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Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

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[Forgot to mention that universal ISBN numbers, which you will need to retain all rights to your book and distribute it properly, cost roughly $100 each…and you need a separate one for EACH FORMAT. Hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook….]

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Philip Smith says:

Glad I found your channel. Self vs. traditional is the same question on my mind but man these rejection letters suck.

Scott Miller says:

Hey, Shade!

Been thinkin' about that writers conference I mentioned a few days ago. They have a 1-day prequel to the conference and guess what 1 of the sessions will be? Be an Agent for a Day. Here's the session description:

Be An Agent For A Day
Presented by Kristin Nelson, Literary Agent
As an agent, Kristin reads hundreds of query letters and pitches in any given week. She can tell within sentences whether something will be right for her or not.
Have you ever wanted to see and experience the process first hand? Then BE AN AGENT FOR A DAY is your chance. Agent Kristin, along with the class, will read query letters live and the together make the decision. Should she ask for sample pages or should she send a rejection instead? Discussion will revolve around each decision and then the response will be sent during the class.
Plan on this being an eye-opening inside look at the world of queries.
PLEASE NOTE: All queries will be new and unread by Kristin. However, to protect the privacy and identity of the querier, Kristin’s assistant will strip out any author identification and place the query email letter in a separate Mac Mail folder for easy access.))))

How freaking awesome is that? Massive boost to our knowledge of how to create a query letter an agent will positively respond to. I think 1 of the major reasons 1st-time authors fail to get an agent is poor communication skills: The MS is fab, the market's there, but the query fails to communicate that or to pique an agent's interest.

Oh, agent Donald Maass will be presenting 2 sessions on emotion in fiction. Maass is a demigod.

Nintelda - says:

Can you direct me to any places I could learn about the publishing process?

Particularly the traditional one.

Scott Miller says:

Hey, Shade!

I was drawn back to an old comment thread you started on Jenna Moreci's vid about why she's jumping into self-publishing. Rereading your posts in that thread left me wondering why I hadn't checked out your channel until now. So here I be.

What are you writing? What genre? Where are you getting agents' names?

One year I went to the Pikes Peak Writers' Conference { https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/ppwc/ }. I did the 1st page read-and-critique with an agent in my genre. I also pitched to that agent a few days later. I wasn't ready, but wow I sure learned a lot. The conference cost me about $400 (but since I live in town I didn't also need a hotel room). Well worth the money. One thing I learned was that my sub-genre was saturated. Two agents said they did not want to see any more paranormal romances about werewolves or vampires. Chatting with other authors I realized I didn't have a werewolf story, at least my shape-shifters were nothing like the shape-shifters in what's been so popular. Sunday evening I saw an author friend of mine chatting with an agent who does romance. I walked up, said hi to both, turned to my friend and said, "Hey, I figured it out. My villain isn't a werewolf, he's the European equivalent of a skinwalker." The agent asked, "What's a skinwalker?" Man, I had her! Sucks that my MS wasn't ready. Anyway, that's what's called "blue ocean marketing."

The next year I attended "bar-con". That is, rather than pay to attend the conference (starving student status) I went to the hotel about 7:00pm on Friday and again Saturday, and hung out in the bar. Chatted with authors, agents, and acquisitions editors for the cost of a few drinks. I met an acquisitions editor for sci-fi at Random House (frak, Random House!). We chatted and I told him a bit about how my villain and hero came to be shape-shifters (skinwalker and anti-skinwalker). He said, "Send me the MS." He was disappointed that it's a dark paranormal romance and said that if I do a sci-fi I should send it to him.

Shade, do a writers' conference or 2 this year. Maybe 3 if you can afford it. You'll find out if you're ready. You could very well get some requests. And ready or not you'll make some great contacts.

Natasha Solae says:

I , too, have gone back and forth on this. I feel like self-publishing is the way to go unless you get a huge advance. If you're going to have to market yourself anyways, why give the publisher a percentage? If your book gets big on it's own, publishers will come running towards you regardless of word count.

Michael Johnson says:

I will now be buying your book.
1. Because you seem like an amazing author
2. I need to find out what happens on January 20th in your book (Thats my Birthday)

Regitze Hvid says:

Where do you get your clothes? You know, the badass ones with feathers and stuff?

anna holíková says:

Ehmmmm… Sorry but you said Traditional publishers do the majority of marketing for you. That's sadly not true anymore. If you are a newbie writer you'll still have to do the majority of marketing yourself. 🙁

Aye Malachi says:

Keep it up Shade i believe in you…and remember everytime you get rejected your that close to being published

Ransom Linder says:

I thought only like 6% of traditionally published books any real marketing.


I need a new video from the amazing humorous talented beautiful Shade!

Agnes Anonymous says:

Thank you for keeping it real. I'm going to be starting this process next year (going the traditional route myself), and although I'm excited, I'm also not looking forward to growing skin so thick it turns into an exoskeleton.

William Crawford says:

The worse thing about your situation from what I see from your video's and twitter is your world count. On one hand I see that you need it lower to make it sellable in the eyes of agents. On the other hand, it's your book. Your world. I only hope in your quest to publish the book you don't have to take so much out and change so many things that it becomes a stranger to you.

And that you can keep that world in your head and show all it needs to show and tell the story you want to tell and have it traditionally published.

Just don't lose your story in this quest and keep on keeping on.

Sandy Bachar says:

You are so awesome!

ImaDreamer says:

12 years* (had to be the potterhead)

Bree Lew says:

It's so funny that you said "only 500 copies." Like, with my book dropping in about a month and a half, if I sell fifty copies I'll be ecstatic. Lol!

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