Today we’ll be discussing some of the disadvantages of working with a publisher. To find the post discussing the advantages, click HERE.
So, let’s talk why you might not want to work with a publisher. With every publishing track there are negatives and positives.
6 months to one year +
Bigger publisher = slower
Sequels or other books may be delayed to accommodate other authors
Publishers have to prioritize (money is a big deciding factor)
Majority of the marketing (time and cost) will fall to you
Small publishers have limited budgets
Large publishers have larger budgets, but it’s funneled to large projects
Results of marketing (time and money) is split with publisher
Loss of Control
3-5 years is not uncommon (may be less)
Lose ability to post or publish your work in any other capacity
Book production is up to your publisher’s discretion. You may be asked for input, but the final decision is theirs
Future works may automatically fall under the control of your publisher as well\
Royalty rates TO THE AUTHOR vary
Large publisher: 5-25% (5-15 on print, 25 on ebooks)
Small publisher: 30-40% (all formats)
Hybrid publisher: 40-50% (ebook only)
Royalties help publishers recoup the initial expenses
This can be a large percentage of money the author will never see
Choosing whether or not to work with a publisher is just as important and choosing a publisher. Research is key!
What is a literary agent?
A literary agent represents authors and submits to publishers and editors on their behalf
- They also:
- Negotiate Contracts
Negotiate contracts outside publishing
What are the benefits of having an agent?
“In the know”
Depends on how good the agent is and how good their contacts are
Access to specific information
Knowledgeable in: publishing contracts, foreign rights, media rights, royalty negotiations
Disputes are common occurrence
**Getting a lawyer involved is sometimes necessary
What are the drawbacks of having an agent?
Legitimate agents will NEVER ask you for money
Do get a cut of the royalties
Domestic sales: 10-15%
Foreign sales: fixed rate of 20%
Film/media sales are usually negotiated separately
Querying can be SLOW
Once you have an agent, querying starts all over again with publishers
A few months to several years
It may not happen
There should be a time limit in your contract
Once you sign, publishing options may be more limited
Submissions are handled directly by your agent
Additional work you write may automatically come under the agent’s control
Variations of your book that are produced (film, graphic novel, audio, translation, etc.) may entitle your agent to a cut
Stop back by soon for more discussion on Publishers, Agents, and Publishing in this new Publishing Primer series.