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To publish the traditional way I need 5000 readers who would be ready to buy my book

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Old 10-26-2008, 01:27 PM
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Default To publish the traditional way I need 5000 readers who would be ready to buy my book


I have a rather big problem.

I was told that it would not be a problem to publish my book the traditional way, as long as I could find 5000 readers to sell my novel to.

So my problem is. How do I get the message out there? Have any of you ever come across this problem?

Now what to do?


At the moment I am looking into creating a web site.
Also starting up a forum.

But one way or another they both need traffic.

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Old 10-26-2008, 06:16 PM
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That sounds kind of odd, actually. Specifically 5,000 people? Why that number? Publishers make a commission off of your work, don't they?

I would think they wouldn't take on a piece of writing unless they're absolutely sure that it can be marketed and the author does a bit of self-promoting. But, I'm not there yet, so I'm not speaking from experience.

It still sounds a little odd.

A website, though, might be a good place to start self-promoting your work. There are also book trailers, if you can make one that high quality enough to catch readers' attentions.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:43 PM
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This sounds very strange to me as well. Was this a general sort of comment, ie 'you can get picked up by a traditional publishing house if your book will appeal to at least 5,000 people'? That still seems like an odd thing to say, but you don't say who told you this.

Creating a website and such is fine, but as you say, you still need to create traffic. But again, I'm not clear what you are trying to do. Are you trying to market your work to publishers, or talking about marketing the book once it's been picked up by a publisher?
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:37 AM
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I'm trying to understand it myself.

Actually, if I publish the traditional way I need at least 5000 acceptances for my book. However, I'm not sure how to go about it.

Alternatively, I can go the half/half way where I pay for half the publishing of my book.

Or I can go with self publishing which they do not recommend.

Some new way of going about it for new writers.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:41 AM
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Who is telling you that you need 5,000 acceptances? The publisher? Because that does not sound right. A small independent publishing house might need you to do a lot of legwork for marketing, but I don't think they would demand a guaranteed market of any size. And a traditional, mainstream publisher certainly shouldn't be. This sounds very dodgy to me.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:07 AM
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Me too, honestly.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:10 AM
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That doesn't sound right in the least. Publishers don't quote specifics on how many books you need to sell. Something seems very fishy about what they're asking you to do here. If they see potential in your novel, they'll publish it, and I would think they would envision selling it to a lot more than five-thousand people. They're telling you that it won't be a problem, as long as you've got five-thousand buyers ready and waiting? I would be very wary of trusting these people. Everything about this screams "scam" to me.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:01 PM
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Yeah, this entire thing screams vanity press. I'll bet they expect you to buy all 5,000 copies. And I've never heard a publisher call it "Traditional" publishing before. It's just publishing. "Traditional Publishing" was coined by Publish America.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:28 PM
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Thank you every one. I guess we all pretty well have been thinking the same thing. When I sent out the query letter to the address that my literary agent sent me. They said it was either a yes, no or maybe. However, when they came back with that answer I was totally worried. Moreover, I didn't know if I should go ahead with it or not.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:58 PM
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Hmm...
yes, strange...

But do YOU have to provide the reader? That's a bit like self-publishing...

...although I may have heard something like this before...
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SynonymousWords View Post
...although I may have heard something like this before...
Same here, I was thinking of doing some type of advertisement with an excerpt and a click button for those who would be interested in buying the book.

However, I wonder if it is the way to go.

It would show that I am doing my part to get the book out there.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:26 AM
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Tempting as it might be to go with this and see your book published, the whole thing sounds too dubious. If it were me, I would say no. But it's not me, and you have to make that decision for yourself.

May we ask who this publisher is, by the way (for future reference as one to avoid) and whether you checked them out on Preditors & Editors?
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BreezyWriter View Post
I was told...
By whom?

You suggest that you have an agent. I suggest that he's a charlatan. Can you name the agency (by PM if you prefer) and the 'publisher'? Have you been asked to part with any money?

You have a rather big problem for sure, but it's not finding readers, it's the advice you're being given.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BreezyWriter View Post
When I sent out the query letter to the address that my literary agent sent me.

Woah there. Your agent is telling you where to send query letters... that's way wrong. That's so wrong that a short word like 'wrong' doesn't cover how wrong it actually is.

The deal with agents is this:

Scenario 1:

They fall in love with your book (hopefully). They leave you to get on with writing book 2 while they, using their contacts and experience, select the publishers most likely to buy the book and they make the approach. That's how they earn their money. They (again hopefully, or they don't get paid) find a publisher willing to pay an advance, negotiate the best deal possible, take the payment and forward it to you (having first trousered their fee, generally 15% in the US). They do not ask you for cash up front. They do not sell you editing services. They do not point you at vanity publishers. They do not take fees beyond a percentage of your earnings.

Scenario 2:

Agent loves, just loves your book. Maybe they even approached you direct. They send you a contract, you sign. Then they tell you it needs work, and recommend an editor, who works - of course - for a big fee. But it's worth it, right? The agent says there'll be no problem selling the book. Then they want a fee from you for their services. And maybe expenses for postage, printing, coffee, lunch, whatever. Then no sales, so a re-edit. For another fee. more expenses, more fees, spiralling until you have no money... then the agent will terminate your contract due to a 'downturn in the market' or a 'change in reader taste' or similar. Or if you still have a few thousand dollars left, they'll urge you to try subsidised publishing, through a publisher they will recommend...

If option 2 looks familiar, you're in the shit.
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