Hello! You've self-published a book! Congratulations! It's a major accomplishment and I commend you on your achievement - but no, I'm not going to take your self-published book and try to sell it to a traditional publisher and here's why:
1) Publishing houses want to edit your book to their tastes and standards.
- If there's already an unedited version self-published, that bell has already been rung - so to speak - and they can't ring that bell again. Plus, then there will be two versions of the book out there (likely with different covers too), and that'll create buyer confusion - which could cut sales - and they don't want that.
2) But, what about books like 50 Shades and The Martian that were self-published first and then sold traditionally?
- Email me a query when your self-published book sells over 100k copies (like the above mentioned titles) and then - MAYBE - I might be able to sell your novel to a trad publisher. Anything less than that? I'm sorry, they don't want it.
3) Your art work/cover is probably not to their taste either, plus there's copyright issues with the artist they didn't choose, that'll add to their headache. Again, more trouble than it's worth UNLESS (see highlighted number above).
No, an unpublished sequel to your self-published book won't work either.
I sympathize - I really do, as I once self published a book and then couldn't get an agent to rep it - so I've been there! I get it. You're frustrated with good reason.
So, what do you do if you want to get a book into book stores?
1) Write a whole new book that's completely unrelated to anything you've self published, that's unsold anywhere, unpublished anyplace (even online), and fits into the traditional publishing categories, sub-genres, and word count requirements, and query agents with that novel.
After over five years of waiting for "the right moment" (Life Tip: there's never "the right moment." You just have to do it) and much soul-searching, and some resume writing and submitting, and a couple interviews, I am pleased to announce:
I have accepted a position at Red Sofa Literary Agency as an Associate Literary Agent.
WHAT? THE HELL YOU SAY!
No, it's true.
Way back when I was reading slush for an agent friend, in hopes of filling in the gaps between book deals, she happened to tell me I had a real knack for evaluating and developmentally editing books. She suggested that if I ever wanted a shift in career, I should look into becoming an agent. At the time, I had young-ish kids and felt overwhelmed at the idea of going back to work full-time. Writing part-time felt hard enough.
She may have meant it offhandedly, but her suggestion kicked off a five year dance with myself where I continually debated, thrashed, started, stopped, tried, didn't try, and eventually accepted the truth of my fate and then committed 100% to becoming a literary agent.
I WILL STILL WRITE BOOKS!
Writing is a necessary part of my life. I cannot abandon it. I hope to have more novels published in the future. I shall strive to create!
But as my kids have grown over the past five years, so have I, and my soul needs more. And not just more words, but to help other authors realize their dreams of becoming published as well.
So, here I am, a newbie agent.
Let's dig in:
Big special thanks, obviously, to my new boss, Dawn Fredericks at Red Sofa Literary. Also to Jessica Sinsheimer, Mandy Hubbard, and Bob DiForio, who cheered me on and offered much needed advice.
I'll be accepting manuscripts of various shapes and sizes, follow this link to the Red Sofa Literary website to see what I represent, and if I don't rep what you write, hit up one of the other agents at Red Sofa currently accepting queries, they're all awesome: https://redsofaliterary.com/representative-categories/
Love to all! And see you in the trenches.
I would like to take a few moments and thank a few people for helping me land, finish, and publish DISPERSAL.
There was a nurse by the name of Sarah Clark who was a friend of a friend, who under no obligation at all, chatted with me for ages via Facebook regarding medical research for the book. I named a character after her as a means of thanks and appreciation. After the draft had been finished, I asked the same questions of Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America who confirmed Sarah's findings, but since the book had already been turned into my editor there wasn't a way to thank him in print. Thanks to you both! You made me look smart.
Steve Jacobsen, a microbiologist at UCLA, mentioned to me how I should look up how scientists are using digestional microbiomes to cure the super bug (antibiotic resistant infections) and it was that bit of information which led me to twist it a bit and use it in DISPERSAL. Thank you!
I would also like to thank Bree Ogden for bringing this project to me, and Jennie Goloboy at the Red Sofa Literary Agency who represented me during the DISPERSAL deal. I couldn't have done it without you two believing in me. Thank you!
A ton of thanks and praise to David Thomas Moore, my editor on both EXTINCTION BIOME books. He understands my writerly intentions exactly - it was so utterly amazing to work with him. Notes like, "You did this, and initially I couldn't figure out why, but then you did THIS and I was like, YES! Ok. Good set up. Leaving it." It means everything to me that he understood exactly what I was going for, finding the layers hidden among all the action. I just can't say enough how it sustained me on days when I wondered if I had the chops to write a book of this caliber. Also he once said I write like I have a gun in my other hand which I have seriously considered tattooing somewhere on my physical person. I hope we get to work together again, Dave. Thank you!
Buckets and buckets of love to my writers support group: Robin, Meredith, and Lisa, who listened to me moan, complain, and crow and haven't kicked me out of the group yet. Thank you, ladies!
To Adam Christopher, Jen Foehner Wells, Chris Bucholz, and Carrie Patel for their blurbs! I owe you each a solid.
And all the love in my heart to Daniel and my girls who put up with frozen pizza dinners and my nonexistent patience when I'm on deadline. Sorry! And also, thank you for not kicking me out either.
A special thanks to Tom and Bella for not assassinating me yet - although, one of these days, I think Tom might succeed. He wants it more. I don't really blame him.
[And to every single person who told me I should probably "just write romance" (as if that's any easier - psst, it's not), and how I shouldn't write adult sci-fi because it's too hard to break in to, and to every person who looks shocked when I tell them what I write... This middle finger is for you.]
Miller saved thousands of lives back in New York… but he killed
thousands to do it. Now stranded on a hostile sea with countless
refugees, he sees the hundreds of tiny, difficult decisions that need to
be made every day to keep people alive.
Samantha Hernandez has
moved beyond humanity, becoming something else: an Archaean, part of the
new breed that live and breathe the ancient ecology. Now she’s having
doubts; are they the future of the human race, or only the agents of its
What they both understand is: this cannot abide.
The Archaeans, and the men and women of Schaeffer-Yeager corporation,
need a plan, if humanity is to survive in any form. But how to fight
back when the Earth itself has become your enemy?
Those of you aching for more military sci-fi action need only wait until October 5, 2017 for the ebook and October 31, 2017 for the paperback - when Addison Gunn (**cough cough** ahem, ME) releases part 2 of the EXTINCTION BIOME series.
Here's the back jacket description:
THE COST OF SURVIVAL
Alex Miller saved thousands of lives back
in New York… but he killed thousands to do it. Now stranded on a hostile
sea with countless refugees, he sees the hundreds of tiny, difficult
decisions that need to be made every day to keep people alive.
Hernandez has moved beyond humanity, becoming something else: an
Archaean, part of the new breed that live and breathe the ancient
ecology. Now she’s having doubts; are they the future of the human race,
or only the agents of its destruction?
What they both
understand is: this cannot abide. The Archaeans, and the men and women
of Schaeffer-Yeager corporation, need a plan, if humanity is to survive
in any form. But how to fight back when the Earth itself has become your