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How to Find An Agent And Publisher For Previously Self-Published Books

Self-publishing one's books is a good way for authors to take full control of their writing careers. However, sometimes you might feel that you could benefit more if you were to get published by a traditional publisher. Luckily, traditional publishers have never shut the door on people who self-publish their books. The transition from self-publishing to traditional publishing can be easy if you follow some of the tips below.

1. Be positive. When you approach agents, you should have the most positive attitude about your experience when you were self-published. If you decide to approach agents to try to find you book deals, make sure that the agents you approach understand that your choice to self-publish was educated, deliberate, and professional. Don’t for one second show the agent that you made a mistake and you didn’t think before you leapt.

2. Show an agent that the self-published book was doing well. You should emphasize things like sales figures, media coverage, and quotes you got when you were self-published. An agent is more likely to bite if you demonstrate that the book has good selling potential.

3. Always make sure that you keep all the rights to your book. It is impossible for you to publish your book unless you own the rights. Steer clear of agents who will try to convince you to sell them the rights to your book. Traditional publishers usually don’t buy the rights to your book and agents shouldn’t try to do this.

4. Expect things like your title, layout, and cover art to be changed when you transition to traditional publishing. You should know that traditional publishers are unlikely to give you the autonomy you were used to when you were self-published. In fact you should be prepared to give up most of your autonomy.

5. Honesty is very important. When you are holding talks with an agent to try to place your book on the tables of publishing houses, make sure that you share your entire history when you were self-published. You can be sure that agents will look you up online and ask about you from other sources so it is important for you to tell them everything.

6. Be ready to remove your book from online retailers. When you get a publishing deal from traditional publishers, they will not like it if you undercut their sales. You should think about freezing your online book sales before you approach an agent or editor. Although it will affect your sales, it shows that you are committed to becoming published the traditional way.

7. Don’t try to cheat the system. Some authors look for ways in which they can sell only some of the rights to a publisher and keep others. Your chances of succeeding are slim at best. Publishers want full control because they usually have their own ideas about marketing your book and don’t want you to influence their decisions.

8. Don’t submit your finished and bound book to agents. Instead use the manuscripts and always follow an agent’s submission guideline.

9. Tell an agent if it is the first time you are querying any agent about the book. This way he will be sure that you didn’t self-publish because you were unable to find your book a home at a traditional publishing house.