If you are a new author, moving into the publishing world can be a daunting ordeal.
Rejection is the name of the game and depending on your name and talent—this doesn’t always go hand-in-hand, by the way—trying to get published can be traumatizing.
I know it’s true.
There are many myths swirling around this industry that are based, primarily, on word of mouth and we all know how that goes.
Here are two that, as a publisher, I can dispel:
You need an agent to get published by a traditional publisher –
This is both true and false. Publishers known as the ‘Big 5’ require agented submissions. You can imagine the amount of submissions they received and agents field the manuscripts for them. Agents with a true relationship to these companies are the only agents necessary. Beyond that, plenty of publishers—medium and small—accept non-agented submissions.
Cactus Moon accepts both agented and non-agented submissions according to our guidelines. One reason we do not require agented submissions is because we aren’t large enough to require them. Not only that, but in our experience, we have received great manuscripts directly from authors and very poor manuscripts from agents representing an author.
You need a traditional publisher if you want to make your novel count—
First and foremost, the word ‘traditional’ in this industry no longer carries meaning. The word hybrid-publisher is inaccurate as well. If a publisher is a hybrid, it implies a splice from the root of another publisher into the stem of the current publisher. What is that? Every publisher does this, even some of the biggest.
The best advice I can give is to love your work. If you want to be published by a large publisher (more accurate label), plan to do the work. Find two or three of them—then find agents who truly have a relationship with those companies. Finally, revise…revise…revise. You will need to display top-notch work for a large publisher who has a large pond from which to fish. Agents worth their fees know this.
Not all agents have relationships with publishing companies. Like vanity-publishers, there are also vanity-agents. Do your homework.
With this industry as in anything else – buyer be aware.
Lily Gianna Woodmansee is executive editor for Cactus Moon Publications, LLC