Saturday, September 13, 2008


In response to a recent post, a reader inquired:

"On a new subject, how would you, or do you, handle someone who submits a novel that he has already published on the Amazon Kindle, or similar e-reader device? I currently have three previously self-published titles listed on the Kindle and have just finished my third round of edits on a new novel and am considering sending that straight to the Kindle, with or without an ISBN. If I do would I be killing any chances of obtaining agent representation for it."

I'm not a Kindle expert--Jon and I are looking into this. It may be that if you publish with Amazon, they hold the rights (at least the e-rights) to your book. We'll find out and blog about this later.

I can't speak for other agents. But we have received several queries for novels that have been self-published or have been published as e-books. Right or wrong, we're never inclined to look too hard at these--perhaps to our peril. Unfortunately for self-published or e-published novelists who query us with their project, neither Jon nor I can muster the enthusiasm to give them much attention. Other agents may have a totally different view--that's just our bias and we can't even defend it at this point.

To answer the reader's question: We don't know if it would be killing your chances for obtaining agent representation. That's up to individual agents. But, it would not be a project we'd pursue with vigor.

On the other hand, before I was a "real" agent, I sold two self-published books (nonfiction) to big publishers. I would consider an excellent nonfiction self-published book today as long as it was uniquely wonderful and the author was a great spokesperson for the book and has "great platform." As for Jon, nonfiction seldom interests him, unless you happen to be a Formula One driver writing about your career.


Anonymous said...

Can I assume that you're still open to authors who have a previously self-pubbed book, but are moving on to another book, never before published? I'd guess that considering Ms. Sarath as your client.

While you don't have a huge client list, your publicity background intrigues me. I might send a query your way. YA contemporary fantasy? Seems a bit outside your preferences. I'll stay Anon for now.

Kae and Jon said...

We have no problems with authors who self-publish. In fact, it can be a wonderful way to learn the craft of writing. If an author who has self-published a novel writes another novel and queries us, that author will be judged according to novel number 2, not the self-published work. And, yes, we do consider YA contemporary fantasy.