Tuesday, December 23, 2014

PART FIVE: DECISION TIME: TO AGENT-UP OR GO INDIE? A HYPER-TYPER'S DILEMMA


I too am wrestling with this decision... That's right Bucko. I too am debating whether to hunt down an agent or take on self-publishing my novel The Knife Thrower's Wife. It's all written, edited and the cover is designed... What to do, what to do?!

Alrighty then... Find an agent, or self-publish. Here are the pro's and cons:



Agent good stuff:
  • An agent is your new best friend. New best friends are fun!
  • They looooooovvvve your book ( also known as The Masterpiece) and that feels soooo good. Their stamp of approval kicks your ego up a few notches. Yes indeed, they do love your manuscript, or they wouldn't waste their precious time on it.
  • They are on your side and it feels good to have a hand-holder leading you through the cold, inhospitable battle zone of the publishing biz.
  • Agents know people. They're connected. They will toil day and night, buy dinners and drinks for untold numbers of publishers, and call in favors, all to find you a publisher.
  • An agent will negotiate your contract (squeeze the publisher) for stellar royalties and a gigantic advance... or at least they'll give it a shot.
  • An agent will work at collecting your royalties on time throughout the shelf-life of your book.

Agent bad stuff:
  • Time and frustration. Finding an agent is a lot like online dating. There are anxiety producing profiles to compile, never-before-heard pickup lines to invent and a kind of distant seduction to undertake. Then the waiting... on and on it goes... blech. It can take many a moon, years even, to find an agent sufficiently enamored with your manuscript to commit. An aside... If you're at all interested in learning one agent's advice on querying, visit a favorite blogger of mine, Janet Reid's Query Shark blog.
  • An agent is a step toward publication but isn't a guarantee that you'll be published. Your agent still has to sell your weighty tome to a publishing house.
  • Elizabeth Lavine's self -published
    book, Snuffy and Vroom Vroom
    
  • And once all the business is done, your beloved agent skims 15% off the top of your advance and the paltry percentage paid by the publisher. In perpetuity... Worth it? You tell me.

Self-Publishing yays:
  • You, my darling Hyper-Typer, are in control. Yay! Everything connected with your book will be exactly the way YOU want it to be.
  • And yay... Instant gratification. No waiting around for OTHER PEOPLE to get their doody-doo together and make things happen. It's done quick, up for sale and there for the buying... and your profits can come rolling in.
  • And those profits are astro-numerical... not the itsy bitsy % of the royalties realized from the publisher, but the whole enchilada.

Self-Publishing nays:
  • Not only are you responsible for any raging, astronomic success, but also for... boohoo... failure. It's all on you.
  • Self-publishing is going to be time consuming. Sure it is. You have just became a publisher and the job doesn't stop when your book hits Amazon's site. So, if you are now a fulltime admin type, when the heckle-me-jeckle are ya going to type, Writer-Type?
  • It'll cost ya... Read back through the previous editions of this subject and take note of the fees and expenses. there's the editing, the illustrator and book-interior design fees, there's marketing, perhaps you'll fly around doing book signings, there's distribution and printed copies for brick-and-mortar-stores. You'll rent a party place and have a book launch with catered snacks and valet parking.... okay, maybe not that last one. But believe it. This is gonna cost you $$$.
Barbara Farnsworth's self published
book, Where the Lost Things Go
Punchline, punch-list, whatev... What am I going to do with my novel? I'm going to pitch it hard for a certain amount of time... maybe a year... and if no one bites I'll go Indie.

Hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Wait! Everyone is doing it!... I'll rephrase. If it was easy, everyone would have a bestseller.







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