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EDIT 3/7/2013: Adding a bit more warning about self-publishing (lack of) success and agents abroad, based on the very good advice of ^neurotype. :cake:


A companion to my now-retitled Idiot's Guide to Lit Mag Publishing and my Publishing Resources List, where you can find resources for all the steps of this guide, include query letter writing, finding an agent, marketing, and more.

I wrote this during a heatwave so if anything looks wrong or misspelled please yell at me.
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:icondemonic-fantasy:
Demonic-Fantasy Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Student General Artist
Great tutorial! :) I'm in the process of creating my own book, and this came in handy! 
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013   Writer
Thanks! I'm so glad you find this helpful. :D

And thanks for the watch, too, I really appreciate it. :hug:
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013   General Artist
Thank you for the incredible hefty two-cents :heart:
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013   Writer
Of course! Thanks for reading and faving. :D
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013   General Artist
:hug:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I would add that you don't have to seek out an agent based on location, either—if you're writing in English you can have a US/UK agent (I haven't heard of Canadian agents, but I imagine that would fly too) regardless of where you live. Also I'd make the caution about self publishing a lot stronger, because the many self-publishing success stories are like a drop in the overall ocean of self-pubbers. :B
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:iconsnapperz:
Snapperz Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013   Writer
:lmao: All that I've learnt from being Canadian is that it is completely pointless to get a Canadian agent.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle: I could imagine.
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013   Writer
I promise I'm not ignoring this comment, I'm just trying to find some time to update the actual guide with your astute observations because I've been running around nonstop. :lol:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally fine! I have comments I've been meaning to act on from October. :B
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013   Writer
You win. Or lose. :laughing:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know, right :slow:
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:iconsenna-x:
Senna-x Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
So, if we were to go with a traditional publishing, would the cover, font, etc. be up to us, or would we only get partial say in it? I didn't really fully understand that part. ;~;

This was really helpful though! I've been wondering about the publishing process for years and I always thought it was relatively easy. Glad to know I was wrong. ^^;

I remember a lot of people telling me that if I wanted to become an author, I'd need a different job at first, since I'd have to pay the publishing companies or something? Is this true? I've always found it hard to believe, but not quite sure. :/
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013   Writer
Good questions!

For the first, about how much say you'd have about format and such in traditional publishing, it depends. For the cover, what's likely to happen is that the publishing company will ask some graphic designers to come up with a number of different cover options, and you will get to pick which one you like best. If you like none of them, some publishers will ask for another round of covers from other artists, but sometimes what they come up with the first time around is what you get. As for the font and such, there's more wiggle room -- you can probably talk with the book's interior designer and negotiate those things. :nod:

For your second question, in traditional publishing you never ever EVER have to pay any money whatsoever to the publisher. Ever. If a traditional publisher asks for money upfront, it's a scam, and you shouldn't be publishing with them. What happens is that for every book they sell, they take a cut of the profits (for services like editing your book, promoting it, hiring a cover designer, proofreading, etc.) and give you the rest, but they should never actually be taking money out of your hands, if that makes sense. If you're self-publishing, then yes, you will be paying the costs, because then technically, you are the publisher.

I hope those answers make sense! If not, feel free to ask for any clarification. :D
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:iconsenna-x:
Senna-x Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Thanks!

So, if I had sketched out an idea for a cover of my book, would they use that? I've always thought that when I'm able to publish a book I'd be able to come up with own design for the book. But from what you said, that doesn't sound very promising. ^^;

That makes a ton of sense, thanks! :tighthug: I've had numerous people tell me that I'd need to pay the publishing company, agent, editor, and everything/everyone else or something. It never made the tiniest bit of sense to me...
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:iconkersee9:
kersee9 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Divertir Publishing always takes the time to work with the author on cover design, we never ask for money up front and you don't need an agent to approach us. We take unsolicited manuscripts. Just craft your best query letter and the first 2 chapters of the book and send an email to:

query@divertirpublishing.com

:heart:
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:iconsenna-x:
Senna-x Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
Thanks! :) But I don't plan on publishing anything for a few years to come. Sorry. :c
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:iconkersee9:
kersee9 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional Writer
we'll be around. :D check out #DivertirPublishing, maybe you could contribute some short stories or poetry to our fave gallery.
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
It's always worth bringing up ideas when you start talking about production design, so what you want might actually hold more weight than I'm suggesting. But it's not something that's generally considered polite to talk about unless and until your manuscript is accepted for publication, unless it's something that's a sticking point for you (and that's okay if it is!).

Nope, you shouldn't be paying anybody! Everybody will take a small cut of your profits, but they'll never take money out of your hands, as it were. They only take profits because they've already put in the legwork for you (getting your book published and such) before even getting paid, if you want to think of it that way. :nod:

And you're very welcome! :hug:
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:iconsenna-x:
Senna-x Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks! :aww: I'll keep that in mind~ C: I was also wondering because I've seen some really...strange? covers for books that just make no sense to me whatsoever. So, thanks for answering that~ <3

That makes a whole lot more sense! It's also what I originally thought, haha. So thanks a lot for clearing that up. :D
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013   Writer
So have I -- sometimes I don't know what designers are thinking. :lol:

You're welcome! Please feel free to poke me with more questions if you have any. :D
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:iconsenna-x:
Senna-x Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
Haha, same here! Some of them just blow my mind sometimes. :XD:

Sure thing! If I have anymore I'll be sure to ask. C:
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012   Writer
This (and your whole series of resources) looks extremely helpful. Thanks for doing them.

I've been considering how (and whether) to try and publish - on the one hand, I'm a complete idealist about art and want it to always be available for free, perhaps complimented by a paypal donate button but without the involvement of mainstream publishers (not to mention I don't want the hassle of publishing, and also always sort of doubt I'm good enough to be accepted, anyway). On the other, I could really use the money, and if I was able to get any income from writing it would make me feel a lot better about spending my life on it. Maybe the best thing to do would be to go halfway, and self-publish only in e-book format, as an option, while still posting things on dA for free. That sounds at least relatively fee- and hassle-free.

I do notice one thing here that conflicts with other advice I've heard. If I remember right I read it in a book called "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy" by Orson Scott Card (unfortunately I can't look it up at this point to see if I'm remembering right) - his advice was not to contact an agent until you already have a contract. I think the reason was that a good agent is hard to come by, and rejection by the agent would be worse than rejection by the publishers... but maybe this has changed since then, since that book was published at least a decade ago.
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012   Writer
I'm glad you think so! :D

I think that sounds like a good option for what you're looking for, definitely. :nod: In an ideal world, artists could float around and just share their things with the world, but sadly, most of us also have to buy food and stuff. =p If you're looking for e-only you might want to start with Smashwords -- it doesn't marry you to a particular e-reading ecosystem (like Amazon and Barnes & Noble do), and they seem to give you a lot of options in terms of file formats. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, the upfront cost is free for you. :)

That's interesting that he said that! I've been told from people at the house I'm working at now that this isn't the case -- I am literally handed stacks of slush and told to reject it. =p
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012   Writer
Hm, interesting!

I will definitely look into Smashwords. :) Thanks for that advice.
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012   Writer
No problem! And good luck. And if you find out anything interesting, let me know. I am endlessly curious about all these newfangled publishing ventures, because I'm a geek. :XD:
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012   Writer
I'll let you know if I do, but Smashwords looks very promising and I may just stick with that. :XD: It'll take me a while to get to that point, though!
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012   Writer
It'll take me a while to get to that point, too, no worries. :giggle:
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:icontremere-prodigy:
Tremere-Prodigy Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Well I see nothing wrong with it but i'll still yell at you if you like.
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012   Writer
I can always count on you. :lol:
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:icontremere-prodigy:
Tremere-Prodigy Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
As long as you don't forget how to count numbers your good to go.
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012   Writer
What if I do. :shifty:
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:icontremere-prodigy:
Tremere-Prodigy Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012
You still got your fingers and toes, right?
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012   Writer
For now. =p
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:icontremere-prodigy:
Tremere-Prodigy Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
Not thinking of getting frostbite are you?
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012   Writer
Nah, too painful.
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