing and distributing my own book?
There are a few instances of people having self-published their book in the first place and then going on to sell their books to publishers who make them best-sellers. I have to be honest and say I can't remember one, but I think particularly in America, which seems more receptive to the self-publishing kind of ethos than here.
Do agents ever take on authors following the selfpublishing route?
An agent should always consider an author who has set off down the self-publishing path but with a view to leading that author to the established publishers in the future.
Does self publishing make it easier to get an agent?
The fact that you've self-published one book should make an agent all the more interested in your work because it demonstrates the seriousness of your intent.