What You Should Know About Self-Publishing

By Anna Parsons

So you finished writing your book and want to publish it—great! Completing a manuscript is an accomplishment you should be proud of. The next step is deciding how to pursue publication.

The-Shack-Hardcover-Front-CoverOne mistake authors can make is to self-publish a book with the intention of “really” publishing it later on with a traditional publishing company. The problem with this is that self-publishing is a legitimate form of publication, and many agents and publishers will not take on previously published manuscripts. The main reason for this is that if a book is available to the public and is not already selling thousands of copies, it indicates to publishers that there may not be a market for the book or that the author will not be able to help them sell it. There are, of course, exceptions where agents seek out self-published books or these books are picked up by traditional publishers (such as The Shack, Eragon, or Fifty Shades of Grey). But these exceptions are just that—special cases that aren’t the norm, and books that make the transition are usually self-published successes in which the author has invested a great deal of time and money. Continue reading “What You Should Know About Self-Publishing”

What Are Agents Really Looking for in Partials and Fulls?

Lots of writers ask why agents bother asking for a partial manuscript. After all, what can agents really find in those fifty pages? Wouldn’t it save a lot of time if agents just asked for the full?

Short answer? No. Not at all. Aside from just saving a lot of time, agents are also looking to see if they want to read more of your work. It’s much easier to give an interesting idea a fair shot when agents know they are only going to be committed to a shorter read. You’ve piqued the interest of the agent in your original query and now they want to see what else you’ve got.

Unfortunately, this seems to lead to heated debates with writers questioning whether or not agents can glean enough of the story to decide whether it’s good or not with only fifty pages. Continue reading “What Are Agents Really Looking for in Partials and Fulls?”