WRONG, RIGHT, ABSOLUTELY WRONG – Angela Responds to More Misconceptions about Traditional Publishers Buying Self-Published Books

In your response to the letter you received regarding a person who can’t understand why no agent or publisher is interested in his/her self-published book, you didn’t mention the fact that the book is already considered “published.” Most, if not all, agents and publishers steer clear of already published books. There are rare–very rare–cases when they will take one on.

Also, most self-published books aren’t up to par– grammar, spelling, or interest-wise–of what traditional (commercial) publishers sell. Anyone with some money can self-publish; agents and publishers have seen too many that are not well-written.

As for marketing, that is not entirely true either. (Commercial) publishers don’t up-front ask what a writer will do to market their book. First and foremost is a very well-written, intriguing manuscript.


Hi Anne,

I must disagree with you. There are many cases now of traditional publishers giving self-published authors contracts because sales of the self-published version have been proven. At BookLocker.com, we’ve lost several authors over the years because of this fact. We just lost another one who was offered a $20K advance from a NYC publisher. Before he signed the contract, I referred him to my literary agent, who then managed to get him an even higher amount from another traditional publisher. It’s not just BookLocker authors who are landing traditional contracts, either.

Click HERE to see an article I wrote back in 2007 about some BookLocker authors who landed traditional contracts. I haven’t updated the list since then but there are many more now.

I agree many self-published books are horrible but it would be ludicrous to say a book is horrible just because it’s self-published. There are many very good self-published books on the market.

Many traditional publishers do indeed ask authors up front for marketing and promotional plans and some even ask the authors to provide them with an analysis of competitive books. And, those publishers then expect unknown authors to perform most, if not all, of those marketing activities.

Click HERE for an example of one author who was asked last month for his marketing plan.



A practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.