Indie v Agent

(15 Posts)
fackinell Sun 16-Jun-13 11:42:19

My first book is selling very well and I'm planning to launch #2 next wk. I'm aiming to quit work and write FT soon but now rethinking the Agent route, as I have full control and profit (after tax and NI) and want that to remain.

Any experiences you'd like to share on Indie v Agent?

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Jun-13 16:22:43

Are you self publishing on Kindle?

It's in an agent's interest to sell your book as widely as possible; while he/she is doing this, you can spend the time writing.

Can you tell me how you're published? What genre are you writing?

fackinell Sun 16-Jun-13 22:16:19

Hi Imperial, it's Chicklit but based on truth. I'm self published on Amazon Kindle and hovering around the top 100. I have almost just about completed a children's picture book too. I'm illustrating it myself so it's taking some time...

ImperialBlether Sun 23-Jun-13 11:05:24

Top 100? That's fantastic! How many have you sold? Don't forget it's a lot easier to get an agent if you've sold a lot on Kindle.

fackinell Sun 23-Jun-13 17:22:22

I've sold nearly 5k this month, Imperial. Not too sure about an agent now as I've read so much about people ditching them after the book deal is up.

I read online that someone who had a book out at 3.99 got 7p per copy, 10% of which had to be shared with the agent. I've also heard of people being forced into faux identities, saying they live somewhere completely different. I really want to retain full control and as I've got to where I am with no help, why shouldn't I reap all the after tax rewards.

How's your's doing? smile

ImperialBlether Sun 23-Jun-13 19:15:25

That is a really low figure (7p) isn't it? I didn't know how much writers got, but that is terrible. Could wordfactory or someone similar come and confirm that? It hardly seems worth it for the agent, never mind the writer.

Why would people have fake identities and lie about where they live?

5,000 books is fantastic. Do you mind my asking how many were free copies? My brother is trying to sell his on Kindle and finds it a bit of a struggle.

I have two finished books which are with an agent at the moment though I've no idea whether she'll take them on yet - she's reading the full copies. My brother thinks I should self publish them but I'm very reluctant to do that - I don't use social media much and in any spare time I have I'd rather be writing than flogging the books. How much time are you spending per week on selling/promoting?

fackinell Sun 23-Jun-13 21:22:37

Imperial, I'm gonna PM you as I'm in serious danger of 'outage' here, haha. I have no problem answering your questions it's just I'd like to stay anon!! grin

schmalex Mon 24-Jun-13 17:37:38

I have a picture book coming out next year and I don't have an agent. I just went through the slush pile and got lucky. I've also been networking like crazy and have decided that I don't really need an agent (they're difficult to come by for picture books as the sums of money are so low).

If you've managed to sell 5,000 books by yourself, why share it with an agent? You'll probably find the more you sell, the more you sell, if you see what I mean! You've done the hardest bit already.

fackinell Mon 24-Jun-13 21:23:30

Congratulations on your book, Schmalex. Yes, I agree with you that all the hard work has been done. I have made nearly 2k this mth and I ain't sharing with no one but the tax man (unfortunately.) inbox me if you'd like a link share or a RT when the time comes. Im all for helping us Indies out. Best of luck!!

You get my PM Imperial?

TunipTheVegedude Tue 25-Jun-13 09:05:07

Congratulations, Fackinell!
Did you have to spend much on professional editing and cover design?

fackinell Tue 25-Jun-13 13:58:28

Thanks Tunip, I spent 650 on edit and 300 on illustration. That was London prices though. I read a lot of what I now know to be vanity publishing shite and I would now ask a high school English teacher or lecturer to edit it for a lesser fee. My illustrator was worth it but I now have more confidence to do it myself.

There are art colleges that may allow a student do one as a portfolio piece and likewise with student editors so there's no need to fork out as much as I have. I asked a lot of favours in return for a mention in the thanks and a dinner out and people were happy to help out with proof reading and critique. Avid readers amongst friends are invaluable to a fledgling author. smile

TunipTheVegedude Tue 25-Jun-13 14:13:23

Would you really? The English teachers I know could check grammar and punctuation but good editing is more than that, surely?

I don't think that's an unreasonable amount to spend. Well done for investing in your novel. So many self-pubbed books are really let down by the author's failure to get them properly edited, and as a reader you really do look at the cover to suss out whether it's going to be any good or not.

I hate to say it, but since starting to buy self-pubbed books from Amazon I have learned that actually most of the time you can judge a book by its cover - it shouldn't be the case and it sounds shallow, but the ones that haven't bothered to get it properly designed have in my experience invariably been the ones that haven't bothered to learn how to write either!

fackinell Tue 25-Jun-13 15:52:16

You're probably right about the editing but the guy I used ended up doing more damage really. He made all files read only and in his author name. They also came back saved all wrong (paragraphs starting in the middle of the page etc) and one chapter even in a different font!!
It put me off big style. He was a nice guy and I paid up willingly but was secretly crying inside grin

It's a shame that SP authors get a bad name but there really are some great ones. Sadly, its a few poor spellers and self editing issues that often let them down, as you say. With the 7 day refund policy on Amazon, I think if something really was rubbish it would stay low in the rankings. I'm definitely no expert and learning as I go but the good ones usually get snapped up by agents as they go up the ranks so there are fewer SP role models to do well and set an example.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 25-Jun-13 15:56:40

Is there a 7 day refund policy on Amazon?
I didn't even know that! I thought with Kindle downloads, once you'd bought it that was that. blush

Your editor sounds hugely annoying and unprofessional. There must be better ones out there!

fackinell Tue 25-Jun-13 17:25:55

According to DP there is as he goes on my Author Central on Kindle Direct Publishing (I never do) and a lot of the authors were complaining that 7 days is too long. I've had a few refunded but I try not to take it personally grin (much.)

Yeah, I'm sure there will be great Editors, I just was unlucky, I think. I still wouldn't pay that amount again though. I changed so much after that it was barely worth it. I couldn't settle on some chapters and kept changing things.

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