Home » Big Publishing, Self-Publishing, The Business of Writing » Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down

Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down

27 February 2017

From author Elizabeth Spann Craig:

I’ve been asked by writers and others if I’d ever query traditional publishers again.

As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten queried by traditional publishers a couple of times in the past year.  I’m not really sure why, since there now seem to be many cozy writers out there. I’ve politely rejected them.

It’s not that I had a bad trad-pub experience. It’s just that I’ve had a better self-pub experience.

Reasons I’ve decided to stick with self-publishing:

I make more money writing independently of a publisher.  This is by far the top reason. I even made more self-publishing a few books than I did with more traditionally published books on the shelves.

. . . .

I can make changes to my online profiles at the retailers and distributors I deal directly with.  I had to deal with a lot of red tape to even get my photo up on Penguin Random House’s site last week. I was stunned to find it wasn’t up there. After all, I’ve written for the publisher since 2010 and my photo was available to them for the backs of the books.

. . . .

I can run promotions on books with lagging sales. I can make a book free. I can give a book away to gain newsletter subscribers (and then inform them of new releases for later sales gains). I can run quick weekend sales to make my books more visible on retail sites.

. . . .

I don’t feel the need to prove anything. Originally, it did feel good to be validated by a gatekeeper…I was a newer writer and I needed that. Now, I prefer reader validation. It’s ultimately more valuable.

Link to the rest at Elizabeth Spann Craig and thanks to Deb for the tip.

Here’s a link to Elizabeth Spann Craig’s books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.

Big Publishing, Self-Publishing, The Business of Writing

12 Comments to “Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down”

  1. Self-empowered, in control — and making more money!

    What’s not to like?

  2. [no picture on publisher’s web site]

    In the last year or so I’ve developed the habit of looking for the web sites of the authors of books I read. On the average, maybe 4 out of 10 even have a web site, and one of those four will be some commercially-developed Flash mess that doesn’t even list all the books I know they’ve written, such as the one laying by the keyboard…

    Just a “I’m still alive and here’s a bibliography” is better than nothing. For double extra bonus points and gold stars, ISBNs would be nice, too.

    I think there’s an attitude among older/more-established authors that their publisher is supposed to be doing that sort of thing. But, as we know, publishers can seldom be bothered.

    • I’ve just finished a complete overhaul of my website. Be interested to see what you think http://www.valerieparv.com Not commercially developed flash mess at least. My web designer and good friend uses html one of the last, I should think. Proof that I’m still alive – with 90 titles all listed on my books page 🙂

      • Damn, I just realised I lose points for no ISBNs. All the books have them but it just gets too cluttered.

        • The one thing I would suggest you do is make the items on the page clickable. When I click on say, “Carramer Trust Series” it should lead to a landing page that gives the series order, and for each book a summary, excerpt, and where to buy. I just tried to click on the cover photos of the Beacon series and was startled that nothing happened. What’s the series about? This is your chance to promote your books!

          Places like Themeforest (Envato) or Creative Market have portfolio templates that would lend themselves to your purposes. I prefer HTML with limited scripting, and they have tons of templates that fit the bill. Think simple like the CSS3 cards where you have the picture of the book and a caption that shows the logline of the book, and a link to the landing page.

          Oh, also say if any of the books are out of print, which I’m guessing the early Harlequins might be (something I heard about Harlequin, no reflection on you). And if out of print, do you have a schedule for reissuing them in ebook form?

          Basically, finding out all of the answers to these questions require me to leave your site, which defeats the purpose of going to it.

          My two cents …

  3. If you’re into cozies, I highly recommend Elizabeth’s Myrtle Clove mysteries. They’re one of the few things my mother-in-law and I can talk about and agree on.

  4. I’d take the Right publishing deal–but I doubt any BPH would ever offer me a contract I could accept.

  5. Wait… publishers are querying authors now?

    • LOL. They’re getting desperate… and it shows! 🙂

      Looks like the noob writer validation junkies are wising up!

  6. A major publishing house reached out to me a few months ago. As a publishing newbie I was immensely flattered and jumped through all their hoops (wrote the proposal, discussed options, etc.) for a book that I’ve written that is just about ready to go to print. I figured, when a huge publisher reaches out to you, you at least want to have the conversation right?

    I was thrilled when they told me they were going to make me an offer and wanted to work with me. Wow, validation! Money! How exciting!

    The offer that came was utter crap. It all but qualified as predatory. I’m sure desperate authors will take it hoping that it’ll open doors or maybe lead to a better offer for book #2.

    I wasted time and emotional energy on the whole thing and the only perk was the minor thrill of telling them that I wouldn’t be accepting their offer and wasn’t interested in negotiating further.

    • Alexis, you did the right thing. And, imprt for young authors to know that every pub throws out a crap offer FIRSTl. They are testing your naivete. They are like growers in corporate; The food buyers buy those bushels of cherries for lowest price poss in order to sell to processors and distributorswho in turn sell to grocery storeswho sell to consumers.

      Many many people in the mix all wanting money. Including of course the grower. But if the pennies on the bushel is refused by grower, buyers move to OTHER cherry growers who will take those pennies.

      However, say you grow superior cherries. The grower counters and say x pennies more per bushel. Most often, buyer will cave. As will publishers if they want the book. We have book contracts that look like railroad tracks of scarsfromall the nego of clauses etc. But they worked.Finally. And you are right, it is true; it takes time and a little bit of a steady hand re negotiating in friendly ways, but clearly on point

      Youre likely howeever to have a greattime being ‘publisher free.’ Certainly many are

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.