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How did you go about getting your books published?  


I could give you the short answer or the long answer.  Unfortunately for you, I feel in the mood to give you the long answer.  :)

With my first novel, WISH YOU WERE HERE, I did what is expected of first-time novelists: I shopped around for an agent.  I submitted what they wanted to see (sometimes just a query, sometimes sample chapters) and sat back to wait.  And there was an alarming similarity in the rejections I received.  They said, "Your book is WAY too long... no publisher will take a chance on an unpublished author with a book of this length."

The book was about 300,000 words long, which really isn't terribly long for the fantasy genre.  But they suggested cutting it in half.  I refused.  But I knew they were right about publishers not wanting to take a chance on it.

So I did something I swore I'd never do.  I went through a vanity press.  A vanity press is a company that will publish your work, and they frankly don't care what you submit, really.  They charge you a fee, and in years past, you ended up with a garage full of books.  Today, with the advent of Print On Demand technology, you don't have to fill up your living space with books.  They can be printed one at a time.  The company I used was 1stBooks, though they later changed their name to AuthorHouse.  My experience with them was not a happy one.  And if you're really interested, I can tell you why, but let's just leave it at that for now.

Years later, when ONE NATION UNDER GOD was ready to go, I refused to go down the path I did before.  So again I pursued representation by an agent.  This time the length wasn't an issue.  But the form was.  With ONUG (ugly acronym, no?), I used a sort of updated form of the epistolary novel, which is actually the oldest novel form, but not used much anymore... it means written through letters and diary entries and such.  My updated version also includes newspaper clippings, email exchanges, magazine editorials, and even web pages.  Well, this apparently struck them as too difficult to sell, and they told me so.

Because this book is timely, I didn't want to waste more months looking for a publisher and then wait another two years to see the book in print.  So I started my own publishing company.  DGC Press is mine, and that's how ONUG became published.  Overall, not a bad little gig.

Now, as a bonus, I'll give you two links.  One is to an article that appears in this week's Sacramento News & Review.  It talks about publishing, and why many authors choose to self-publish through POD.  You can find that here:

The second link is to my author blog.  My most recent entry, uploaded yesterday, is a sort of follow-up to that article.  It explains why many authors choose NOT to use a traditional publisher.  You can see it here:

Hopefully these two combined articles will help you out even further.


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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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