The general opinion of many posting there was that you've shot yourself in the foot by self-publishing first as the first publication cherry had been popped and therefore the book is now "dead" as far as getting agent representation or finding another publisher.
My position was that you still can publish that work. And people are not as concerned as they once were about the first publication rights. The points I raised included:
- As my role in acquisitions, I actually seek out self-published authors to sign with Ridan
- Michael resold his works that were self published (and for six-figures to boot)
- Several self-published authors from the Kindle Boards were recruited by the Trident Group for representation.
- Noah Lukeman, a major NY publisher recruited self-publishing authors D.B. Henson and J.R. Jagger.
- An October 2011 article in Forbes entitled: Literary Agents Open the Door to Self-Published Writers supported my assertion
- I also posted 4 recent deals on Publisher's Marketplace for recently signed self-published works.There are actually three different posts on AW at this time on this exact subject so some of those points may have been made in other similar posts - I've not bothered to look back.
All in all, neither side can say definitively which is correct. What would be needed it to do a mass survey with acquisitions editors and agents and ask them which of the following sums up their feelings.
a) I'll never consider a title that has the first publication rights taken
b) I don't care about the first pub rights but the book must have excellent sales or I'm not interested
c) I don't care about the first pub rights but if the book has sold to well it might be "played out"
d) I don't care about the first pub rights and even if the sales are low I'll let the story decide as low sales might be an indication of bad marketing
e) I don't care about the first pub rights and if the sales are good I'm more interested.
f) I don't care about the first pub rights and won't even look into the sales - I'll judge the work by its content
Only then could we say what the industry's true opinion on the matter is. But Kevin was becoming frustrated with the fact that any point he raised was dismissed if he couldn't not produce a cited work and raised the fact that there was a double standard. After seeing him lambasted repeatedly I came to his defense stating that there is an anti-self publishing bias and I recieve PM's and emails thanking me for offering rebuttals to the rhetoric there.
Anyway as I hit the save button on a post I had been working on I get a popup window that says:
What makes this particularly ironic is a couple of days ago on a different thread related to Ridan Publishing the poster said this:
You have been banned for the following reason:The moderator used the full expletive that I self-censored here.
Just get the hell off my site. You're relentlessly snotty, rude, and you're a f***cking bald-faced liar. I'm done with you.
Date the ban will be lifted: Never
At which point I could not see any other posts on the site. (Someone later told me delete my cookies which would log me out and now I can get in and "look but not talk". When attempting to sign in the banning message returns. I've addded a screen shot because there have been a few people that doubt it actually said that.
Bolding is mine.
I have to take a moment to post here.
I just spent the last two days reading from my last post, which was back on #85 or something, right through to here. WOW. I would love to give Robin a highfive. This thread should be mandatory reading for all new publishers on how to deal with criticism on Absolutewrite. So many other threads have devolved into something out of a horror flick by unprofessional publishers or their authors. Robin, you've done a remarkable job keeping your cool under more than a few detractors and critics, critics who posed questions I, as a writer, appreciated by the way. Professionalism and diplomacy is clearly not something you're lacking.
The moderator posted the following before banning the two of us:
Errr....So where is the "double standard" you're whining about, then, exactly? Because people have other opinions and they get to express them?
First off - on double standard. There is one. There is a small clique of people who frequent this forum who deliberately attack pretty much any post which actively supports self publishing. It just is. And they're just expressing their opinions, and usually not doing so in an offensive way - so it's really hard to report the posts.
A double standard?
Why? Because I don't shut everyone up that you disagree with, so you can have a climate-controlled echo chamber? Because I let people cite statistics, facts, and anecdotes that directly contradict what you so desperately want to convince other writers of — no matter if it's right for them or not? Because we're not a board that's all about how self-publishing will make the average Jill and Joe Writer rich and famous beyond their wildest dreams or the reach of the NYT Bestseller list, so none of us ever have to face the sting of a rejection slip again unless we're irredeemable and pedantic masochists desperately clinging to the rotting dinosaur carcass of Publishing-That-Was?
"Perpencity" and "desenting" and "the lurkers support me in email" and never met a pair of scare quotes that didn't make you positively giddy — but you wonder why some of us are a wee bit skeptical about betting our writing careers on your advice? And why we're not quite ready to tell other writers that they should bet their writing careers and a book they love on your advice? Really? That's still a mystery to you?
You are not the only one who sees the double standard being administered. There are a lot of lurkers that send me emails and PM's to this effect and thank me for offering a "dissenting opinion".
Kevin, you and Robin have both been consistently rude, snotty, condescending, evasive, and utterly unpleasant in this room. Yet you feel completely free to insult other writers here, twist and misrepresent their words, and then say that *I* run a board with a double standard because I dare to let people disagree with you?
Get lost. Both of you. Get the hell off my website.
I'm sick to death of the misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and outright bald-faced lies that some of you insist on spreading like it's gospel truth. Go start your own damned cheerleader forum where no one gets to post rebuttals, ask questions, challenge assertions, or disagree with your awesomeness and mighty self-publishing guru-ness and wisdom(!!11!), and good luck with it.
You can read the entire thread yourself to see if Kevin or I were grossly out of line. I'd be interested to hear what others think?