I stated in my ‘I Want To Be A Writer‘ vlog that I have had a bit of a painful time in regards to approaching Publishers and Production companies. There are various reasons for this and I’m going to flesh out a few of them for you below. I’m hoping that this might steer some people away from the choices and mistakes that I made leading up to this point.
Firstly if you can get yourself an agent then none of the below will probably concern you. Having an agent opens literally so many doors for you. Yes… we’re back on door analogies. The key benefit to an agent is that they will do the leg work for you, ultimately resulting in your work being viewed by a publisher or production company. If you go it alone you will have to approach them yourself and varying factors then come into play.
Have you self published before? If so how well did the book do sales wise? Do you have example figures available to show this? Have you any previous writing experience? Could you send us examples of your work please? These are just a few things you can be asked when you’re attempting to go it alone. Obviously they need to see you’re writing style, this goes doubly so when you’re approaching an agent. They won’t just take on anyone, they need to know they’re making a good investment.
The biggest hurdle I have found in all of my attempts to become a published author is that without representation, you can only send your work out to those who accept unsolicited manuscripts. This in itself is painful as you are practically sending your work out to about 10% of what you could have been. Then you have to factor in the publishers who actually publish your genre of story. As you go further in the list of publishers you can actually send off your work to, it soon dwindles until you only have a very small number of chances. The same goes with approaching production companies with your TV or film scripts.
I’ve been considering a lot lately the possibility of just self publishing my work. Through Amazon you can publish your book almost instantly to both Kindle and paperback, but by doing so you pretty much resign yourself to the fact you’ll have to do all of the leg work in regards to advertising the book, marketing and actually selling if you’re the type who would attend something like a local or national comic-con.
Having to do the leg work yourself isn’t exactly terrible, but at the end of the day, unless you’re some kind of dynamo when it comes to selling your work, you’re going to have a much, much smaller reading Base with self published work than you would with an actual publisher.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong when it comes to the self publish or publisher argument. Both have there pros and cons, just one has an easier ride once you’re there than the other.
Overall if you are to make a go of this, I can’t recommend highly enough that you make the effort into acquiring an agent. It’s easier said than done. I still don’t have one, but ideally one day I will.
Next week I’ll go into a little more detail about the steps you need to take to acquire an agent. Hopefully it’ll be a good insight for someone who hasn’t attempted it themselves just yet.
Thank you for reading.