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Getting Published or E-published/Do Publishers Accept Self-published Novels?


Hi there Mr Miller,

I self-published my novel using Amazon's KDP Select in May and discovered recently that my novel needs to be updated due too minor errors. I'm currently trying to fix them but my intention recently has been to send my new version to a few small independent publishers I have found. They don't say on their submission guidelines whether they accept already published works or not so I'm not sure what to do.

I don't want to leave my older version on amazon any longer than I have to but I'm concerned that if I update it with the new version, the same one I plan to send to a publisher, that wouldn't help my cause?

So to sum up:  Is it worth sending my manuscript to a publisher and waiting for their response? Should I mention in the email the book is self-published but I would be more than willing to unpublish it or shouldi I wait for them to respond first? Should I just take the book down before sending it off to the publishers? My only issue with that is I have a good amount of reviews already and if I unpublished my ebook from amazon I will lose all of them. It isn't worth it if I get rejected from every publisher.

Please help!

P.s I'm UK based if  that makes any difference.

Louise -- In general, publishers do not want to consider books that are currently published elsewhere. The only time that previous self-publication will help you is when you have such an impressive sales record that publishers take notice, and the threshold for that is about 5000 copies per year. Otherwise, if you want to submit the property, it should be pulled off the web and no mention made of its prior publication.

Whether to take the chance on publishers besides yourself is your call. It's very difficult to get published these days, and most publishers are looking for properties with strong commercial potential. Even if you're taken on, there can be up to 18 months before contract signing and actual publication (some of the smaller independents act faster). If you're satisfied with the book's performance under your imprint and think it will continue to gather positive reviews and eventually show a good sales record, you might want to leave it and work on another book for submission elsewhere, using your self-publishing record as a platform. But publishers definitely want to know that they are considering a new property.

Getting Published or E-published

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D. Patrick Miller


I am an independent self-publisher who sold three projects to major New York houses before starting my own company. I provide editorial services to a major literary agency in Manhattan and work regularly with authors at all levels of expertise. I can answer questions like these: What does "independent publishing" mean? Should I publish myself or use a service like XLibris? What is "print on demand" publishing? How do I publish myself on the Web? What are the best resources for learning about publishing? How do I find a literary agent? What are my chances of getting published by a major New York firm?


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