(Almost) Ending the Year On Some Trendy Business

We know, we know…it’s not our last post of the year, but it’s close to it! We figured it would be good for anyone looking into getting published to get the heads up: the results are in, publishing trends are here.

Before we get started though, we want to direct you to the source in which the general info comes from. Opinions and advice are ours! But check out this blog/publishing service.

Let’s get right into it!

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  1. First and foremost, is the decline in reading going to push writers away from publishing their work?

    We vote a big fat NO. Reason being, we see the decline in reading as a way to push writers to treat their work with care (and to get into e-Pubbing, but we’ll discuss in a second.) Getting all the pre-publication shenanigans out of the way is something so many people don’t truly pay attention to – so maybe, it’s time we give our precious work some TLC and hire a few people to take a look at what we’ve got.

  2. Print books remain #1. What does this mean for you?

    While everyone (or maybe it was just me) believes that eBooks are the only way to read now, we come here to confirm: this is not true. Print books remain the champion of reading (even if less people do the act of reading.) Now, before you comment and say, “getting my book printed will cost so much money” or “I can’t seal the deal with PRH or Tor or any of those big publishers!” Don’t forget about print-on-demand: the most efficient way for a self-published author to get their book in physical format! So you can still make your way into the print market without a major publishing deal (sorry, big guys.)

  3. Audiobooks are still on the rise!

    We love audiobooks here at HRM. We talk about them enough to say we’re not surprised they’ll continue to rise come the new year.
  4. We’ve talked about it once, we’ll talk about it again: hybrid/collaborative publishing is important and will continue to rise in popularity in 2019. Why should it be important to you?

    Hybrid publishing and collaborative publishing are important mediums to self-published authors (or writers looking into self-publishing.) We want the quality of a major publisher (you know, the big tough editors and the fantastic printing jobs) but since deals from them are far and few between, we need an alternative. An alternative where we have creative flexibility and control over the work in question. These mediums are just that. They provide the quality care to your work as well as giving you the power over it – with consideration, of course. Major publishing houses ensure a bigger paycheck, but why not get your foot in the door to start?

  5. Marketing is your best friend.

    We talk about marketing a lot on this blog. It’s an important part of being a writer/author who wants exposure. If you’re interested in keeping up with a variety of marketing tactics, just use the search bar for this blog and we guarantee you’ll come across something.

 

Happy Holidays, everybody!

We Are Proud!

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Our office has been celebrating the upcoming release by our author, Mike Omer, published by Thomas & Mercer. A release that has been top of the charts for the last couple of weeks! A Killer’s Mind will be available for purchase on August 1st, 2018. Pre-order it today!

Three Chicago women have been found strangled, embalmed, and posed as if still alive. Doubting the findings of the local PD’s profiler, The FBI calls on forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley to investigate.

Zoe quickly gets off on the wrong foot with her new partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray. Zoe’s a hunter, intense and focused; Tatum’s a smug maverick with little respect for the rules. Together, they must descend into a serial killer’s psyche and untangle his twisted fantasies, or more women will die. But when the contents of three inconspicuous envelopes reveal a chilling connection to gruesome murders from Zoe’s childhood, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted.

The Publishing Journey: The Slush

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Oh yes, we are briefly discussing the writer’s worst nightmare: the slush pile. If you’re new to the writing world and haven’t heard about the slush pile, it’s essentially the place where unsolicited query letters/manuscripts go to be read by assistants-to-the-editor.

Many will say a writer doesn’t want to end up in the slush pile, and there’s more truth to that than fiction. Once in that pile, one will never actually know if their manuscript ever made it onto the editor’s desk. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a world out there where the slush pile could potentially become a good thing. For example, an open slush pile.

The idea of an open slush pile may scare some, but if used correctly it can begin your journey as the writer-turned-published-author. The traditional slush pile is private to the publisher or agent the manuscript has ended up with, but the open slush pile exposes work everywhere. The downfall is, the work won’t be private anymore; anyone can access it, read it, and comment on it. If this is not the road you, as the writer, want to travel down, here are a few ideas to entice people, editors, and agents to read your writing and make use of the open slush pile:

  1. Short stories.
    Posting short stories on open slush pile websites can expose your audience to your writing style: how you execute the plot, how you build characters in a short span of writing, etc.
  2. Excerpts from your main manuscript.
    Just like if you were reading an excerpt at the end of a book for the sequel or to another book the author is working on, use your favorite or strongest excerpt from your manuscript to see if it peaks an audience’s interest. If it’s in high demand, then maybe you’ll end up getting picked up by an agent rather than you searching for one.
  3. Spin-off stories of your mysterious manuscript.
    Does your main character in your novel have another quick little tale they want to share? Get your audience excited by reading a prequel story of your main squeeze. It might make the character the more lovable one.

So maybe sitting in the slush pile in the editor’s storage unit (come on, we know there’s a lot and you need a place to put them) isn’t the ideal place to be, but there are other ways to use the wonderful resource of the internet and to make the best of being in the slush pile.

The Publishing Battle

What do to with your work once it’s finished is sometimes one of the hardest decisions for an author. You have worked so many unpaid manhours on your latest piece and you want to make sure you showcase it in the best way possible- in both monetary and artistic ways. Now more than ever with the rise of self-publishing, authors are often questioning if traditional publishing is worth it. As a literary agent, I see many authors faced with this choice, many feel lost and somewhat skeptical.

I am very pro-indie. I understand the numerous benefits self-publishing has to offer. The freedom, the creative control, the deadline free atmosphere, monetary control, and most importantly the feeling of self accomplishment. Your book reached the Top 100 on Amazon because of you. With that said, I am also a huge fan of traditional publishing. A publisher can offer you things that are very hard to get on your own, or at least are very expensive and time consuming to get on your own. They are equipped with trained editorial staffs, the best marketing and publicity connections, wide distribution channels, and fabulous designers. They take the bulk of the work out of your hands so you can focus on well, writing.

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All these feelings and opinions of self-publishing versus traditional publishing were perfectly summed up for me in a recent interview with author Kiera Cass by Preen. Before hitting her stardom, she ventured into the self-publishing world so she has a great understand of both sides from an authors perspective. Here are a few things she pointed out about her experiences:

  1. The stigma of self-publishing has gone away.

At the beginning, admitting you were a self-published author always came accompanied with eye rolls and huffs. No one took self-publishing seriously. It was assumed that if you were a self-published author that it meant that you couldn’t get a literary agent or traditional publisher to give you a chance. Sometimes that is certainly true, but now more and more authors are choosing to self-publish. It has become a proven science that if done correctly, can actually work. We have seen many authors become household names with self-publishing which is totally changing the game.

2. Editing is one of the hardest parts of self-publishing. 

Just because you are a writer, doesn’t mean you are a good editor. Sometimes when we review our own work especially, we are blind to our mistakes and areas of improvement. That’s why having an editor is super important and something I really can’t stress enough. Editing can make or break your success. Hiring a good editor can be very costly when you self-publish, making it a key selling point to seeking a traditional publisher.

3. Self-publishing is all about control.

It’s no secret that most authors are drawn to self-publishing because the amount of creative control it gives them over their work. Every decision is completely and utterly all theirs. The absence of deadlines also relieves stress. You can work at your own pace and if you don’t finish something on time, no problem- just simply push back your publication date. The control also allows you to publish books quicker instead of waiting for when your publisher has room in their catalog for you. You can publish a book every month making yourself a lot of product with more chance for revenue.

4. Traditional publishing allows you to polish your work.

Traditional publishing enables the author to focus on what they do best- writing. Your editor will work with you create the most polished version of your book possible. You have worked so hard on it, why not make it the best it could possibly be? Not only will the inside of the book be sculpted but the outside will match the amazingness on the inside. Your book cover is what attracts readers, especially for a new author. A good graphic designer and marketer are key components of a book’s success, which can be very hard to come by on your own. Publishers have everything you need, all built into one place.

5. Self-publishing builds a fan base.

Many self-published authors will notice that they can garner a fan base for themselves just by running a few quick promotions, contests, or giveaways. These type of marketing strategies basically sell themselves and encourage people to talk about you and your book(s). Once people are talking, you can just ride that wave. If you then decide to seek a traditional publisher, it’s enticing for them to see that you already have fans and somewhat of a built in audience who have been cheering you on since day one. That helps justify their investment into you as one of their authors.

6. Self-published authors are writers.

More and more awesome books are coming out of the self-publishing world. Readers are stopping to give these books a chance and discovering that many of them are actually really good. Most importantly, publishers are realizing the same things too and starting to pick up these authors. It’s hard work to be a successful self-published author and there’s no negative stigma about it.

Write on.