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Self publish or use publisher?

(9 Posts)
BlackAffronted Fri 16-Aug-13 17:20:48

Which would you recommend for a teenage (charcater aged 16) novel?

I am tryng to weigh up the pros and cons of both, and advice would be very welcome!

MorvahRising Fri 16-Aug-13 23:09:25

I'd probably give some agents a try first in case it gets snapped up! If you try self-publishing I really recommend Mme Guillotine's blog which is very thorough and informative about the whole process.

I sent my novel, which has a teenage heroine, to about five agents and had some encouraging comments but no offers, so I self-published it. I don't think I have many teenage readers though, they all seem to be adults!

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 17-Aug-13 09:13:23

Young Adult e-books do sell (I was googling this recently) so electronic self-publishing is viable. A lot of YA is bought by adults anyway but teens increasingly are reading on Kindles, Ipads, phones etc.

I'm writing YA and plan to go with the traditional 'trying to get an agent and print publisher' route myself. My main reason is that I think this would help me improve my writing more, both because of the pressure to raise my game as much as I possibly can to try to attract an agent in the first place, and because if I do manage to find one, an agent and editorial staff at a publisher would have expertise that would help improve the work still further.
If I wrote a book that I knew was good and couldn't interest a publisher or agents despite my best efforts, at that stage I would rethink.

I know of people (there are several on Mumsnet) who have made a success of self-publishing and it is clearly the right thing for them. If you're the kind of person who enjoys figuring out how to sell more, how to tweak prices, how to publicise via other social media, etc, it might work for you. You would get to keep a higher proportion of the money and you would get it sooner. Most self-pubbed novels sell a few copies and then sink without trace, but I can't see that that's any worse than all the books that never get published in the first place.

Best of luck whichever way you go!

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 17-Aug-13 09:29:42

If you do go with self-publishing, btw, I would recommend you make friends with some of the YA book bloggers. I reckon if they liked your book you would have a big headstart.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 17-Aug-13 14:43:47

Here's an article about Amanda Hocking in case you need inspiration smile

BlackAffronted Sat 17-Aug-13 18:58:51

Thank you all so much. I am only at the planning stage of my book just now, but I want plenty of time to decide what i want to do with it on completion.

How would I find YA book bloggers?

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 17-Aug-13 19:03:31

Just googling 'YA book blog' will find you loads! If you're only starting, then following them will help you understand the market and what else is out there, too.

Punkatheart Sun 18-Aug-13 10:17:56

I think that the first route should always be agent/publisher. But bear in mind, if you want to have a career in writing - if you self-publish there will be some conventional publishers who will look down on you.

Some self-published books are really poor and you need to have a good grasp of English or employ a professional proofreader/editor. On the other side of that - there are many savvy and organised self-published authors who are also good at the marketing side.

I must admit that it is not for me. I want a publisher. I'm lazy and I also need the approval of a professional telling me my book is good.

InMySpareTime Tue 03-Sep-13 16:46:21

I've self published a YA novella, it's selling pretty well so far.
I have several more books in the pipeline, which should be far easier to upload now I've broken ground with the first.
Getting known seems to be the hardest thing, there are so many books out there, shouting for people's attention, that it's hard to stand out. The book needs to be free from spelling or grammatical errors, get as many Beta Readers as you can to look it over. You need a really good marketing strategy, and a visually appealing front cover. smashwords have a free "book marketing guide" which has a lot of good advice.

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