Madelaine Shaw-Wong



Predatory self-publishers

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 2:50 PM

I have spent the last two days researching possible publishers for my novel, Quietus. My head spins from the number of options open to me and it's more than a little scary.

I can send Quietus to traditional publishers who accept only about 1% of unsolicited manuscripts. Many don't take manuscripts at all unless you have an agent. (One needs an agent to be published and must be published before one can find an agent.) Sigh. If, by chance, I become "one of the chosen" I would have to submit to whatever changes their editors want and receive only a small portion of the royalties. After an average six month wait to hear back from them, the process from acceptance to print takes about two years.

I will need a marketing plan because even the trad publishers have felt the pinch of the economy and the onus would be on me to promote my book. ;

Traditional publishers are experts in the business and could easily accomplish what would take me ages to learn. Also, to have one's book accepted by a traditional publisher would put me among an elite class of authors. Despite the surge of self-published authors and success stories, there is still a prejudice against self-publishing, that you're "not good enough" to get a real publisher. 

Since I self-published Cradling the Past, the Biography of Margaret Shaw, in 2007 under my own label, Nosehill Publishing, (of whom I am the sole employee and contributing author,) the internet has exploded with companies eager to help me publish my book. Unfortunately, many of these companies are predatory and are most eager to take my money.

I feel I need a degree in law to distinguish the good guys from the bad. A third option is that I could publish again under Nosehill Publishing, taking on 100% of the work, but also 100% of the control and profits.

I wish I didn't have to deal with the crap. All I want to do is write. 

Categories: My writing journey

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1:09 PM on May 26, 2016 
Thanks, Debbie. Your advice to reach out to libraries and book clubs is good. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Frank is one of my FB friends, though my memories of high school are fuzzy. Thanks for your good wishes and I'll keep you posted via this website and FB.
Reply Debbie (Jackman) Harper
2:12 AM on May 26, 2016 
I look forward to reading Quietus. Please let me know where and when I can purchase a copy. I wonder if the multitude of book clubs in every community would be of assistance to you. We now live in Moose Jaw, SK as my husband works with the SnowBirds, and this is a hotbed of young and accomplished writers. Contact the Moose Jaw library for full facts and info. Also, I don't know if you remember Frank McTighe from school, but he and his wife own the Fort MacLeod newspaper with Emily doing the editing. I know, I know, everyone has advise for you; but I truly hope you find this helpful whether you self publish or not. Best wishes for your success!!