What do I do with that OLD Manuscript?

16 Speculative Fiction Magazines Accepting Submissions - Paying markets

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SAMelia

Basic
Sep 10, 2019
Farnham, Surrey
I have a complete SF novel on my hard-drive. (And a few PB copies from POD).
I spent most of 2016 & 2017 querying this novel ( you know the drill: send to 6-8 agents - wait& revise - send to next batch of 6-8 agents ) to no avail.
I am thinking of Self_pubbing alongside my earlier novel Guy Erma and the Son of Empire?
What would you do?
1) Forget the old MSS - move on
2) It's Good enough - self-publish
3) Self-Pubbing is Vanity Publishing
 
Honestly, it depends on your goals and they can be anything. Only once you self-publish the current MS, you shouldn't query it, you need to move on:



This girl is a former agent.
 
I guess it depends on how important it is for you to have it out there.

Do you have a new project to work on? If so I'd sink all my energy into that new one, then wait for a lull where you can either re-work the old one or else spend your time self-publishing (you might as well while nothing else is happening). That's what I'd do.
 
Hmmmm.
No. 1 - if you want to put it away so you can come back to it later, then put it away. Never delete or trash or bin. Consider how you'd feel if you lost all the documentation for it and then got a response. Give it a timeline to come back to for a review of old mss.
No. 2 - How many beta-readers, editors, etc. have read it and enjoyed the story enough that you'd feel confident self-publishing. See 3 also. Self-pubbing is a business, and takes skills related to business and planning and strategy.
No. 3 - Self-pubbing is a business. You do it yourself, a one-person business, and one-person businesses can fail as easily as any other business if the person doesn't know how to run their business. It isn't vanity publishing - they're the guys who rip of anyone who doesn't understand/learn the skills req'd to undertake a one-person business. Anywhere there's someone with a dream, there's a shark in the water waiting to take off the arms and legs of those who want the easy way.

There may be a lot of self-pubbed stuff that's published and shouldn't be, but there are also gems - and there are rumours some agents/trad publishers watch self-pubs to see how well they do ... Hugh Howie, Jo Konrath ...

Validation isn't only available to trad-published, validation is readers talking about your book.
 
I guess it depends on how important it is for you to have it out there.

Do you have a new project to work on? If so I'd sink all my energy into that new one, then wait for a lull where you can either re-work the old one or else spend your time self-publishing (you might as well while nothing else is happening). That's what I'd do.
Okay working on new book
 
Hmmmm.
No. 1 - if you want to put it away so you can come back to it later, then put it away. Never delete or trash or bin. Consider how you'd feel if you lost all the documentation for it and then got a response. Give it a timeline to come back to for a review of old mss.
No. 2 - How many beta-readers, editors, etc. have read it and enjoyed the story enough that you'd feel confident self-publishing. See 3 also. Self-pubbing is a business, and takes skills related to business and planning and strategy.
No. 3 - Self-pubbing is a business. You do it yourself, a one-person business, and one-person businesses can fail as easily as any other business if the person doesn't know how to run their business. It isn't vanity publishing - they're the guys who rip of anyone who doesn't understand/learn the skills req'd to undertake a one-person business. Anywhere there's someone with a dream, there's a shark in the water waiting to take off the arms and legs of those who want the easy way.

There may be a lot of self-pubbed stuff that's published and shouldn't be, but there are also gems - and there are rumours some agents/trad publishers watch self-pubs to see how well they do ... Hugh Howie, Jo Konrath ...

Validation isn't only available to trad-published, validation is readers talking about your book.
yes, I have self-pubbed before, from 2014-2015 I spent all my time on GE&SOE, I made a lot of sales but never cracked the Amazon Algorithm or whatever other magic you need to make it. IMHO the worst thing you can do is: 'Just put it on Amazon.'
 
I guess that you need to ask yourself as to how you feel about the text. If you're going to revisit it you need to be mentally prepared to rip it up and start again. Under the cold lens of analysis everything has to be scrutinized and if you're still emotive towards the text and the characters this could be quite difficult.
 
yes, I have self-pubbed before, from 2014-2015 I spent all my time on GE&SOE, I made a lot of sales but never cracked the Amazon Algorithm or whatever other magic you need to make it. IMHO the worst thing you can do is: 'Just put it on Amazon.'

I clicked on your link and looked at your author profile. Out of curiosity, I suspect you did some advertising ? Curious how your book fell into the hands of readers. The reason I ask is I have an idea on why the Algos didn't pick you up, let me know if you care to hear it.
 
I clicked on your link and looked at your author profile. Out of curiosity, I suspect you did some advertising ? Curious how your book fell into the hands of readers. The reason I ask is I have an idea on why the Algos didn't pick you up, let me know if you care to hear it.
Yes, Marketing was almost as expensive as Editing and Creating the book. So this included:
Book Bloggers & Book Tours
Email marketing to a 2000 list
Blogging
Twitter, Facebook
Paid Twitter
Kindle 5 day free promotions
kindle 1 day promotions
Coordinated buying campaigns
Amazon Advertising
Free giveaways on GoodReads
Chapter by Chapter offers on Wattpad

I think the one thing I did which was the most ill-advised was to split the novel which was 170k words long into a trilogy, and then we had three campaigns over nine months, where we promoted each book in turn

In truth the results were okay.
All 4 novels achieved #1 bestseller in SF > Galactic Empire category more than once
The free downloads exceed 250k
The actual sales in the first year was 1,008
But the ROI was very seriously negative

So yes, if you have any ideas, I would be happy to hear.
 
OK, so the following is my guess based on assumptions I had before and what you told me seems to confirm them. If you go to your author profile and looks at your Also Boughts, they are split in terms of categories by the authors. You have authors with loads of Bad Boy romances/Alpha Male Aliens getting women pregnant. In other words, a far cry from your book.

My guess is the ads /giveaways/raffles were mostly targeted to the wrong audience. This could be caused by a simple keyword such as 'strong male hero' or 'sci fi with romantic interest." Give a-ways and other promotions work when the audience is targeted to the readers who mainly read your genre. So what happened was Amazon algorthims looked at your book(s) and said right, 'This is is YA-sci-fi, but the readers (defined by your also bought authors) are mostly reading Bad Boy Romance. We are better off offering those reader more romances.' And in that why your book was not promoted.

I took a look at some of your reviews and though they are glowing it was the same problem. The reviewers mostly read romance...

I hope that makes sense.

Concerning the 250k giveaways. Was that only to a targeted sci-fi audience? For the first book or all books in the series?
 
I can't remember I used to ombine giveaways with paid twitter we used to get fantastic results, but the book would reach the #1 spot for about 12 hours, and then crash back again
 
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16 Speculative Fiction Magazines Accepting Submissions - Paying markets

Hi I'm Sally and I love Twitter

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