Writing Books/an agent


Thanks Sandy for your quick response to my question,  as a followup question, I went to the library yesterday for a book on writing and picked up Dan Poyner's book on How to Self Publish.  He has a compelling argument for self publishing and my book is somewhat time sensitive since my riding partner and I were undoubtedly some of the very first motorcyclists to ever ride across the Amur in Siberia - 1300 miles.  I understand fully what you are saying about the agent, what is your opinion on self publishing as an alternative in my case?  Thanks again

Hi Jim,

Self publishing is known in the trade as "vanity publishing"... it serves only to allow you to see your book in print. Little else. The main problem is publicity and distribution. Very few people have the thousands of dollars needed to do those things themselves.

With a project as interesting as yours ( not just interesting to bike riders - but the wider public, I suggest) vanity publishing would be a waste. Yes, it is difficult to get a book published, but so much more satisfying if it is done on its own merits, and not just for reasons of vanity.

In all my years as a writer I have only known two self-published books that made it into the mainstream ( by being picked up by proper publishers later).

Stick with your intention to get an agent.



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Sandy McCutcheon


Author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a memoir and children's fiction.I can work with people on the process of writing, what to expect and ask for from an editor. How to work with the publisher`s marketing and publicity people. And how to survive book launches and publicity tours!


Published author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a young adult and three non-fiction titles. Visit his Moroccan blog at http://www.riadzany.blogspot.com for a look at his blogging work.

St Andrews, Helsinki University and other institutions. Adult Educator of the Year Award, Australia

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