The Sunday Session…What Are Your Thoughts On…


Traditional publishing.

A couple of Sundays ago I asked what everyone thought of self publishing so tonight, I thought I’d flip the coin. There is a YouTube video going round of Anne Rice giving some writing tips (if you haven’t come across it, do yourself a favour and watch – it’s really good!). I was very interested to hear what she had to say about the whole publishing thing, how everyone these days is saying how hard it is to get published in the traditional sense.

She encouraged self publishing (good on her!) and mentioned that her peers used to complain about the same thing way back when she was going to writing seminars promoting her Interview With A Vampire manuscript. She encouraged using the traditional methods of approaching publishing houses, that they are in fact always on the lookout for new writers, she encouraged not to get disheartened if they turn us down. She encouraged us to just keep going.

So my question to you is: Do you think it is actually hard to get published traditionally? Yes, publishing the indie way is ever so popular today but is this more due to the fact that we have more resources available at our fingertips?

I’m very interested to hear what you all have to say 🙂



About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

9 Responses to “The Sunday Session…What Are Your Thoughts On…”

  1. I think it’s a lot harder to get a traditional publishing deal now than it was say, 10 years ago. The reason being that all the publishers are looking to make money, LOTS OF IT! So if they don’t think they can make a lot of money from your book, they won’t sign you up. A lot of that is to do with eBooks, and the fact that the publishers are now scared to take risks.



    • Do you think that because of the $$ in publishers eyes, books nowadays lack quality and all the publishers want are mainstream story lines to appeal to the masses?


      • I’m not really sure because “quality” is subjective. It seems to me that nowadays “concept” is more important than anything else. So being different, standing out (in whatever form that takes) is what appeals to the publishers. Of course, that all changes once you have a publishing deal. It seems that then, you can churn out any old rubbish lol 😉

        Just my take on it after listening to agents and publishers talks 🙂

        It’s funny, Anne Rice said they want to LOVE your manuscript, whereas one of the London Agents I heard speak recently said she wants to HATE it, and that the writer has to give her a reason not to.

        That’s the trouble with the publishing industry….so much conflicting info 😉



  2. I loved the Anne Rice clip too. So encouraging and thoughtful.

    In some ways, I think it’s good that publishing the traditional route is hard. It’s a way to ensure that books finding their way into the hands of readers are of good quality (mostly) and have a wide audience. But then, I haven’t had any experience whatsoever with getting something published so I’ll reserve judgement until I get a few rejections under my belt.
    It does worry me when both chain bookstores in my suburban town close their doors though. It seems that having fewer outlets to purchase books will make them so much harder to market. I continue to hope that a carefully edited, well told story will find its audience regardless of how it is published. 🙂


    • I was very surprised when Borders closed down in Australia – one of the best book stores in my opinion. We still have book stores but not with the same huge variety as Borders. I suppose now with online shops like Book Depository who offer free shipping, we have a better chance of getting more value for money. Books are incredibly over priced here in Australia.


  3. I think part of the problem lies in the fact there is a marketing machine that swings into action behind writers. The more successful they think your book might be, the bigger the budget. The slush pile to be honest has always been there but now with self publishing a valid option for writers it seems there are more choices out there for writers. It won’t remove the slush pile. The one advantage of the slush pile as previously noted is to filter out the badly written stuff. On the other side however there are a lot of really good books that aren’t going to be published because for example, Company A has a vampire novel in the mill so they won’t publish a second one just yet. It’s a business decision and not one based on whether a novel is worth publishing. The self publishing/ebook revolution has certainly opened up the playing field.
    Publishers are in the game to make money first and foremost, and if they don’t think your book will make enough money they’ll shelve it or reject it. But that doesn’t make it a bad book, The self publishing/indie route on the other hand gives writers the option of just putting it out there regardless. In the end authors, including myself, have to make a judgement decision on whether I want to make money or see my work published. I’ve been published and I’ve self published. Right now I’m definitely leaning towards self publishing.


  4. It’s such a shame that writing has to go down this road. So many ill written books are published these days with weak (or one dimensional) characters and plots all for the sake of the almighty dollar. I’m no where near having to think about the publishing side of things but I have a feeling that self publishing will be my chosen route too.


  5. Self-publishing is my choice. I’ve been published by mainstream publishing houses and opted out. I like to have control over my books and covers and self-publishing is so damned easy. I can write what I like, when I like, how I like. Having said all this, if a publishing house offered me a fat retainer, I’d probably go back 🙂


  6. I haven’t finished writing my first book yet so perhaps I lack the proper experience for this question 😉 The traditional route is my ideal first choice, but so far I’ve only just set my toes in the water: I’ve had a few poems accepted at online publications, but no short stories accepted as of yet by the approximately three print magazines I’ve submitted to (which are the credentials I hear publishers and agents tend to look for). Based on my impressions more than my limited experience, yes, I do think getting published the traditional way is hard, but not impossible. There’s a time and a place for everything, and a home for every work. I think you’re right, and I think Anne Rice is right…we have only to persevere!


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