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After self publishing, would you approach an agent?

(7 Posts)
ImperialBlether Mon 07-Jul-14 19:55:57

I'd like some advice both from those of you who've published in the traditional sense and those who've self published.

How many books do you think you'd have to sell on Kindle (for example) before an agent would be interested? Do you think there's a figure of X per month that would interest them?

Also, for any novelists here who sell via a publisher, how many British sales would be typical in a month/year?


Guilianna Mon 07-Jul-14 21:42:37

There's an article about this being circulated on twitter atm under #askagent. I think they were talking about sales of 10,000 plus, and even then looking at going forward with new projects rather than repackaging the existing self published one. It was an interesting read, anyway.

ImperialBlether Mon 07-Jul-14 22:21:43

Thanks, Guilianna. I've just read it and it was a bit scary - someone wouldn't consider someone unless they'd sold 100,000!

Guilianna Tue 08-Jul-14 08:08:47

and with sales like that, why would you want to go hybrid? confused

PetulaGordino Tue 08-Jul-14 08:10:38

Would agents help with international/translation rights (and others such as film/audio)? I could see that as a benefit for a self-published author's current novel with high sales

Abra1d Tue 08-Jul-14 08:17:10

Yes, agents can help with foreign rights and others (large print, audio, etc). However, some self-published authors now go straight to to self-publish in foreign languages. I have an agent selling my books to foreign publishers and to British ones, I self-publish other titles. And a couple are now being translated by Babelcube translators I've found myself.

Frankly there's nothing in it for agents unless you have sold a lot or are likely to attract a decent advance from a publisher.

As to how many copies is reckoned to be enough, much depends on genre. It's hard to shift lots and lots of literary fiction but romance authors often sell tens or hundreds of thousands. Only one of my novels (women's/literary) has ever done that in its traditionally published format so far! But on forums such as (in the Writers' Cafe forum) there seem to be a lot of people who are selling very, very well in romance/erotic/thrillers etc. You might get some good information at Kboards, if you're not already a member?

TheWordFactory Tue 08-Jul-14 08:27:56

I think agents will take on the successfully self published as obviously they already have a track record.

Sadly, the self published need to be successful than the trad published to garner attention, though. So I reacon a writer with, say, 5,000 in sales could easily attract a new agent/publisher if those 5,000 were published traditionally.

I'd say the fiures would need to be higher for self publishing.

The self published would also need to show the agent that they could work collaboratively. But that's no big deal, most writers want to work collaboratively.

I have friends who self published successfully and were a tad evangelical about it, but when the trad oublishers came calling, they switched wink...

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