The Traditional Road

hollybarbo author, Patience and writing, process of getting published Leave a Comment

The traditional road to becoming published goes like this: You write a book- edit and refine it then go through the process of writing and refining a query letter. You go to some very good Query sites, find the agents that are accepting queries in your genre and start sending out queries.

Literary agents are beleaguered with queries and are dealing with a constricted market. Form rejection letters are often the norm. Publishers have lost capital with the economic crunch  and are not as willing to pick up the unknown entity (a new author) because they don’t know if they will get a good return on their investment. New authors are really facing an uphill battle to find representation and getting their baby launched. The process has been fun and interesting even if it has, so far, fallen short of being successful.

I have met and am networking with great people who are also querying. (See Luke’s blog: It is a fascinating process and more so if shared.

One of the interesting things I have learned is how little authors earn. It is fascinatingly logical. The publishers do the editing, printing, distributing as well as a myriad of other tasks. They take the lion’s share. They are also throwing much more of the marketing on the shoulders of the author.The agents also work hard for the authors: editing, charming the publishers and working on the legalities, to list a bit of their job, earn 15% of the net. That means the author will earn somewhere between 4 and 8%. If the book sells for $10 that means the author earns, maybe eighty cents per book.

I would really like to hear from any of you that have experience or information on this. Feel free to jump in. My next few posts will be on what I have learned about vanity press publishing and e-books.

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