Do all my work for me, please, but only if you are an expert. Thank you.

19 Jan

Originally posted at Karen Scott’s blog

Okay, so I’m probably being harsh in my interpretation, but that’s how this comes across to me¹:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that my wife has written a romance novel, and furthermore, it’s quite good and is saleable. I’m wondering if anyone here has firsthand knowledge of what channel would be best for her to publish it in. Namely, a traditional publisher or a respectable online publisher. Is online publishing as much of a shot in the dark as self-publishing? Are there good resources to help find online publishers or literary agents? Does anyone have an idea of what advance and payment rates might be expected from either channel?

Also, I’m assuming you would get a literary agent for a traditional publishing, but do agents factor in to online publishers?

After a request like that, I hate to sound like a jerk, but… I would also like to have an idea of how much of a reply is opinion and how much is first hand or anecdotal evidence. I would appreciate if you would refrain from just throwing out your two cents worth unless you have actual information, and also try to explain where your information comes from.

And thanks in advance for any replies.

Huh.

Really?

If you scroll up the thread, you see that I started that thread almost two years ago with some very general information on publishing, gleaned from years (six? almost seven?) of reading about it on both readers’ and authors’ blogs. My post on the matter began and ended with a disclaimer (me=/=writer, me=/=expert, writer beware, writer do his/her own research).

The post I quoted offends my sensibilities on so many points–let me show you:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that my wife has written a romance novel because dog forbid I admit she–or, dear jeebus protect us, me!–has written such rubbish, and furthermore, it’s quite good and is saleable, not that I’ve done any research to base this assumption on, you understand, buy hey, she/I wrote it, and she/I could read it to the end, of course it’s good. I’m wondering if anyone here has firsthand knowledge of what channel would be best for her to publish it in, because it’s obviously a given that it’s so awesome it will be snatched up as soon as it’s submitted. Namely, a traditional publisher or a respectable online publisher, not that I really know what that means, because I can’t be bothered to research the matter. Is online publishing as much of a shot in the dark as self-publishing? Are there good resources to help find online publishers or literary agents? because I can’t spend five minutes using Google or other engine searches to find well known resources such as Absolute Write or Preditors and Editors. Does anyone have an idea of what advance and payment rates might be expected from either channel?

Also, I’m assuming, because it’s not as if it’s my business to find out–that’s what you are here for, suckers, you would get a literary agent for a traditional publishing, but do agents factor in to online publishers?

After a request like that, I hate to sound like a jerk, though I hide it quite well, thank you, but… I would also like to have an idea of how much of a reply is opinion and how much is first hand or anecdotal evidence, because–as should be obvious by now–my time is much too important to waste separating the wheat from the chaff. I would appreciate if you would refrain from just throwing out your two cents worth unless you have actual information, and also try to explain where your information comes from. Show me your credentials if you expect me to deign acknowledge your efforts, you peasants.

And thanks in advance for any replies.

Mind you, my reply there was very, very tempered and calm. I sincerely doubt that this guy purposely intended to come across as he did (to me). But the sheer carelessness and…well, entitlement I feel coming through incensed me. Hence, this rant.

But really, with so many resources available at the tips of your fingers, all that is required to find out about anything is to be willing to spend the time and effort to separate the worthwhile from the worthless.

Typing ‘romance publishing’ in Google yields 105,000,000 results. The first one, an ad for Harlequin. The second, an ad for Dorrance Publishing (never heard of them). The third one, Passionate Pen’s list of romance publishers and their submission guidelines. Three down, Karen Fox’s list of romance publishers. Second down from there, another list of publishers by Romance Book Covers.  And so on and so forth.

Of course, how is anyone to know which of these are reputable resources?

By spending some time reading and reading and reading.

Or perhaps, go to a bookstore and browse the shelves in the romance section, pull a book by authors with two or more novels on display (hint: likely successful enough to get the shelf space), find the publisher’s name and look into their submission guidelines (or do a Google search to see what people have to say about said publisher–hint: Dorchester)

In brief (yes, I know, too late), if it was important enough for you (or the hypothetical wife) to spend the time writing it, shouldn’t it be important enough to invest the time in researching your potential market?

*     *    *

¹ In case someone wonders why I bring this up here instead of over there: the conversations in those forums tend to have a very different tenor than they do in most blogs (and definitely here at KKB). Plus, I really rather not give the mods over there any more work.

image found at T.G.I.F. Smurf Button (beware: video ads play automatically there)
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